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Coordinates: 23°39′29″N 116°37′19″E / 23.658°N 116.622°E / 23.658; 116.622
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(Redirected from Chiu-Chow)
From top, left to right: Paifang Street, Guangji Bridge, Guangji Gate [zh], Chaoshan railway station
The Phoenix City (凤城)
Location of Chaozhou in Guangdong province
Location of Chaozhou in Guangdong province
Chaozhou is located in China
Location in China
Coordinates (Chaozhou municipal government): 23°39′29″N 116°37′19″E / 23.658°N 116.622°E / 23.658; 116.622
CountryPeople's Republic of China
County-level divisions4
Township divisions43
Municipal seatXiangqiao District
 • CPC ChaozhouHe Xiaojun (何晓军)
Committee Secretary
 • MayorLiu Sheng (刘胜)
 • Prefecture-level city3,145.93 km2 (1,214.65 sq mi)
 • Urban
1,413.8 km2 (545.9 sq mi)
 • Metro
9,297.1 km2 (3,589.6 sq mi)
Highest elevation
1,497.5 m (4,913.1 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 (2020 census[1])
 • Prefecture-level city2,568,387
 • Density820/km2 (2,100/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Urban density1,200/km2 (3,200/sq mi)
 • Metro
 • Metro density1,300/km2 (3,500/sq mi)
 • Major ethnic groups
 • Prefecture-level cityCN¥ 124.5 billion
US$ 19.3 billion
 • Per capitaCN¥ 48,427
US$ 7,506
Time zoneUTC+8 (China Standard)
Postal code
(Urban center)
515600, 515700
(Other areas)
Area code768
ISO 3166 codeCN-GD-51
License plate prefixes粤U
LanguagesTeochew and Hakka (Raoping area) (regional); Standard Mandarin (official)
Literal meaning"Tide prefecture"

Chaozhou (Chinese: 潮州), alternatively Chiuchow,[3] Chaochow[4] or Teochew,[5] is a city in the eastern Guangdong province of 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 km2 (1,200 sq mi) and a total population of 2,568,387. Its built-up (or metro) area encompassing most of Shantou and Jieyang cities was home to 12,543,024 inhabitants on 13 local administrative areas.[6] Along with Shantou and Jieyang, Chaozhou is a cultural center of the Chaoshan region.



In 214 BC, Chaozhou was an undeveloped part of Nanhai Commandery (南海郡) of the Qin dynasty. In 331[citation needed] during the Eastern Jin 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; Xúnzhōu), then as Chao Prefecture (潮州; Cháozhōu) 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.

Modern era


The seat of the 1951 Guangdong People's Government was in Chao'an County. Part of the county was converted into Chao'an City in 1953, and was renamed Chaozhou City (county-level) later that year. In 1955, the provincial seat moved to Shantou; the city was abolished five years later, and was reestablished in 1979. In 1983, the situation was reversed, as Chao'an was merged into 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 to its current statue of prefecture-level city.

Chaozhou and the nearby cities of Shantou and Jieyang are collectively called Chaoshan. From 1958 until 1983, this name was used for the joint political-administrative area which encompassed the three cities. 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.

In 2022, the city's 5-year plan has detailed the realization of a 43.3-gigawatt offshore windfarm located between 47 and 115 miles (75 and 185 km) off the city's coast.[7]



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.[8]

The Chaozhou territory is mountainous. In particular, the nearby Phoenix Mountain's peak is located 1,497 meters (4,911 ft) 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.[9] 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.

The three peaks of Jinshan (巾山), Mingshan (明山), and Dushan (独山) are collectively known as the Sanshan Guowang (三山國王) or Lords of the Three Mountains, and are venerated in temples, particularly by the Hakka people worldwide.[10]


Climate data for Chaozhou (1994–2020 normals, extremes 1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 29.5
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 19.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 14.7
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 11.3
Record low °C (°F) 2.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 40.4
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 6.3 9.5 12.3 12.9 16.4 18.9 15.2 16.3 11.1 3.9 4.9 6.2 133.9
Average relative humidity (%) 74 77 78 79 80 82 79 80 77 71 72 71 77
Mean monthly sunshine hours 151.4 112.0 111.2 120.2 144.5 161.3 228.5 205.3 200.4 205.9 182.7 168.8 1,992.2
Percent possible sunshine 45 35 30 32 35 40 55 52 55 58 56 51 45
Source: China Meteorological Administration[11][12]

Administrative divisions


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 575,795 152.50 1,770
Chao'an District 潮安区 Cháo'ān Qū 1,335,398 1,261.34 1059
Raoping County 饶平县 Ráopíng Xiàn 881,974 1,732.07 520



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

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.[citation needed] 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.


