DongguanDongguan (东莞; Dūnggún in Cantonese, Dōngguǎn in Mandarin) is in the Pearl River Delta region of China, about 100 km from Hong Kong. It's a major manufacturing center, producing an estimated one fifth of the world's smartphones and one tenth of the world's shoes.
Houjie is an industrial town of 400,000 people, mostly temporary residents, 30 minutes southwest of Dongguan.
Cantonese is the traditional local language spoken in Dongguan. The local dialect has distinctive features relative to standard Cantonese, but it is still similar enough to allow for mutual comprehension, and locals can usually communicate in standard Cantonese too. Most people can also speak Mandarin, and due to high migration from other provinces, a significant number of people don't speak Cantonese.
By planeThe Pearl River Delta has one of the largest concentrations of international airports in the world, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong.
- Guangzhou Baiyun International 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 Baiyun Airport. And the pick up port:Gate A9 of the Arrival Hall and South China International Auto Parts City of Dalang Town. Buses to/from other bus stations, such as the Dongguan City Terminal, are likely to be available as well, enquire locally.
- The Shenzhen 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. By bus, it will cost ¥40-50, and the last one going to the airport departs (as of May 2018) at 20:00, at least if going from the Dongguan City terminal (See also the information on Shenzhen airport website). A light rail line connecting Shenzhen Airport to Humen, Houjie, and other parts of Dongguan is under construction and scheduled to open in 2019.
- Hong Kong International Airport can be reached by buses that depart on regular schedules from hotels across Dongguan. It is also accessible by a special ferry from Dongguan's Humen town that connects directly to the international flights area of the airport. To catch the ferry from the airport, go directly to the ticket counter without passing through Hong Kong immigration or customs; see Hong Kong International Airport#By ferry for details.
There are several train stations in Dongguan; here are some of the most important:
Changping Railway StationFormerly known as Dongguan Railway Station. 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 in Dongguan. The fare is payable in either Chinese yuan or Hong Kong dollars. As of 2018, the one-way fare is HK$155. Schedule here.
Dongguan East Railway StationService from lots of destinations all over China.
By busThe 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 1½-2½ 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 boatOne 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. Ferries are operated by CKS. They depart from Hong Kong International Airport's Skypier and arrive at (虎门港澳码头, Hǔmén Gǎng Ào Mǎtou) in Humen Town.
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. The Yang Cheng Tong pass from Guangzhou works for the buses in Dongguan.
By railThe metro system, Dongguan Rail Transit, opened in 2016 with a single line serving 15 stations between Dongguan Railway Station and Humen Railway Station. The system is being expanded, with plans for three additional lines and connections to the Guangzhou and Shenzhen metros.
phone: +86 769 22985736, +86 769 27380708address: 99 Lüse Street, Nancheng District (南城区绿色路99号)
phone: +86 769 22834016address: Central Plaza, 97 Hongfu Road, Nancheng District (南城区鸿福路97号中心广场)
phone: +86 769 22834111address: Central Plaza, 100 Hongfu Road (鸿福路100号中心广场)
phone: +86 769 22119729address: 36 Xinfen Road, Guancheng District (莞城区新芬路36号)
phone: +86 769-22835268address: 2 Yuanmei Middle Road (元美中路2号)
Jin'aozhou Pagodaaddress: Jinqu Road South (金曲路南)This pagoda was built between 1597 and 1624, and attained its present appearance following a major rennovation in 1737. Experts are said to be impressed by the fact that since 1737, the pagoda has tilted by less than 1% despite being situated only a few meters from the river bank.
phone: +86 769 2222 3600address: 32 Keyuan Road, Guancheng District (莞城区可园路32号)
Mount Shuilian Forest Parkphone: +86 769 22678983
phone: +86 769 85512065address: 113 Jiefang Road, Humen Town (虎门镇解放路113号)Part of the Opium War Museum (鸦片战争博物馆).
phone: +86 769 85527783address: Huandao Road, Humen Town (虎门镇环岛路)Part of the Opium War Museum (鸦片战争博物馆).
phone: +86 769 85527154address: Huandao Road, Humen Town (虎门镇环岛路)A 19th-century coastal fort that saw action during the Opium Wars. Administered by the Opium War Museum (鸦片战争博物馆).
phone: +86 769 87799666address: Bijiashan Avenue, Shixin District, Zhangmutou Town (樟木头镇石新区笔架山大道)
Lianhua Mountain Country Parkaddress: Chang'an Town 长安镇Literally "lotus mountain", paved with extensive hiking paths. There's a temple not too far up.
