Map of Lingqu CanalLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
Come to Guilin and spend an extra day to visit Lingqu rather than enjoy the beautiful scenery to the south! (or, don't!) They say "The North has the Great Wall, the South has Lingqu". Comparing the two sites alone is a laughable. Basically Lingqu is special because it was used for military purposes in order to attack the Baiyue tribes in the south. Whatever the success rate it must have beaten moving the troops about on foot. I don't find it that special and the historical use may be correct but I find it very intangible. There are no remains of troop barracks or anything like that as far I see.
The other purpose of the canal was the obvious: connecting the mighty Xiang and Li rivers for water diversion and transportation (if you look at the map there is no water body that comes anywhere near so the canal makes total sense). Whereas those are great and they claim to be the first "first canal in the world to connect two river valleys", thus enabling boat transportation from Hong Kong all the way to Beijing, this may not be enough to deem it WHS. What you get to see now is a boring stretch of canal with mainly houses built around it. The traditional "washing clothes and vegetables" in the canal is also intangible and I find it rather disgusting.
There could be more than one place to visit but I found Xin'an to be ideal because it has a touristy scenic area. There were no locks and the bridge weren't authentic but I found the old trees growing on the side to be the best sight. Both high-speed trains and buses run from Guilin at high frequency. This is one of those sites that having a car would perhaps be good to trace along and stop wherever something could be interesting but with public transportation I was limited to just a few spots. Xin'an also has a museum across the scenic area if you have an extra hour to spare.
(note: I have purposely dropped "Canal" from the review because "qu" [渠] already means Canal so you are basically saying "Ling Canal Canal".)