Dongguan

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Dongguan (东莞 Dōngguān) is in Guangdong Province in China, about 55 kilometres (35 mi) from China's third-largest city, Guangzhou.

Towns[edit]

There are 32 Townships within Dongguan.

  • Dongcheng district is a green, residential area, popular with expats and affluent Chinese. There are many international restaurants, 5-star hotels and public parks here.
  • Nancheng district is the CBD for Dongguan and many of the banks and office buildings are located here.
  • Houjie is an industrial town of 400,000 people, mostly temporary residents, 30 minutes southwest of Dongguan.
  • Gaobu is an industrial town 30 minutes north of Dongcheng district.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

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[1] 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).

By train[edit]

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 October 2015, the one-way fare is HK$155 for adult and HK$78 for child. The fare is payable in either yuan or HKD. The schedule is at [2]. 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.

By bus[edit]

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.

By boat[edit]

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.

Get around[edit]

The best method for visitors to get around is taxi. Taxis are cheap, and a 30-minute ride should not cost more than ¥80. Be sure to only use the green, licensed Dongguan taxis. Buses cost ¥2 per ride, but beware of the aggressive driving.

See[edit][add listing]

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.

  • Opium War Museum (海战博物馆:Hǎizhàn bówùguǎn), +86 769 550-0355,769 550-7115, Humen (广东省东莞市虎门镇海口东岸的威远炮台旧址附近:Guǎngdōng shěng dōngguǎn shì hǔmén zhèn hǎikǒu dōngàn de wēiyuǎn pàotái jiùzhǐ fùjìn) , 08:30-16:30
  • New South China Mall (新华南MALL) Wanjiang Road, 万江路 +86 769 2278-2222 Adjacent to Dongguan Bus Station (东莞汽车总站) on Wanjiang Rd. This is the largest mall in the world and is also almost completely empty, yet visitors are able to walk the empty corridors and there is a go-kart racing track in a former car park. A short walk from the bus station, it can be spotted by the replica of the Campanile di San Marco in Venice.

Since 2014, the New South China Mall has been under new management, and the go cart track is gone now, with many new stores opened in the once abandoned mall.

Do[edit][add listing]

Most four star hotels will have various "foot" massages and sauna services for upwards of ¥150. Before 2014, nearly all saunas were brothels, with a few foot massage parlors as well. After an expose on cctv, Dongguan cracked down on the vice, and the remaining establishments are legitimate.

  • Fran's Paint Bar, Dongcheng Rd East, Dynatown, Dongcheng District.  edit
  • The Spa at Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Regency Dongguan Hotel, Song Shan Lake Central District, Science and Technology Industrial Park, Qinyuan Rd, +86 769 2289-1234 (), [3].  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

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.

Eat[edit][add listing]

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.

  • Liberty Brewing Co. (曼哈顿餐吧), Bldg. 31 IEO Dynatown, Dongcheng Road E., Dongcheng, Dongguan, Guangdong, China, 2276-8226, [4]. 11:00 - 12:00. American Brewpub - wide selection of burgers & vegetarian options - try the Los Angeles Turkey Burger. Excellent music selection in this 'industrial' style hangout, Weekend Brunch has New York Bagel Benedicts and bottomless mimosas, best way to start your weekend . Don't miss it! $$.  edit
  • One For The Road (OFTR / 路上一杯), China, Guangdong, Dongguan, 东城区 Dongcheng E Rd, IEO二座 1层, +8676922030001, [5]. 11:00 - 02:00. British-themed pub offering excellent food and drinks selection. Popular among locals looking for a taste of home, as well as with locals who see the place almost as a novelty! Excellent new patio area out front plays host to regular BBQ and other events. Manager Jason is a hub of the community and a really nice guy. $$$.  edit
  • Veggie Box, Floor 4, Dina, Xing He Chuan Suo, Dongcheng, Dongguan, Guangdong, China (Sunny Time Leisure Centre (beside the pool) - you need to get inside the residential block, opposite building 10.), +86-769-2332-0189. 11:00 - 20:30. Well-priced vegetarian fare - location is right inside the entrance building for the outdoor pool on the 4th floor of the Dina residential garden. Excellent selection of yummy treats. $$.  edit
  • Pizzeria Maccheroni by Salvatore, on the corner of Yingbin Road and Dongcheng E Rd., Dongcheng, Dongguan, Guangdong, China (莎瓦多纳意大利餐厅, 东城区东城东路星河传说旗峰天下35-37号铺), 23163665, [6]. Arguably the best Italian restaurant in China. Pizzeria Maccheroni has earned its water-tight reputation by delivering a stunning selection of homemade Italian fare for several years and is a hub for the local Italian and extended international community in Dongcheng and beyond.  edit
  • Hello Salad (你好沙拉), No. 1305, Mahui Furniture, Dongcheng Center (东城区东城中心马会家居1305号铺(世博广场对面)), +86-769-22992900, [7]. 10:00 - 21:00. A brand new salad spot in Dongguan. $$.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

The most popular bars were historically on or around "Bar Street" (Jiuba Jie) in Dongcheng. However, this area also used to be the centre of the cities former prostitution trade. At one point there were indications that as many as 10% of women in Dongguan were vice workers, however, that all cleaned up massively since 2014. A government clampdown on illegal sex trade forced most of the brothels and Shanghai Tea House-type places to close down. This initially impacted the nightlight in Dongguan, but things have steadily grown back to a city with an interesting and considerably cleaner night life.

