There are 32 Townships within Dongguan.
Houjie is an industrial town of 400,000 people, mostly temporary residents, 30 minutes southwest of Dongguan.
The Pearl River Delta has one of the largest concentrations of international airports in the world, including Guangzhou-Baiyuan, Shenzhen Bao'an, and Hong Kong International Airport. The Guangzhou-Baiyuan airport is just over an hour from the Dongguan city center. There is a shuttle bus to the Dongguan airport check-in station at the South China Mall in Wanjiang. If hiring a car, the fare should be about ¥300. Also, there is Intercity Bus at GZ-Baiyun Airport. Pick-up port: Gate A9 of the Arrival Hall and South China International Auto Parts City of Dalang Town. The Shenzhen Boa'an Airport is also about an hour from the center city but much closer to some Dongguan towns, especially Chang'an and Humen, expect to pay ¥100-300 by car. Hong Kong airport can be reached by buses that depart on regular schedules from hotels across Dongguan. It is also accessible by a special ferry from nearby Humen that connects directly to the international flights area of the airport (check with your airline, as not all allow this).
Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway offers service (the former Kowloon-Canton Railway service) from Hung Hom Station in Hong Kong to Guangzhou with a stop at Changping township in Dongguan. As of January 2014, the one-way fare is HK$145. The fare is payable in either yuan or HKD. The schedule is at . There is a Customs checkpoint at Changping.
There is also a frequent rail shuttle service from Dongguan Station to both Shenzhen (30 Min) to the east and Guangzhou East Train Station (45 Min) and Guangzhou Station (60 Min) to the west.
The most popular method for Hong Kong locals to travel to Dongguan is by bus. There are several companies that offer bus travel to Dongguan from Hong Kong. A good place to find a bus, would be at the bus stands inside the arrival terminal at Hong Kong Airport. Prices are usually HK$80-100 for a one-way ticket or HK$150 for a two-way ticket. Travel times usually are 1.5-2.5 hours depending on traffic conditions. If you are traveling from another part of China, you can also travel to Dongguan by bus, most major cities in China will have bus routes to the Dongguan Main Bus Station in Nancheng. There buses to several bus stations in Dongguan from the main Luohu border crossing bus terminal, so be careful that you choose the correct one.
One of the less used ways to get to Dongguan from Hong Kong is by ferry. This allows you to avoid the queues at the busy customs checkpoints on the border between Hong Kong and mainland China.
The best method for visitors to get around is taxi. Taxis are cheap, and a 30-minute ride should not cost more than ¥80. Beware however, some taxis are used for kidnapping. Be sure to only use the green, licensed Dongguan taxis. Buses cost ¥2 per ride, but beware of the aggressive driving.
Dongguan has an exhibition center which houses many exhibitions and conferences. There is also a sports center for locals, and Dongguan library in Dongguan city. Pick up a copy of Here Dongguan, an English-language magazine with a nice guide to the city. If you only have a day and want to stay in one area, you might start at Jin'aozhou Pagoda, go east and see Keyuan Garden, and then walk along Dongcheng Ave (東城大道) for shopping and food. It is not too far to bar street, where you can check out some pretty hopping clubs.
Most four star hotels will have various "foot" massages and sauna services for upwards of ¥150. Nearly all saunas are brothels, foot massage parlors might be.
Dongguan is well known for its Huanghe Fashion Town located in the Humen District along Renming, Renyi, Jinglong and Yinglong Rds. The district houses one of China's largest clothing and textile wholesale markets, which extends over an area of about one square kilometre. Many of the products sold there are exported to Hong Kong and the rest of the world. Everybody can enjoy low wholesale prices, even when buying in small quantities.
Most 5-star hotels offer buffets, these are around ¥30-60 for breakfast, ¥100-200+ for lunch, and ¥100-300+ for dinner. Street foods and small restaurants are generally thought to be unsafe as vendors use low quality oil.
The most popular bars are on or around "Bar Street" (Jiuba Jie) in Dongcheng. However, various kinds of services are popular, including prostitution. One should be careful with local girls if they seem to be getting too friendly if you are not looking for such services. Beware of your drink, it is not unheard of foreigners being drugged and robbed.
Beer at supermarkets should not cost more then ¥4 a bottle for Tsingtao. Red wine costs from ¥10 upwards a bottle.
Travelers should also be aware that Dongguan, as with most Pearl River Delta cities, is notorious for b-grade, "fake" alcohol. Such concoctions are merely industrial grade alcohol mixed with various colorings and flavorings. This includes beer, wine and spirits. Before dropping several hundred yuan on a bottle of something, inspect bottles carefully. Smaller restaurants and shops seem to delve in this ugly trade moreso than larger places. All karaokes will invariably sell you poor quality alcohol designed to make you purchase as much as possible before you are drunk. It's trend is also spreading to larger supermarkets in the city as well.
Dongguan has more then 30 government-rated 5-star hotels -- take that for what you will.
As in all of China, be careful. You can be robbed, especially in less populated areas. Prostitution is widespread in Dongguan, and many men from Guangzhou, Shenzhen and especially Hong Kong flock here on the weekends. Lastly, a lot of the police force is corrupted, but since the government is still watching over them, they are discreet. So if a policeman tries to get money from you, calmly reply to him to see a superior.