About 25 kilometers (16 miles) from Shantou City, Chen Cihong's Former Residence is situated in Qianmei Village in Chenghai District. The residence covers an area of approximately 25,400 square meters (6 acres). It is one of the most wonderful tourist attractions in the city.
Chen Cihong (1843-1921) was a great overseas Chinese businessman and navigator. His family was very rich. As a saying goes, there is no other men richer than Chen Cihong in Chaozhou and Shantou. He was respected by the local people because he was an enthusiastic participator in public welfare by building schools, bridges and roads in his hometown.
Consisting of 506 halls and rooms, the residence is composed of four parts, Lang Zhong Di, Shou Kang Li, Shan Ju Shi and San Lu. Shan Ju Shi is the most representative of the four houses. Including 202 halls and rooms, it is the largest and best preserved. This house combines the Eastern and Western architectural styles. It features Chinese traditional corridors and arch structure together with the Western style of balconies and large windows. It is said that this house was constructed under the supervision of the wife of Chen Litong, the fourth son of Cheng Cihong. The main room is in a Western style. The wing rooms are constructed like the buildings of the Eastern and Western Palaces in the Forbidden City. It looks solemn and imposing from its appearance.
Lang Zhong Di was built to commemorate Chen Cihong's father. Chen's father was once Lang Zhong (an official title), hence the name. Consisting of 126 rooms and 32 halls, the house is built on the model of 'four horses pulling a carriage' with a gate of Dragon and Tiger. It has two wing rooms. Both of them are bungalows.
The last two are Shou Kang Li and San Lu. Consisting of 95 rooms and 21 halls, Shou Kang Li has its own unique features. Colorful glass embedded in the windows and doors shines in the sun and adds much magnificence to the house. San Lu is a two-storey house with 26 rooms and 4 halls. It is also called Niangzi's House or Xiaojie's House. Niangzi and Xiaojie respectively mean 'one's wife' and 'the females who have not got married' in Chinese.
Many pavilions, terraces, verandas and overhead corridors are built there. Walking in the residence, tourists will feel like they are entering a maze. The whole architectural structure of Chen Cihong's Former Residence is built on the model of 'four horses pulling a carriage'. During the construction of the residence, some imported building materials, for example, the ceramic tiles, were used. The residence has the characteristics of Chinese and Western styles.
Some other attractions featuring folk culture of Chaozhou City have been established there and are open to visitors, such as Chaozhou Opera Hall, Puppet Hall, Chaozhou Gongfu Tea House, Chaozhou Snacks House and Old Kitchen. Another interesting dance named 'Twin Geese' is also performed regularly there. In addition, some calligraphic stone inscriptions made by the famous calligraphers in early 20th century are displayed in the residence. Those who are fond of Chinese calligraphy can go there to appreciate them.
Take the No. 103 city bus at People's Square (Renmin Guangchang) in Shantou or Chenghai Bus Station to Chen Cihong's Former Residence.
Admission Fee: CNY 12