China Dongguan City:
The municipality has a registered population of 1,561,900 and a permanent population of over 6,400,000.
Covering an area of 2,465 sq km, Dongguan became a city at county level only in 1985, and then, a city at prefectural level in 1988. Dongguan is also a well-known hometown of thousands of overseas Chinese. Dongguan has become an outstanding city, a rising star in South China's economic development in recent years. With a population of over 7 million, Dongguan is a city of migrants, for there are over 5 million migrant workers and businessmen out of its total population. They are from the different parts of the country to seek for a fortune or a better life.
Dongguan Municipality is 50 km away from Guangzhou to its north, 90 km away from Shenzhen to its south, 47 sea miles away from Hong Kong and 48 sea miles from Macao by waterway. Dongguan is a must-pass-by locality from Guangzhou to Hong Kong by road or waterway.
When it comes to bars and expats hangouts, China Grove (300 meters from the Silverland Hotel, DongGuan city (0769) 281 8888) probably deserves the winners trophy in all DongGuan! It has a great live band (except Mondays) after 9 pm and lots of foreigners hang out there. Slightly expensive, but everything is of high quality including its pizzas! Chino Latino (Italian/Mexican) 50 meters from China Grove (same side, second floor) also boasts excellent food with a Jazzsinger. Uncle Wing's Pizza (Guantai Avenue, across from the Silverland Hotel) and the less expensive Tommy's Steak House and Bar (Guantai Avenue Next to the Guangcaicheng Hotel) have good Western food in a friendly environment. Give also a try to Rhineheart Castle (DongGuan Hotel, right in the heart of the City); good selection of items on the menu (including steaks and seafood) and the atmosphere is good enough for entertaining your demanding guests.
Moving East we reach Chang An town where, at the 5 stars Hayatt Hotel you would be impressed to find a "real" Italian restaurant with a real Italian chef, try the pasta dishes and the excellent buffet. The pub next door is quite nice to unwind too. Bono Italian restaurant (behind Park and Shop in ChangAn city) is also very good especially for its pasta and appetizers.
Mekong River Restaurant in Liao Bu is probably the nicest Vietnamese restaurant in the area, beef brisket and spring rolls are real delicacies there.
If you fancy Korean food, Koreanna (100 meters from Wal-Mart, 4 floor in corner Building) is a good choice for more spicy dishes and sizzling BBQ.
Guangdong's private economy has seen a steady development since 1980s. It has contributed a great deal in pushing forward the whole economic situation in South China.
The land is fertile and crisscrossed with water channels, ponds and reservoirs. It is originally a farming area and a productive base of rice, peanuts, litchis, bananas, poultry, fish, shrimps, crabs and eels.
It is popular for fireworks and straw mats, rice noodles, Baisha ducks, Humen crabs, Houjie smoked sausages and Qingxi mangoes. But in the past years with the rapid expansion of its industry, great changes have taken place in Dongguan.
The advantageous geographic location has helped Dongguan become an important channel for the flow of information and goods in South China and one of the most dynamic economic centers in Guangdong Province.
Serving as an international base for the manufacturing industry with over 10 000 manufacturing enterprises of all sorts, it has a comprehensive industrial system making a wide range of products, with computer parts manufacturing as its backbone. The city is able to produce 95% of all computer parts and peripheral equipments. Enterprises can purchase parts and accessories, and sell products in the same place, thus reducing costs and raising efficiency and international competitiveness.
Historically, more than 150 years ago, the incineration of opium during the Opium War took place in HuMen (one of the 32 towns of DongGuan) which to many symbolized the beginning of China's modern history. HuMen was the historically recognized town where the opium trade into China was stopped by the local authorities and even today you can visit the fort and artilleries display which at the time protected the sea route into Guangzhou (Canton).
It is well served with airports (Guangzhou and Hong Kong plus Shenzhen for internal flights), railways, ports and buses routes.
