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Shanghai tour ships to cruise along creek in 2010


Shanghai has bought six docks along Suzhou Creek that it will use to host sightseeing cruise ships, the Putuo District Tourism Commission announced yesterday. Tour ships should be cruising along the creek by the time the 2010 World Expo begins. The docks were originally built in 2002 by two real estate companies, Mengqing Garden and the Brilliant City, in order to attract more buyers. The docks were soon abandoned, however, as they have never received permission to engage in tourism cruises from the Shanghai Harbor Administration. The commission has since signed a deal with the two property companies to turn the docks into a harbor for cruise ships, said Guo Tianhong, a spokesperson for the Putuo District Tourism Commission. The creek played a large role in the city's industrial development in the 1920s, and its banks are packed with old factories, many of which were renovated over the past seven years. Oriental Seine Another highlight on the cruise route will be the ancient town of Zhenru, which was first built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). "We hope to turn Suzhou Creek into the oriental Seine," said Guo. Suzhou Creek is about 125 kilometers long, of which about 54 km passes through the administrative area of Shanghai. About 24 km of downstream section of Suzhou Creek passes through the highly urbanized part of Shanghai, including important financial, commercial, industrial, and residential districts. Suzhou Creek has historically been considered the most polluted natural waterway in Shanghai. Reports of filthy water and a terrible stench date back to the 1920s. The city began cleaning up the creek in the late 1990s.

(Source:Xinhua News, 2006-04-08)