There are 32 Townships within 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 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 . 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. 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.
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.
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.
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 were historically on or around "Bar Street" (Jiuba Jie) in Dongcheng. However, this area also used to be the centre of the city's 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.
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 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.