Shantou Travel Information
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shantou shantou shantou

Shantou is situated in the southeastern corner of East Asia, on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean. Boarding on the South Sea, the city is one of the most important open-to-the-world harbors both in the Guangdong Province and in China. As one of the five special economic zones of China, it uses its convenient geographic location to its advantage and has accepted many foreign investments. It currently has economic relations with 165 countries. Over 50 multinational corporations and 11 of the world's top 500 enterprises have investments in Shantou, giving the city the seventh best rate of commerce among all cities in China.

Long coastal lines and a pleasant subtropical marine climate provide the city with many charming tourist attractions. Beautiful mountains, natural beaches, and exquisite islands, together with the marine scenery that surrounds the harbor, form a breathtaking environment that is especially attractive to those who want to escape the busy life. The locals use their rich seaside resources to set up many resort villages that provide sound facilities and services for the tourists. In addition, the Tropic of Cancer traverses the city, making it a wonderful place to feel the instant alternation of spring and summer in China.

Shantou is one of the primary hometowns of Chinese who are living abroad. Shantou natives are scattered around the globe and can be found in over 40 regions and countries of the world. Those who have left the city often invest in their hometown and come back to work together with the locals. The exotic culture that they bring back to the city is then mixed with the traditional culture, forming a particular local flavor. The Chao music is well known for its dulcet melody, varying rhythms and peculiar instruments while the Chao opera is renowned for its beautiful aria and various playing roles. The Chao cuisine is one branch of the famous Cantonese cuisines. Most of the dishes are cooked with seafood and various seasonings. They taste fresh, and are light but delicious. Enjoying a cup of Gongfu tea is also popular and has become one of the most welcomed forms of nightlife among the locals.

Transportation in Shantou is quite efficient as it is easily accessible by land, sea, or air. Shantou Harbor has cargo ships that connect to over 210 harbors around the world. It also has passenger ships that sail to many of China's port cities, such as Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Hainan Island. Two of China's main railway lines traverse Shantou, making it very convenient to get to other cities by train, including Beijing, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Xiamen and Qingdao. Shantou Waisha Airport is located 13 kilometers (eight miles) northeast of the center-city area and is a hub for 40 airlines connecting with many cities both in China and other countries including Thailand and Singapore. In addition, highways in the city are also well developed and provide easy access to Shenzhen and Xiamen. It takes only about three hours to reach the either of these cities (by long distance bus).

The hotel industry is flourishing in Shantou. You can easily find hotels and hostels of all standards throughout the city. Moreover, the rates are reasonable and relatively lower than other coastal cities in southern China. There are also various recreational places in the city. Malls, cinemas, restaurants, clubs, bars and coffee houses can be easily found everywhere in the city, which will certainly make your travel more interesting and convenient.

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Shantou was a fishing village part of Tuojiang City, Jieyang District during the Song Dynasty. It came to be Xialing during the Yuan Dynasty. In 1563, Shantou was a part of Chenghai District in Chao Prefecture (Chaozhou). As early as 1574, Shantou had been called Shashan Ping. In the seventeenth century, a cannon platform called Shashan Toupaotai was made here, and the placename later was shortened to "Shantou". It became a city in 1919, and was separated from Chenghai in 1921. 1922 saw the devastating Swatow Typhoon, which killed 50,000 out of the 65,000 people then inhabiting the city. In the 1930s, Shantou Port was a transport hub and merchandise distribution centre for Southeast China; its cargo throughput ranked third in the nation.

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Shantou belongs to the subtropical marine and monsoon climate, which blesses the city with mild and humid air as well as abundant sunshine. The average temperature per year is about 22C (72F). The hottest months are July and August with maximum temperatures of 36C (97F) to 40C (104F). Winter in Shantou is relatively warm with temperatures of above 0C (32F). The climate is thus pleasant almost all year round, except for in summer. You can arrange your trip to avoid the hottest months. Before you arrive, make sure to bring enough spring and summer clothes. However, rain is frequent from April to September, so remember to take an umbrella when traveling to Shantou during this period of time.

Shantou holds the International Tourism and Culture Festival every year in October or November. During the festival, you can enjoy the delicious local dishes and snacks in the International Food Exposition, which draws great attention of food enterprises from America, France, Japan, Korea, Thailand as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan. The Chaozhou operas and music full of local flavors are also performed during that time as feasts for your senses. Some tourism companies use this opportunity to attract tourists by providing special tour routes to sample the delicious food. If you want to witness such a grand festival, you need to search for the specific dates on the internet, as the festival is held at different times every year.