The biggest issue with Dongguan now at this point in time (article being updated in January 2017) is fake alcohol. As a foreigner, you need to be seriously aware of the key indicators of fake alcohol, as it's extremely dangerous, probably more so than the old Dongguan full of vice. Dongguan (as with most Pearl River Delta cities) is notorious for b-grade, "fake" alcohol as a lot of producers of these concoctions are rumoured to be based in and around Dongguan itself. Such concoctions are merely industrial grade alcohol mixed with various colourings and flavourings.

More often than not, as the fake alcohol is normally based on foreign imports, local staff can't tell the difference between fake and genuine. Almost all of the fake is genuine glass bottles from original brands, simply refilled. While experienced people can tell the difference by examining the closures on bottles, the seals, and other tricks of the trade, as a consumer you won't have a chance to check this because most spirits are poured by the shot and are already opened.

While it is unfair to use this wiki to outline every single detail about the fake alcohol induystry in China, it is worth highlighting the following simple fact - the safest rule of thumb - don't drink hard liquor, unless it's from a bar or a restaurant that you know UNQUESTIONABLY stand against fake alcohol. These are bars that accept that there is a problem in Dongguan with fake alcohol, have taken the time to understand and learn enough to be able to identify fake product, and have invested their own time and efforts in supplier due diligence, to ensure that the entire alcohol supply chain is tamper proof.

  • One For The Road, +86-769-22030001, [8]. 11am-12am. Jason and the One For The Road Team have notched up 11 years in Dongguan, running what is probably the most authentic British Pub in China. British beers (all imported by the One For The Road Team directly from the UK), British Pub Food, and a real community feel built around event nights both on and off site. OFTR is a place to go to as a one off just to experience that British thing, but also it's a regular for most of the ex-pat community. $$.  edit


  • Liberty Brewing Co. (曼哈顿餐吧), Dongcheng Rd. East Dynatown IEO Bldg 31 东城东路星河传说新天地31号楼1楼, +86 769 2276-8226, [9]. 11am-12am. Dongguan's only Brewpub with 20 brews on draught, including those made in house. Owned & operated by Americans that make sure you are getting the authentic American Brewery experiene. Best tunes in town, with regular events and parties! great place to meet people. The team at Liberty are headed up by Kendal who is absolutely obsessed with quality, authenticity, and bringing new an interesting experiences to her customers. Where else can you buy fresh European Oysters with a jug of on-site brewed stout?! $$.  edit
  • Hollywood Baby Too. 11am-12am. Frank and Tom have been running Hollywood Baby Too for more than a decade, and are probably the only bar left in the Bar Street area that was around during the crazy wild days of pre-clampdown (on the vice trade). Have no preconceptions - this place is crazy, wild and one big party. But, every single bottle of liquor they sell is 100% authentic, and that's what really matters. $$.  edit
  • The Tree House, o.178, Xiaba Fang, Batou Village, Wanjiang, Dongguan / 缘分酒吧,东莞万江下坝坊178号, (fax: 0769-2699-5150). 11am-12am. What happens when you mix up an American turtle racer who cooks smoked and barbecued food like a Michelin Stared Chef, with some local artists and live bands - mix it all together in a China's equivalent of London's very own Camden and add 100% authentic alcohol? You get The Tree House. $$.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

Mid-range[edit]

  • Oriental Glory Hotel, Humen Ave, Humen, +86 769 8522-0888, [10]. ¥298.  edit

Splurge[edit]

Dongguan has more then 30 government-rated 5-star hotels -- take that for what you will.

  • Crown Prince Hotel, Huangjiang, [11]. An excellent 5-star hotel. Certainly worth a visit with excellent facilities, and even its own 'opera' house presenting superb show extravaganzas (do not be mislead by the 'opera' title).  edit
  • Dongcheng International, (Centrally located and is within walking distance of the Walking St), [12]. Quite old and does not have the best buffet in town.  edit
  • Grand Noble, Humen, [13]. The first 5-star business hotel to open in Dongguan. It is centrally located and convenient to shopping and dining options. In-house restaurants feature Cantonese, Japanese, American, and Italian foods.  edit
  • Hyatt Regency, Song Shan Lake Central District, Science and Technology Industrial Park, Qinyuan Rd, +86 769 2289-1234 (), [14]. Hotel with 350 rooms and suites, a 2,500 m² Convention and Exhibition Centre, a 1,800 m² freeform swimming pool and a spa.  edit
  • Pullman Forum, 32 Dongchengzhong Rd, +86 769 2336-8888, [15]. This new hotel is a charming low rise Chinese style hotel adjoining a museum and art gallery and offers private access to the famous Qifeng Mountain. Guests enjoy a choice of restaurants, private rooms, meeting rooms for over 400 delegates, spa, gymnasium.  edit
  • Richwood Garden Hotel, Humen Town, [16]. While a bit out of the way, is spectacular in design and construction. The restaurants, particularly the Chinese and Southeast Asian restaurants, are also some of the best in the area.  edit
  • Sofitel Royal Lagoon Hotel, (Near Qifeng Park), [17]. Secluded and set back away from the main road. It has a resort type feel and even has its own water park. A 36 hole golf course is adjacent to the property. Quite expensive.  edit

Stay safe[edit]

As in all of China, be careful. You can be robbed, especially in less populated areas. Prostitution use to be widespread in Dongguan, and many men from Guangzhou, Shenzhen and especially Hong Kong use to flock here on the weekends. If a policeman tries to get money from you, calmly reply to him to see a superior.