Over 2,000 years ago, settlers began fishing and planting crops in the town of Tangxia, at the time the area was called Tang Tou Xia, meaning “houses around the pond.” It grew into a village in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Later due to the frequent warring on the Central Plains, many moved down from the north, contributing to the large variety of family names found in Tangxia today. Up until the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), its population reached only around 10,000.
In more recent history, the area that was upgraded to town of Dongguan in 1987, has been deemed a place of heroism. In 1925, Tangxia’s first peasant association, a union led by the Communist Party assigned to help local farmers end feudal repression, was founded and began to fight the Kuomintang and Japanese armies giving more than 50 lives during the battles.
About 30 years ago, Tangxia was still a small agricultural town. Due to China’s economic reforms that began in 1978 and a convenient geographic location adjacent to Shenzhen and close to Hong Kong, Tangxia has grabbed every chance to grow its industrial strength, drawing a large amount of investment from Hong Kong, Taiwan and other countries.
Today it has become an economically powerful town with more than 200 listed companies from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao, and 3 Global 500 companies, specializing in electronic information, power supplies, and household appliances manufacturing.
What Can I Do?
With 90 percent of its population being migrants, you might be thinking that taking a stroll in Tangxia would be nothing more than a factory tour. Well, you are right, but only mostly. Today, many old villages in Tangxia have been renovated into modern living communities with their own well-organized community committees.
One notable outcome from this process is their afforestation and public facilities. More than 40 city parks have been built throughout the town. With its 40.35 percent Urban Greenery Coverage Rate, Tangxia has made its path to becoming a National green town. The Lin Cun Community, the biggest one in Tangxia, would be a good place to visit if you hope to see a successful model of village modernization in Dongguan. It was once said by a local, “another way to grasp Dongguan’s economical accomplishment, is to see how well its towns’ village communities are constructed and organized.”
Tangxia is surrounded by mountains. In a forest park called Dapingzhang, which is located on the southwest side of town, lies the world’s biggest golf club. In 2004, Mission Hills Golf Club became the biggest golf club in the world with 12 golf courses and 216 holes. Tangxia is home to six international championship level courses, the other half are located in Shenzhen. Many international Golf events have been held here, including last year’s PGA Tour – World Golf Championship – HSBC Champions.
If you are not a golf lover, the park itself would also be an awesome place to go for a good touch of nature. Dapingzhang, or Big Shield Forest Park, covers 26.7 sq. kilometers. With massive forest coverage, the whole park is like a big shield isolating tourists from the outer commotion. It has built 40 kilometers of hiking trails that trek all the way to the peaks of the mountains (the highest is 348.3 meters). As you explore further and higher in the park, greater biodiversity is ready to be enjoyed, including 100-year-old trees along the way.
Today Tangxia enjoys another nickname: China’s Golf Town. Over the past decade, Tangxia has been developing its golf industry, organizing all kinds of golf events and shows every year. Up to date, it has more than 130 golf manufacturing and merchandizing companies. Tangxia is a must see for golf lovers.
By car, take the G94 highway and get off at the Tangxia exit, a 45-minute drive. To take the bus, use the No.7 express from the Nancheng Bus Station, or the No.81 from the Dongcheng East Bus Station.
Location: Southeast Dongguan
Area: 128 sq. kilometers
Journey Time: around 50 minutes (by car)
Local Attractions: Mission Hills Golf Club, Dapingzhang Forest Park, Lin Cun community