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“Residence of former richest merchant.”

Chen Ci Hong Mansion
Ranked #13 of 71 things to do in Shantou
Attraction details
Reviewed 16 May 2013

It's a bit far from shantou city where you have to travel for more than 1 hour by bus No.103 passing Chenghai town.

A very big mansion with so many rooms (we were told that a servant has to spend whole day to just open and close the windows) and many stories behind.

Well worth a visit.

Thank Wutkate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3 - 6 of 6 reviews

Reviewed 6 September 2012

I love visiting former residences of overseas Chinese who returned to China to build their huge mansions. The place has been renovated so it is quite safe for you to roam around this big mansion which leaves you wondering why there is a need for this rich man to have such a big mansion. Some rooms may look dilapidated now but they just left you pondering how full of life it was when the mansion was occupied with so many people in the past!

1  Thank Jayden_Ng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2011

Being a Teochew (Chaozhou), visiting Swatow (Shantou), where most Teochews would have passed through as they ventured overseas in centuries passed, was something I had always aimed to do to reconnect with my roots. If one is not Teochew, there is probably little charm left to be experienced in Teochewland. Much of the old has made way for the ugly new. When one of my two travelling companions, proposed that we venture out of Swatow and visit the Chen Ci Hong mansion (陈慈黉故居) , which was built over 100 years ago, it wasn't a difficult decision to make.

This mansion stands in Qianmeicun in Chenghai (Tenghai in Teochew), about 10 km out of Swatow. There's a regular bus service running to the Chen Ci Hong mansion from the bus station that is next to the Shantou Overseas Chinese Hotel , No.41, Shanzhang Road, Shantou - Jinping. The bus fare was RMB 13 and the bus comfortable enough.

The mansion sits in the middle of farmland and fruit orchards. It was built by Chen (Tan in Teochew), who made his fortune in Siam (Thailand) and returned to build this stately home in his county. The mansion sits on over 25,000 sq m of land and has over 500 rooms.

Although all the original furnishings have unfortunately gone, the mansion is full of architectural and design surprises. While at first glance it looks like a very large southern Chinese structure of open courtyards, halls, corridors, rooms and curved roofs, upon closer look one can see how richly it is decorated and embellished. There are plenty of European tiles, mosaics and glass, Southeast Asian motifs and design, plus of course the Lingnan architecture and traditional Teochew folk designs. I will let the attached photos tell of their past splendor and beauty. How busy and bustling this place must have once been.

Traditional Chinese doors are still intact as is the opera stage, puppet theatre and gardens. The nooks and crannies, plus a stroll on one of the roof tops give a bird eye's view of the spread of this property. This Mr Tan was truly a very wealthy tycoon.

There is a traditional Teochew dance called "double-bite goose" (双咬鹅) that is performed but we did not get to see it while there. However, if you take a stroll around the nearby village you can see the very large "lion head geese", which are raised for the famous Teochew dish of soy-braised goose meat.

In fact, walking around the villages is recommended to see how people still live there. Be prepared for some amount of rubbish and filth along the country lanes though. But this is the real thing.

To get back to Swatow, walk about 1 km to the main road to catch the return bus. Owing to the low number of visitors, return buses do not always turn in to pick up passengers from the mansion, the bus driver advised.

6  Thank BrotherDragon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor China Member
Reviewed 10 September 2013
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Thank A TripAdvisor China Member
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.

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