For other uses, see Chaozhou (disambiguation).
"Teochew" redirects here. For other uses, see Teochew (disambiguation).
Prefecture-level city

Hubin Road
Nickname(s): The Phoenix City (凤城)

Location of Chaozhou in Guangdong

Location in China

Coordinates: 23°40′N 116°38′E / 23.667°N 116.633°E / 23.667; 116.633
Country People's Republic of China
Province Guangdong
County-level divisions 4
Township divisions 43
  CPC Chaozhou Luo Wenzhi (骆文智)
Committee Secretary
  Mayor Tang Xikun (汤锡坤)
Area(ranked 31st)
  Total 3,110 km2 (1,200 sq mi)
Elevation 0–1,497.5 m (0–4,913 ft)
  Total 2,669,844
  Density 860/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
  Major ethnic groups Han—99.7%
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 521000
(Urban center)
515600, 515700
(Other areas)
Area code(s) +86768
License plate prefixes 粤U
GDP (2008) CNY 44.3 billion
 - per capita CNY 17,317
Local dialect Teochew dialect

"Chaozhou" in Chinese characters
Chinese 潮州
Literal meaning "Tide prefecture"

Chaozhou (Chinese: 潮州), alternatively transliterated as Chiuchow,[1] Chaochow,[2] or Teochew,[3] is a city in the eastern Guangdong province of the China. It borders Shantou to the south, Jieyang to the southwest, Meizhou to the northwest, the province of Fujian to the east and the South China Sea to the southeast. It is administered as a prefecture-level city with a jurisdiction area of 3,110 square kilometres (1,200 sq mi) and a total population of 2,669,844.[4] Along with Shantou and Jieyang, Chaozhou is part of the Chaoshan region.


Chaozhou's municipal executive, legislature and judiciary are situated in Xiangqiao District, together with its CPC and Public Security bureau.

Name Simplified Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Population
(2010 census)
Xiangqiao District 湘桥区 Xiāngqiáo Qū 452,472 152,5 2,967
Chao'an District 潮安区 Cháo'ān Qū 1,335,398 1,261 1059
Raoping County 饶平县 Ràopíng Xiàn 881,974 1696,5 520

Geography and climate

Han River

Chaozhou is located in the easternmost part of the Guangdong Province, north of the coastal Shantou City. It is situated north of the delta of the Han River, which flows throughout the city.

The Chaozhou territory is mountainous. In particular, the nearby Phoenix Mountain's peak is 1497 meters above sea level. The main nearby rivers are the Huanggang River and the Han River. The Han River flows from west to southeast, and ramps through downtown Chaozhou; the Huanggang river flows roughly from north to south through the territory of Raoping, emptying into the sea. These two rivers provide abundant water for Chaozhou.[5] Hills account for 65% of the total land area within the city, mainly in Raoping and Northern Chaoan. To the north of the city, there is a wide mountainous area suitable for tea cultivation; the lower-altitude areas nearby are mainly suitable for growing bamboo, peach, plum, olive, and pineapple. On the banks of the Han River, there is fertile land used for rice, sweet potato, peanut, soybean, carrot, orange, peach, and banana cultivation.


Chaozhou Municipal People's Government

In 214 BC, Chaozhou was an undeveloped and named part of Nanhai Commandery (南海郡) of the Qin Dynasty. In 331 during the Eastern Han Dynasty, Haiyang (海陽縣) was established as a part of Dongguan Commandery (東官郡).

The Dongguan Commandery was renamed Yi'an Commandery (義安郡) in 413. The commandery became a prefecture in 590 during the early Sui Dynasty, first as Xun Prefecture (循州, Xunzhou), then as Chao Prefecture (潮州, Chaozhou) in the following year. In 1914, the Republic of China government combined the Chao and Xun prefectures into Chaoxun Prefecture or Chaoxun Circuit (潮循道).

