It’s interesting to study the history of how different places got their names. Centuries before Dongguan even got its name, from the 1300s to 1600s, the region was famous for two products—guan grass and guan incense. Guan grass was used to make woven products. However, it was guan incense that truly built a name for the region. This incense was made from a local variety of agarwood, which has a reputation as one of the most fragrant woods in the world. At its peak, guan incense was worth three times more than gold.
Over time, local markets grew into small communities, then towns, and finally a city. What better name for our city than its most famous product? As a result, the name of Dongguan was created.
If you are curious about the scent of this famous incense, go and explore the Guan Incense Museum, conveniently located in 33 Town of Dongcheng.