Detailed information about the Average, Maximun and Minimum Temperatures and the rainfall in Shantou.

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food food food

Chao cuisine, a branch of Cantonese cuisine, is very popular in Shantou. Influenced by the seaside geographic features, the locals make most of their traditional dishes and snacks with seafood and they emphasize the freshness and tenderness of the dishes. Nearly every dish has its special seasonings, making the dish taste salty, sweet, sour or spicy.

Famous Dishes

Shang Tang Ju Bao (Steamed Abalone in Condensed Soup) is made by steaming the abalone with gingers, shallots, garlic and sugar in chicken soup. The soup and oyster sauce are then concentrated into condensed soup that is used to spray on the steamed abalone. The dish boasts of its beautiful color, smooth meat and rich flavor.

Suancai Baishan (Boiled White Eel Packaged in Pickled Vegetables) is often eaten with wood mushrooms and pork rib soup. The soup is much fresher with the flavor of the pickled vegetables while the meat is tender and soft, leaving you with a long aftertaste.

Hong Wen Haishen refers to Stewed Trepang in Boiled Lard. The preparation follows a very complicated process including frying, stewing and boiling with various ingredients like mushrooms, dried small shrimps and chicken. The condiments are also quite rich and diverse such as gingers, shallots, garlic, liquorice, soy sauce and red lobster sauce. After the dish is prepared, some vinegar is served as an additional seasoning.

Doujiang Ju Ji means Steamed Chicken Covered with Fermented Bean Sauce. The belly of the chicken is stuffed with gingers, shallots and cilantros while its whole body is covered with a mixture of bean sauce, wine and sugar. The prepared chicken is then steamed in an earthenware casserole for about 20 minutes. The cooked chicken has a golden color and tastes smooth and tender with strong fragrance of the fermented bean sauce.

Jingua Yuni (Pumpkin with Mashed Taros inside) is a very beautiful traditional dish. The pumpkin is cut in a triangle shape and soaked in sugar water for about 11 minutes and then boiled in water. The taros are mashed and steamed with lard and sugar. After the two things are both prepared, stuff the pumpkin with the mashed taros and then you can enjoy this dish. It does not only look beautiful but also tastes sweet and delicious.

Local Snacks

Beef Pellet is extremely springy and tastes crisp and fresh. It is made by squeezing the mashed beef into pellets. Of course many flavorings are needed during the making process, such as fish sauce, fish powder, salt, pepper and sesame oil.

Fried Gaoke is made by frying the steamed rice cakes. The rice cakes are stir-fried firstly with fish sauce and red soybean sauce and then fried with sugar, shrimps, oysters and lard in a pan. The golden cakes taste crisp and tender, sweet and fresh, yet a little spicy.

Baked Oyster is a peculiar local snack. It is a kind of cake baked with oyster, potato powder and eggs in a pan. When you eat it, you can add some pepper or fish sauce. It is not only crisp and delicious, but also beneficial for your eyes and stomach.

Luo Tang Qian is a kind of glutinous rice dumplings boiled in clear water and then fried in scallion butter. The dumplings are always covered with sugar powder and white sesames on both sides.

Stewed Goose is made by stewing the goose in salted water with many spices like soybean sauce, sugar, ginger, citronella, cassia bark, aniseed, garlic and wine. During the boiling process, the goose is turned over and over again in order to let the spicy water soak all the meat. The stewed goose is then cut into thick pieces, sprinkled with the spicy water and then placed on a plate. The goose used is a special kind fed in Shantou suburb and is one of the biggest goose species in the world. Its head looks like a lion head, hence its name 'Lion Head Goose'.

Gan Mian (Dry Noodles) is one of the most famous Chinese snacks. The noodles are very chewy and they taste more delicious if you mix some stewed meat, fermented flour sauce and chopped chives together with them. A kind of fresh pork rib soup is often served together with the noodles.

Xiami Sun Ke is a special kind of steamed dumping of a strange but beautiful color and shape. The wrapper is called Ke and is made of steamed rice and glutinous rice. The stuffings are rich including meat, shrimps, bamboo shoots and wood mushrooms with seasonings like scallion, pepper, sesame butter, lard and fish sauce. The upper part of the dumpling is like a white ball while the bottom appears semicircular in golden color. The dumplings taste soft and sweet, with a fresh flavor of the bamboo shoots.