Adjacent to Guangzhou in the north and Shenzhen, Macao and Hong Kong in the south, Dongguan lies near the mouth of the Pearl River and in a favorable geographic condition. Dongguan, situated to the east of the Pearl River Delta, is a transportation hub connecting Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and the harbors along the Pearl River. It is only a 30-minute drive to Shenzhen Airport, 45 minutes to Huanggang Harbor and an hour's drive to New Baiyun Airport in Huadu District. In the north lies the Guangzhou-Huizhou Highway and in the southwest is the No. 107 National highway.
There are a dozen historic attractions around Humen, such as Humen Bridge, Humen Sea Warfare Museum, Weihai Port and Humen Park.
In recent years, golf courses, KTVs and saunas cum massage parlors (some of the biggest ones have palatial dimensions and employ several hundred masseuses) have been mushrooming to cater for the increasing population which now has reached well over 7 million.
Humen creamed crabs, Wanjiang dried tofu slices, Houjie smoked sausages, Qingxi baihua mangoes and Baisha (youya) ducks.
When China's 3D EXPO was held in Dongguan a few years ago, it became a great success immediately. In 2000 Dongguan 3C EXPO was promoted as one of the four most famous international electronic fairs in the world.
Dongguan Attractive points:
The Ancient Fortified Wall
Built in October of the 17th year of the reign of Emperor Chongzhen in the Ming Dynasty, or A.D. 1644, the Fortified Wall was 998.25 meters long originally. It bottom half was constructed of tamped earth or red stones, on which stood altogether 21 towers, each built with gray bricks and having its own style and couplets. The Wall succeeded in stopping invaders Li Wanrong, who led a 7-day siege in the 5th year of the reign of Emperor Shun Zhi (A.D.1648), and Liu Jin, who attacked the village in the 10th year of the reign of Emperor Kang Xi (A.D.1671). Now only a few passages of the old wall and a couple of towers remain.
The Great Ancestral Temple for Family Xie
The courtyard is divided into three parts, each part with three rooms. Fine craftsmanship is shown on pottery carvings in the ridges of the first hall, lime carvings on the ridges of the second and the third, and wood carvings on the eaves. The hip-and-gable roof of the temple is rare in Dongguan area. Now the original censer is still well preserved in the temple. So are stone inscriptions first made in the 34th year of the reign of Emperor Jiajing in the Ming Dynasty (A. D. 1555).
Temple of the Hundred-Year-Old Man
The stone tablet of Narration on the Temple of the Hundred-Year-Old Man, which dates back to the 23rd year of the reign of Wanli of Ming Dynasty (A.D.1595), told such a story that to memorize the hundred-year-old man Xie Yanqing, his house was re-built into a temple. The foundation of the deity and red-stone carvings on the tablet are of the typical Ming Dynasty style.
Archway commemorating the Hundred-Year-Old Couple
During the period of the 20th to the 26th year of the reign of Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty (A.D.1592-1598), both Xie Yanjuan and his wife aged over 100, Magistrate Li Wenkui of Dongguan county reported that to the imperial court and a family temple named Archway commemorating this Hundred-Year-Old Couple was granted to build. Front part of the building consists of 3 three-storey archways with gable and hip roof. Ru-yi bucket arches under eaves, Buddha carved in the wall with red stone as the base and woodcarvings on the beams are exquisite. The building is designed as a mix of archway and temple. In 1993, it is listed as cultural relic under municipal protection.
Ancestral Temple of Xie Yuqi
Xie Yuqi ranked the 42nd in the highest imperial examination for warriors in the 4th year of the reign of Tongzhi of Qing Dynasty in the lunar year Yichou, and was assigned as aide-de-camp of Grand Secretary Zuo Zhongtang. After putting down a rebellion following Grand Secretary Zuo in Xinjiang district, his meritorious military service brought him to Garrison Commander. In the 27th year of the reign of Guangxu Period of Qing Dynasty (1901), to commemorate Garrison Commander Xie, a temple was built. The temple contains two courtyards, with inward-facing houses on four sides and flush gable roof. Gilt woodcarvings and stone carvings on the beam, as well as pottery models on main ridge are all very elegant. On the first vertical ridge (for gable roof) vivid clay models of characters and animals has a rather high artistic value. In 1993, it was listed as cultural relic under municipal protection.
