One Day in the South China Mall

Have 16 hours of free time? Follow these easy, step-by-step directions for a full day of discovering the better and lesser known neighborhoods of Dongguan.

0715_one dayBreakfast Up:

Start the day right with a dim sum breakfast next door at the Nile Hotel Restaurant. Doors won’t open at the mall until 10 a.m. and tasty dumplings at reasonable prices will set the perfect mood to tackle it later.

The Early Spot:

We’re in. And faced with an important question. What thrills you more; a morning of shopping to the heart’s content or plummetting along a 300-meter indoor-outdoor rollercoaster? Don’t choose, do both. The rollercoaster is the centerpiece of a miniature theme park with a selection of dubiously creaky fairground rides. Upstairs you can find an old school roller rink and a reptile room. Check your shoe laces.

Lunch Break:

Ok, so you’re in one piece, even if some of the rides appeared not to be; time for a celebratory lunch. A few steps along and Sit Down Please is just the place. Friendly staff will have you seated in no time with a great menu of Western and Chinese food choices. You may need your Chinese reading friend along, but it’s worth the trouble to order a beef steak or tasty Curry Pork at a great price. Follow the restaurant on WeChat to get a free milk tea.

0715_one day1The Day’s Events:

The sun is high and you want to slow things down. The kids are feeling restless, but not to worry, the mall has just what you need. My Rules World on the 3rd floor is a child’s wildest dream. Read all about it on at

If you’re looking for something a little more mellow then head to the far side of the mall and make your way up to the 4th floor. Tiger Gym has excellent non member prices for its spa treatments. Stop by for a quick head and shoulders massage or go the whole hog and settle in for a full body. Across from the gym you’ll find the Xing Pai Star Snooker Hall beckoning. Open from 11 a.m., the hall boasts a range of pool and snooker tables and let’s not forget the fully stocked bar and lounge area. Cheers.

Dinner Bells:

You’re starting to feel like you’ve covered every inch and your stomach is feeling it, too—time to reward your efforts with a fantastic meal to cap off the day. After climbing to the top floor you’ll discover the creatively named The Food is Delicious, and it does exactly what it says on the tin. Inside, you’ll find authentic Hunan cuisine in a bustling and energetic atmosphere. A very popular restaurant, there will usually be a queue of diners waiting outside, but you won’t need to hang around too long before being seated.

Night Owls:

After a refreshingly laid back afternoon, turn things up a notch. Just outside there’s an assortment of bars to grab a beer or a cocktail. Cranberries offers a decent selection of foreign beers to get you started. With a few drinks behind you and the world looking very rosy, you’re off to dance club 37.2°. Once inside, respectable DJ sets and the large dance floor, along with unique performances, will set the stage for a brilliant night out. Drink prices can run a little high so make sure you make the most of your pre-drinks at the bar. If you feel like rounding things off a little more quietly, you can make your way to the Wanda Cinema and catch a movie on the big screen in the IMAX theater.