The west gate of Hanshan Normal University [zh]


Chaozhou Opera

Chaozhou is famously known as a globally renowned cultural center of the Lingnan region of China. Throughout China's turbulent history, the Chaozhou region was nonetheless able to flourish and thrive, enabling the nourishing of a unique and distinctive character epitomized in the city's native dialect, ceramics, opera, cuisine, Fenghuang Dancong tea, music, style of lion dance, embroidery and another needlework called drawnwork.[15]

Chaozhou opera (Chinese: 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.

Kung fu tea, the 'espresso' of Chinese teas with a formidable kick, which was first created 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 Kung Fu [clarification needed] tea. Though it tastes bitter when it first reaches the mouth, Kung Fu tea renowned for its lingering aftertaste.

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 a porridge called "mue" (潮洲糜).



Chaozhou is a famous historical and cultural center of the Chaoshan region. 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.

  • Guangji Bridge, built in the Southern Song dynasty (1170 A.D.).
  • Kaiyuan Temple, a Buddhist center embodied with the quintessence of the architectural art of various dynasties such as the Tang, the Song, the Yuan and the Qing. This temple is over 200 years old. The temple is also home to the largest Buddhist Institute in Southeast China. Inside, handsome calligraphy and inscribed steles remind visitors that this temple once functioned as the record keeper of the city.
  • Residence of the Imperial Son Xu [zh], which retains the basic pattern of the architecture of the Song dynasty.
  • Jiadi Alley (甲第巷), the ancient family houses.
  • Beige Fodeng, The Lighthouse of Buddha (北閣佛燈). The lighthouse was used for boats on the Han River, as this part of the river is dangerous. It is said that a former emperor once passed the area in his "dragon boat" while he was sleeping and was woken up by the light from the lighthouse. He thought that the light was sent by a bodhisattva and therefore named it the "Lighthouse of Buddha".
  • Huang Jilue Temple (己略黃公祠), displaying the wood carving art of Chaozhou in the Qing dynasty.
  • The old site of the Song Kiln, that shows the scale of production and the exquisite craftsmanship of ceramic in ancient Chaozhou.
  • The 2.6-kilometer-long (1.6 mi) Ming city wall (明城牆).
  • Xi Hu Yuan, a museum in the main city park, has a unique collection of stones with natural geological markings representing (or resembling) Chinese characters.




Chaozhou Daily building
  • Chaozhou Daily

Radio and television

Chaozhou Broadcasting Television Center
  • Chaozhou Broadcast Television, CZBTV
    • Chaozhou Television
    • Radio Chaozhou