For a short while in the Sui and early Tang Dynasties, Haiyang District was called Yi'an District (義安縣). The name remained Haiyang until 1914, when it was renamed to Chao'an County (潮安縣) to avoid ambiguity with the Haiyang County, Shandong.

The seat of the 1951 Guangdong People's Government was at Chao'an County; part of it was converted to Chao'an City in 1953 and later that year renamed Chaozhou City (county-level). In 1955, the provincial seat moved to Shantou. Chaozhou City was abolished five years later, and reestablished again in 1979. In 1983, the situation was reversed, with Chao'an abolished and made a part of Chaozhou City. Chaozhou was made a provincially administered city in January 1989, and a vice-prefecture-level city in January 1990. In December 1991, Chaozhou was further upgraded into its current statue of prefecture-level city.

Chaozhou and the nearby cities of Shantou and Jieyang are collectively called Chaoshan. The name was used for the joint political-administrative area which encompassed the three cities from 1958 until 1983. For the next five years, Shantou City was a higher-level city containing Chaozhou and Jieyang within it. Currently, Chaozhou, Shantou and Jieyang are equal in status.


Main article: Teochew dialect

The Teochew dialect (潮州話), by which the Chaozhou culture is conveyed, is one of the most conservative Han Chinese dialects because it preserves many contrasts from ancient Chinese that have been lost in some of the other modern dialects of Chinese. (See the Teochow dialect transcription of the poem Shi shi shi shi shi to note how words which have become homophonic in other dialects stay distinct in Teochow.)

The dialect is spoken by about 10 million people in Chaozhou and approximately 2–5 million people overseas. Thirty percent of Chinese residents of Vietnam speak this dialect. Teochew people are the largest ethnic Chinese group in Thailand and Cambodia, and the second largest ethnic Chinese group in Singapore, after the Hokkien. However, in Singapore, Mandarin is gradually supplanting the Teochew topolect as the mother tongue for this group, especially among younger generations.


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. Throughout history, the Chaozhou region was able to flourish and thrive as a prosperous cultural centre, enabling the nourishing of a unique and distinctive character epitomized in the Chaozhou Dialect, Chaozhou opera, Chaozhou cuisine, Fenghuang Dancong tea, Chaozhou music, Chaozhou lion dance and Chaozhou embroidery.

Chaozhou Opera

Chaozhou opera (潮劇) is a traditional art form which has a history of more than 500 years and is now appreciated by 20 million Chaozhou natives in over 20 countries and regions. Based on the local folk dances and ballads, Chaozhou opera has formed its own style under the influence of Nanxi Opera. Nanxi is one of the oldest Chinese operas and originated in the Song Dynasty. Clowns and females are the most distinctive characters in a Chaozhou opera, and fan-playing and acrobatic skills are more prominent than in other types of performances.

Gongfu tea, the 'espresso' of Chinese teas with a formidable kick, which was first sipped in the Song Dynasty, is still flourishing and remains an important part of social etiquette in Chaozhou. Visitors to local families can be sure of at least one round of Ganghu tea. Though it tastes bitter when it first reaches the mouth, it is the lingering aftertaste that marks Ganghu tea. Drinking Ganghu tea is a process of aesthetics rather than a solution to thirst.

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. Chaozhou string music is made up of mostly plucked and bowed string instruments, and on some occasions, wind instruments are used. The most characteristic instruments are the rihin (二弦), tihu, yehu (all two-stringed bowed lutes), and the sanxian, pipa, ruan, guzheng, and yangqin. The number of instruments and performers in an ensemble is flexible and depends on the availability of instruments and musicians to play them - but to have an even and balanced texture, only one of each instrument is preferred. Chaozhou drum music ensembles includes the big drum and gong, the small drum and gong, the dizi set, drum and gong and su, drum and gong combinations. The current Chaozhou drum music is said to be similar to the form of drum and wind music during the Han and Tang dynasties. The Chaozhou guzheng and erhu are also regarded as major members of the southern instrument family.

