China

Shantou, China

Shantou is in the province of Guangdong, China. In Sept 2015, I found myself on JetStar with my wife, her sister and parents flying from Singapore to Shantou.

As my wife is a teochew, this was a trip back to her ancestral home. As expected, the whole plane was filled with teochew from Malaysia and Singapore.

Shantou is not known to be a tourist destination but being the teochew’s birth place, you can rest assured of good sea food and goose cooked the teochew way.

see what I mean
see what I mean

Good Food in Shantou

Famous Goose Shop – This shop which sells goose is probably one of the best in Shantou. Here are a few photos of the shop and the goose.

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Famous Teochew Porridge Shop – this is apparently the biggest porridge shop in Shantou with lot of variety of dishes. It was completely packed when we had dinner there.

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Accommodation in Shantou

Shantou is a tier 2 city in China. It has grown and modernised during the last ten years or so. I have stayed in two different hotels in Shantou, the older Regency Hotel and the newer (about a year old) Sheraton Hotel. Both are 5 stars and can be recommended with the Sheraton a lot more expensive but much classier.

Here is a photo of the Regency Hotel. Except for a Walmart opposite the hotel, there isn’t much to see or do around the hotel.

Regency Hotel
Regency Hotel
Walmart across the road in front of Regency Hotel
Walmart across the road in front of Regency Hotel
Sheraton Hotel
Sheraton Hotel
Lobby of Sheraton Hotel
Lobby of Sheraton Hotel
The neighbourhood of Sheraton Hotel (There is a Parkson Supermarket nearby)
The neighbourhood of Sheraton Hotel (There is a Parkson Supermarket nearby)

Sight-Seeing in Shantou

Although there isn’t much tourist attractions in Shantou, it doesn’t mean that there is absolutely nothing to do there. Here are a couple of my recommendations.

The old city – this part of Shantou consists of some very old shops and residences. Many of these old shops have been abandoned and are in disrepair. There is also a very old and beautiful temple here. The following photos will give you an idea of what to expect in this part of Shantou.

The building on the right was at one time the top shopping centre in Shantou
The building on the right was at one time the top shopping centre in Shantou

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Bicycle repair shop in front of an abandoned shop. I was asked to take a photo of them by the elderly uncle but the wife was too shy
Bicycle repair shop in front of an abandoned shop. I was asked to take a photo of them by the elderly uncle but the wife was too shy
Shop making traditional teochew sweets
Shop making traditional teochew sweets
Temple in the old part of the city
Temple in the old part of the city
Sculptures and a dragon wall in front of the Temple
Sculptures and a dragon wall in front of the Temple

Nan’ao – Previously, the only way to get to this small island is by taking a boat. But recently, the bridge connecting to the island has been completed and it is now about an hour’s drive from Shantou City.

There are a few hotels in the island if you wish to stay for a night but we only went for a day trip by car. You can drive round the island and stopped at any place you think is scenic or interesting or you can climb to the top of the hill in the island to get a view of the whole island and the mainland (provided the sky is clear).

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At the home of my in-law's friend
At the home of friends of my in-law

We did climb up the hill but the weather was very hazy on that day so we couldn’t see much when we were at the top of the hill. Still, it was an easy climb with very wide steps and the weather was cool. Here are a few photos I took while going up the hill.

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On the way up to the top of the hill
On the way up to the top of the hill
Almost at the top of the hill
Almost at the top of the hill
The top of the hill
The top of the hill
The centre of the island
The centre of the island
Sea food dinner at the island
Sea food dinner at the island
The town centre
The town centre

Day Trip to Chenghai

Chenghai is just over an hour’s drive from Shantou. It is the actual ancestral home of my wife’s parents so it is only natural that we went there to have lunch with my in-laws’ relatives. And naturally, sea-food lunch again at a restaurant which is next to the jetty and the yatch club.

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The sea-food restaurant
The sea-food restaurant
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One of the cooks preparing our lunch
Lunch with relatives
Lunch with relatives
Fishing boat at the Jetty
Fishing boat at the Jetty
Workers at the Jetty having lunch
Workers at the Jetty having lunch
The workers' lunch
The workers’ lunch which they cooked themselves

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Typical houses in Chenghai
Typical old houses in Chenghai

Chen Cihong Residences

In Chenghai, its also worth visiting the Chen Cihong Family Home. This family home was built many years ago by a rich overseas chinese. Although none of the present generation of the family are living there now, it is still maintained by the surviving family members. I am not sure how many rooms there are but I would estimate easily about a hundred rooms in the whole complex.

The road leading up to the front gate of the residence
The road leading up to the front gate of the residence
The lotus pond next to the residence
The lotus pond next to the residence
The centre courtyard
The centre courtyard

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Room for milling rice/flour
Room for milling rice/flour
Centre courtyard looking back towards the entrance
Centre courtyard looking back towards the entrance

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At the roof of the residence
At the roof of the residence

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Sedan Chair for Bride
Sedan Chair for Bride
Ancient taxi
Ancient taxi

Chaozhou

Chaozhou is also another place worth visiting as it is quite near to Chenghai or Shantou. There is a very famous (unusual) bridge there. The day we visited, it was very hazy. Here are some photos of Chaozhou.

The famous bridge in Chaozhou
The famous bridge in Chaozhou
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Making some kind of pancakes. She is from Shandong Province

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In front of a famous temple
In front of a famous temple

Air Asia just started flying to Shantou from Kuala Lumpur, so it is now more convenient for Malaysians who intend to travel to Shantou.

All images shot with a Nikon D810 + Nikkor 24-120mm f4g lens and processed in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

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