Zizheng Mansion (or Governance-Assisting Mansion)
It is the academy of Mr. Xie Yuanjun, who ranked 99th in the provincial imperial examination for warriors in the 2nd year of the reign of Emperor Guangxu of Qing Dynasty in the lunar year Bingzi (or A. D. 1876), and granted chancellor of Ministry of Rites. The academy, constructed of blue brick and marble, is divided into two parts, each part with three rooms, with a corridor across the square courtyard. The woodcarving of vault in the parlor of back part boasts high artistic attainments. Besides, doors and windows were decorated in a western style.
Typical Folk House
Dwelling houses in Nanshe, including residential house of Mr. Xie Ruliu are generally consisting of three rooms and two corridors. Xie Ruliu was graded as Warrior Candidate in the 6th year in the reign of Emperor Guangxu E (A. D. 1880). Compared with the family temple, the layout of dwelling house is simple and practical. However, they also feature clay models, woodcarvings and stone carvings.
Keyuan Garden is one of the four famous gardens of the Qing Dynasty, built in 1850 in the Xianfeng reign of the Qing Dynasty and covering an area of 2 200 hectares. It is rectangular-shaped with dozens of aged traditional buildings located around in the garden. It is restored after the founding of PRC and got another name Keyuan Museum. Keyuan Garden or Keyuan Museum, where Lingnan school of traditional Chinese painting originated and developed, is now under state protection as a national cultural relic (2000).
Humen Pools for Destroying Opium and Humen Cannon Terraces
Humen Pools for Destroying Opium and Humen Cannon Terraces are two national cultural relics, selected by the Chinese State Council in 1982. They are historic reminders, which always awake the Chinese people that the weak will be forced out in this tough world.
Covering an area of 21 sq km and surrounded with blue water on the four sides, Weiyuan Island was selected one of the provincial holiday resorts in 1996 and is becoming a booming tourism development zone with a newly built Marine War Museum. It is just located in the middle of the Pearl mouth, not far from Humen Bridge.
Nanshe Ancient Village in Dongguan
Nanshe Ancient Village, dating back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties, is located in Chashan Town of Dongguan City. The village is laid out symmetrically like clasping palms and surrounded by trees. With talented people coming forth in large numbers in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Nanshe became a prosperous and famous village in Chashan.
Now there are 25 ancestral temples and over 200 local-style dwelling houses in Nanshe. As recorded in the Clan History of the Xies at Nanshe Village, Xie Shangren, whose father Xie Xiling was born in Huiji (now called Shaoxing in Zhejiang Province), struggled to move southward because of the social chaos caused by war and eventually settled down at Nanshe. Through 700 years of development in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the Xies saw a boom and built up the village that covers an area of 67,903 square meters.
Nanshe Ancient Village is enclosed by fortified wall. Centering round a rectangular pool, all the houses were built on sides of the pool according to the natural landscape of the hills. All the lanes in the village are planned properly with sufficient security and defense facilities. Being composed of dwelling houses, ancestral temples, academies, shops, pavilions, fortified wall, wells, lanes and memorial archways as well as a number of old banyan trees, Nanshe Ancient Village is exhibiting the typical architectural style of Pearl River Delta. The considerable number of well-protected buildings constructed in the late Ming Dynasty and early Qing Dynasty show high historical and artistic values. The vivid carvings on stone, brick, wood, lime and pottery in these old buildings are extremely charming. The most famous spots are the fortified wall, the Grand Memorial Temple of Xie Clan, the Temple of Hundred-Year-Old Man, the Archway of the Hundred-Year-Old Couple, the Ancestral Temple for Xie Yuqi's and Zizheng Mansion (or Governance-assisting Mansion)
Most of the dwelling houses have three rooms and two corridors. Each of the ancestral temples is consist of three parts, while the smaller family temples have two parts with houses around courtyard mainly in architectural styles influenced by east Guangdong, Anhui Province, Hunan Province and even western countries.