On the banks of the Han River, CHAOZHOU is one of Guangdong's most culturally significant towns, yet is overlooked by many tourists. It is staunchly traditional, proudly preserving its architecture, superstitions and local character, making it a splendid place to spend some time. In addition to some of the most active and manageable street life in southern China, there are some fine historic monuments to tour, excellent shopping for local handicrafts, and a nostalgically dated small-town ambience to soak up.
Chaozhou's old quarter comprises an endlessly engaging warren of narrow streets packed with a mixture of colonial and traditional buildings, far better maintained than in almost any comparable town in China. In the quieter residential back lanes, look for old wells, Ming-dynasty stone archways, and antique family mansions, protected from the outside world by thick walls and heavy wooden doors, and guarded by mouldings of gods and good luck symbols.