Population: 8 220 000
Dongguan is a very large industrial city with 8.2 million inhabitants, situated between Shenzhen and Guangzhou, and bordering Huizhou. It is part of Pearl River Delta Mega City with 45 million inhabitants. Several smaller cities have been merged with Dongguan, to make it even larger then before. Even if traces of humanity was found 5000 years ago, the current city of Dongguan was founded as late as in 1985.
It has been listed as one of the most innovative mainland cities in China, with many large companies and factories.
Dongguan has been much talked about in media, as a "failed wonder city" of China. For example, the world's largest mall, New South China Mall, was built in 2005 to house over 2350 stores and several attractions, including a mini Venice.
Today only about 3 stores are open!
We only passed by train on the way from Shenzhen to Guangzhou, and by bus on the way from Guangzhou to Hong Kong, taking just a few pictures of the grey skyline. Since we didn't have the opportunity to visit the city itself we can't actually say anything about the city, but it looked depressing from afar, especially with the hazy weather caused by the large number of factories. The outskirts were really rough and gritty and you can see several abandoned construction sites and abandoned fields.