Shantou is located in southeast of Guangdong, China, adjacent to the South China Sea. It is known as "the gateway of east Nanling Mountains and the communication hub of Southeast China" because of its advantageous geographical location. The city covers an area of 2,064 square kilometers and has a population of 4.795 million people. It has jurisdiction over six districts -- Longhu, Jinping, Haojiang, Chenghai, Chaoyang, Chaonan and Nan'ao County.
Shantou was a fishing village part of Tuojiang City (鮀江都), Jieyang District (揭陽縣) during the Song Dynasty. It came to be Xialing (廈嶺) during the Yuan Dynasty. In 1563, Shantou was a part of Chenghai District (澄海縣) in Chao Prefecture (Chaozhou). As early as 1574, Shantou had been called Shashan Ping (沙汕坪). In the seventeenth century, a cannon platform called Shashan Toupaotai (沙汕頭炮臺 sha shan tou pao tai) was made here, and the placename later was shortened to "Shantou". Locally it has been referred to as Kialat.
Connecting to Shantou across the Queshi Bridge is Queshi (礐石) which had been known by the local people through the 19th century as Kakchio. It was the main site for the American and British Consulates. Today the area is a scenic park but some of the structures are somewhat preserved from its earlier history.
It became a city in 1919, and was separated from Chenghai in 1921. 1922 saw the devastating Swatow Typhoon, which killed 50,000 out of the 65,000 people then inhabiting the city.
In the 1930s, as a transport hub and a merchandise distribution centre in Southeast China, Shantou Port's cargo throughput ranked third in the country.
With higher-level administrative authority, Shantou governed Chaozhou City and Jieyang City from 1983 to 1989.
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 Getting in & Getting out
 By Air
The airport which serves Shantou is Shantou Waisha Airport, which has domestic connections with most of the major Chinese cities. It also serves international flights to Hong Kong and Bangkok.
 By Train
 By Bus
Zhuhai (8 hours, 160 RMB), Guangzhou, Shenzhen or Xiamen (4 hours, 100 RMB). There is fairly new highway that is on par with U.S or European expressways running between Shenzhen and Shantou (and beyond). However, food and gas stops are limited so make sure your gas tank is full if you opt to pass a fueling station. Note that restrooms are far below Western standards as well, particularly if you are female.
Some Hong Kong residents prefer to drive these highways in groups of 3-4 cars, as robberies sometimes take place along the road .
 By Ship
Shantou harbor, a national first-class port, is among the twenty pivotal ports of China. It maintains cargo network with more than 210 ports of over 40 countries and regions, as well as the main ports of China. Scheduled line of cargo ships between Shantou and Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand has been explored. There are also international shipping agencies providing cargo transits services in Shantou.
 Getting Around
 By Public Bus
 By Tour Bus
 By Metro
 By Taxi & Rental Car
- The old town, in the western part of central Shantou, is full of lovely old buildings that have been crumbling for decades. They're so dilapidated now, they give the city the atmosphere of a European city that's been bombed. Unfortunately, they're being replaced by ugly modern buildings, so see them while you can!
- The Former Residence of Chen Ci Hong (陈慈黉故居 Chencihong Guju) tel 85786955
- Nan'ao Island (南澳島 Nanao Dao): rated as Guangdong's most beautiful island by China's National Geographic magazine
- Palace-Temple of Old Mother (老媽宮 Laoma Gong): dedicated to the goddess Matsu
- Temple of Emperor Guan (關帝廟 Guandi Miao): dedicated to Guan Yu
- Tropic of Cancer Symbol Tower (北回归线标志塔 Beihuiguixian Biaozhita): The Tropic of Cancer slips through Centipede Mountain, which is 20 kilometers away from the city proper.
- Cultural Revolution Museum (Wen Ge Bowuguan), in the Tashan scenic area north of Shantou (not the other Tashan scenic area) There's not much to see here unless you can read Chinese.
 Night Life & Entertainment
Shantou has accumulated considerable local culture of strong local characteristics along the development of history. Traditional culture with distinctive local features such as Chao Opera, Chao Music, Chao Dishes and Kongfu Tea enjoy great popularity at home and abroad.