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Dongguang, China

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Mar 10, 2023

Summary: The population of Dongguang, China is 8.2 million people. Dongguang is a vibrant and modern city with a rich cultural heritage. Expats love living in Dongguang for its convenient transportation, diverse cuisine, and vibrant nightlife. The weather in Dongguang is generally mild and humid. The average temperature in the summer is around 86°F (30°C) and in the winter it is around 46°F (8°C). The average cost of living in Dongguang for an expat is around $1,000-$1,500 USD per month. The cost of a one bedroom apartment is around $500-$700 USD per month and a two bedroom apartment is around $700-$900 USD per month.

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What are the pros and cons of living in Dongguang?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Dongguang responded:

"Expats and digital nomads living in Dongguan, China generally appreciate the city's reputation as an affordable yet vibrant place to live and work. They also enjoy many aspects of the city's diverse culture, including its selection of international cuisines–from Chinese, Japanese, and Korean to Middle Eastern, Mexican, and Indian. Additionally, expats and digital nomads laud Dongguan's easy access to major cities like Beijing and Shanghai, as well as its growing array of transportation options. On the contrary, some expats and digital nomads feel frustrated by the city's lack of a thriving nightlife, as well as the limited number of English-speaking services. They have also expressed disappointment at the city's high levels of air pollution," remarked one expat in Dongguang.

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What type of social life can someone expect in Dongguang?

When we asked expats and global nomads about their social experiences in Dongguang, they replied:

"Expats, retirees, and digital nomads living in Dongguang typically have access to an active social life. Often, expat communities and digital nomad coworking spaces abound in the city, allowing for networking opportunities and social activities to foster relationships. Dongguang residents also engage in more traditional activities, such as going out to restaurants and entertaining at home. Additionally, sporting events such as cycling and running races are popular activities for expats and tourists alike. All in all, living in Dongguang means having the opportunity to mingle with people from various backgrounds and develop meaningful relationships," explained one expat living in Dongguang.

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"Dongguang has a vibrant and enjoyable social scene with plenty to do. Whether you're looking for a cozy cafe to sit and chat with friends, an exciting nightlife, or a shopping center to explore, there is something to be found in Dongguang. This area has a variety of bars, pubs, and clubs that are popular choices for locals and visitors alike. There are diverse restaurants featuring a range of cuisines from all over the world, catering to both traditional and contemporary tastes. For those looking for a more cultural experience, Dongguang also has a number of temples, parks, and monuments that are popular tourist attractions," explained one expat living in Dongguang.

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What advice to expats in Dongguang have about housing?

"1. Make sure you research the areas in Dongguang to find the most suitable home for yourself. 2. Consider hiring a reliable real estate agent to help you oversee the process and save time. 3. Ensure you sign a formal tenancy agreement with your landlord for security and legal protection. 4. Don't be surprised if there are no leases longer than one year in Dongguang. 5. It is important to find out in advance whether the necessary facilities like electricity, water, or gas are available or not. 6. You should also inquire about any renovation and renovation costs before signing a contract. 7. Always visit the property in person before signing any paperwork. 8. Make sure to ask if the landlord has a third-party guarantor who will cover any rent in the case of any dispute," said one expat in living in Dongguang, China.

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What are medical services in Dongguang like?

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Dongguang, they replied:

"Dongguang offers a range of medical services to fit the needs of its citizens. There are a variety of traditional Chinese medicine clinics and hospitals offering services such as acupuncture and herbal remedies. Additionally, modern medical facilities offer both primary and specialist care and services, including diagnostics, treatment, and surgeries. Pharmacies, stocked with a variety of medications, are also available across the city. Patients seeking medical care in Dongguang can rest assured that the services available meet the current standards of safety and quality," said one in Dongguang.

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Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Dongguang?

"Healthcare and health insurance services can vary in cost in Dongguang. Generally, most people rely on the public healthcare system for basic care which is subsidized by the government, making it relatively inexpensive. However, private health insurance plans can be more expensive and only cover certain treatments for illness and injury. Those who can afford it typically opt for the higher quality private services," explained one expat living in Dongguang.

