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Ridiculously Delicious Women & Seafood

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Talk about clicking up the hours and kilometers onboard moving things! Here I happily sit in a tee shirt with all thoughts of northern China gone….for now!

Wednesday morning at eight I boarded the Xian to Guangzhou train and happily waved good bye to the cold and drab Northern Winter Blues and for the next sixteen hours I relaxed, read, tried to sleep and ate noodles ….repeat, repeat and repeat but for the first time in my five years travelling in China I was on a nearly empty train. In fact it was so empty that I was one of I think six people in my entire carriage and yes that was for the entire journey. I arrived in Guangdong at half past eleven the following day and after buzzing up on an ElcheapO coffee at Mc Donald’s I headed directly to the Long Distance bus station and grabbed a ticket to Shantou city, which due to traffic and food stops ended up being a further eight hours away on Guangdong’s east coast.

Sso that makes it around a twenty four hour journey. From the moment I arrived I fell totally in love with this mega-vibrant colourful little city.

I spent last night in heaven as many of the inner streets become a huge hive of activity and are turned into deliciously smelling night markets full of clothes, knickknacks and best of all cheap seafood eateries which are totally full until all hours. I also must add that after spending last winter in Guangzhou city I quickly declared Guangdong Province to be the home of China’s most beautiful women, one of which I ended up spending the nightly hours with getting to know over seafood BBQ and beer.

With whom I also spent this evening with slurping down seafood noodle soup and more beer.

After such a huge journey and a further long night I decided to relax and gave myself a sleep in until mid day and soon after rising I joined the crowded streets and slowly made my way towards the Shantou Harbor/Rong River area. My first stop, apart from a slurpy seafood noodle breakfast/lunch was the Stone Fort Park which 'faces the sea and the breezy embankment running above the shore in which can be found a castle-like battery with solid walls and loopholes built in 1874 and also comes complete with moat’ (LP).

Nowdays the inner courtyard has been turned into a roller rink and a new green city park has been built around the fort.

I spent the next few hours slowly walking along the river side walk and then headed back into zig zag my way through the small port side streets. Here I found the Cathedral of Catholic Diocese of Shantou. Construction began in 1992 and was completed in 1999 and I believe it stands where the house of the Bishop of Shantou once stood. Not much to look at from the outside but the actual third floor church was beautiful and strangely when they found out I was from Australia they ran around turning all the lights on so my pictures would come out better.

Now that was surprisingly sweet and all for you Bruzer & LockEgee!

After saying good bye I made my way towards the Colonial District which can be found at the cross section of Waima Lu and Minzu Lu and if the local government had any brains they would go about spending a heap of money to renovate it as in many Chinese cities they actually try to capture such an area by building things from the ground up. Instead I found blocks and blocks teaming with decrepit colonial structures and the area has now become one huge street market.

I of course spent the next few hours winding my way from here to there and back again. Somehow I ended up in a very out of the way area where I was surprised to find a beautiful temple.

I have no idea what the name of it is nor do I have any information on it but it sits on the river side and almost directly beneath the Queshi Bridge and also allowed for some great shots of many decaying fishing boats. When I arrived it was getting dark and the temple was being closed down but when the staff saw me walk through the gate once again all lights were put on and doors were open and they walked me around and told me what to take photos of and giggled when I showed them each one.

After more goodbyes I found myself back in the Colonial District but as it was totally dark I had no idea where I was and soon found myself slurping another huge bowl of seafood noodles with some locals at a small local fish market after which I walked around in circles for a few hours before I finally came across something I remembered from daylight hours so from there I made my way back to my vibrant part of the city which was filled to the absolute brim with beautiful girls out and about for a night at the street markets. I headed back to my hotel to rest my weary legs and soon after got a call from my ‘new friend’ and I soon joined her and her friends for even more sea food and bbq.

And people continually ask when I’m coming home! HHhhhhmmmm, how about never…tee hee!

