Dongguan, being located in the mid-south of Guangdong Province and in the east of the Pearl River Delta, is 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) south of Guangzhou, and 90 kilometers (about 56 miles) north of Shenzhen. It is 47 nautical miles from Hong Kong as well as 48 nautical miles from Macau. Currently, the city also plays a vital role in the communication between Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
In the year of 331 Dongguan was first built as a county but the history of this area can be traced back to the Neolithic Age. About 150 years ago, the famous Incineration of Opium during the Opium War took place in Humen Town of this city, opening a new chapter of Chinese modern history. Now, visitors have opportunities to visit the most complete ancient battlefield remains in the world. During the current era of reform and opening-up in China, Dongguan's economy maintains a substantial and rapid development, making the city an important international industrial city. By 1988, it was upgraded to be a prefecture-level city of Guanggong Province.
At present, covering an area of 2,465 square kilometers (about 952 square miles), the city administers 28 towns and 4 subdistricts. In the year 2005, the population of this region reached 7,506,300, including 5,849,800 temporary residents. Additionally, Dongguan is the hometown of 280,000 overseas Chinese and more than 70,000 compatriots in Hong Kong. All of them have made lots of contributions to the development of their hometown.
A number of historical sites are left in the city which has experienced a long and splendid history. The destinations related to the Opium War tell the early modern history to every visitor. Apart from those, Keyuan Garden and Hermit Villa should not be missed on your trip. They are ideal places for people to relax in the bustling industrial city. While developing the economy, the local government has also paid great attention to the city's tourism industry. In recent years, a number of natural tourism destinations have been built in Dongguan, such as Humen Bridge, Humen Naval Battle Museum, Opium War Museum, Keyuan Garden and Yinxian Resort, adding more color to your trip. Catering for the needs of the city's further development, the pubic facilities in this city are being improved step by step. By now, visitors from both home and abroad can get here easily by air, ship or bus. Also a large number of star-rated hotel are situated everywhere in there.
The advantageous geographical position also brings to Dongguan a pleasant climate and rich resources. When you come here in the harvest season, you must sample some local agricultural products such as bananas, litchi, longan, pineapples, etc. And the 115.98 kilometers (about 72 miles) long coastline supplies the locals with abundant seafood which is the main ingredient of local dishes. Don't forget to try it in your travels.