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Useful Information | Opium War Museum | Humen Naval Battle Museum | Keyuan Garden |

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Opium War Museum

Located in Humen Town in Dongguan, the Opium War Museum is where the historical materials and the relics of Lin Zexu destroying opium and the Opium Wars (1840-1842 and 1856-1860) are preserved, exhibited and researched. Lin (1785-1850) was a great patriotic politician and poet in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). He destroyed about 1,188,127 kilograms (2,619,372 pounds) of opium at Humen Beach in 1839. The museum is a National AAAA Tourist Attraction as well as one of the one hundred National Patriotism Education Base Models.

The Opium War Museum comprises three scenic areas: the museum itself; the Shajiao Emplacement; the Weiyuan Emplacement. The museum is also called Humen Lin Zexu Memorial Hall. Shajiao and Weiyuan Emplacements are situated in Shajiao Community and Weiyuan Island in Humen.

In the museum, the Exhibition Building is the main attraction. Encompassing a total area of about 2,400 square meters (0.5 acre), the building is built like an emplacement. It mainly displays an exhibition on the history of Lin Zexu destroying opium and the Opium Wars. The exhibition can be divided into eight parts: the circumstances in China before the first Opium War; the import of opium to China; Lin Zexu destroying opium; Britain launching the Opium War; people in Guangdong and other coastal provinces fighting against the British forces; the end of the Opium War and Chinese people's anti-invasion activities. The ancient relics are also exhibited there, such as the opium smoking sets, the couplets and the slogans written by Lin Zexu, the cannons, the swords and the long spears used to fight against British invaders as well as the arms captured from the invaders. Among those relics, 13 are first level ones under state protection.

Modern technologies including sand table, sound, light and electricity models have been applied to the exhibition in the museum. The application of those advanced technologies makes the exhibition more vivid and interesting. Therefore, visitors can have a better understanding of the Opium Wars.

Other attractions in the museum are the Statues of Humen People Fighting Against British Army, the Ancient Cannons, the Bronze Statue of Lin Zexu, the Monument to the Destruction of Opium and the Sites of Two Pools where Lin Zexu destroyed opium.

The Shajiao Emplacement and the Weiyuan Emplacement are the important historical sites of the Opium Wars. Tourists can go there to appreciate the ancient cannons and emplacements and recall the scene that Humen people fought against with the foreign invaders during the Opium Wars.

Humen Naval Battle Museum

The Humen Naval Battle Museum is located at the east end of the Human Bridge. Covering an area of about 200,000 square meters (about 49 acres), the museum looks much like a huge warship. The museum's theme is the naval battles during the Opium War (1840-1842) and betrays a graphic view of the struggling Chinese people in the war. The museum mainly consists of three parts: the main hall, sea wall and the memorial square.

Covering an area of 2000 square meters (about 2391 square yards), the main hall is made up of four exhibit halls. Hall No.1 and No.2 are in the themes of 'the Naval Battles in the Opium War'. With a series of paintings and small-sized but vivid models, the display visualizes the course of the sea war during the Opium War. The display shows the tragic history of how the Chinese people defeated the more powerful foreign invaders. In Hall No. 3, paintings of 'the Naval War in Humen in the Opium War' are on exhibit. As well as the vivid models, background sounds of the war add to the reality, and lights are used to simulate those in the war in order to give people a realistic scene of the action and tragedy of war. Hall No. 4 is one of the education bases for drug control. In this hall, a series of pictures, status and articles are displayed to describe the harm of drugs in order to remind people not to use drugs.

Embraced by dense green trees, the main building faces two clear-watered lakes revealing a natural and tranquil scene. In front of the main building, there is a broad memorial square. Standing in the square, people can get a full view of the grand Humen Bridge and the ancient Weiyuan Emplacement (which is one of the relics of the Opium War). Not far from the square, a continuous sea wall over 800 meters (about 875 yards) encircles the museum and the nearby buildings. When people stand on the sea wall, the gentle moist sea breeze touching their faces brings a comfortable feeling.

Facing the estuary of the Pearl River the museum is situated in a beautiful sea setting, and with the many displays, it is truly a place people can learn about history and enjoy beautiful scenery.

Keyuan Garden

Keyuan Garden is one of the four famous gardens of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in Guangdong Province. Lying in the west of Dongguan, it occupies an area of 2,200 square meters (0.54 acres) in a triangular-shape. It was built with blue bricks in 1850 by Zhang Jingxiu, a deposed military officer. Since 2001, the garden is under state protection as a national cultural treasure.

Keyuan Garden means 'a garden not too bad for visiting' in Chinese. Its creator was somewhat on the modest side. In fact, the garden is a splendid architectural work. It is a multifunctional garden which joins the living room, villa, yard, garden and study together skillfully in a limited area. Built in the classical garden style, it has dozens of traditional buildings, including pavilions, pools and bridges and most of the buildings are named with the word Ke (means 'not too bad' in Chinese), such as Kezhou Pool and Ketang Hall.

The garden can be generally divided into four parts: three building groups and a yard. The southeast building group is the place for welcoming the guests; the west building group with many pavilions is the place for feasting and viewing; and the north building group is the place prepared for the owner to reside, paint, parade and recite poetry. While in the middle, there is a big courtyard circled by these three groups. The yard consists of southwest and northeast areas. The visitors can see some scenic spots there, such as the Orchid Platform, the Bend Pool. Around the yard, there is a long corridor named Huanbi Corridor which connects the three building groups together closely. Walking along the corridor, the visitors will encounter all the beautiful scenes of the garden.

Like other gardens in southern China, the buildings, the flowers, the hills and the lakes in Keyuan blend with the surroundings harmoniously. Visitors will be satisfied with the perfect scenery wherever they stand. When walking into this garden, they will find that the garden is in a complex arrangement. The paths extend in all directions. There are 130 doorways and 108 gateposts opening onto pavilions and kiosks. It is like a big maze. If the visitors are not careful enough, they will lose themselves in the picturesque garden.

Except for its exquisite architectural style and enjoyable scenery, Keyuan is known for its important role in the modern history of Chinese painting and calligraphy. Although Zhang Jingxuan was a military officer, he mastered painting, calligraphy, chess as well as poetry. As he quit working, he invited two famous painters, Juchao and Julian, to paint in Keyuan all year round. Their painting laid a foundation for Lingnan School (an important painting school in China's painting history which claims that the traditional painting should absorb the soul of western culture to improve its connotation to a modern and popular aspect.).


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