Meizhou is located in the northeast of Guangdong province and covers an area of 15,,876 square kilometers. It has a population of 5.51 million and eight counties (cities) and districts under its jurisdiction.
Being the hometown of Marshal Ye Jianying and Lee Kuanyew, the former Prime Minister of Singapore, it boasts the titles of a national historical and cultural city, excellent tourism city in China, China's top ten distinctive leisure city, national sanitary city and the most popular destination for self-drive tours in Guangdong.
Situated at the junction of Guangdong, Jiangxi and Fujian provinces, Meizhou is an important portal connecting the coastal cities of Guangdong with its vast inland.
A remarkable place producing outstanding people, Meizhou is known as the "Capital of Hakka in the World". Meizhou is home to millions of Hakka people, whose ancestors were believed to have moved from central China to the south centuries ago. With a long history and profound accumulation of Hakka heritage, it is both the final settlement place for the Hakka who moved south and the main departure place for Hakka to spread across the world since the Ming and Qing dynasties. There are about 700 million Hakka people living in more than 80 countries and regions according to a 2017 report.
In addition to Hakka culture, Meizhou is also famous for its ballads. The Ballad of Meizhou is generally thought to have been formed during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD). It is a mixture of local and Hakka culture whose lyrics are similar to ancient Chinese poetry. Passed down through oral history, most of the ballads deal with the theme of love.
Meizhou is less famous for its food, which is overshadowed by the world-renowned Cantonese cuisine, although it does have several well-known staples. Among these are salt-baked chicken, meat stuffed tofu, preserved beef, and candied ginger. It is also rich in Dancong Oolong tea, a family of thin strip-style oolong teas from Guangdong province.