In addition, the Gongfu Tea is also worth tasting. Originating from the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the tea has an exquisite manner of preparation. Firstly, boil the sedimented water in a copper pot and use the boiled water to warm the boccaro teapot and the teacups. Then, put the carefully selected tea leaves in the pot and pour the boiled water over the leaves about two centimeters (0.01 feet) above the pot. Finally, after the leaves are unfolded completely, tip the mouth of the teapot to pour the tea into the cups. The tea tastes a little bitter at first, but later it will become surprisingly fragrant and sweet and the flavor lasts for a long time in your mouth

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Shantou has various special local products such as beautiful potteries and porcelains, exquisite embroideries, vivid stone sculptures, colorful shell carvings and elegant drawnwork. You can also delight your taste buds with the abundance of mandarin oranges, pomegranates, lychees and bananas, which are widely grown in this area.

Shantou is one of China's five special economic zones and it is well known for its flourishing commerce. Therefore, shopping there is very convenient and enjoyable. Jinping District is the trading center of the city. The commercial circle, formed by the busiest city roads like Jin Sha Road, Chang Ping Road, Hai Bin Road and Jin Xin Road, can meet almost all of your needs with their great number of malls and supermarkets. You can also wander along shopping promenades along An Ping Road, Li An Road, Bo Ai Road and Huaqiao New Village Road to find specific items you want. 'Brand Street', located between Jin Yuan Road and Xin Xia Road, is delightful with stores having been built in the European architectural style. Here you can purchase clothes, cosmetics, leatherware, jewelries and craftworks with world famous brand names.

Wal-Mart: underground 1st floor, Nanguo Shopping City, Middle Chang Ping Road
Lotus Supermarket: No.35 block, Fengze Zhuang, Chang Ping Road
South of Tong Yi Road, Chenghai District

Shopping Centers
Parkson Mall: 1st-5th floor, East Nanguo Shopping City, Middle Chang Ping Road
Guangsha Shopping Square: East Asia (Dong Ya) Shopping Center, Dong Xia Road, Jinping District

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nanao island qingao bay lots peak
Queshi Scenic Spot longquan temple zhongshan park

Shantou is a beautiful harbor city in south China. The long coastlines, high quality beaches, exquisite islands, together with the subtropical maritime climate, bless this city with charming marine vistas. Being home to thousands of overseas Chinese, the city also boasts of its special spots in relation to those countrymen. Actually, there are eight must-see scenic areas that are the most famous and representative attractions of the city.

Nan Ao Island
Nan Ao is a county composed of 23 islands. It is honored as the 'Pearl on Sea' due to its romantic and charming marine sights and large varieties of marine creatures. The most attractive spots here are Qing Ao Gulf, Huanghua Mountain and Marine Migratory Birds Preservation Zone.

Nan Ao (also named Nan'ao, Nanao, or Nan-ao) Island is located between the coastlines of Fujian, Guangdong and Taiwan Provinces. The area is composed of the main island and then another 22 smaller surrounding islands, all covering an area of approximately 130 square kilometers (32,000 acres). Nan Ao Island has much to offer tourists: blue skies, white waves, sandy beaches, beautiful mountain scenery, historic temples and parks rich in wildlife. The climate is warm in the winter, and yet cool in the summer, thanks to a strong breeze that blows in from the sea. The average annual temperature is 21.5C (70.7F).

Qing Ao Bay
Qing Ao Bay lies to the east of Nan Ao Island, 11 kilometers (about 7 miles) away from the Nan Ao County in Guangdong Province. The Qing Ao Bay is one of the two A-grade natural bathing beaches in Guangdong and boasts the reputation of 'Hawaii in East' and 'Heaven Pool of Swimmers'.

It is a lune-shaped bay 2.9 kilometers long (about 1.8 miles). The bay covers an area of 1 square kilometers (about 247 acres), and the jade-blue seawater is mirrorlike in its clarity. The overall look of this bay is of a huge blue moon. The bay boasts a fine soft sand beach which is 100 meters (about 109 yards) wide with a length of 2.4 kilometers (about 1.5 miles). The sand beach stretches into the sea in a gentle slope, and the seawater here is only 5-10 meters (about 3-5 fathoms) deep. It is a perfect natural bathing place.

Not far from the beach, there is the windbreak of casuarinas. It covers an area of 0.35 square kilometers (about 86 acres). Among the trees, stand various newly built pavilions. One of them is called 'Lanyue Pavilion' (Watching Moon Pavilion). Standing in this pavilion, one could see the clear blue water touching on the white soft sand beach and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Around the bay, there are many hotels and the amusement park which provide conveniences and joy for your tour to the Qing Ao Bay. The Haiwan Hotel, facing the soft sand beach, possesses a beautiful view of the sea. It is the only 3-star hotel in Nan Ao. This hotel provides comfortable rooms and considerate service as well as amenities like a fitness center, and assembly rooms. The amusements here include motor-boating and the parachute, and will add to your enjoyment.

