Have an Adventure in Houjie Town, Dongguan
The origins of Houjie Town date back to the mid-Xuanhe period of the Northern Song Dynasty (1119-1125 AD). Legend has it that a young Chinese officer by the name of Wang Tai, from the town of Putian, in Fujian Province, was sent there to find a place to house his troops. He ended up settling in the town. Literally translated, the town’s name, Houjie, means “behind the street”. Wang Tai is believed to have lived behind the “Jun Pu” (the country fair for dependants of military personnel). Since then, the town’s population, trade and talent have continued to thrive and its inhabitants enjoy a simple, yet relatively affluent existence. Houjie is also home to a few delicacies of world renown - such as the Houjie smoked sausage and Laifen rice noodles.
Places of Interest in Houjie
Yongkou Hai Yue Yan (Marine and Lunar Rock):
One of eight ancient scenic spots in Dongguan. It is located at Golden Ox Mountain in Yongkou Village, Houjie. The red rock mountain is around 30 meters high and covers a Chinese mile (500 meters) with its unique shape. On the crab shell rock, there are three characters - Hai Yue Yan (海月岩) - that were carved there in 1132 AD.
This is located left of the ancestral temple of the presiding minister of Houjie. It was built in the eighth year of Emperor Hongzhi’s rule and is surrounded by eight columns. The pavilion consists of two storeys which together form the shape of a flying bird. On the walls hang four boards carved with the inscriptions Shimei (世美), Fenglin (凤林) and Jinshi (进士).
Fang’s Ancestral Hall
This is one of the largest ancestral halls in Dongguan, located in Hetian village. It was built in Emperor Jianwen’s first year of rule, during the Ming Dynasty, in 1399. It was subsequently renovated in the fifth year of Emperor Xianfeng of the Qing Dynasty, in 1855, and is now more than 600 years old. The building houses a number of antiques and has five entrances – hence its nickname among locals: Wu Zhuang Ci Tang, which means “The Five Ancestral Halls”.
This is one of the first academies ever built in Dongguan and has been held in high esteem by celebrities and scholars for hundreds of years. It is divided into three halls that lie behind three doors. In the middle hall hangs a board inscribed with four characters -师古圣贤 (shi gu sheng xian), which, loosely translated, means “learn from the prophecies”. The characters were written by the “Number One Scholar”, Zhuang Yougong, using calligraphy. During its 500-year plus history, Aotai Academy has provided the academic grounding for a host of high profile people in both ancient and modern times, including Minister Wang Zhen.
Houjie Business and Trade Center:
The center of the central economic zone of Guancheng and Humen towns. It is the heart of the channel between Guangzhou and Shenzhen and of the prosperous business area in Houjie. It features the best and most popular area of in the town. The northern entrance to Kangle Nan Lu is known as “Mini Taiwan” and always has throngs of people bustling about. The heavy traffic of the #256 Provincial Highway, in front of the southern entrance to the street, continues day and night. This non-stop activity is symbolic of the broad development potential and enormous business opportunities in the area. Kangle Nan Lu is the center of all business and trading activities in Houjie. It stretches several kilometers and is home to many franchise stores of various brands and all kinds of large shopping malls. There is virtually a ratio of one restaurant to every two shops, meaning thirty to forty Western-style restaurants line the street. In addition, there’s a European style “bar street” in the town. Walking along Kangle Nan Lu, you can’t help but notice the heavy flow of traffic, busy crowds, blooming flowers, brilliant lights and sleek cars motoring along the street. It’s a truly vibrant scene!
Food in Houjie
There are almost 100 restaurants in downtown Houjie, featuring food from all over China, as well as Japanese cuisine, Korean barbecue and more exotic flavors. Houjie sausage distinguishes itself amongst the many available delicacies with its long history and popularity not only in nearby Hong Kong, Macau and Southeast Asia but in places as far afield as Europe and America too.