Stuif's Adventures

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China May 2010 part I: Shantou
In the first half of the 20th century, Aric's family emigrated from China to Malaysia.
They are Teochew and have their roots in the eastern, coastal region of the Guangdong province.
The region must have been rather poor in those days.
Now it is a prosperous metropolitan area with Shantou and Chaozhou as big towns, and an estimated population of more than 13 million.

His family has never been back to their roots. His father did not even know the name of his ancestral village, until Aric discovered it during Cheng Beng on the tombstone of his grandfather! Aric's favourite uncle, the husband of Aric's auntie, knew a bit more, at least he had an address and a telephone number of relations in a small Teochew village, not far from Chaozhou.

So, for a long time already it had been Aric's wish to organise a trip for his parents and his favourite uncle and auntie to their roots.
Booking flights and hotels, searching for interesting places, he had been busy for weeks.
Food would be no problem, the Teochew region is one of the famous culinary heavens of China!

We left on May 4 from KLIA, and after a a transit in Guangzhou (Canton), we arrived in the Happy Hotel in Shantou.
Where we got three splendid rooms for ~ RM 70 pp, including four (4!) buffet meals daily. One of the many surprises Aric had prepared..:-)

Shantou is a modern town, the interesting old center is unfortunately falling apart, but there were enough tourist attractions to keep us busy for several days. We spent the first three days there and came back at the end of our trip.

Have a look at the pictures, several of them (indicated with a *) have additional text.

Our group, without the leader *

The Happy Hotel, VFM!

Interesting Chenglish in the elevator
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The Buffet Lunch

Buffet food

Wet market
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Lots of seafood

Helpful hotel staff
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Shi Pao Tai *

Inside the fort


And ventilation shafts

Entrance of the Zhong Shang Park
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More Chenglish

Peaceful location

One of the many bridges

The main bridge of the park

Rare in Malaysia, common in China *

Nice flowers

Good place to take a rest

Touching the turltle brings luck

This brings luck too

We try ourselves

Pork intestine with sticky rice *

Sweet potatoes

Modern apartment buildings

Window grilles everywhere
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A nice tea tray

Tau Fu Fa, really delicous *

The local MacDonalds

The Han river

Grey, foggy weather

Leaving the ferry

Aric's uncle as trishaw driver

Entrance of the Bai Hua Jian Da Miao

Inside the temple complex
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The pagoda in the clouds


Main temple

Burning joss sticks

And candles

This is an active temple
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Pay and you can have a tile with your name

Many statues

The pagoda

Free lunch! *

Hao Jiang gate *

Part of the old wall

Father and son

The local barber

Detail of a temple facade

Time for a drink.

Que Shi Area

Laughing Buddha *

Cable car to the top

Entering the clouds

Shantou barely visible

Up, no view, down again..:-)

Interesting rock formations

Walking down *
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The Han river with a ferry

Back to the hotel *

Goat transport

One church

And another one

Narrow street!

Center of the old town

Once a famous department store

Now decaying

Must have been a beautiful building
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Another remnant of the past

This one is still in good condtion

Sign of the Fire brigade
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What to choose for dinner?

So much choice!

Beer and food!

Our dinner *
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Our farewell breakfast

lightlingmk2 wrote on May 31, 2010:
I notice a place in old town Ipoh having the same thing. Why ? They told me to prevent suicide jumper.

wrote on May 31, 2010:
That cartoon sort of spoils it.

wrote on May 31, 2010:
A facelift and you would have a heritage building.

wrote on May 31, 2010:
any idea how this unlikely emblem came about? /stephen

wrote on May 31, 2010:
send from left got to be aric's auntie. ;) /stephen

wrote on May 31, 2010:
Oeps, sure... corrected..:-)

wrote on May 31, 2010:
Check out that pink pack.

lightlingmk2 wrote on May 31, 2010:
Where got kampong chicken in China - it's called " choi gin kai" lah

wrote on Jun 1, 2010:
Pre-World War II eclectic commercial and residential buildings! Decorative eclectic architectural style is the heritage of China and Malaysia, with local variations, of course. To me, the church buildings display the kind of confidence I see in the people in China today. No pix of a classic Chaozhou temple?

wrote on Jun 1, 2010:

wrote on Jun 1, 2010:
Were they chanting to the drum? Would be interesting to listen to that.

wrote on Jun 1, 2010:
Can be a scene from a video game.

wrote on Jun 1, 2010:
haha, interesting wet market.

wrote on Jun 2, 2010:
I won't laugh, I keep thinking 'I can't even translate ANYTHING into Chinese!'

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