I stopped in Shantou on the way from Xiamen to Guangzhou for one reason, I heard the food was great. The rumors were indeed true. We're in Canton country, where delicious dim sum comes from. I met up with Kian, a super friendly and great couchsurfer who really put me up to an amazing level. As soon as I got in he and a friend picked me up and we went to dinner at a nice restaurant that specializes in the local cuisine. Then we went to a bar to meet some of his friends. It was me and like 8 people, 3 of whom could speak good english but all were going off in the local dialect. It didn't matter as I was having a great time, even learned a fun chinese drinking game called 0,5,15,20 (which i did pretty well in, if i may so so myself). The next day we went to the beach at sunset and did some swimming and bodyboarding in the ocean. It felt so great to be back in the water. I can't wait to get to Hainan now to do some real surf. After the ocean we grabbed some hot pot and then went to an old (maybe the oldest in the town) little shop for a local fruit jelly ice type dessert. The following morning Kian took me for dim sum brunch and seriously, it was some of the best I've ever had.
Shantou is a small city and a bit humid but the local people are incredibly friendly and I highly recommend it for anyone traveling down the coast of china. The food, people, and culture will not let you down.