Grand Canal (Dàyùnhé 大运河)|Dàyùnhé 大运河 (Grand Canal)
The Grand Canal in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. PHOTO BY JOAN LEBOLD COHEN.
Originally built during the Sui dynasty (581–618 CE), the Grand Canal is a major waterway that unified northern and southern China, serving as a connection between major cities and as a vital means of maintaining trade relations within the empire. Today it is still used to transport goods such as bricks, gravel, sand, diesel, and coal.