Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dabu County, Guangdong Province, China.

As  I mentioned earlier, the reason why we visited this place is because I am a Dabu Hakka and my father and my grandparents emigrated to Malaya in the 1920's from this place. Don't expect to see many tourists here. But the trip was interesting in other ways. First, it was interesting because when you walk into a shop, the salesgirl would speak to you in Dabu dialect. I would do the talking while my wife did the choosing. Being a small place, the things were quite cheap, and my wife bought a few things here. However, I was disappointed about the food. I was looking forward to tasting all the Dabu Hakka food but could only find a few types even though we went to the Dabu Gourmet Street.

The Soon Pan Shop

Dabu Gourmet Street

We had the Soon Pan, which consists of bamboo shoots and minced meat wrapped in yam pastry and steamed. And of course the Hakka noodles, served with minced pork. The next day , for breakfast we had Lo Chu Pan again. Unlike in Penang and Malaysia, they seem to have limited variety in their food.
Dabu Street food.

Food shops near the market

They sell Suan Pan Zhi but you have to cook it yourself. The yellow stuff is dried tofu

Yong Tau Foo and beef balls sold in the market.

The lard shop- people buy the lard for cooking. Not worried about high cholesterol!

There were lots of kueh (cakes) on the streets near the market. We bought some to try but didn't quite like the taste.

Where food is concerned, Penang is paradise.
We stayed at Jinfan Hotel. The hotel is a bit old but is clean enough for our comfort.

The location is good as it is walking distance to the gourmet street, market, shopping area. Our driver already took us on a tour of the famous places so we had the whole evening and morning to just shop and eat.
Among the places we visited is the Haw Par Villa near Dabu,

 the Dabu Cultural Village where the home of Cheong Fatt Tse is located.

Incidentally, Cheong Fatt Tse's house in Penang is the Blue Mansion near City Bayview on Leith Street. We also visited the Dabu Museum in town where we saw photos of famous Dabu Hakka people. Lee Kuan Yew is one of them.

There is also a Tai'an Lou right in the heart of town. It is similar to the tulous but is neither earthen nor round shaped. The concept of community living is the same.

The building used to house many families but now we only saw a few old folks around. The building is right next to the West Lake Park.

Our driver asked me whether I want to trace my relatives but I declined. He told me all he needed was my grandparents' names and their village and the descendants can be traced. It seems most villages kept records of the ancestors and descendants. I wonder whether they still have the records. But it didn't matter. The purpose of my visit was just to see the place. If I wanted to visit my relatives, I would have asked my aunt for their addresses or contact.


Elton Teng said...

My ancesters moved from Dabu County to Vietnam.

Our family's journey was thus the following:

Dabu -> Vietname -> Taiwan -> United States.

Churchlands Community Orchestra said...


I am also a Dabu Hakka from Ampang KL, now living in Perth Australia. My grandfather also came from Dabu. I am thinking also of making a trip back to Dabu and Chayang, this year 2016.

Do you know of any good places to stay, some clean, reasonable hotels in Dabu and Chayang? I intend to stay some weeks, so budgeting is important.