What to See and Do in Chaozhou, China
By EMMA GAN
Chaozhou, Guangdong is a perfect tourist destination that retains much of ancient Chinese culture. The attractions, delicious food and night sights all contribute to a unique experience there.
WHAT TO SEE
- Built in 1170, Guangji Bridge is one of China’s four ancient bridges and is the first bridge that allowed for passage of boats as well as people. There are 24 immovable stone pillars and 18 floating boats, a section that disconnects. The decorations on the stone pillars are very uniquely shaped and beautiful.
- The city wall of Chaozhou is right next to Guangji Bridge. It was used to protect the inhabitants of Chaozhou from flooding the Han River. A wooden door could be pulled down to cover the small tunnel, so water could not enter. Heavy sandbags were used to anchor it in place. The city gate tower, built on top, is open to the public free of charge.
- Paifang Street is part of the main street, Taiping Street, and has 20 archways. Cars and other four-wheeled vehicles are not allowed, to preserve the archways and keep the street clean. A multitude of stores line Paifang Street, which was previously a business center.
WHAT TO DO
- Chaozhou has the coziness and warmth of a tight-knit community and the brightness and busyness of city life. Small, one room shops are common and often open until late at night. There are shops everywhere, for everything and everyone.
- In the old portion of Chaozhou, taxis are not very common, and the majority of tourists travel by rickshaw. Rickshaw drivers in Chaozhou will offer places to go, like a tour guide. Most rickshaws are powered by electricity, but there are a couple still powered by manual labor.
- The traffic in Chaozhou is very chaotic due to an abundance of motorcycles in China. They’re cheaper and can fit in small alleys. Traffic laws are not strictly enforced because driving cars is still relatively new, so passerby and motorcyclists are unused to the urgency of car drivers.
- Chaozhou is known globally for its ceramic art. There are shops everywhere selling their famous china, which is used as decoration. Most Chaozhou locals are Buddhists, and their praying statues are made from Chaozhou’s finest.
- Chaozhou is a city for eating. Some delicacies are…
-Fishballs in soup: Similar to meatballs, but the texture is chewier. Seafood is prominent in meals due to the proximity to the Han River.
-Chaozhou tangerines: Sweet and easy to peel
-Guo Tiao: Thick rice noodle with peanut butter and sesame sauce but sometimes eaten with Chinese celery and meat
-Taro cake: Similar to white radish cake, but lumpier, with small chunks of the flavored taro.
-Oyster pan cake: An actual pan-fried oyster cake that contains oysters and lotus flour.
-Pickled vegetables: Crunchy and delicious especially when eaten with Chaozhou congee.
-Sweet tofu pudding: A soft, creamy dessert eaten hot or cold with peanut crumble.
-Dumplings: Filled with vegetables, ground pork, or bamboo shoot and hand-made for dinner.
-Gongfu tea: A local team made from wild tea trees growing on the Phoenix Mountain. There are many detailed rituals associated with Chaozhou tea drinking.
Chaozhou is a traditional city with a lot of history and a lot of food to enjoy. Be sure to visit Chaozhou for its scenic tourist destinations and one-of-a-kind experiences!