Qing Ao Bay and Citic Resort are the two environmentally friendly resort which are endowed with enchanting natural views. Situated to the east of Nan Ao Island, the Qing Ao Bay has the good names of 'Hawaii in East' and 'Heaven Pool of Swimmers'. The shape of this bay is a huge moon. It boasts a fine soft sand beach which is 100 meters (about 109 yards) wide and 2.4 kilometers (about 1.5 miles) long. Citic Resort is an amazing recreational center combining offshore bathhouses, beaches, villas and Golf clubs. On the Dragon and Tiger beach, you can appreciate the charming sea sights; enjoy the exciting sailboarding or swim in the city's only seawater swimming pool. The exquisite villas near the beach present an architectural style of natural and fresh rural beauty, providing a perfect resort. Perhaps the most symbolic attraction here is the Citic Golf Club. Designed by the world famous American Pearson Golf Design according to the local geography, the playground is completely in accordance with the international standards.

Lotus Peak
Located on the shore of the South Sea, Lotus Peak is a hill consisting of a pile of granite rocks that look like lotus flower petals. Seen from afar, the hill is just like a blossoming lotus flower facing to the sea, hence the name of the hill. There is a broad sea in front of the hill; snow white sand beach to the east and thousands of different shaped strange stones to the west. Many ancient Chinese scholars have left their poems or calligraphic works on the stones of the hill, making it a stone book of Chinese civilization.

Queshi Scenic Spot
Queshi Island, the top one of the eight attractions, is separated from the city by the Queshi Sea in the south of the Shantou gulf. Surrounded by vast stretch of blue water, it is just like a miniature garden sitting in the sea. Along its coastline, the beautiful beaches and seashore bathhouses enable you to get in touch with the inviting sea water as well as enjoy other sea-related entertainments. On the island, the 43 hills presenting different postures are covered with evergreen trees and decorated naturally with pure springs, providing a nice escape from the summer heat. In addition, this place is well known for its granite geography. You can see various shaped granite stones on the hills. They are like human beings or animals or plants, leaving you to image beautiful stories about them. The huge stones are piled up, forming thousands of caves with a great variety of shapes, such as White Rabbit Cave, Dragon Spring Cave, Lion Cave and Elephant Cave. Climbing up and standing on the top of the hills, you can have a bird's-eye view of the entire gulf and will be captivated by the picturesque marine beauty.

Chen Cihong's Former Residence
Chen Cihong was a wealthy overseas Chinese who once managed rice selling in Hong Kong and Thailand during the 19th century. He and his sons have built many residences in their hometown since 1871, of which those constructed in Chenghai City are the most famous ones. Building originally commenced in 1901. The four residences have survived weathering for hundreds of years and are kept perfectly intact. They were designed mysteriously combining the western and classic Chinese architecture styles. In any one of the four residences, you can find small rooms opening off another big room; the stairs, corridors and overhead walkways connecting all the rooms together. This kind of layout makes you feel like walking in a maze. Additionally, decorations in the rooms are classically elegant but without losing exotic flavors. The exquisite statues, carvings and calligraphic works all show the extraordinary cultural appreciation of the Chen's family.

Symbolic Tower of the Tropic of Cancer
Shantou is one of the 16 places where the Tropic of Cancer traverses the globe. In 1986, a symbolic tower was set up to mark it about 20 kilometers (12 miles) to the west of the city. On the round granite base stands a reinforced concrete prop supporting a blue tellurion with a diameter of five meters (197 inches). Every year when the sun shines directly on the tower, its shadow will be reflected on the center of a piece of black granite set in the tower watching platform. Thousands of people are drawn to witness such a wonderful scene. Near the platform, a path paved with black stones marks the location of the tropic of cancer. With the tropical plants on one side and subtropical plants grown on the other, the path brings you a feeling of standing between the tropical and subtropical zones.

Zhongshan Park
Zhongshan Park, located on the north side of the Zhongshan Road, is a comprehensive park boasting of its long history, large scales of entertainments and charming beauties. In the Yujian Lake, there are five islands connected with each river by various bridges. Jiuqu Bridge is the most attractive one due to its beautiful winding and sinuous formation. It's a good way to relax yourself to boat in the pure lake water; enjoy delicious food in the on-lake restaurant or have a cup of tea in the tea house. Another peculiar attraction in the park is the three layer rockwork with deep and serene caves and romantic pavilions on the hill.

