Since this blog is still foremost a travel blog, I guess I should get back to sharing some travel adventures, lest I lose whatever credentials I acquired as a travel blogger. :P
I feel like I’m trying to get back into blogging with words (which are still scarce these days) and pictures (which I have too many of), so I’m just taking it easy today and sharing some of my favorite photos from Chaozhou.
Shantou/Chaozhou was our last stop in China before heading out of the mainland. We were only there for one full day (2 nights), but in many ways, it ended up being one of the most memorable.
The only reason we went to Shantou was to visit D’s remote team. I’ve never even heard of it before that. For the new readers, D has had an online business for the past 10 years, which enabled us to travel in the first place. His business employs a few overseas workers from a few different countries, including two ladies in Shantou, China. Visiting them in this small city in southern China was a bit of a pricey detour, but since we were in the country, we definitely wanted to take the opportunity to finally meet them in person!
This little trip turned out way better than what I ever imagined. If I learned anything at all in my two months in China, it’s that the Chinese are some of the most kindest and most generous people I’ve ever come across. Chinese people are genuinely happy to host visitors and eager to show them the best of their city. The whole day, we were not allowed to pull out our wallets, as they insisted on treating us to everything.
Susan and her family picked us up at our hotel on Saturday morning and drove us to the next door town of Chaozhou, where we met up with Lydia and her family.
Chaozhou is famous for being one of the historical + cultural centers of Southern China. It has its own distinctive cuisine, dialect, handicrafts, art, and traditions. Susan and Lydia did their best to introduce us to the Chaozhou culture in just a day.
The main attraction in Chaozhou is the ancient bridge (Guangji Bridge) crossing the Han River. I don’t think there is another bridge in the entire world quite like this one! This is renowned as one of China’s four famous bridges.
The bridge was originally constructed in the year 1170 in the Song Dynasty (that’s almost nine hundred years ago!). When it was first constructed, it was made up of 86 wooden boats connected together for crossing. Over the centuries, it’s gone through numerous remodels, including the construction of pavilions. Today, the bridge is made up of 24 pavilions and 18 wooden boats in the middle section.
It was designed this way originally so that a channel could be opened for ships to get across. This style of open + close bateau bridge (or floating bridge) was the first of its kind in China, and even in the world!
And apparently, each of the 24 pavilions are a little different from each other!
It took maybe only one hour or so to walk across the bridge and back (and of course stopping to take pictures every few feet). I don’t think I have ever taken so many photos of just one thing before, and I ended up with so many pretty pictures that I didn’t want to pare them down any further. So in another post, I will talk more about what else Chaozhou has to offer, but for now, I hope you enjoyed these photos and didn’t find them too repetitive. :)
- Location: outside the East Gate of the Old City Wall
- Price: 60 RMB, or US $10
- Hours: 10:00 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. (M-F); 9:00 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. (weekends & holiday)
Have you seen another bridge like this? Where was the most interesting bridge you’ve ever seen?