The region is most widely known for the origin of 'Bak Kut Teh' (肉骨茶), loosely translated in dialect as 'Meat Bone Tea', which is a popular dish among the overseas Chinese Teochew community in Singapore and Malaysia. Owing to its coastal geography, Chaozhou is also famed for its seafood soups and porridge known as a 'Myu'eh'.


Located at Chaofeng Road and Chaozhou Avenue, the Bank of China Tower (left), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Tower (center) and China Telecom Tower (right).

In 2006, the GDP of the city totaled 33.0 billion yuan, an increase by 13% over the previous year. Agricultural output value reached 5.732 billion yuan, which dropped by 3.1%. Industrial output value amounted to 64.9 billion yuan, representing an increase of 16.4%. The seven pillar industries of ceramics, garment, food, plastics, electronics, stainless steel products and printing achieved above-scale industrial output value of 22.92 billion yuan, an increase of 30.3%, accounting for 62.7% of the total above-scale industrial output value. Local financial revenue in the general budget increased to 1.065 billion yuan, an increase of 23.2%. The gross value of import and export added up to US$2.3 billion, representing an increase of 21.3%. Overall consumer product retail sales summed up to 11.814 billion yuan, representing an increase of 14.7%. Expenses on transport, telecommunications, garments, health care and housing showed massive growth. Total expenditure reached 3.56 billion yuan for urban residents and 8.25 billion yuan for rural residents, showing rises of 11.1% and 16.4% respectively. Throughout the year, Chaozhou welcomed 1.89 million tourists, an increase of 15.6%, which yielded a revenue of 2.748 billion yuan in tourism. Investment in fixed assets came to 10.974 billion yuan, which is an increase of 12.4%.


Haiyang Xuegong (Confucianism school of Haiyang County).
Chaozhou People's Square musical fountain

Chaozhou is a famous historical and cultural city. The city, known as the "Classic Tourist City", constantly welcomes thousands of tourists a day. There are over 600 valuable historic relics kept in Chaozhou city. Among them, 42 are classified under the state, provincial and city's key preservation units of cultural relics. The Chaozhou Dialect, Chaozhou Opera, Chaozhou Ganghu tea, etc. are unique features of Chaozhou culture. Several historically significant attractions are below.


Scholars appeared in Chaozhou during the period of Emperor Taizong of Tang. Han Yu ran schools and libraries, which improved education in Chaozhou. Literature in Chaozhou started to flourish during the Song dynasty, during which Chaozhou's population was around 140,000 people. Around the year 1234, thousands of people went for the imperial examination. At the end of the Song dynasty, there were as many as 172 scholars in Chaozhou. One census during the Ming Dynasty stated there were 160 scholars and 1088 people in the provincial examination.

In 2008, there were a total of 44,944 junior high school graduates in Chaozhou, with 32,184 test candidates and a 71.61% candidate rate. Compared to 2007, the percentage rose by 69.05%. The promotion rate is 69.53%, which was a 4.5% rise compared to 2007. The consolidation rate of junior high school third year students remained at 92.28%. The population enrolled in public high school was 25,266 (including vocational), which was an increase of 1130 students compared to 24,136 students in 2007. The vocational enrollment rate was 4962, with an increase of 409 students compared to 4553 students in 2007.



Chaozhou Daily building

Radio and television

Chaozhou Broadcasting Television Center


Sister cities

See also


  1. Transliterated from its Cantonese pronunciation
  2. From postal romanization
  3. Transliterated from the pronunciation of its own local dialect
  4. "Profile of Chaozhou" (in Chinese). Official website of Chaozhou Government. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
  5. "Guangdong Province Map". Lutu Corporation. Retrieved 2015-06-28.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chaozhou.

Coordinates: 23°40′N 116°38′E / 23.67°N 116.63°E / 23.67; 116.63

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