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Is the cost of living in Dongguang high?

We asked people about the cost of living in Dongguang, they wrote:

"The cost of living in Dongguang is relatively inexpensive when compared to many other large cities in China. Rental prices for a nice 1 bedroom apartment in Dongguang range from 500-700 US Dollars per month and a 2 bedroom apartment ranges from 750-1000 US Dollars per month. It is estimated that dinner at a moderately priced restaurant in Dongguang will cost between 12-20 US Dollars per person," explained one expat living in Dongguang.

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What are the visa & residency requirements in Dongguang?

"To apply for a visa to visit Dongguang, applicants must first apply to the Chinese Embassy in their respective countries by submitting their passport, travel and contact information, copies of their travel itinerary, proof of sufficient funds, and any other supporting documents requested. Once a visa has been approved, travelers can enter Dongguang. The process of applying for a residency in Dongguang, China is quite complex, and requires a lot of paperwork, such as personal identification and documentation, certificate of employment, marriage certification, if applicable, and proof of housing arrangements. The applicant needs to apply for a residence permit at the local public security branch offices, and the application process can take several weeks to several months. Once the residency permit is obtained, non-citizens of China can legally stay and work in Dongguang," wrote one expat in Dongguang.

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Why do people move to Dongguang?

When we asked people why foreigners move to Dongguang, they responded:

"Dongguang offers expats a unique culture and the opportunity to experience a vibrant and exciting city. The cost of living in Dongguang is relatively low, making it a great option for those looking for a new place to live or do business. The city is close to Shenzhen and Hong Kong, so expats may find it easy to commute and access the rest of China. Furthermore, the city provides excellent healthcare facilities, great transport links and a good choice of international schools. All these factors, combined with an abundance of restaurants, entertainment and shopping, make Dongguang an attractive option for expats looking to move to China," said one in Dongguang.

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What do I need to know about living in Dongguang?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Dongguang, they said:

"Before retiring in Dongguang, expats should become familiar with the local culture and language. Healthcare is also an important consideration for those relocating to Dongguang, and familiarizing oneself with available medical coverage and local medical facilities is essential. Expats should also research the cost of living, job opportunities and accommodation in Dongguang before making the move. Living in such a bustling area can also create a lot of noise pollution, so researching the surrounding area and finding a suitable place to live is important. Additionally, acquiring a valid visa for long-term residency and having the required documents in order is necessary. Lastly, expats should consider the logistics of regular communication with loved ones back home," said a person living in Dongguang, China.

"Be prepared for a lot of walking. Live in one of the gardens within walking distance of shops. Traffic here is a nightmare and you do not want to drive in the city.Buy a bike. Great exercise and you can bike to shops quite easily. Smile..although some Chinese are wary of foreigners most will say "Ni Hao" (hello) if you speak with a smile," explained one expat living in Dongguang.

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What do I need to know before moving to Dongguang?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Dongguang, they said:

"Expats moving to Dongguang should familiarize themselves with the local language, customs and culture before arriving. It is important to have some basic knowledge of the Chinese language in order to navigate day to day life in Dongguang. Additionally, the cost of living in Dongguang can be higher than other cities in the region so having an understanding of the local markets, currency and exchange rates before relocating may help make the transition smoother. Furthermore, investing in health insurance is advisable as medical services and facilities can be expensive. Expats should also familiarize themselves with the laws and regulations as certain activities are strictly forbidden in Dongguang. Finally, it is important to obtain a visa prior to entering China, including the correct and appropriate documentation for the visa application process," said one person in Dongguang, China.

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How do I find a place to live in Dongguang?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"Dongguang offers a wide range of housing solutions for potential residents. There are several real estate companies in the area that can help you find a place to live, such as C&T Realty, Lead Real Estate, and New Times Property. You can also use online listing sites such as 5i5j Realty, Fang.com and Shoufu Property to search for apartments, villas and other housing options. Additionally, there are many property developers in Dongguang who can provide tailored solutions to meet individual preferences. With the help of these service providers, you can find the perfect apartment, house or other residential unit in Dongguang that meets your needs," explained one expat.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Dongguang?

