Chaozhou & Shantou, Guangdong Province, China

Despite going back to check on family Guangzhou many times over the years this was our first excursion to the renowned delights of Chaozhou & Shantau.

Chaozhou

It’s a 4½ drive from Guangzhou but it’s all highway so fairly easy drive but it’s a world apart from the modern metropolis that is Guangzhou.  Chaozhou is known as one of the greatest cultural centres in China and is known worldwide as a unique part of world heritage.  This is more the China that many visitors to China want to experience.  The city is a delight for the local cultural experiences (the arts, local cuisine, architecture, history etc.).  It is a magnet for local tourism and you won’t come across many tourists from outside of China here.

The Ming city wall surrounds the Ancient City where many of the historical buildings have been restored and integrated into modern life.  Paifang St is a great place to sample the traditional foods and where you can admire the ancient architecture.  We took a stroll along the Han River and on the ancient city walls past the city gate, and the famous Guangji Bridge.  Geoffrey was tempted to put on his running shoes and jog the entire city wall.

We only spent half a day here but obviously could easily have spent considerably longer in this beautiful city and would have loved to experience the city at night, especially during the more popular summer period.

If you would like more information about this destination please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Peanut nougat – a Chaozhou specialty

Shantou

Shantou is just a further 1 hr drive south of Chaozhou and lies at the mouth of the Han, Rong and Lian Rivers.  We stayed at the Sheraton which is close to the shopping district and the People’s Square.  Being close to the seaside Geoffrey immediately put on his running shoes and jogged along the waterfront catching the locals doing their tai chi  and the fishing boats heading out.  We wandered around the Shantou Old Town District which is a work in progress with considerable ongoing renovations but it will be a huge drawcard when completed.  As there are few businesses operating during the reconstruction it’s largely deserted except for visitors.  However it’s still well worth a visit with the old European architecture a throwback to the origins of Shantou’s history.  The completed renovated Post Office is well worth a visit as this was one of the first in China to operate the modern postal service.

We also looked around one of the local wet markets.  These markets are not everyone’s cup of tea but they are undeniably interesting and give the visitor an insight into what the locals shop for.  Obviously sampling the local specialties are a big attraction of any new destination and we did not hold back trying out everything from the small street restaurants to the renowned top-end restaurants.  

Unfortunately we didn’t have time to get to Nan’ao Island – probably China’s best island destinations but we’ve saved this for the next time!

If you would like more information about this destination please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sampling the local Shantou street vendor specialties

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