China Marine Silk Road Museum Opened Its Veil in Guangdong
On December 24th, the China Marine Silk Road Museum was opened in the coastal city of Yangjiang in South China's Guangdong Province. The museum has housed a 1,000-year-old merchant ship named Naihai 1, and more than 300,000 pieces of historical relics from the Song Dynasty of China (960-1279).
Situated near Hailing Island of Yangjiang City, about 200 kilometers (four hours' bus drive) from Guangzhou, the China Marine Silk Road Museum covers an area of more than 130,000 square meters (32 acres). It is now the largest theme museum of its kind in Asia.
The museum mainly collects and exhibits ancient vessels and their contents, which have been salvaged from the South China Sea.
The highlight of the museum is a large pool at an exhibition hall called "Crystal Palace", which is used to keep the Naihan 1 merchant ship, in order to better preserve precious artifacts of the Song Dynasty, such as porcelains, copper coins and gold containers, which have been soaked in the sea for a thousand years.
"Nanhai 1", literally means the "South China Sea 1", is the name for an ancient China merchant ship, being known as the world's oldest and biggest one, with a length of 30 meters and a width of 10 meters. The ship was discovered in 1987, just 20 meters below the surface the sea, and 20 nautical miles away from Hailing Island.
Since ancient times, Guangdong, the starting point of Ancient China Marine Silk Road (an ancient maritime trade route connecting China with the Western world), has been a commercial and trading hub in South China. As the opening of the Marine Silk Museum, Yangjiang of Guangdong Province is expected to become a new tourist destination in Guangdong. A diving club, a sailing club, a shopping street and other facilities will be provided near the museum to better serve tourists from all around the world.