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Dongguan Guide - Dongguan Sightseeings
Update: 6/13/2008 3:22:00 PM Source: Dongguan hotels


Currently, Dongguan is noted for being a city with a prosperous economy in China. Everyday, many people swarm into the city pursuing their fortunes and a better life. For this reason, it may seem that the bustling city is not an ideal place for tourists. However, Dongguan has been awarded "The National Excellence in Tourism" as a result of its splendid historical relics and charming natural beauties.
Historical Sites
Dongguan has a long history that can be traced back to the Neolithic Age of 5,000 years ago. Until the year of 331 of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420), Dongguan was a county named Baoan. It was renamed in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). During its long history, Dongguan gave birth to the culture of the southern Guangdong Province that also made Dongguan a famous city with splendid history and culture.
Humen Town, located at the southern part of Dongguan City, is the cradle of Chinese modern history. When the Opium Wars (1840-1842 and 1856-1860) broke out in Humen Town more than 150 years ago, they had a far-reaching influence on Chinese modern history. The battlefield of the Opium Wars is the best preserved historical battlefield in China, and now houses the Opium War Museum, the Weiyuan Emplacement, and the Shajiao Emplacement. Nowadays, relics of the Opium Wars are the vital basis of patriotic education for the younger generation of Chinese. Aside from the three relics, the large area of litchi in the Former Residence of Jiang Guangnai, a founder of the PRC, the grand Humen Bridge and the Humen Naval Battle Museum near the Weiyuan Emplacement are really worthy of a visit.
Humen Bridge
The Humen Bridge is not only a substantial part of the expressway net in the Pearl River Delta area, but also a landmark tourist destination in Dongguan.
The bridge, completed in 1997, was the first large suspension bridge designed and constructed by China independently and is a crucial transport junction. It spans the estuary of the Pearl River, which flows into the South China Sea, and its completion greatly advanced the economic development of Guangdong. It has also reduced the travel between Hong Kong and Shenzhen to Zhuhai by 120 kilometers (74.6 miles).
It is located in Weiyuan Island and has a total length of 15.76 kilometers (9.8 miles) with the main bridge being 4.58 kilometers (2.8 miles) long. The deck of the bridge carries six, two-way traffic lanes and its main span stretches 888 meters - considered to be the longest in China at that time. This main span has a net height of 60 meters (197 feet) which allows large ships (100,000 tons) to navigate and pass under.
The site of the modern Humen Bridge also contrasts with its historical past, as near to the Humen Bridge is the Weiyuan Emplacement which was the site of the Opium Wars of 1840-1842 and 1856-1860. The days of gunpowder smoke are well and truly over, however, and the bridge has turned what was once the 'moat' of the Pearl River into a modern thoroughfare.
The bridge is best viewed at night when it is at its most charming with the bright streetlights shining upon the water below. If walking on the bridge, the enchanting nightscape of the entire city laid out below can be seen.
Tips: Visitors can catch the special-line autobuses going from downtown Dongguan to Weiyuan Emplacement for CNY 7.
Humen Naval Battle Museum
The Humen Naval Battle Museum is located at the east end of the Human Bridge. Covering an area of about 200,000 square meters (about 49 acres), the museum looks much like a huge warship. The museum's theme is the naval battles during the Opium War (1840-1842) and betrays a graphic view of the struggling Chinese people in the war. The museum mainly consists of three parts: the main hall, sea wall and the memorial square.
Covering an area of 2000 square meters (about 2391 square yards), the main hall is made up of four exhibit halls. Hall No.1 and No.2 are in the themes of 'the Naval Battles in the Opium War'. With a series of paintings and small-sized but vivid models, the display visualizes the course of the sea war during the Opium War. The display shows the tragic history of how the Chinese people defeated the more powerful foreign invaders. In Hall No. 3, paintings of 'the Naval War in Humen in the Opium War' are on exhibit. As well as the vivid models, background sounds of the war add to the reality, and lights are used to simulate those in the war in order to give people a realistic scene of the action and tragedy of war. Hall No. 4 is one of the education bases for drug control. In this hall, a series of pictures, status and articles are displayed to describe the harm of drugs in order to remind people not to use drugs.
Embraced by dense green trees, the main building faces two clear-watered lakes revealing a natural and tranquil scene. In front of the main building, there is a broad memorial square. Standing in the square, people can get a full view of the grand Humen Bridge and the ancient Weiyuan Emplacement (which is one of the relics of the Opium War). Not far from the square, a continuous sea wall over 800 meters (about 875 yards) encircles the museum and the nearby buildings. When people stand on the sea wall, the gentle moist sea breeze touching their faces brings a comfortable feeling.
Facing the estuary of the Pearl River the museum is situated in a beautiful sea setting, and with the many displays, it is truly a place people can learn about history and enjoy beautiful scenery.
Admission Fee:
CNY 20
Opening Hours:
Bus Route:
2 (from Humen Town);
In Dongguan City, special route bus from Guancheng to Weiyuan
Opium War Museum
Located in Humen Town in Dongguan, the Opium War Museum is where the historical materials and the relics of Lin Zexu destroying opium and the Opium Wars (1840-1842 and 1856-1860) are preserved, exhibited and researched. Lin (1785-1850) was a great patriotic politician and poet in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). He destroyed about 1,188,127 kilograms (2,619,372 pounds) of opium at Humen Beach in 1839. The museum is a National AAAA Tourist Attraction as well as one of the one hundred National Patriotism Education Base Models.
The Opium War Museum comprises three scenic areas: the museum itself; the Shajiao Emplacement; the Weiyuan Emplacement. The museum is also called Humen Lin Zexu Memorial Hall. Shajiao and Weiyuan Emplacements are situated in Shajiao Community and Weiyuan Island in Humen.
