A Perfection Named Dongguan

Industrialists be damned. The majesty of the vibrant environs of Dongguan can never be destroyed. Factories came and disturbed the peace. now, the soul of the city is coming back stronger than ever.

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She doesn’t give you a chance to process anything, for she has too much to say. Dongguan is her name, and, yes, she has a legion of stories to tell. I already feel like I am being rude while writing this because it feels like texting while on a date; women hate it and Dongguan, like any lady, is jealous and wants you to only stare in her eyes and only give her your time and attention.

After all—and I am happy to report this—she, Dongguan, is indeed one of the most beautiful cities I have ever experienced in China.

The dramas here, the sagas from over there, a shot of Jagermeister with these, wine with those and then you’ll get it; Lady Dongguan is a multiverse of worlds all thrown together.

Wearing a dress where all the small towns that make up this princess have been sewn together so seamlessly over time, neatly, mysteriously, that it is almost impossible to pry yourself away from the next story… and the next… and the next.

Her eyes, the very sky itself, change seasonly every day and her youth, the misty rain hanging in Dongcheng’s winter streets and trees, brings you into her heart and soul. The summer humidity, like the build-up of a trance song before the drop at H-Club, both invigorates and drives you mad.

Her autumn tactics and spring duplicities make you stand confused in front of your closet, considering to dress warmly or in short pants to avoid disaster later in the day.

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You’ll get caught up in her. More than 30 small towns came together to form her tapestry, each with their own uniqueness and personality. The beauty lies in the unpredictability, lurking adventure and her people (shall I say “her family?”) working like tsunamis to balance and make her succeed. In her, we remarkably find all of China and the world—her Chinese and foreigners all belong to her, belong to here, belong nowhere and belong everywhere—all at the same time.

And all the while, there is a peace in the perceived chaos that makes her home…and a brand-new subway runs like another river through it all.

She changes you, just as she herself changes: the town of Humen isn’t the town of Houjie, and neither of them is Dongcheng, Nancheng, Liaobu, Wanjiang or Songshan Lake or even Dalingshan. Yet, all is one and the people one meets here are noticeably different in their strides and respective missions than people one would meet elsewhere. Talk to your friends in this bar or another, and you’ll see what I mean.

The dramas here, the sagas from over there, a shot of Jagermeister with these, wine with those and then you’ll get it; Lady Dongguan is a multiverse of worlds all thrown together.

Her sights, are equally as amazing; another dimension to living here, which one doesn’t always find easily anywhere else in China. They call you with a siren song of clandestine and magnificence. Enter any of them and you find yourself unable to leave: Keyuan Garden, Yue Hui Garden, Dalingshan’s mountain range, Qifeng Park, Songshan Lake, Shui Lian mountain and more. My favorite thus far was the mountain to the east in Zhangmutou, Mount Silver Bottle (银瓶山), where after a brilliant, yet steep 898 meters, I enjoyed the best cigarette ever.

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She already has a diamond, this city—the shimmering waters of Songshan Lake to the southeast of her body of towns is another testament to her youthful desires. Universities, town houses, villas and malls sprung up around its shores. Businessmen and CEO’s cheat on Ladies Shenzhen and Guangzhou to come and fish for a day or
two.

Lady Dongguan’s crown jewel has to be Qifeng park, which one finds in Dongcheng. Picturesque and quaint, it’s a place for lovers, joggers, tourists and friends. From there, another great 360-degree view awaits, where the northern, western and southern towns of Dongguan can all be spotted in detail on a clear day.

However, there is always something more to her and walking back down through all the dense sub-tropical plants and trees, one gets the sense that she won’t make it easy for you to go to the next part because she wants you to fully appreciate the parts that she has shown you first before allowing you to move on to the next.

But now, I have to be a gentleman and finish up. There’s a lot more that I can tell you, dear reader. Instead of me telling you, why don’t you leave your office or bar stool and go see more for yourself? There is a lady here who truly wants to meet you.

 

Category Op-Ed