Areas: Landmarks of history and culture in Small Park area and Zhongshan Park include such constructions as the Shantou Customs Clock Tower, Nansheng Department Store, Shantou General Post Office Building, Museum of Shantou Commercial Port, Mazu Palace and its drama stage, the former site of the CPC Red Station, Museum of Nanchang Revolution, Museum of Cai Chusheng and His Movies, and Hu Wenhu Building.

This is where the city’s glory as a commercial port began.

Qilou buildings on Xidi Road

The century-old Mazu Palace has witnessed how Shantou has transformed from a fishing village into a prosperous commercial port.

Shantou Mazu Palace and Guan Yu Temple
The drama stage at Mazu Palace

When Shantou opened as a commercial port in 1860, many overseas Chinese with roots in Chaoshan (a region in Guangdong Province which speaks the Teochew dialect) came back and brought with them huge sums of money to launch businesses here. They invested in sectors including railway, telephone, electrical lighting, telegram, tram, ship, running water, medicine, hospital and money transfer. Iconic landmarks such as the Nansheng Department Store, Yongping Restaurant and Tuojiang Guesthouse were built as the city flourished, and many new blocks were constructed around it at that time.

Nansheng Department Store
Yongping Hotel in the 1920s
File photo –Shantou General Post Office Building
Shantou Customs Clock Tower
Museum of Shantou Commercial Port
File photo – Museum of Nanchang Revolution
Former site of the CPC Red Station
Museum of Cai Cusheng and His Movies
Hu Wenhu Building

These Southeast-Asian-styled Qilou buildings are a symbol of the city’s enduring glory. Walking under their arcades, you are free from the barrages of the sun and rain even in scorching and stormy weather. Behind almost each Qilou is a story that awaits your exploration.

Located in the center of the block is Zhongshan Memorial Pavilion. It lives deep in the memory of countless people who left Shantou for a living in the outside world and remains the spiritual home of generations of Shantou people.

Transportation: Take bus 2/5/7/14/35/36 to Small Park Stop
Tickets: Free

Small Park is also an epitome of the city’s diversified food culture. Umbrella Street Handmade Beefballs, Li Mingsheng Dumplings and Noodles, Aromatic Snack Shop, Mazu Palace Zongzi, Daguangming Sheng’s, and more – all along the streets you can find countless time-honored eateries. Don’t forget to try some yummy street food here if you visit Shantou!

The Qilou Building Block in Small Park is a core landmark and cultural symbol of Shantou. Curious about the city’s past history? Then this is a spot you just can’t miss!