Yinping MountainThe highest mountain in Dongguan, on the border between Xiegang Town and Huizhou. A beautiful area with waterfalls, paved trails, and cable cars.
phone: +86 769 2289 1234address: Hyatt Regency Dongguan Hotel, Song Shan Lake Central District, Science and Technology Industrial Park, Qinyuan Road
address: 96 Hongfu Road, Nancheng District (南城区鸿福路96号)
Dongguan Basketball CenterHome of the Guangdong Southern Tigers.
South China Malladdress: 10 South Wanjiang Road, Wanjiang District (万江区万江路南10号)The largest mall in the world (depending on how you count), featuring an IMAX theater and a theme park.
Hundred Flowers Times Squareaddress: 1 Shichang Road, Changping Town (常平镇市场路1号)Eight-story mall with free Wi-Fi. The ground floor has a food court with a good selection of Chinese restaurants, and the fifth floor has a movie theater. Just outside the mall are several jewelry stores and clothing stores, and the neighborhood around it is lively and full of restaurants and shops as well.
Most 5-star hotels offer buffets, these are around ¥30-60 for breakfast, ¥100-200 for lunch, and ¥100-300 for dinner.
There are many expat-oriented western restaurants in the bar area, particularly on Doncheng East road. Expect to pay the prices a bit higher than is typical for China, however (but generally cheaper than Hong Kong).
Smaller Chinese restaurants are the likely choice if you wanna be more on a budget - if (not unusually for mainland China) you can manage the lack of the English menus and limited English skills of the staff.
Beijing BarA popular hangout.
BBPopular club and local hangout with a dance floor.
V8Popular club and local hangout with a dance floor and good cocktails.
One for the RoadPopular ex-patriate bar. English pub style. Good food, good beer.
Day & Niteaddress: 21 Yangwu Street, Changping Town (常平镇朝阳五街21号)The center of expat life in Changping, with a TV playing football (soccer) and a menu with Western comfort foods like macaroni and cheese, burgers, and fries, as well as a variety of drinks. Menu in Chinese and English.
- Oriental Glory Hotel - Humen Avenue Humen Town Dongguan City Guangdong Province. Tel: 86-769-85220888. www.orientalglory-hotel.com . Nice room costs ¥298 per night. Nice KTV Room with minimum spending of ¥728 per night, not inclusive of DJ (¥200 per night)to pour your drink for you.
SplurgeDongguan has more than 30 government-rated 5-star hotels.
address: HuangjiangAn 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).
South China International HotelQuite old and does not have the best buffet in town.
address: Humen TownThe 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.
phone: +86 769 2289 1234address: Song Shan Lake Central District, Science and Technology Industrial Park, Qinyuan Road5 star hotel with 350 rooms and suites, a 2,500-m² Convention and Exhibition Centre, a 1,800-m² freeform swimming pool and a spa. The Hyatt Regency is decent and big, but very inconvenient in location. It is also expensive compared to the other hotels, and the buffet is overpriced.
phone: +86 769 23368888address: 32 Dongchengzhong RoadThis 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.
address: Humen TownWhile 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.
Sofitel Royal Lagoon HotelSecluded 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.
- Beware of and stay away from pyramid schemes, as they are known to operate in the city and use coercion.
- Prostitution was widespread for years, with many men from Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and especially Hong Kong flocking here on the weekends. But after a major government crackdown that began in 2014, the industry has diminished.
- Do not gamble. You will end up in jail, with a maximum security detention period of 15 days if you are caught gambling, so save it for Macau.
- Lastly, a lot of the police force is corrupt, but since the government is still watching over them, they are discreet. So if a policeman tries to get money from you, calmly ask to see a superior.
- HERE! Dongguan, the local English-language magazine with a nice guide to the city