Yangzhou, which has a history dating back about 2,400 years, is located in Jiangsu Province's center section between the Yangtze River and the Grand Canal. But it was the construction of the canal in the sixth century that gave the city its prominence as a center of international trade, drawing people like the Arab missionary Behao Aldin in the seventh century and later Marco Polo, who visited briefly. The town is well known for its distinctive handicrafts, original art, and traditional cuisine, as well as a number of other top-notch sights that make up a fantastic walking tour of the old town. These include the charming Narrow West Lake, the historic Bridge of the Great Rainbow (Dahong Qiao), the Bridge of the Five Pavilions from the 18th century, and Fuzhuang Island, which is accessible by a zigzag bridge and has a variety of charming pavilions and covered walkways. The Temple of Heavenly Peace from the fourth century is another must-see attraction. It is well-known for being the spot where a Nepalese monk translated the Buddhist scriptures in AD 418. It is situated at the base of the Mountain of the Plum Blossom (Meihua Ling). The 1,500-year-old Daming Temple, which is worth visiting, was formerly the abode of the monk Jianzhen, who is renowned for bringing Buddhism to Japan.
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