Year end exam was over and the schools had requested for kids to return all textbooks, which spelled school's out, well, almost.... :) So I made a decision that all of us to tag along Papa Bear's business trip to China. We spent 9 days 8 nights in China and we visited Xiamen, Chaozhou and the Tulou in Nanjing. Here's the entry of our visit to Chaozhou (潮州).
The ancient Chaozhou city.
We were very lucky that Papa Bear's business friend volunteered to be our tour guide for a day trip to Chaozhou. Chaozhou is about 3 hours drive from Xiamen, it's a city in the eastern Guangdong province. Renting a 7 seaters MPV with a private driver will cost you around RMB1600 to and fro from Xiamen.
It was an easy drive on the highway to Chaozhou city. Our first stop was Han Wen Gong Temple (韩文公祠), which is located on the foot of Bijia Mountain (笔架山) at the bank of Hanjiang River in Chaozhou. It was built in the Song dynasty to commemorate Hanyu (韩愈), a famous historical scholar who helped local people in developing education, agriculture and release of slaves. From the highest point of the temple, we could have an overlook to the beautiful Chaozhou city.
The girls were posing with their new Chinese traditional umbrella.
The statue of Han Yu.
Introduction of the historical act of kindness by Han Yu.
The peaceful courtyard.
Chaozhou city from the highest point of the Han Wen Gong Temple.
Not far away from the ancient Han Wen Gong Temple is the must see and do Guangji Bridge (广济桥), which is also fondly known as the Xiangzi Bridge (湘子桥) by the Chinese. The bridge was built in 1171 during Song dynasty. It is 517.95 meters in length and it has 24 piers and 18 shuttle ships connected to each other. It is a precious relics of Chinese architecture. The place is simply awesome! China is indeed a very beautiful country!
The historical background of the bridge and Chaozhou city.
Our Chinese Princess - Bear Bear Gege. :D
The other end of the bridge is the Ancient City Wall (古城墙), which was also built in the Song dynasty. It was magnificent. We felt like we were brought back to the older times of China. We walked across the street to visit the Chaozhou Changli Old Office (牌坊街). We enjoyed walking around the place very much, looking at the goodies sold by the locals and watching how the local people live. We had our lunch at one of the restaurants there which served awesome Chinese food.
We love the tranquility in this ancient city of Chaozhou.
The kids enjoyed looking at the small stuffs sold along the street.
We love this old street very much.
After our satisfying lunch, we walked across the street to visit the very famous Kai Yuan Temple (開元寺). The temple is much quieter than the famous temple in bigger city like Xiamen. We enjoyed walking around the temple, admiring the beautiful courtyards with lively trees and flowers, and of course the ancient Chinese architectures.
The famous and historical temple in Chaozhou.
The whole temple compound is beautiful. :)
The detailed architecture from the rooftop to the ground. Amazing!
Boys will be boys. This caught his attention.
We walked around a bit more taking some street photos before leaving Chaozhou. You don't really need a tour guide in Chaozhou as you can walk around on your own easily, since the attractions are all gather at one place within walking distance. You can also pay a small amount of money to charter the local bike-taxi to tour the historical ancient city. The whole city is very peaceful and safe. We enjoyed our visit to Chaozhou very much. :)
The street view of the humble Chaozhou old town.
You can charter this bike-taxi to bring you around for just a small fee. :)
The traditional craft and furniture shop.
It's nice to walk around this ancient and peaceful city.
Check out the boy's path. :)
Last picture of the beautiful Chaozhou before we left. :)