It covers an area of 2,064 square kilometers.
Area code: 0754
Postal code: 515000
It has a population of 4.79 million (2006).
Sub-tropical maritime monsoon climate featured with temperate and humid weather. Shantou enjoys enough sunshine. The annual average temperature is 21 degrees celsius and the annual precipitation is of 1300-1800mm.
Shantou people, like other Teochew, cannot live without tea. According to China Daily, Shantou people "drink more tea than anyone else in China, in total 700 million yuan (US$87.5 million) each year".
Most Shantou residents travel by autobikes. However, car use has grown rapidly over the past couple of years. Public transportation is provided by bus, ferry and taxi. The Shantou Waisha Airport is 13 kilometres away from the city centre and was constructed in 1956. Nearly 2 million people utilise the airport each year.
Taxi is the usual way to travel between the airport and the city centre. The taxi fare is around 20-30 RMB. The new Chaoshan International Airport, located in Jiedong County which borders Shantou to the southeast, is currently under construction. It is expected to replace Waisha Airport in 2010 and to provide better services to Chaoshan residents.
Shantou was a fishing village part of Tuojiang City, Jieyang District during the Song Dynasty. It came to be Xialing during the Yuan Dynasty. In 1563, Shantou was a part of Chenghai District in Chao Prefecture (Chaozhou). As early as 1574, Shantou had been called Shashan Ping.
In the seventeenth century, a cannon platform called Shashan Toupaotai was made here, and the placename later was shortened to "Shantou". It became a city in 1919, and was separated from Chenghai in 1921. 1922 saw the devastating Swatow Typhoon, which killed 50,000 out of the 65,000 people then inhabiting the city. In the 1930s, Shantou Port was a transport hub and merchandise distribution centre for Southeast China; its cargo throughput ranked third in the nation.
Shantou offers a lot of scenic spots including Queshe which is known as the most attractive park in South China; The Mayu island, Zhongshan park, Qing Yun Crags in Dahao, Lotus Flower Peak in Chaoyang, Lingshan Monastery, Laiwu lslet and the Buddhism Pagoda Mountain in Chenhai are famous at home and abroad. The Qingao Bay in Nanao has won the fame of "Hawaii in the East". Neighbouring to Shantou city, there is also a national historical and cultural city-Chaozhou.