"A typical expat home or apartment in Dongguan, China is usually modern and well-equipped with amenities such as air-conditioning, internet access, and modern kitchen appliances. Expat apartments are often located in good neighborhoods and near expats friendly restaurants, bars, and shops. Many apartments are outfitted with western-style furniture and décor, providing a comfortable home away from home. Additionally, access to public transportation and convenience stores are usually within close proximity," remarked one in Dongguang, China.

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What is the average cost of housing in Dongguang?

If you are thinking about moving to Dongguang, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The average cost of housing in Dongguang is generally considered to be relatively affordable compared to other cities in the region. There is a wide range of housing options available, ranging from newly developed high-end compounds to smaller, more affordable private apartments. In general, renting a property in Dongguang can cost anywhere from 500-3000 RMB per month, depending on the size and quality of the property," explained one expat.

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How do I meet people in Dongguang?

When we asked people living in Dongguang about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Expats living in Dongguang can join various clubs and activities to meet other expats and locals. Examples of clubs include the Dongguan Mommy and Daddy Meetup, the Dongguan Film Group, the Dongguan Nature and Photography Club, the Dongguan Book Club, the Dongguan Language Exchangers, and the Dongguan Beer and Bites Club. Other ways that expats can meet people and make connections in Dongguang are through local sports and exercise classes, attending music concerts at nearby venues, visiting city festivals and fairs, networking with other locals through the use of social media, or by attending the many cultural and language exchange events held in the city," remarked one expat in Dongguang, China.

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What should I bring when moving to Dongguang?

People living in Dongguang were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"When moving to Dongguang, you should pack clothing suitable for hot, humid summers, in addition to warm clothing for colder winter days. Some reusable containers, dishes and cutlery can come in handy in order to store food and cooking ingredients. A water filter can also be a great addition, especially if you don't want to keep buying bottled water. Noise-cancelling headphones and any device chargers can also be helpful in a city as busy as Dongguang. Finally, it is a good idea to carry a first-aid kit, as well as any medication you may need that isn't available in Dongguang," said one person in Dongguang, China.

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Where should I setup a bank account in Dongguang?

We asked expats in Dongguang what banks they use and there advice about banking. They advised:

"Before retiring to Dongguang, expats should research the local laws and regulations. Dongguang has a range of rules and regulations around visas, property ownership, tax, and so on which may differ from the expat's home country. Expats should also find out about the standard of living and cost of living in the city. This will depend on the area of Dongguang that the expat decides to move to. Additionally, an expat should familiarize themselves with the language and cultural differences of the local people so they can navigate daily life with ease. It is also recommended that expats look into any expat community in the city, as this is a great opportunity to meet other people who may be able to offer advice and support," said one expat in Dongguang, China.

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Will I be able to find a job in Dongguang?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Dongguang, they reponded:

"Foreigners often work in Dongguang as English teachers, translators, marketers, engineers, IT professionals, in the hospitality industry, or in other fields that require international expertise or labor. Many foreigners have management and executive positions in multinational corporations. Additionally, some foreigners open their own businesses in Dongguang, typically in the service or retail sectors," said one expat in Dongguang, China.

"Furniture, shoes and textiles seem to be the top industries. Career opportunities at present are not so plentiful. The economy has problems here just as it does everywhere else in the world," said a person living in Dongguang.

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What is life like in Dongguang?

When we asked people living in Dongguang what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Living as an expat or digital nomad in Dongguan, China can be an exciting and rewarding experience. The city is known for its vibrant culture, delicious food, and friendly locals. Expats and digital nomads can find plenty of opportunities to explore the city and its surroundings, as well as take advantage of the many amenities and services available. The cost of living is relatively low, making it an attractive destination for those looking to save money while living abroad. Additionally, the city is well-connected to other parts of China and the world, making it easy to travel and explore. With its diverse culture, modern infrastructure, and welcoming atmosphere, Dongguan is an ideal destination for expats and digital nomads," explained one expat.