Chaozhou communities

  • The township of Chaozhou in western Pingtung County, Taiwan is named after Chaozhou.
  • The Chaozhou people form the second largest group amongst the ethnic Chinese in Singapore, after the Hokkien, comprising 21% of Chinese Singaporeans. Teochew was originally the dominant language amongst the Chinese immigrants in Singapore, until it was superseded by the Hokkiens due to later immigration flows. Concentrations of Chaozhou people once settled along the banks of the Singapore River as well as the Straits of Johor, until urban development and the redistribution of the people in public housing development diluted this geographic trend, although they are still known to concentrate in the northeast such as in Hougang. Traditional commercial sectors of Chinatown once dominated by Teochews include Circular Road and South Bridge Road. Chaozhou peoples also founded rural settlements and were active in the plantation industry, and gave rise to modern place names such as Choa Chu Kang, Lim Chu Kang and Yio Chu Kang. Today, the Chaozhou people continue to be represented by various clans, one of the most prominent being the Ngee Ann Kongsi, which built schools such as the Ngee Ann Secondary School and Ngee Ann Polytechnic, maintains the oldest Teochew temple in Singapore, Yueh Hai Ching Temple, and also went into real-estate (Ngee Ann City). Much effort has been made to preserve their distinct identity and culture under the dominant influence of the Hokkien community, including through the airing of a popular television drama, The Teochew Family in 1995 by MediaCorp's Channel 8.
  • There is a large number of Teochew people in Penang, Malaysia. In the early 19th century, some Teochew people settled here, and in 1855 they founded the Teochew Association, which also includes a temple in Chulia Street, George Town. The community continued to grow; in 1919 a school named after the Han River, Han Chiang School, was founded to provide education for the people. Today, during larger occasions, the Teochew community still holds Teochew operas here. Han Chiang School went on to become one of the most famous education institutions in Penang. It comprises three schools: SJK(C) Han Chiang, Han Chiang High School and Han Chiang College.
  • There is a large population of Chaozhou people in Hong Kong. When mainland China opened its borders to Hong Kong in the 1950s, there was an exodus of refugees into Hong Kong fleeing communist rule. Refugees from Chaozhou banded together in very tight communities and were known to be very generous towards helping refugees from their own regions. They spoke their own Teochew dialect amongst themselves, which made them stand out among locals, given the dominant dialect was Cantonese in Hong Kong. Locals called them by the name "Chiu Chow Loun", Chiu Chow being the Cantonese pronunciation of Chaozhou. Teo Chew Nang is the Teochew pronunciation of the word "Teochew people". Teochews were known to be very hardworking people, and good at running small businesses. Back in the 1960s, most "rice stores" (grocery stores for dried food and uncooked rice) in Hong Kong were owned by Chiu Chow Loun. Decades and generations later, the children of these immigrants have blended into Hong Kong society. Large corporation-run supermarkets drove many independent Chiu Chow "rice stores" out of business. ] Chiu Chow Loun no longer stands out as a distinct community in Hong Kong, though they are still very active in organizing charity activities, especially around the "Zhong Yuan festival" in the seventh month of the Chinese calendar.[16]
  • 70% of the population of Kowloon Walled City (formerly located in Hong Kong) was Chiu Chow.[17]
  • There is a large population of Chaozhou people in Pontianak and Ketapang, Indonesia, as they are the dominant Chinese group in these areas. Teochew is the main lingua franca used among the Chinese here.
  • There is a large population of Chaozhou people in Thailand. Thailand has had a long history of business and trade with Teochew merchants. Many of the major business families in Thailand can trace their roots to Chaozhou. There are also many instances in the Thai language where Teochew words have been adopted as part of daily use.
  • There is a large population of Chaozhou people in Cambodia, where they have been residents for generations. Most of the trade in Cambodia, even in small towns, is dominated by Teochews. Most of the business and professional classes in Cambodia can trace their ancestry to Chaozhou. The Teochew community associations are engaged in managing their own schools, pagodas and charities. The Chinese lunar new year is a national holiday.
  • There is also a large population of Teochew nang (潮州人; Teochew people) settled in Vietnam, especially in Saigon's districts 5 and 6. Outside of Saigon, Teochews settled in all six counties of the Mekong Delta. The majority of Teochew nang live in places such as Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Rach Gia. It was once said in Vietnamese "Dưới sông cá chốt trên bờ Triều Châu" meaning that the Teochew nang were as abundant as that of fishes in the river of Bac Lieu & Ca Mau areas. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, the victorious communist Vietnamese confiscated many assets of the wealthy, including those of the Teochew nang. They were then forced by the Communist government to resettle in what was called "kinh tế mới", or new economic zone, which was uninhabited farmland. Since 1975, many hundreds of thousands of Teochew nang have left Vietnam as "boat people" or refugees. Most resettled in the US, Australia and various countries in the European Union.

Sister cities


See also



  1. ^ "China: Guăngdōng (Prefectures, Cities, Districts and Counties) - Population Statistics, Charts and Map".
  2. ^ 广东省统计局、国家统计局广东调查总队 (August 2016). 《广东统计年鉴-2016》. 中国统计出版社. ISBN 978-7-5037-7837-7. Archived from the original on 2017-12-22.
  3. ^ Transliterated from its Cantonese pronunciation
  4. ^ From postal romanization
  5. ^ Transliteration of local dialect
  6. ^ "China: Guăngdōng (Prefectures, Cities, Districts and Counties) - Population Statistics, Charts and Map".
  7. ^ "A City in China is Planning an Offshore Wind Farm So Big It Could Power All of Norway". GoodNewsNetwork. October 26, 2022.
  8. ^ Chaozhou Government. "natural geography". Chaozhou Government.
  9. ^ "Guangdong Province Map". Lutu Corporation. Archived from the original on June 21, 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  10. ^ Asian Folk Religion and Cultural Interaction, Yoshihiro Nikaidō, p. 190
  11. ^ 中国气象数据网 – WeatherBk Data (in Simplified Chinese). China Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 28 May 2023.
  12. ^ 中国气象数据网 (in Simplified Chinese). China Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 28 May 2023.
  13. ^ "Hanshan Normal University". China TEFL. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  14. ^ "潮州广播电视大学". xuexiaodaquan.com (in Chinese). Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  15. ^ "Chaozhou | China | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 2021-11-29.
  16. ^ Sparks, Douglas W. (1972). "The Teochiu: Ethnicity in Urban Hong Kong". Journal of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 16: 25–56 – via JSTOR.
  17. ^ Lee, Jung Joon (2016). "Kowloon Walled City Revisited: Photography and Postcoloniality in the City of Darkness". Trans Asia Photography. 6 (2) – via Duke University Press.