Qishi, with its literal translation meaning “standing on a rock,” first got its name in the Ming Dynasty. According to the Guangdong Town Chronicles, more than 600 years ago, a village came into being in the presence of a pond. Alongside the pond, there was a big rock, and so the village was called Qishi Village. Later on, villagers built a fair along the river nearby and named it the Qishi Fair. Over time the Fair grew into Qishi Town.
Folk tales about the big rock still exist, but it’s nowhere to be found today. When it was still a part of the town in more than just spirit, villagers believed that swimming around it would bring blessings upon them and that standing on it would save them from floods and storms.
Qishi Town lies along the northeast border of Dongguan, right next to Dongguan’s largest river—the Dongjiang, or East River. It’s a stone’s throw away from Boluo County, Huizhou city, which lies on the other side of the river. Qishi enjoys a convenient location today. It’s close to Dongguan Railway Station at which the Beijing-Kowloon line and Guangzhou-Kowloon lines cross. It’s also surrounded by three freeways: Guangzhou-Huizhou, Dongguan-Shenzhen, Changping-Humen and it’s 60 kilometers from both the Shenzhen and Guangzhou airports.
Today, Qishi town is not among those prominent in terms of economy, but it’s still a typical industrial town which relies heavily on industries like electronics, computers, hardware
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In the village of Jiuwei, stands the oldest tree in Dongguan. The tree, which is 1,012-years-old, is a huge bishop wood tree. Since 2007, festivals have been held every summer by locals celebrating this tree’s longevity.
Take a walk in Qishi. Like any typical industrial town, row after row of factories lie throughout the town; streets become busy when factory workers come out for shopping and dining after work; and if you travel here and want to see things other than that, you need to look deeper, or go further.
Qishi is steeped in history. Located in the middle of the town, 1.5 kilometers south of the Dongjiang, a village called Jiangbian has preserved about 240 ancient houses and temples that date back to the Qing and Yuan dynasties.
There is a beautiful lake in the village. In front of the lake you can see a line of ancestral temples dedicated to deified ancestors and forefathers of surnamed lineages. Throughout this clean and quiet village, there are many ancestral temples to be spotted. Even though local people have turned some of them into places for public services, it’s quite easy to find a few well-preserved temples with beautifully carved tablets and colorful sculptures from the original décor. What adds to the attraction is that there are more than 1,000 hundred-year-old trees scattered inside the village. It would be quite a discovery trip for history lovers.
On the north end of the village, lies the Wanfu An Ruins, which was found in 1960’s. A study shows that as early as more than 5,000 years ago, there were already traces of tribes in Qishi.
From Dongguan Bus Station, take bus No.75 or No.106. From Liuhua Bus Station, take bus No.86. From Nancheng Bus Station, take bus No.109. The travel time will be 90 minutes. If you go by freeway, it takes about 40 minutes and costs about RMB 100 by taxi.
Location: Northeast Dongguan
Area: 58.9 sq. kilometers
Journey time: Around 40 minutes from downtown.
Local Attractions: Jiangbian Village, Wanfu An Ruins, 1,000-year-old tree