Top 4 Bus Stops: For the Left Behind

Travel-top 4 bus stopsFor those of us stuck in Dongguan during the Chinese New Year, there are still a few choices for a peaceful and relaxed rest instead of being a couch potato. You can ride a bicycle around the scenic Songshan Lake, hike to the largest granite Guanyin statue in the world, visit a 200 year-old historical site, or experience how villagers spend their biggest holiday in the ancient Nanshe Village. All of them can easily be reached by bus, the cheapest way to get around. And yes, Chinese New Year is the perfect time to ride a bus since so many go home. It almost feels like sitting in an extra large limo. Ask the driver before getting on the bus to make sure your heading in the right direction, the pinyin of each destination is listed HERE!

Destination 1: Guanyin Mountain & Statue (Guānyīn shān)

The statue of the Guanyin bodhisattva, highly popular among Eastern Chinese Buddhists, may not impress you with her mighty granite body, but it’s good to have a goal on a pleasant hike among the winding paths in the forest. The 33-meter-high statue is nestled atop the Guanyin Mountain in Zhangmutou with only one way up and many attractions alongside. See: Taoist art, statues and peacock menageries.

Bus Guide: The L4 “Tourist Bus” goes directly from the center city to the mountain. It starts at the main bus station, goes up Guantai Road and east through Dongcheng before stopping all along the route through the towns and eventually reaching the gate.

Hop on at the following stops: Shì qìchē zǒngzhàn市汽车总站 (city main bus station), Nánchéng yīyuàn南城医院 (Nancheng Hospital), Dōnghú huāyuán东湖花园 (Donghu Garden, the old Wal-Mart), Dōng huá yīyuàn东华医院 (Donghua Hospital)

Bus Operating Hours: 06:10 – 20:10 Tourist Site Hours: 07:30 – 17:30
Bus Fee: RMB 13 single trip
Tourist Site Tickets: RMB 45

Destination 2: The Sites of the Opium War (Hǔmén)

The Opium War started in 1841 in Dongguan’s Humen Town between Chinese and the British, due to the destruction of US$6 million worth of opium from primary British merchants by the Chinese government. The shock of the war was a tremendous blow to the Chinese. The country had to absorb the reality of defeat, and China’s modern history began. However, this is not the only reason to visit the sites, it is a nice walk on the waterfront and an enjoyable gaze onto the bright ocean and the stunning Humen Bridge through the historic shaded fort.

Bus Guide: The L1 “Tourist Bus” goes directly from Keyuan Garden in Guancheng, through numerous stops in towns and eventually ends at the Sea Battle Museum. To go to Weiyuan Fort, which is highly recommended with nice walking and sightseeing, simply walk along the coast. Google map surprisingly provides decent details of the area, search “Weiyuan Paotai” to get directions.

Hop on at the following stops: Kě yuán可园 (Keyuan Garden), Nánchéng yīyuàn南城医院 (Nancheng Hospital), Nánchéng bùxíngjiē南城步行街 (Nancheng Walking Street)

Bus Operating Hours: 06:00 – 19:50 Tourist Site Hours: 08:30 – 17:30
Bus Fee: RMB 7 single trip
Tourist Site Tickets: Free Admission

Destination 3: Nanshe Ancient Village (Nán shè)
Claiming to have a history of 800 years, it’s a preserved village located in Chashan Town. The best preserved buildings face the water that run through its center, most were built as shrines to the ancestors of the families that lived there. These buildings are just a dozen meters wide but the columns and rooms have spectacular wood, stone, and porcelain carvings. The narrow stone paths through the old village are as quiet as another time. Don’t be surprised if you see villagers having a boisterous banquet, it’s a tradition to celebrate a new-born baby boy during the Chinese New Year.

Bus Guide: There’s no direct bus, but with a bit of patience, getting there is still effortless. First catch the C1 bus in the city center, which goes through the Dongcheng Road and Dongsheng Road. Then get off in its last stop East Bus Station (汽车东站Qìchē dōng zhàn), and change to Bus 74 and get off at the last stop again.

Hop on at the following stops: Yōnghuátíng雍华庭 (Yonghuating Garden), Xīn shìjiè huāyuán新世界花园 (New World Garden), Xīnghé chuánshuō星河传说 (Dynacity, right in front of the Dynacity Mall)

Bus Operating Hours: 06:20 – 19:30 Tourist Site Hours: 09:00 – 05:00
Bus Fee: RMB 5 Tourist Site Tickets: RMB 30

Destination 4: Songshan Lake (Sōngshān hú)

As one of the most bicycle-friendly areas in Dongguan, Songshan Lake provides dozens of bicycle rental kiosks around the tourist sites. The “Misty Rain” area is a good start to ride around the 42 kilometer of lake side routes.

Bus Guide: Getting to Songshan Lake from the city center has never been so easy. The newly launched No. 328 bus goes through fast roads like Songshanhu Avenue instead of the surface streets with fewer stops. Get off the bus at the Misty Rain stop called Sōng hú yānyǔ松湖烟雨. But after the bus arrives in Songshan Lake, taking about half an hour, you can pretty much get off at any stop to rent a bike.

Hop on at the following stops: Huìzhǎn zhōngxīn会展中心 (the exhibition center in Nancheng)

Bus Operating Hours: 07:10 – 18:00

Bus Fee: RMB 5 single trip