In the museum, the Exhibition Building is the main attraction. Encompassing a total area of about 2,400 square meters (0.5 acre), the building is built like an emplacement. It mainly displays an exhibition on the history of Lin Zexu destroying opium and the Opium Wars. The exhibition can be divided into eight parts: the circumstances in China before the first Opium War; the import of opium to China; Lin Zexu destroying opium; Britain launching the Opium War; people in Guangdong and other coastal provinces fighting against the British forces; the end of the Opium War and Chinese people's anti-invasion activities. The ancient relics are also exhibited there, such as the opium smoking sets, the couplets and the slogans written by Lin Zexu, the cannons, the swords and the long spears used to fight against British invaders as well as the arms captured from the invaders. Among those relics, 13 are first level ones under state protection.
Modern technologies including sand table, sound, light and electricity models have been applied to the exhibition in the museum. The application of those advanced technologies makes the exhibition more vivid and interesting. Therefore, visitors can have a better understanding of the Opium Wars.
Other attractions in the museum are the Statues of Humen People Fighting Against British Army, the Ancient Cannons, the Bronze Statue of Lin Zexu, the Monument to the Destruction of Opium and the Sites of Two Pools where Lin Zexu destroyed opium.
The Shajiao Emplacement and the Weiyuan Emplacement are the important historical sites of the Opium Wars. Tourists can go there to appreciate the ancient cannons and emplacements and recall the scene that Humen people fought against with the foreign invaders during the Opium Wars.
Admission Fee:
CNY 6 (only the Opium War Museum)
CNY 10 (including the other attractions in the museum )
Opening Hours:
08:30 - 17:00 (from November 1st to March 30th )
08:30 - 17:30 (from April 1st to October 30th )
Bus Route:
Natural Landscape
When visiting Dongguan, there is a series of enchanting landscapes that should not be missed. Keyuan Garden, which was constructed in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), is one of the four most famous gardens in Guangdong Province. It attracts visitors by imitating the ancient gardens of Suzhou in Jiangsu Province. Get to the garden at No.25 of Keyuan Road by taking buses No.15, 16 or 31. Additionally, the Hermit Villa that is situated in the Changping Town of Dongguan City is a tour highlight of this City. Originally, it is the house of hermit Li Juesi, a respected official in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Now in modern times, the Hermit Villa is a tour and amusement center with characteristic ancient buildings and a group of exquisite sculptures especially the white marble sculpture of Kwan-yin.
With support from the locally developed economy, new tour destinations have been built in recent years in Dongguan. Among them, the Green World is highly recommended. The garden is located in the Nancheng District of Dongguan City, covering an area of 4.56 square kilometers (about 1.76 square miles). As an ecological tour destination that attracts a great number of visitors by its beautiful natural environment, the garden is an ideal place to spend time on holidays. The city-buses No.35, 35A and 9 can take you directly there.
This city is a special tour destination, which combines profound history and a vigorous modern economy. No matter what kind of city you prefer, you will find Dongguan will satisfy your wishes. And you can readily get to Hong Kong and Macau for another memorable trip via Dongguan where convenient transportation is available.
Keyuan Garden
Keyuan Garden is one of the four famous gardens of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in Guangdong Province. Lying in the west of Dongguan, it occupies an area of 2,200 square meters (0.54 acres) in a triangular-shape. It was built with blue bricks in 1850 by Zhang Jingxiu, a deposed military officer. Since 2001, the garden is under state protection as a national cultural treasure.
Keyuan Garden means 'a garden not too bad for visiting' in Chinese. Its creator was somewhat on the modest side. In fact, the garden is a splendid architectural work. It is a multifunctional garden which joins the living room, villa, yard, garden and study together skillfully in a limited area. Built in the classical garden style, it has dozens of traditional buildings, including pavilions, pools and bridges and most of the buildings are named with the word Ke (means 'not too bad' in Chinese), such as Kezhou Pool and Ketang Hall.
The garden can be generally divided into four parts: three building groups and a yard. The southeast building group is the place for welcoming the guests; the west building group with many pavilions is the place for feasting and viewing; and the north building group is the place prepared for the owner to reside, paint, parade and recite poetry. While in the middle, there is a big courtyard circled by these three groups. The yard consists of southwest and northeast areas. The visitors can see some scenic spots there, such as the Orchid Platform, the Bend Pool. Around the yard, there is a long corridor named Huanbi Corridor which connects the three building groups together closely. Walking along the corridor, the visitors will encounter all the beautiful scenes of the garden.
Like other gardens in southern China, the buildings, the flowers, the hills and the lakes in Keyuan blend with the surroundings harmoniously. Visitors will be satisfied with the perfect scenery wherever they stand. When walking into this garden, they will find that the garden is in a complex arrangement. The paths extend in all directions. There are 130 doorways and 108 gateposts opening onto pavilions and kiosks. It is like a big maze. If the visitors are not careful enough, they will lose themselves in the picturesque garden.
Except for its exquisite architectural style and enjoyable scenery, Keyuan is known for its important role in the modern history of Chinese painting and calligraphy. Although Zhang Jingxuan was a military officer, he mastered painting, calligraphy, chess as well as poetry. As he quit working, he invited two famous painters, Juchao and Julian, to paint in Keyuan all year round. Their painting laid a foundation for Lingnan School (an important painting school in China's painting history which claims that the traditional painting should absorb the soul of western culture to improve its connotation to a modern and popular aspect.).
Admission Fee:
CNY8 (for adult)
CNY4 (for child between 110cm-140cm)
Free (for child below 110cm)
Opening Hours:
Mini Bus Route:
3, 4, 7, 15, 20, 21, 27, 30

Editor: canton fair

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