Zhanjiang was a small fishing port when it was under French occupation in the early 20th century - named Fort Bayard - and some old colonial buildings still survive. Now it is a rapidly developing modern city. Many people in Zhanjiang speak Mandarin (普通话 Pǔtōnghuà) with a fairly strong accent, the native languages for most locals are Cantonese (广东话 Guǎngdōnghuà) and Leizhouhua (雷州话 Léizhōuhuà), a distinctly different dialect close to Hainanese.
Zhanjiang is at the base of the Leizhou peninsula that points toward the island province Hainan. Travellers often pass through Zhanjiang en route to Hainan. There are trains and buses to and from nearby mainland cities and boats to Haikou, capital of Hainan. The boat is an hour bus ride away from Zhanjiang.
There are three train stations and a small airport that service Zhanjiang. Buses also run daily to most nearby cities.
A bus runs daily from Zhanjiang to Hong Kong (8 hours) via Shenzhen and tickets are ¥280 at the travel agency's office in Chikan District.
Zhanjiang is almost like two cities combined. The northern half, composed of Chikan district (赤坎区 Chìkǎn qū) and Mazhang District (麻章区 Mázhāng qū) and the southern Xiashan District (霞山区 Xiáshān qū) are separated by a less developed corridor.
The main bus routes (2, 11, 12, 22) travel from the northern districts to Xiashan and back. Smaller buses and other routes can allow you to explore more areas of the individual districts.
Taxis in Zhanjiang are fairly cheap, starting at ¥5. Afterwards the fare increases by ¥2 per kilometer. Please note that there is an additional ¥1 fuel surcharge that will be added onto your final fare.
Haibin Park (海滨公园 hǎibīn gōngyuán), Xiashan District (You can easily get to the park on a number 2 bus). A famous waterfront park.edit
Cunjin Park (寸金公园 cùn jīn gōngyuán), Chikan District (Runs adjacent to Cunjin Bridge, which marks the historical boundary between the French treaty port and China). edit
Chikan Museum, Chikan District (Walk in the front entrance of Cunjin Park and walk to the back of the park. There will be an exit that leads to the museum). There are many historical stone dogs behind the museum that are a must see. Inside is the story of how the Zhanjiang people defeated the tyrannical French.Free but bring your passport. edit
Dragon Boat Festival (端午节 duānwǔjié). The fifth day of the fifth month according to the lunar calendar. A large international boat race.edit
Huguangyan Park (湖光岩世界地质公园 Húguāngyán shìjiè dìzhì gōngyuán), (About 30 minutes from Zhanjiang). The center piece to this UNESCO Geo Park is a large Maar Lake.Adults ¥60. edit
Movie theaters, Xiashan District. There are a few movie theatersAdmission is usually around ¥25. edit
Bowling alley, Xiashan District. bowling alley now closededit
Haibin Hotel and Hotsprings, Xiashan District. Admission includes a dinner buffet and an evening to enjoy the various hotsprings and pools.edit
Body Sculpture Fitness Club, (behind Chikan Nursery). For those looking to exercise, this gym recently moved to a new location and upgraded most of its equipment.Three month memberships cost ¥288. edit
As a major stop for many bikers heading to the islands, Zhanjiang has a fair range of bicycle shops to shop on components and parts. Most shops are located along Minzhi Road (民治路) and certain brands such as Dahon, Giant, Merida also have their branches there.
Trust Mart, (In Shimao Shopping Complex in the center of Chikan District). A large supermarket with a number of things to buy. Also found in the same building KFC and Macau Street Food City.edit
Wal-Mart, Xiashan District and Chikan District. Has a few imported items not found at other locations and also regularly has fresh milk.edit
i-Fortune, Xiashan District on Renmin Dadao (On the corner of Jiefang and Renmindadao). Has many different items - shoes, clothes, places to eat, manicure/pedicure, etc. KFC is at the bottom and an IGA (grocery store) is on the second floor.edit
Vanguard, Xiashan District (With i-Fortune on the left facing Renmin Da Dao walk across the street keeping the park on the left. Vanguard will be about 3 blocks or so down the road). Has very few imported items, but is a clean and less traveled place to shop. It has the same goods as Wal-Mart without the shopping stress. By far the best place to do weekly shopping for a foreigner who is used to "Western" comforts.edit
Export Market, (On the outskirts of Xiashan District). A clothing and fabric market with goods that are produced in China for export. You can sometimes find name-brand clothing items for cheap prices here.edit
Place to buy cheese, (To get there, go to the China Construction Bank on Jiefang Lu next to the Xiashan campus of Guangdong Ocean University. Keep the ocean on your left and the bank to your back, and cross the street following the road that runs parallel to the ocean. The shop will be on your left about 6 or 7 blocks down the road. It has a blue sign with yellow letters and many freezers.). Foreigners call this the cheese shop. Since many don't read Chinese, they are unsure what the actual name is for this store. It is located across from a fish market. Possible cheese choicesedit
Local specialties include seafood, sugarcane and beer chicken.
Inner Mongolia Dumpling Restaurant, (In 100 names village (百姓村 bǎixìng cūn)). If you would like dumplings or to sample a different variety of Chinese cuisine, this restaurant serves excellent food at inexpensive prices.edit
Steakking Kitchen Production, (In the new Wal-Mart Plaza in Chikan District). An upscale restaurant. The menu includes fairly authentic western food and an excellent Japanese sushi selection. Included in the price of your meal is a free trip to the salad bar.edit
Macau Street Food City, (Locations in both Chikan (Shimao Plaza) and Xiashan (Wal-Mart Plaza)). This restaurant is very foreigner friendly and offers tons of dishes to choose from.edit
Zhanjiang has a small bar street (酒吧街 jiǔbā jiē) in Xiashan District. Unfortunately, most places do not serve cocktails or shots, but instead tend to sell liquor by the bottle. Beers in the bar also tend to be about three to four times more expensive than on the street.
Some western-style restaurants such as Steakking Kitchen Production and the West Coast Coffeehouse (西海安 xīhǎi ān) do sell mixed drinks and shots.
Also, Wal-Mart has the best selection of spirits for sell if you would like to make your own drinks.