The 34 kilometre-long Ling Canal was built in the period 219-214 BC. It is today’s most complete ancient water conservancy project in the world still in existence. It was scientifically designed and exquisitely built, linking the two water systems of yangtze and Pearl rivers, and has become the communication hub between the Central Plain and Linnan since the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC). In recent years, Xing’an County of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region invested 30 million yuan (US$2.6 million) for the environmental protection and tourism development. It has become a new tourist attraction for Guilin scenic area.
The Ling Canal consists of a ploughshare, a water diversion dam, a south canal and a north canal, a spillway as well as a boat-lock. The ploughshare juts out into the Xiangjiang River, dividing 70 percent of the water into the Xiangjiang River through the north canal, and 30 percent into the south canal (the Ling Canal), which empties itself into the Li River. In springtime, the pink peach blossoms and the green willows along the banks and their reflections in the clear flickering water present a wonderful picture.
The four ancient water conservancy projects in China are the Ling Canal in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region , Dujiangyan Irrigation Project in Chengdu, Sichuan Province , the Grand Canal from Beijing to Hangzhou and the karez , an irrigation system of wells connected by underground channels used in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.