China // Fujian, Guangdong and Hainan Island //

Eastern Guangdong

Taken in one go, it’s an arduous 600km journey east from Guangzhou to Xiamen in Fujian province, but there’s a wealth of interesting territory to explore on the way. Only three hours away, Huizhou’s (惠州, huìzhōu) watery parkland makes it an excellent weekend bolthole from Guangzhou, while over near the Fujian border, Chaozhou (潮州, cháozhōu) is famed for its own cooking style and Ming-era architecture. With enough time, you could spend a few days farther north in the hilly country around Meizhou (梅州, méizhōu), investigating ethnic Hakka culture in its heartland. Getting around is easy: expressways from Guangzhou or Shenzhen run via Huizhou along the coast to Shantou (汕头, shàntóu) and on into Fujian, while the rail line from Guangzhou’s East train station bends northeast from Huizhou to Meizhou – where an extension runs up to Yongding in Fujian – then down to Chaozhou and Shantou.