Dongguan is a city that’s bursting with life, vigor and passion. The city might seem like an unorthodox choice for a touristy vacation. Let this not deter you though, as it’s a welcome surprise to know that Dongguan holds an award for the “The National Excellence in Tourism” in China. Let’s delve into its tourist and historical locations for a moment. Dongguan offers its travelers and locals the true essence of Chinese history as it is home to Humen Bridge and the Opium War Museum. The attraction factors don’t end there. The city is also dubbed as an ecological tourist location, thanks to the natural settings of Yufeng Garden and Qifeng Park in its midst.
If food is your deal, you’ll love Dongguan for the foodie pleasures it has to offer you and your rumbling tummy. There are the petite samplings of local food ready to be grabbed at the snack-bars on Houjie Street. Seafood holds much fame here too, with delicious crustaceans to shuck into, such as green crabs, greasy-back shrimp and Mantis shrimp, all prepared in true Dongguan style. Last, but not at all least, is the vivacious nightlife activity that beckons to the hearts of even the most weary and unimpassioned traveller.
Read on to discover the things to do in Dongguan here!
1. The fascinating Opium War Museum
Built in 1957, the Opium War Museum was initially known as Lin Zuxu Memorial, after the great man who had opium destroyed and even launched the Opium War in China. Visitors can view exhibits like the “Display of Opium Prohibition and History of the Opium War” and the “Half View Painting of the Sea Battle at Humen”. A true education on war against opium and patriotism for individuals.
Opium War Museum
Address: Humen Town, Guancheng District, Dongguan 523932, China
Website: Opium War Museum
2. Keyuan Garden: luscious greenery and beyond
Here’s a fun fact – Keyuan Garden was erected way back during the days of the Qing Dynasty, and that’s close to 4 centuries ago. The flourishing sanctuary is one of the four acclaimed gardens found within the Guangdong Province. All it takes to get to the garden is a bus ride – you’d want to board buses numbered 16, 15 or 31.
Address: No. 32, Keyuan Road, Guancheng District, Dongguan City, China
Website: Keyuan Garden
3. Houjie Town: party (and eat!) like you can't stop
Dongguan has been called the paradise of nightlife by its visitors. Almost every town within its vicinity has its own designated amusement centre. Take Houjie Town for instance – it is by far the spot in Dongguan that commends the most attention for those seeking an animated and scintillating episode in the night.
If clubbing and bar-hopping are simply not your thing, join the locals at any one of the many outlets for dimsum. You’ll find a glorious opportunity to people-watch while you bite into a succulent piece of Xia Long Bao. Cantonese restaurants in Dongguan are open late into the night on a daily basis, so much so that you can’t say you missed digging into the Chinese cuisines here.
Address: Houjiezhen, Dongguan, Guangdong, China
Website: Houjie Town
4. Qifeng Park: another beautiful nature park
Qifeng Park covers 243 hectares (600 acres) of land, and is home to the ancient scenic spot Huangqi Temple, as well as some more recent ones - Gate Tower, Qifeng Lake and Qifeng Park Square. The Huangqi mountain of Qifeng Park is the first of eight legendary sceneries in Dongguan. Here’s an interesting fact - an ancient well in its surroundings is believed to have magical powers - government individuals who drink water from it are believed to be cleansed and become honest, clean people!
Address: Huangqi Forest Management Area, Qifeng Road, Dongguan City, China
Website: Qifeng Park
5. Songshan Lake Park: the oasis of Dongguan
Ah, Songshan Lake Park. This exquisite location is right in the centre of Dongguan, and provides its visitors with a break from the monotonous bustle of the city. The lake is flocked with people during the weekends, so you might want to plan your trip around that timeline. When you’re there, rent a bike to go around and savor its naturalness, mainly because the lake is too gigantic to be covered by foot alone. Songshan Lake Park, however, is certainly worth your time.
Songshan Lake Park
Address: Huanhu Road, Dalingshan Town, Dongguan 523809, China
Website: Songshan Lake Park
6. The magnificent Dongwan Guanyin Mountain
Come prepared with your walking shoes and stamina for your visit to the Dongwan Guanyin Mountain, as it takes a fairly long walk to reach the statue. The walk is close to 7 kilometers (4.3 mi), and dotted with fantastic views of the surrounding greenery.
Dongwan Guanyin Mountain
Address: Huanhu Road, Dalingshan Town, Dongguan 523809, China
Website: Dongwan Guanyin Mountain
7. Not your average link: Humen Bridge
The Humen Bridge was completed in 1997 and served as China’s very first independently constructed large suspension bridge. It covers the estuary of the Pearl River, and has assisted in cutting down the travel distance between Zhuhai and Hong Kong by 120 kilometers (75 mi). Come over to Humen Bridge at night and gaze at the twinkling reflections of its streetlights from the water below.
Address: Urban area, Humen Town, Dongguan 511700, China
Website: Humen Bridge
8. All about Humen Town
Humen Town is brimming with Chinese cultural experiences and tourist-worthy locations. Stroll around the vicinity and check out the Maritime War Museum, the Weiyuan Emplacement and finally the Zhixin Memorial Monument, which was erected in honor of the fallen soldiers in pursuit of democracy.
Address: Southwest of Dongguan, Dongguan, China
Website: Humen Town
The enchantment doesn't stop there
Yes, Dongguan certainly doesn’t disappoint. Engrained in its depth are stories of war, triumph, festivities and not to forget, cultural and gastronomic experiences. Be sure to add this unique location to your bucket list and drop by before the year ends!
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