Queshi Island

    A couple of weekends ago I went to Queshi. Now, before anyone puts a post on, I know Queshi isn’t an island, it’s only a river. But y’know, it feels like the sea and in fact it nearly is the sea, and people have to cross one of two bridges to get in and out of Shantou, so I often here of Queshi being called an island by English speakers. And it looks like an island and you have to take a ferry to get there if you don’t have a car.

    The ferry is 1rmb/person, or 2rmb for a motorbike. They leave about every 20min from the port, it’s called the 码头 (ma3 tou2) or 轮渡 (lun2 du4). It’s on Haibin Road (海滨路), opposite the outdoor pool and diving centre. Every driver knows it.

    Anyway Queshi is lovely, once you get past the mad frenzy to get you on a vehicle it’s slow and quiet and pleasant and green. Straight ahead is the old British embassy, now a government building. If you turn left at the embassy you’ll find a school and a navy hospital. The navy hospital has a specialist burns unit which treated my friend when his back was badly burnt and the treatment was excellent. They have this special medicine. Anyway.

    Turn right and go up the hill and eventually you’ll get to the best middle school in Shantou, where all the brainy/rich kids go, and also the opportunity to climb up the surrounding hills. You have to pay about 10rmb to get in. The first one has the most stuff, caves, aerial runway, tobaggan run, golden Buddha, pagoda on top. If you don’t like too many people, which I don’t, keep walking up the road and go up some other hills.

    I went up one of the other hills with two friends from the hospital late in the afternoon. We found some army ruins - the man having a walk at the top said it was army, he didn’t know whose. Then he walked down with us through the winding winding paths, there are caves there too. It’s a good thing he came with us otherwise we would’ve got very lost and we didn’t have that much time. The man had a season ticket (whopping 60rmb/yr) and came up here about twice a week to chill out. He was cool. We climbed many steep upwards and downwards paths. It was a nice afternoon.

    Oh and an interesting thing: The character ‘que’ in Queshi(?石) is only found in Shantou. It won’t be in any of your dictionaries, so I can’t write it. How about that.

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