24-hour food journey in Chaozhou

The best travel is to live elsewhere. The ancient town of Chaozhou perfectly embodies this statement. Even if it's only for 24 hours, wandering through the alleyways on Paifang Street, among centuries-old courtyards, sipping tea at every corner, and dining at small eateries that have been running for decades without decent signs, the greatest reward is not just the satisfaction of the taste buds, but also the relaxation of slowing down and embracing life wholeheartedly.

Recommended breakfast: trendy and flavorful rice noodle rolls

In the early morning, breakfast shops in the alleys of Paifang Street gradually opened for business. From afar, one could see the faint steam and people enjoying breakfast by the street. There were rice noodle shops, steamed bun shops, pig blood soup restaurants, glutinous rice sausage stalls, and congee stalls. Roaming the streets to find a breakfast shop, a perfect day starts with the happiness from the stomach and taste buds.

10:00 Sun Hotel

10:00 Centennial Old House Inn: A delightful stay that immerses you in history. The inn exudes an old-world charm, with picturesque scenes at every corner. The courtyard features tea tables and utensils, where you can leisurely enjoy the Chaozhou-style Kung Fu tea. Located next to Paifang Street, it is within walking distance to various tourist attractions. Ximalu Snack Street is also nearby.

Zheng Chu

This private kitchen specializes in Chaozhou banquet cuisine, which was traditionally served at important events such as weddings and childbirths in the Chaoshan region. Located in an inconspicuous residential area after passing through bustling Pai Fang Street and taking multiple turns, the owner is a former president of the Chaozhou Culinary Association and comes from a family of chefs. Being an inheritor of Chaozhou cuisine intangible cultural heritage, the owner has won numerous awards for their authentic cooking methods using traditional ingredients.

15:00-16:00 Xiangzi Bridge

15:00-16:00 Xiangzi Bridge: Feel the lake breeze. Xiangzi Bridge, also known as Guangji Bridge, has a history of 845 years. What makes Xiangzi Bridge unique is that it combines beam bridge, pontoon bridge, arch bridge, and pavilion in one. In the morning and evening, the staff will remove the pontoon part, and it is not possible to walk across the bridge to the other side. When the bridge opens in the morning, there is a chance to see the pontoon bridge connected. At around 5:30 pm every day, there is a chance to see the pontoon bridge being removed.

16:00-16:40 Kaiyuan Temple

16:00-16:40 Buddhist Chanting at Kaiyuan Temple: The Kaiyuan Temple, built during the Tang Dynasty, retains the layout of that era and embodies the architectural art of the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties. The Chaoshan people enjoy worshiping, so the thousand-year-old temple is still bustling with incense, with the fragrance of sandalwood lingering in the temple and the sound of Zen meditation echoing. Two large Bodhi trees stand quietly in the front courtyard.

16:40-17:00 Pinfang Street

16:40-17:00 Paifang Street: Learn about the history of the ancient city. The central axis of Chaozhou Ancient City is spanned by 22 paifangs, each with a documented history. The paifangs have been restored based on old photos, preserving their original location and appearance. The street is also worth trying out for its snacks, such as Hu Rongquan's Ya Mu Nian (duck neck) and spring rolls.

17:00-17:30 Baiyin Monastery

17:00-17:30 Teapot Making: Hand-pulled teapots. Chaozhou Fengxi hand-pulled teapots have a long history. Since the Song Dynasty, Chaozhou has become a center for ceramic production. In the mid-Qing Dynasty, the unique craftsmanship of making hand-pulled teapots from Zhu clay in Chaozhou has been continued to this day. The making of hand-pulled teapots involves dozens of exquisite traditional processes, ultimately creating a well-crafted teapot with a smooth texture, elegant lines, and graceful style.

17:30-19:00 Abin Beef

17:30-19:00 Beef hot pot: Delicious to the tip of the tongue. The must-try beef hot pot, Shantou people pay great attention to ingredients, relying on the word "fresh". The beef used in the hot pot is freshly slaughtered on the same day, without refrigeration, and delivered directly to the table. It is sold according to different parts, such as neck, spoon handle, hanging dragon companion, five-flavored toes, etc., which greatly tests knife skills. When the clear soup boils and the fire is set to the lowest, the beef is dipped in the boiling broth for a few seconds and dipped in the unique Cha sauce of Shantou. When half of the hot pot is eaten, a small bowl of soup is scooped out and sprinkled with chopped celery. The fragrance of celery mixed with the freshness of beef dances on the tip of the tongue. The locally unique raw beaten beef balls must be tried.

19:00-20:30 Zaiyang Tea House

19:00-20:30 Old Teahouse: Meeting Chinese Tea Art. In Chaoshan, wherever there are people, there is Gongfu tea and tea connoisseurs who have been drinking tea since childhood. Japanese tea ceremony carries a sense of aloofness and professionalism, while in Chaoshan, everyone is a tea artist, paying attention to how to brew and taste tea, revealing the simplicity and approachability of life.

20:30-22:00 Ancient City of Chaozhou

20:30-22:00 Ancient City Night: You can't appreciate the beauty of the night during the day. One advantage of living in the ancient city is that when night falls and tourists disperse, there is a chance to experience another side of the ancient city. At night, the archway street lights up, some shops are still open. You can wander around the ancient city, buy some souvenirs you like, and I recommend Lao Xiang Huang, mung bean cakes, and beef balls.

22:00 Hua Ji Beef Offal

22:00 Perfect midnight snack: Native foodie's private goods. Midnight snacks culture is unique to Chaozhou. Chaozhou people love drinking tea and have fast digestion. Many old brand shops will operate until late at night or start operating in the evening. Sweet soup, beef offal rice noodles, clay pot porridge, and rice noodle rolls are all unmissable delicacies.

Sheng Xing Ji Almond Tea

An authentic old shop, highly recommended for white sesame paste, paired with the traditional Chaozhou small doughnut, crispy and sweet, this authentic way of eating is now rare.

Pidan Di Shaguo Restaurant

Over 20 years old shop, recommended shrimp and crab congee. Put rice in a clay pot, add broth and bring to a boil. Slowly simmer with added lard and pork belly. Add a spoonful of satay sauce, ginger slices, and cook until the congee is 80% done. Add tofu skin, crab chunks, and shrimp, garnish with spring onion, then serve. Incredibly delicious.