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Chaozhou (潮州; Cháo​zhōu) is a city in Guangdong Province in China.


Chaozhou is in the easternmost part of Guangdong Province in the north of the delta of the Han River, which flows through the city. It borders Shantou to the south, Jieyang to the southwest, Meizhou to the northwest, the province of Fujian to the east, and the South China Sea to the southeast.

Get in[edit]

Fast trains run several times a day from Guangzhou East and South stations to the Chaoshan station, located about halfway between Chaozhou and Shantou. From there, you can take a bus (8 RMB, 30 minutes) which will make several stops in the Chaoshou city center.

From Shantou, you can take taxies (~45mins - 1 hour, ¥15) at the intersection of the Shantou Radio & Television station (汕头市广播电视台) along Chaoshan road (潮汕路). The taxi drivers will stop along the way to pull additional passengers in.

You can also take buses (~45mins - 1 hour, ¥13) from Shantou Car Terminal (汕头汽车总站).

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

  • The Lighthouse of Buddha (北阁佛灯; Běidēng). The lighthouse was used for boats in the Hanjiang river as this part of the river was dangerous. The lighthouse could remind people that they were in Chaozhou area and ought to be careful. It is said a former emperor once passed in his dragon boat while he was sleeping and was woken by the light from this lighthouse. He thought it must have been a bodhisattva sending him the light and therefore named it the Lighthouse of Buddha.  edit
  • Guangji Bridge (广济桥; Guǎngqiáo). built in the Southern Song Dynasty (1170 A.D.), a bridge partly made of small boats. It was rebuilt a few years ago and now costs 60 yuan to cross (one way). You may have seen a model of it in the old Guangdong Provincial Museum.  edit
  • Jiluehuang Temple (己略黃公祠; Jǐlüèhuánggōng), Yian Road, Xiangqiao District (湘桥区义安路; Xiāng​qiáo​qū​ Yì​ān​lù)​, +86 768 2228244. Displaying the wood carving art of Chaozhou in the Qing Dynasty.  edit
  • The old site of Song Kiln, (Bijia Mountain Xiangqiao). Shows the scale of production and the exquisite craftsmanship of ceramic in ancient Chaozhou.  edit
  • Jiadixiang (甲第巷; Jiǎxiàng). Ancient family houses.  edit
  • Kaiyuan Temple (开元寺; Kāiyuán), 32 Kaiyuan Road, Xiangqiao District (湘桥区开元路32号; Xiāng​qiáo​qū​ Kāi​yuán​lù​), +86 768 2225571 (, fax: +86 768 2236542), [1]. Buddhist center embodied with the quintessence of the architectural art of various dynasties such as the Tang, the Song, the Yuan and the Qing. This temple is over 200 years old. The temple is also home to the most influential Buddhism Study Institute in Southeast China. Inside, handsome calligraphy and inscribed steles remind visitors that this temple once functioned as the record keeper of the city.  edit
  • People's Square (明城墻; Míngchéngqiáng). Night scene of the Square.  edit
  • The Ming City Wall. 2.6 kilometers long.  edit
  • Xu Imperial Son-in-law Mansion (许驸马府; Xǔ), North Ma Road, Xiangqiao District (湘桥区北马路; Xiāng​qiáo​qū​ Běi​mǎ​lù​). Retains the basic pattern of the architecture of the Song Dynasty.  edit
  • Xihuyuan. Museum in the main city park, has a unique collection unique of stones with natural geological markings representing (or resembling) Chinese characters. There is a small crumbling historical building (revolutionary site) and a large modern phoenix at the top of a hill, with an interesting old painting of ancient Chaozhou.  edit
  • Yi Garden (颐园; Yiyuan), 15 Dong Zhong Cheng Jiao, 2228966 (, fax: 2255101). A museum/art gallery that tells the life story of Rao Zongyi, artist and sinologist. 10 yuan.  edit
  • General Headquarters, [2]. The former Nan’ao General Headquarters,the Xiongzhen Pass, the Changshanwei Gun Battery and other military facilities are still preserved on the island.  edit


As with elsewhere in mainland China, standard Mandarin is the only language taught in schools and the main language in the official broadcast media so expect all educated people to be fluent in Mandarin. The Teochew (潮汕片) variant of Minnan (Southern Min 闽南语) is the main language here, and it is only marginally mutually intelligible with mainstream Minnan (闽台片泉漳话) (Hokkien-Taiwanese). Teochew (潮汕话) differs from mainstream Minnan (闽南话) spoken in the neighbouring Southern Fujian and Taiwan significantly in pronunciation, and use of slang which are unique to the area. Locals who speak the Teochew (潮汕话) dialect can understand a fair bit of the mainstream Minnan (闽南话) albeit with some difficulty, as most do not necessarily speak it.

The locals are very proud of their local language despite government attempts to standardise Mandarin as a common language. Most people of the Chaoshan region speak both the local dialect and Mandarin daily. Any attempts to speak mainstream Minnan (闽南话) (although Teochew 潮汕话 is preferred) will be met with encouragement, and may even get you preferential treatment in shops and restaurants. If you are a Mandarin-speaking foreigner, you will be able to communicate with locals and get around as most services have staff who speak Mandarin.

English is not widely spoken, though staff at the higher end hotels will be able to speak English. As Chaozhou is part of Guangdong province and the influence of the Cantonese language media, many people speak Cantonese as a third language.

Despite many residents having relatives in the much more international city of Hong Kong, non-Chinese vistors are not currently common here so expect some friendly curiosity and attempts at conversation from people if you visit, especially from kids/teenagers who know a little bit of English. However, when shopping or dining you'll be treated the same as if you are a local resident. The city is developing with China's economic expansion, so visitors and facets of western culture, while still infrequent, are becoming more common.

Do[edit][add listing]

Buy[edit][add listing]

Chaozhou considers itself the "Ceramic Capital of China" and you will notice that there are a lot of ceramics for sale, often at very inexpensive prices.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Chiuchow (Teochew) cuisine, the cooking style originating from Chaozhou.

  • Lianhua Vegetarian Restaurant (莲花素食府 Lianhua Sushi Fu), Kaiyuan Square (Kaiyuan Guangchang) (across from Kaiyuan Temple (Kaiyuan Si duimian)), 2238033. Vegetarian chain restaurant also found in Shantou and Jieyang.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Yunhe Hotel, (down the street from the inner-city long distance bus station, towards the park). No English sign. Some rooms have a large balcony. Well run, good value. Doubles ¥150.  edit


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