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This post was edited by ericinchina at 2014-2-11 14:55|
I worked in Dongguan in 1994 up to 1996 and it was a very poor and backward place then, but still an interesting place for an expat. I am still in China 20 years later and have visited Dongguan several times over the years, it has gone through an amazing transformation.
It is now a very green city and very clean, however it still has its down side. Prostitution is still rife and there are lots of criminal gangs about. Lots of Hong Kong men still visit to frequent the Karoke bars and chase the hookers, and then doing business during the day.
I remember all the farm area's around and the banana plantations were huge. The Chinese lady who is now my wife was my first Chinese female friend back then and I used to help her study English in the evenings after I finished work. I soon realised that despite a small education she was very bright and a fast learner, I have since then seen this trait in many young Chinese.
In those days the Guangshen express highway was brand new, I was picked up from Lo Wu border crossing by a driver in a Black 126 Benz and we took the Guangshen express to Dongguan, there was almost no traffic on the highway at the time. The scenery was breathtaking to a person who was seeing China for the first time as I was.
Dongguan appears to have taken many leaves out of Shenzhens book and has very similar systems to that City. It is a good city for expats as it has so many modern facilities and it is very easy to buy western style ingredients, I like to cook my own food and getting the ingredients where I am presently living, Jiangsu province means a two hour round trip to Nantong.
The infastructure of the City was very well thought out and traffic is not as bad as say Shenzhen or Guangzhou. The air is clean and along with the temperatures of southern China makes a plesant place to reside.
A very interesting quote here from Wikipedia which sums up Dungguan very well I feel;
Dongguan (Chinese: 东莞) is a prefecture-level city in central Guangdong province, People's Republic of China.
An important industrial city located in the Pearl River Delta, Dongguan borders the provincial capital of Guangzhou to the north, Huizhou to the northeast, Shenzhen to the south, and the Pearl River to the west. The three neighboring municipalities of Guangzhou, Dongguan, and Shenzhen are home to over 25 million residents, accounting for a large proportion of the Pearl River Delta Region's population. City administration is considered especially progressive in seeking foreign direct investment. Dongguan ranks behind only Shenzhen, Shanghai and Suzhou in exports among Chinese cities, with $65.54 billion in shipments.
In addition to being an important manufacturing hub, the city has also earned a more questionable reputation as the "sex capital of China". It is also home to one of the world's largest, though largely empty, shopping mall, New South China Mall.[3