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Chaozhou City (潮 州 市  Tio`10Ziu3Chi2)


Chaozhou City was formerly known as Fucheng (   Hu42Sia`1) because it was Teochew Prefecture’s seat of government.  The settlement is about 1600 years old.  The area around this settlement was named Chaozhou (i.e. Chao Prefecture) in 591 AD in the Sui Dynasty.  It is the seat of Teochew civilisation and culture.  It is a tourist-friendly city, with tourist attractions well maintained.


Ancient City Wall (   Kou42 Sia`10Zio`1) and Gate TowersThe city wall was completed during Song Dynasty and was destroyed during Yuan Dynasty. Rebuilt during Ming Dynasty in 1379.  It is 2.3 km long and has 7 gates.  The present city walls and 4 gates were reinforced and restored in 2001.  The city walls and gates we saw (along Hanjiang) were nicely restored and well maintained.  


Jia Di Lane (   Kad01Ten42Han0): Restored old houses of noblemen and rich people of bygone eras, now occupied by ordinary folks.  It is the first of 10 lanes of such houses.  They were built during Ming and Qing Dynasties.  Beautiful wall paintings and ceramics can be seen.  Our tour group visited the area by trishaws. 


Kaiyuan Temple (   Khai3G`uan10Zi`0): Originally called Lifeng Temple, rebuilt and named Kaiyuan Temple in the year of Kaiyuan 26 (738 A.D.) in Tang Dynasty.  It was a Buddhist centre in Teochew Prefecture.  It is a large and venerable old temple which had gone through more than 10 renovations and reconstructions, thus influenced by the architectural art of Tang, Song, Yuan and Qing dynastiesWell maintained. 


West Lake Park (西   Sai3Ou1 Kon3Hng1):  It was a small river flowing into Hanjiang (River).  It became a lake after the small river was dammed in Tang Dynasty.  West Lake became famous in Song Dynasty.  It was destroyed in Yuan Dynasty, revived in Ming Dynasty and neglected in Qing Dynasty.  It is a very elongated lake, hemmed in by the city buildings.  Has a zigzag bridge leading to a pavilion in the lake.    We saw beautiful flowers in April, both in 2005 and in 2011.


Phoenix Island Park ( Hon10Huan1 Kon3Hng1):  Situated in an islet in the Hanjiang (river).  Looked new and well maintained.


Xiangzi Bridge (湘 子 橋  Sian3Zer42Kio1):  Originally built in 1171 during Song Dynasty.  It was beautifully designed and built, consisting of 18 boats and 24 pavilions in 24 styles (built on 24 columns) spanning Hanjiang River.  The boats could be moved aside to let ships through.  The bridge was guarded by 2 cast iron buffaloes but one of them was lost in a storm.  Hence the popular verse “潮州湘桥好风流, 十八梭船廿四洲, 廿四楼台廿四样, 两只生牛一只溜”, i.e. “Tio`10Ziu3 Sian3Kio1 ho42 huan3liu1, zab10poid01 sou3zun1 jid10si54ziu3, jid10si54 lao10thai1 jid10si54 io`0, no20ziad01 se`3gu1 zeg10ziad01 liu3” which means “Chaozhou Xiangzi Bridge was distinguished and admirable, 18 shuttle boats and 24 divisions, 24 pavilions in 24 styles, 2 cast iron buffaloes but one slipped away”.  “潮 州 湘 桥 好 风 流 can also mean “Chaozhou Xiangzi Bridge was romantic or good for philandering”.  I do not know whether the double meaning of the popular verse was intended.  Unfortunately, in the name of progress, the bridge was replaced by an ordinary bridge.  At the time of our visit in 2005, this ordinary bridge was dismantled and a replica of the old Xiangzi Bridge was being re-built.  When we re-visited Chaozhou in April 2011, the re-built Xiangzi Bridge was beautiful.


Phoenix Pagoda (   Hon10Huan10Thad0) It was built in 1585 and renovated in 1765. It is old, well maintained but not spectacular. 


(Ancient) Dragon Pool Pagoda (   Len10Chiu3 Po42Thad0):  No longer exists.  It was built in Ming Dynasty and collapsed during Qing Dynasty.  Even the foundation was destroyed when de-silting Hanjiang (River).   


Northern Buddhist Lamp Park (   Pag01kod0 Hug10Ten3 Kon3Hng1):  The “Buddhist Lamp” was built in 1522-1566 during Ming Dynasty.  Rebuilt in 1644-1661 and 1736-1795 during Qing Dynasty.  The current structure was built in 1980s.  The “Buddhist Lamp” was actually a lighthouse for navigation along that stretch of the Hanjiang (River).  The park was quite scenic.  The building (on higher ground) in the park houses an old painting of Xiangzhi Bridge (   Sian3Zer42Kio1) and the old walled city, as how they looked in ancient times. 


Gold Hill Ancient Pine Tree (   Kim3Sua`3 Kou42Son1), originally named Horse Hill Evergreen Pine, no longer exists.


Hanwen Gong Shrine (    Han10Bun10Kon3 Ser1): Originally built in 819 on a hill overlooking the river to respectfully commemorate a Tang dynasty philosopher and able administer Hanyu ( ) who was exiled from Xi'an to Chaozhou for eight months.  He set up education system for the Teochew people, got rid of crocodiles from Hanjiang (River) and alleviated floods.  In that short period he did a lot of good for the Teochew people and hence he was worshipped by Teochew people.  Worth a visit. 


Chaozhou Porcelain (潮 州 陶 瓷  Tio`10Ziu3 Thao10Hui1) at Fengxi (枫溪 Pan3Khoi3) in Chaozhou City (潮 州 市  Tio`10Ziu3Chi2):  Chaozhou can trace its pottery and porcelain production back more than 1,000 years. Fengxi is famous for Chaozhou ceramics. The guide could not arrange for us to see how the porcelain artefacts were made.  He brought us to a large showroom, full of porcelain artefacts: kungfu tea sets, wide range of vases including giant ones, figurines of animals & birds, large statues of deities, etc.


Dànfúyuàn (淡浮院), also known as Yanfeng Park (砚峰公园)   It is a new place, said to be built by a Teochew who made his wealthy in Thailand.


Pedestrian Streets of Chaozhou City ( )  When we visited it in April 2011, the pedestrian streets looked newly created, with nice arches.  At the junction of the pedestrian street from Xiangzi Bridge and the pedestrian street to Kaiyuan Temple, there was a food shop selling Fried Oyster (O10 Luad0) and Teochew Kueh.  Both were tasty.  In fact, the Fried Oyster was the best I had eaten during the whole trip.


White Magnolia Hotel ( Ped10Geg10Lan1 Tua0Ziu42Tiam5) 4: Located in the new part of Chaozhou City.  Hotel facilities were good but there were no shops in the vicinity.


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