This weekend is the actual last day of my exchange year. Because I wanted to, and because my family comes here to have some fun, I extended this stay until July 31st.
With this, we with my organization went to another, much smaller city than Shenzhen, to travel and go sightseeing. My place, as you know, Shenzhen is huge with it’s 12+ million habitats, and because it is a fairly new city, it does not posess so much of cultural places for tourists to go.
That is why we went to see 潮州, Chaozhou, which has roughly about 2,5 million people living in the city. This city based in China, Guangdong Province.
The city and surroundings has it’s own dialect, which is called Teochew Dialect (潮州话）. This special kind of dialect is outstading from the rest of Chinese dialects, because it still contains and preserves many contrasts from ancient Chinese, unlike others.
It is spoken by 10 million in Chaozhou, and another 2-5 million overseas. More than 30% of Chinese based in Vietnam talk this dialect. Teochew people are the largest ethnic Chinese group in Thailand and Cambodia, and the second largest ethnic Chinese group in Singapore.
Chaozhou is famously known as one of the greatest cultural centres in the Lingnan region of China. Chaozhou culture is known worldwide as a unique part of world heritage.
These are mostly: Chaozhou Opera, Chaozhou Dialect, it’s Music, Lion dance. As well an important part of the culture is Gongfu tea, means the process of making tea.
At the local teahouse, tea service is often accompanied by Chaozhou music. String music, gong and drum music and the ancient music of set flutes are the traditional forms of Chaozhou music. This is what we had the chance to watch at night. While enjoying our little cup of tea, we had the chance to listen to great music, and to talk with our friends.
There is a street which is called, Paifang (Memorial Arch) Street because of the 20 historic memorial arches lined along the street.
These Arches stand as a memorial for those who have done great things for Chaozhou and it’s culture.
Another sightseeing what you should definately see in Chaozhou is called Xu Fuma Fu. Where the princess’s husband lived. This house and little garden has been built for him, he was the fourth generation of Fu, who came to Chaozhou, and have done great changes of the city.
The Guangji Bridge s an ancient bridge that crosses the Han river in Chaozhou. A key cultural relic under national protection, the bridge is renowned as one of China’s four famous ancient bridges. It is located in the east of Chaozhou, across Hanjiang River. It was an important bridge for people from two sides of Han River to travel. It is the first open and close style bateau bridge in China, and even in the world. There is an old saying, “到潮不到桥，枉向潮州走一遭.” It means that if you went to Chaozhou without visiting the bridge, you cannot say that you have been to Chaozhou actually.
Then we went to a cool place where lots and lots of things were made by people using there skillful hands. These object were all made of different materials, but still each one of them has put something to the cultural greatness of this city.
This was the end of our great trip, while sitting on the high-rail train, going towards Shenzhen with a speed of more than 200km/h we as well got some time to practice our new skill of making a good Chinese Gong Fu Tea.
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