<u>FUTURE SHANTOU TRAVELLERS</u>

For those reading this who are interested in visiting Shantou city (I’m not sure why unless you are like me and just love to travel) and are wondering about accommodation I can tell you one thing, it is actually hard to find. Usually I find my own little hotel to stay in but thankfully I listened to the taxi driver who told me I would have trouble. One piece of advice is to NOT get off at the Long Distance bus station as it is in a complete shitsville part of town. Instead get off at the small stop your bus will make at the Lotus Shopping Centre and ask a Tuk Tuk driver to take you to the Yu Yuan Hotel.

I can’t explain where it is but it is only a few minutes away.

It can be found directly across from one of the gates to the Jinshua Park (there are only two) and also across from clothing store called &#8216;Cinderella’ and once again for some strange reason when they found out my passport was Australian the price dropped dramatically. I got an eleventh floor room and it is beautiful and the hotel is right smack bang in the middle of all the night market area. It is costs a little more than my usual travel budget hotel and there is an actual dress code sign as you walk in but the staff are wonderful (no English) and there is free internet and my bathroom is the best I’ve had in many years.

There is even a bath but for those who know me, I just don’t have time for a bath!

<u>NOW FOR A LITTLE SHANTOU INFORMATION </u>

Shantou, a city significant in 19th Century Chinese history as one of the treaty ports established for Western trade and contact, was one of the original Special Economic Zones of the People's Republic of China established in the 1980s, but failed to blossom like other cities such as Shenzhen, Xiamen and Zhuhai. However, it remains an East Guangdong economic centre and is home to one of Guangdong's most prestigious universities, Shantou University.

The historic quarter of Shantou features both Western and Chinese architecture.

Shantou was a fishing village and part of Tuojiang City during the Song Dynasty and came to be known as Xialing during the Yuan Dynasty. In 1563, Shantou was a part of Chenghai District in the Chao Prefecture (Chaozhou) and as early as 1574 Shantou had been called Shashan Ping but in the seventeenth century a cannon platform called Shashan Toupaotai was built and the city name was later shortened to "Shantou", locally though it has always been referred to as Kialat.

In the 1930s, Shantou Port was a transport hub and merchandise distribution centre for Southeast China and its cargo ranked third in the entire Chinese nation.

In Shantou though most residents are ethnically Teochew there are also Hakka people whom are popularly known as Half-Hakka. Majorly living in Chaoyang District and the Chaonan District they speak Teochew on a daily basis and practice Teochew culture and just to try to explain how difficult the language situation is here, Teochew in no way resembles Cantonese and both are nothing whatsoever like Mandarin (Chinese). Governmental statistics show that 2.16 million overseas Chinese have roots in Shantou with significant populations of Teochew people residing in Thailand and Cambodia and for those airline buffs this is why there is an unusually high number of international direct flights between Bangkok and Shantou which is also why there are at least two Teochew speaking air hostesses on board each China Southern flight between Shantou and Bangkok.

Shantou people share the same culture with other Teochew people and the tea-drinking tradition popularly practiced in town is classic examples as according to statistics Shantou people drink more tea than anyone else in China and in total seven hundred million Yuan is spent each year (US$87.5 million).

Tomorrow I will head across the Rong River to visit Harbin Park. Supposedly a couple of temples and a few good hikes…Yeah! Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

PS: Travelpod & Facebook Address Book updates: I have just added a heap of you to my Travelpod Address Book as you are the ones who always comment on my blogs through Facebook BUT somehow the Chinese have found a way to block updated entries from Travelpod to Facebook. No longer can I send you notification of a new blog through Facebook so the only way now is through your actual email.

PSS: if you don’t want to receive them just give me an email and I’ll take you off…its cool mate! ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by the Gorillaz The album was &#8216;Demon Days’ ____________________________________________________________

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk


Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Shantou City &#38;amp; The Rong River &#38;amp; District Walk

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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