Canal in Suzhou is about 35km long from Hushu Pass to Wujiang City. It is the best part
of the Grand Canal for shipping with wide surface, abundant and crystal
clear water. On both sides of the bank, white walls and black tiles are
dotted in the open green country. The 53-hole Belt Bridge first built
in Tang Dynasty lies across the old canal like a rainbow floating on the
wave. Marco Polo, who visited Suzhou in the 13th century, wrote that the
great Khan... has made a huge canal of great width and depth from river
to river and from lake to lake and made the water flow along it so that
it looks like a big river. By this means it is possible to go ... as far
as Khan-balik (as Beijing was known in the Yuan Dynasty).
Canal is still heavily used by a great number of flat-bottomed boats under
sail and engine power conveying agricultural produce to nearby towns today.