Tongzhou Canal Park

The Grand Canal is the longest, largest, and one of the oldest canals in the world. Together with the Great Wall and the Karez Well, it is reputed to be one of the three greatest projects from ancient China. Tongzhou, an important gathering hub by the canal, was once a very busy and prosperous town, with ships coming and going, and granaries, restaurants and hotels scattered here and there. As time passed, the busy town lost its importance.

Fortunately, the Grand Canal survives, and the section in Tongzhou has been renovated, creating the Tongzhou Canal Park, a great place to appreciate the amazing project, learn about the past splendor of Tongzhou, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and become rejuvenated. You can even row a boat to touch the canal and listen to the old legends about it. Also, you can take part in the Strawberry Music Festival, and the Ice and Snow Festival held here. Here are some must-see attractions along the canal.

Cultural Square

Built in 2006, the Cultural Square has a gross area of 34 acres (13.8 hectares). The Millennium Footpath, the central axis of the square, is paved with bronze-inlaid granite with a thickness of 6 inches (15 centimeters) and a length of 741 feet (226 meters). Fourteen events in the history of the Grand Canal are carved on the granite in chronological order. The Millennium Footpath looks very magnificent!

"East" Sculpture

The "East" Sculpture in the Cultural Square was designed by the famous artist Han Meilin. It is made of bronze and granite, and includes a dragon and three kylins. The sculpture measures 105 feet (32 meters) in height and weighs 260 tons. Standing at the northern end of the Grand Canal, the "East" Sculpture signifies prosperity and good luck.

No.1Wharf

The No.1 Wharf is located beside the Cultural Square. The Wenyu River, the Tonghui River, the Yunchaojian River, and the Xiaozhong River flow into the Grand Canal at this point. It is a spectacular scene. While standing at the mouth of the Grand Canal, tourists can see the rebuilt Grain Inspection Building, the time-honored Dipamkara Pagoda, and the newly-built seven-span dam which resembles a stone arch bridge.

Grain Inspection Building

The Grain Inspection Building was first built in 1528 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and was restored in 1872 during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It was named Big Bright Building or the Dam Building. It got its current name because it is here that officials used to check the quality of the grain shipped to Zhuojun (today's Beijing) in the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

Dipamkara Pagoda

The Dipamkara Pagoda is also known as the Buddhist Relics Pagoda of Dipamkara because it contains Buddhist relics of Dipamkara, the Buddha of the past. The Pagoda was first built in the Liao Dynasty (907-1125), and restored in the Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties and also after the Tangshan Earthquake. The thirteen-storey octagonal pagoda is made of bricks and wood. It consists of a base, a body and a top, with a height of 184 feet (56 meters). As the highest pagoda in Beijing, since the Ming Dynasty, the Dipamkara Pagoda has been listed as the first of the "Top Eight Scenes in Tongzhou".

Covering a large area of 909 acres (including 227 acres of water), Tongzhou Canal Park is a good place for open-door activities, like flying kites, going for a picnic, and riding bikes. It is also favored by some large-scale folk festivities. Among them, the Strawberry Music Festival in spring and the Ice and Snow Festival in winter are the most popular.

Strawberry Music Festival

The Strawberry Music Festival is intended for those who love music, especially rock music. Many singers and bands from both home and abroad perform here. If you are interested, just go and indulge yourselves in an ocean of music. It is held in the park from May 1st to 3rd every year. If you book tickets ahead of time, CNY 180 will be charged for one day, and CNY 480 for three days. If you buy tickets at the gate, CNY 260 will be charged for one day, and CNY 680 for three days.

Ice and Snow Festival

The interesting Ice and Snow Festival is usually held from late December to early February on the Cultural Square in the park. You can take part in many kinds of exciting activities, such as ice hockey, football match on snow, snow sculpture, snowmobile riding, and dog sledding. You will have a lot of fun here!

Transportation

 By subway:
Take subway line 6, get off at the Beiyunhe West Station, leave from Exit B, and enter the park through the East Gate.

 By bus:
1. Take bus line Tong 12, Tong 19, Tong 44, 322, 342, 589, 626, 648, 667, 804, or 808, get off at the Dongguan Bridge Station, and go to the park through the North Gate.
2. Take bus line Tong 6, Tong 12, Tong 19, Tong 46, 322, 342, 589, 626, 648, 667, 804, 808, or 8801, get off at the Tongzhou Dongguan Station, and go to the part through the North Gate.
3. Take bus line 552, 667, or 809, get off at the Yunhewan Xiaoqu Station, and enter the park through the East Gate.
4. Take bus line 317, 552, or 809, get off at the Yunhe Mingzhu Jiayuan Station, and enter the park through the East Gate.
Opening Hours  5:00 – 22:00
Ticket Price  Free of charge

Recommended Nearby Attractions

1. Xihaizi Park
2. Jing'an Temple