Also in the park is Shantou Museum, where you can appreciate cultural relics left in the city by past dynasties, such as pottery, jade, paintings, wooden carvings and ancient coins. The new museum was built in 1993. The novel architectural features like huge props, beautiful glazed tiles and the granite relievos in the wall as well as the modern facilities make the museum quite magnificent and grand. Especially in the foil of the exquisite gardens, emerald lakes and colorful lights, the museum glitters with fascination and glamour. There are also zoos, Youth Palace, dancing halls, cinemas and skating rinks in the park. The entertainment facilities and the charming beauty of the park will greatly surprise you.

To be frank, this extremely beautiful harbor city has even more to be enjoyed than what we have mentioned here. You can have a wonderful experience for yourself in this delightful place.

Rainbow Shadows in the Harbor
There are two magnificent sister bridges in the east and west of the city respectively. Just like two rainbows crossing the sea, they not only decorate the harbor but also play important roles in the city's transportation. The Shantou Gulf Bridge measures about 2,500 meters (1.6 miles) long and is composed of three sections: cable bridge, beam bridge and viaduct. Connecting many cities such as Shantou, Shenzhen, Xiamen and Zhuhai, the bridge functions as one of China's most important seaside highways. The other one is the Queshi Bridge that is about nine kilometers west of the Shantou Gulf Bridge. The bridge measures about 3,500 meters (two miles) long and 30 meters (0.02 miles) wide. It links up the southern and northern city and makes it easier to go around the harbor. There are walk ways especially built for sight-seeing on both sides of the bridge, where you can appreciate an amazing picture of blue sea, green hills, ancient pavilions and modern high-rise buildings.

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By Air

located in Waisha Town of Shantou City, the Shantou Airport is 13 kilometers (8 miles) to the northeast of downtown Shantou.

Shantou Waisha Airport was firstly established in 1956. Renovated respectively in 1986 and 1997, it now has a 2500 meters (2734 yards) long runway and a 2500 meters (2734 yards) long taxiway, which can handle planes like the B757 and the M82. The 72,000 square meters (17.8 acres) apron can accommodate five B757 and seven M82. The rebuilt terminal building now covers an area of 229,000 square meters (56.6 acres). The renovated airport allows an annual throughput of 3 million persons.
With modern and advanced facilities, it serves as one of the busiest and important airports in China. Now, flights connect Shantou Waisha Airport with more than 20 cities in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Wuhan, and Changsha. There are 14 domestic airlines and an international airline to Bangkok.

By Train

Shantou Railway Station is one of the most important transport centers of Guangdong Province. You can get there from many cities, including Guangzhou, Jiujiang, Maoming, Shenzhen, Wuchang and Nanchang. For the detailed information about the schedules, you can check our China trains.

By Water

Ports in Shantou have ships to many other harbor cities of China. Shantou Port is the most important one where you can go to Hong Kong, Xiamen, Quanzhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin, etc. Other ports like Xidi Port, Laiwu Port and Chang Shan Wei Port are just for the mooring of ships to the counties or tourist destinations near Shantou City.

By Long-distance Bus

Many highways of the nation pass through Shantou, making it quite easy to get to the city by long distance buses. There are six long distance bus stations, of which the most important is the Shantou Central Long Distance Bus Station; that is near the railway station on the Taishan Road. Buses in the station can reach many cities both in Guangdong Province and in other provinces like Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Hunan, Hubei, Henan, Anhui, Hainan, Jiangsu, Shandong and Sichuan. Also, there are buses directly to Shanghai and Macao.

By City-Bus

In Shantou, there are many city buses that can carry you to every corner of the city as well as the nearby tourist destinations. The fare for most of the city buses ranges from CNY1 to CNY2, so you need to prepare enough changes before you get on the bus. For some buses like No.18, No.25, No.102 and No.103, the ticket for the whole journey is a little bit expensive, ranging from CNY5 to CNY6; but it varies according to the distance you travel on the bus. So you need to make sure about the specific fare if you take these buses.

By Taxi

In Shantou, the taxies have different starting prices according to their logos and qualities. They range from CNY7 to CNY9 for the first three kilometers. The distance surcharge is about CNY2.8. If you want to save money, you can choose the motor tricycles that are as convenient as the taxies but much cheaper, after you bargain with the drivers.

By Ferry

It is very convenient for you to take a ferry to tourist destinations or nearby villages and counties in Shantou. Xidi Port, Guangchang Port, Chang Shan Wei Port and Laiwu Port all have short cruise lines around the city. Especially in Guangchang Port on Hai Bin Road, there are two special cruises.

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