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Asia > East Asia > China > South China > Guangdong > Northern Guangdong > Dabu

Dabu

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Dabu County (大埔县, Dàbù Xiàn) is a district of Meizhou, Guangdong province in China.

Majestic mountains surrounding Dabu offer panoramic views, especially during sunsets. Most visitors are overseas Chinese wishing to connect with their roots.

Cities[edit]

  • Huliao (湖寮镇) - is the administrative capital. As many as fourteen other little townships catering to the far flung farming communities in the county and are reachable by inexpensive public buses and mini vans.

Other destinations[edit]

Understand[edit]

Talk[edit]

Basically Tai Pu Hakka dialect. The language gets rather incomprehensible the further you move from the city centre. Besides that, Mandarin (pǔtōnghuà) is widely spoken.

Get in[edit]

Buses from downtown Meizhou depart from both the Meizhou Central Bus Station (梅州汽车总站) and the Jiangnan Bus Station (梅州江南客运站). The fare varies between ¥23 and ¥33 depending on the time of departure and the type of bus.

There are also direct buses from several other major cities.

Trains are available too but are not very frequent. Moreover, if you are coming from Meizhou or further west, you arrive at Dabu either late at night (21:30) or in the early hours of the morning (05:16).

Get around[edit]

There's a central bus station from where you can catch a public bus to just about anywhere in the county. Cheap, no air conditioning but a great way to see the countryside at a relaxed pace. A trip to Ta Dong, to see the terraced fields of flowering vegetable farms is only Y5. It's a bit of hassle with Yinna Mountain. Because you may have to spend hours aimlessly waiting for the afternoon bus to come fetch you. Y8.

See[edit]

Basically this is one place that won't see any influx of tourists except maybe the overseas Chinese returning to the land of their ancestors, Taipu Hakkas. Nonetheless, what makes Dabu the Shangri La of Hakkaland is the stunning mountains that surround Dabu county. You get the "feel" as your car weaves in and out of mountain roads coming and exiting Dabu. At Ta Dong, when in bloom, the terraces are stunningly beautiful (maybe April/May). The temple on top of Yinna Mountain is beautiful. Walking around town is fun in itself. At street corners, under the cool of the shadows of trees, groups of people play Russian Poker, it is endemic. If you are making your way to Yongding for the Tulous then you can skip Dabu's very own Tulou, otherwise it's just a 3 minute trip from the city centre. ChaYong comes out attractively on leaflet, but the real thing could be a letdown. Simply because whatever economic activity along the trader's road don't exist anymore more probable than not because of dwindling visitors.

  • Dabu County Museum (大埔县博物馆), Intersection of Xi Huan Lu and the Y189, Huliao Town (湖寮镇西环路与Y189交汇口). Small museum devoted to the history and culture of the region. Free.
  • Tai'an Building (泰安楼), 1-143 Daxing Road, Huliao Town (湖寮镇大兴路143-1号). The Tai'an Building is a tulou building that was built in 1764. It is probably the most accessible tulou building in Dabu County, being the only one located in the county seat. The square shape of the building makes it very unique because most tulou buildings are round. ¥18.

Do[edit]

Eat[edit]

Food is cheap and consists primarily of Taipu fare. Make sure you tell the chef or cook "Go easy on the salt" Taipu food is always on the salty side.

Drink[edit]

Beers are easily available and cheap. Except maybe at the restaurants and at hotels' premises, more probable than not, you pick up your beers from the supermarket and drink in your room. There don't seem to be any bars. pubs or a public place to down your booze.

  • 90 Degree Coffee Shop (90度炭烧咖啡小站), 32 Fuqian Road, Huliao Town (湖寮镇府前路32号 ), +86 13751992272. One of the very few places in Dabu County where coffee is available.

Sleep[edit]

Plenty of options. Decent rooms at decent hotels are around Y200. There are also medium cost rooms at Y80toY100. Avoid going to the really cheap cheap lodgings. They are not for us. One lodging house is right across the spanking new bus station, Fu Chen Li Tian (literally Tiger Gate Lodging House) looks very ordinary but the rooms are superb, first world standard, very very clean with even toothbrushes and combs provided. Satellite TV and tea making facility. However no English is spoken but you can get by hand gestures and simple English, spoken slowly and clearly.

Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

To Yongding, where the Fujian Tulou are. By bus Y35. And from the same bus station at Yongding another local bus to Wu Kang, the heart of Tulou territory. You land up at the rear entrance of the government showcased Zhengcheng Lo (entrance fee Y70).

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