"Expat lives here revolve around work and socializing. Several expat sport teams have been established by a local pub called One For The Road. They have a skindiving club, soocer club, softball and golf team," said one person in Dongguang.

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What do expats in Dongguang appreciate most about the local culture?

"Expats in Dongguang appreciate the unique local cuisine, with its emphasis on blending subtle flavors with textures to create a truly unique and delicious experience. They also appreciate the traditional Chinese art forms, including both painting and calligraphy that are abundant in the area. They find the people friendly and welcoming, and feel deeply connected to the hospitable culture of Dongguang. Finally, expats also find the mix of modern and traditional Chinese architecture quite striking, and appreciate the juxtaposition of old and new that helps to keep the town vibrant," said one person in Dongguang, China.

"It's a much simpler way of life here in DOngguan than in the US. I find the people here to be curious, but very outgoing and helpful and very very kind," remarked one expat in Dongguang.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Expatriates in Dongguang may find the language barrier to be the most challenging aspect of acclimating to the local culture, as not many people in the area speak English. Additionally, the pace of life in China can be overwhelming for expats and take some getting used to. Moreover, the concept of guanxi, or networking and interpersonal relationships, is particularly important in Chinese culture and is something that may be difficult for expats to understand. Furthermore, taboos and certain cultural behaviors, such as using the wrong phrase or bowing at the wrong time, can potentially lead to misunderstandings between local people and expats," replied an expat in Dongguang, China.

"The hardest thing for me is not being able to jump in my car and drive down to the store to pick up a few things. Crossing the road was a challenge because pedestrians have absolutely no rights here and you really have to be careful. Setting up new Bank accounts - very tedious and bureaucratic. Settling problems at work - the Chinese will spend an hour blaming each other before they actually decide how to solve the problem," remarked one in Dongguang.

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Is there a lot of crime in Dongguang?

We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:

"Crime in Dongguang, is largely considered low, with a few exceptions. Petty theft, such as pickpocketing and fake-ID use, is one of the most common illegal activities in Dongguang. Burglaries and street violence are also less common, though some do occur. The Chinese government also works to keep drugs and drug-related crimes at bay in Dongguang, with a focus on harsher penalties for drug-related offenses. Despite some criminal activity in the city, the overall crime rate in Dongguang is low when compared to many other cities in Chinese provinces," remarked one expat in Dongguang, China.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Dongguang accepting of differences?

"Dongguang is home to a diverse population, comprised of many different ethnicities, cultures, religions and backgrounds. The city is accepting of differences, promoting an environment of tolerance and inclusion where everyone is valued and respected regardless of their background. Through a variety of cultural and religious festivals, exchange programs, and active community outreach, Dongguang demonstrates its commitment to celebrating and respecting diversity and fostering an accepting and welcoming atmosphere," explained one expat.

"Dongguan citizens seem very accepting of differences. There are people from all walks of life and all religions," said one person in Dongguang.

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What are the schools in Dongguang like?

"Dongguan is home to some very impressive international and bilingual schools. Two of the best international schools in the area are the Institution of International Education (Dongguan) and the Guangdong Dongguan International School, which both offer a comprehensive education based on the National Curriculum of England and Wales. Institution of International Education (Dongguan) offers a wide variety of subject options for both GCSE and A-Level exams, with an emphasis on the importance of both academic and professional skills. In contrast, Guangdong Dongguan International School offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, and also has an emphasis on cultural exchange and community development. For bilingual schools, Dongguan is home to the Huamei Bilingual School, which provides a full education in both Chinese and English. Huamei Bilingual School has an excellent reputation for its creative, inquiry-based learning approach. In addition, the school offers a range of courses that meet the needs of different age groups. It also provides students with the opportunity to participate in international exchange programmes," remarked one parent with kids at in Dongguang, China.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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