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Dongguan

Dongguan is an industrial city in China which is well-known for its historical relics and beautiful natural landscapes. It was awarded “The National Excellence in Tourism” and is well worth a visit if you’d like to experience a different side of China.

Tours and activities in Dongguan

With so much to see during your trip to the city, it might be an idea to book a tour or the services of a guide, particularly if you want to go wandering in the picturesque but maze-like Keyuan Gardens. Guides will be able to suggest the best places to stay and where to sample the local cuisine. They will also be able to help you book tickets for sports events and cultural activities such as the Yulan Theatre. Take a look at our selection of Dongguan tours below, or get in touch for further information.

Best time to visit

Dongguan has a humid, subtropical climate, with rainfall all year round. Heavy rainfall falls in the wet season between April and September with very high humidity and the threat of typhoons, so summer months may not be the best time to visit. Luckily, it's autumn and winter climates are sunny and mild, making September to February the ideal months for travelers.

Top Attractions in Dongguan

Dongguan is popular for going beyond the expectations of the visitors. It offers dozens of fantabulous sites which are linked with history and culture of China. On the other hand, the city is full of exciting activities, amazing food, fun parks, greenery and everything in between these.

Humen Bridge
1. Humen Bridge
Landmarks and icons

Humen Bridge is a popular landmark. The bridge was completed in 1997 and was the first large suspension bridge to be constructed by the Chinese independently. At night, the bridge becomes an eye-catching sight, full of bright streetlights that glitter in the water. A walk across the bridge allows you to see the entire city laid out beneath you.

Naval Battle Museum
2. Naval Battle Museum
Landmarks and icons

The Naval Battle Museum takes in 0.2 sq. Km and is designed like a massive warship, with historical displays covering the Opium War through vivid models and sounds. The museum displays a graphical view of worriers and Chinese people struggling in the war zone. It has three major parts: the main hall, memorial square, and sea wall.

 

The Opium War Museum
3. The Opium War Museum
Museums, galleries and exhibitions

The Opium War Museum, as you might expect, also covers this important period in history and also has exhibits of ancient relics related to opium.

Keyuan Garden
4. Keyuan Garden
Nature, parks and outdoors

The city and surrounding region of Dongguan are renowned for its spectacular scenic beauty. Keyuan Garden replicates the ancient gardens of Suzhou. Modestly named (translating as “a garden not too bad for visiting”) this is, in fact, a remarkable architectural feat, with dozens of traditional buildings, pavilions, and pools. The arrangement is complex, with 130 doorways and 108 gateposts – be sure to book a guide if you don’t want to get lost!

Yinxian Resort
5. Yinxian Resort
Nature, parks and outdoors

Yinxian Resort commemorates Li Juesi, a wise official from the Ming Dynasty. The resort is a skillful combination of the natural landscape, traditional Chinese culture, and architecture and modern light and fountain shows.

 

National Basketball City
6. National Basketball City
Sports and leisure

Dongguan has been dubbed the “National Basketball City.” It is the only city of its size in China to have three professional basketball clubs. It is also home to a 16,000-seat basketball center, which will be one of the venues for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

 

Dongguan Yulan Theatre
7. Dongguan Yulan Theatre
Sports and leisure

The city also has one of the newest multipurpose performing arts venues in China, the Dongguan Yulan Theatre. It is a must-see landmark, designed to look like an unfolding lotus petal, and is home to two theatres with a full schedule of performances.

Dongguan Arts Festivals
8. Dongguan Arts Festivals
Regular festivals and celebrations

Dongguan hosts an impressive number of annual festivals, including the Dongguan Lingnan Arts Festival in January and the Tea Tea Garden Festival in April. Other festivals include the Quiaotou Lotus Arts Festival in June, the Xiegang Mountain Climbing Festival in September and the Hengli Niuxu Folk Festival in November. No matter what time of year you visit, you really are spoiled for choice.

 

Getting here and getting around

Most foreign visitors to Dongguan fly into Hong Kong airport, where they can apply for a visa to visit the mainland. Travel from Hong Kong is easy, with the choice of bus, ferry or train.

The city itself serves as a regional railway hub, within lines servicing travel to and from Beijing, Meizhou, and Kowloon.

Dongguan’s highway system is considered to be the best in China, and you can take long-distance buses from the city to other Provinces in China. There is also a ferry service based in the estuary of the Pearl River, which allows travel to southern China. Fares start from ¥250 for adults.

Travel within the city is straightforward too; the subway currently has one line, with two under construction and a further four to follow by 2030. Blue taxi cabs run within and out of the city and have a flag-down rate of ¥7m while yellow cabs, which can only travel in suburban areas between 6 am and 11 pm, start at ¥6.

Eating and drinking

Dongguan dining is varied, taking in cuisine from all over China. However, the local dishes are most definitely worth sampling. Consisting mainly of snack food, local dishes such as Lai Fen, a noodle dish with a roast goose that can be sampled on Houjie Street, and Zongzi, dumplings made from sticky rice and wrapped in bamboo leaves, which can be tried in Daojiao Town, are highlights.

The city is also well known for its distinctive seafood dishes, including green crab, mantis shrimp, and stone grouper. Every town in the city has its own unique dishes, so there’s plenty to whet your appetite if you enjoy sampling the local cuisine.

The Flower Garden Gruel City in both the Nanchang and Chengdong Districts are fantastic for Canton cuisine, and their sister restaurant in Dongcheng also has tea art and Canton style mooncake.

For higher-end dining, the Hoi Wan Seafood Restaurant in Tangxia Town gets rave reviews from visitors all over the globe. If you’re on a budget, there’s no end of Western fast food restaurants to choose from and you can always sample local snacks.

Getting a good night's sleep

For 5-star luxury during your visit, you can’t go wrong with the Sheraton Dongguan Hotel. An outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, and excellent spa facilities complement air-conditioned rooms that are equipped with modern furnishings and spray showers. The Botanica restaurant offers à la carte dining with soothing classical music and beautiful views of the garden.

For a fantastic mid-price hotel, the Hotel Silverland is worth a look. This also has an outdoor pool and fitness center, with the option of playing tennis in the courts. It’s considered by visitors to be great value for money, offering luxury that’s usually only available in higher-priced hotels.

If you’re traveling on a budget, Dongguan also has a fantastic selection of dormitory accommodation. The Jiaying Chain Hotel Dongguan Nancheng Branch is cozy, with free parking and a cute pastel theme throughout.