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Dapeng Ancient Fortress near Shenzhen, South China

Updated on February 27, 2016
InspiringWriter profile image

Originally from Birmingham, England, Ava has been living in Shenzhen on South China's tropical South East coast since 2013.

Views from Dapeng Ancient Fortress

Front view: 360 degree views from Dapeng Fort, Shenzhen, China
Front view: 360 degree views from Dapeng Fort, Shenzhen, China | Source
Rear View: The huge metropolis of Shenzhen city, home to almost 15 million people is on the other side of the hills
Rear View: The huge metropolis of Shenzhen city, home to almost 15 million people is on the other side of the hills | Source

Dapeng Fortress Ancient Village: Introduction

Approximately 600 years ago, during the time of the Ming Dynasty, the now great city of Shenzhen was just a tiny fishing village with no ambitions or aspirations. It was content to just be. Its fishermen inhabitants enjoyed its tropical climate, mountains, coastal location and mangroves; forests on the sea and home to an abundant variety of wildlife.

Less than a hundred miles away a town had formed which, unlike, sleepy Shenzhen, did have particular significance. Its inhabitants were of the Hakka ethnicity and their livelihood was war. In the fortress coastal town of Dapeng, lived warriors and their families.

These men, probably the equivalent of today's Navy seals, under the leadership of various Generals were armed and in charge, ready to defend their territory from overseas attacks.

Source

A Weekend Escape

Nowadays, Dapeng is definitely in the shadow of its mighty neighbor, the thriving, ultra modern Shenzhen which has developed and expanded at an eye watering rate in a little over 30 years, leaving behind only a small trace of its fishing roots.

Dapeng Village is now reduced to one lane, a school yard, a fortress and a few hundred old houses the whole of which has been beautifully preserved, giving lie to the common belief that Shenzhen is really China-lite with no ancient artefacts to view

In this article we take a closer look at this marvelous piece of Chinese history along with the neighbouring Xichong Worker's Beach Resort, including what you can see and do there. Both are popular places to escape for an overnighter or a long weekend at any time of the year.

Dapeng Ancient Fortress Outer Area

Welcome to Dapeng Ancient Fortress
Welcome to Dapeng Ancient Fortress | Source
Gate Wall entrance to Dapeng Ancient Fortress
Gate Wall entrance to Dapeng Ancient Fortress | Source
Sedan Coach Drivers at Dapeng Fortress
Sedan Coach Drivers at Dapeng Fortress | Source
Lane leading into Dapeng Ancient Fortress
Lane leading into Dapeng Ancient Fortress | Source
Lane at Dapeng Ancient Fortress
Lane at Dapeng Ancient Fortress | Source
Lane at Dapeng Fort
Lane at Dapeng Fort | Source

I Bet You Didn't Know That!

  • Dapeng Fortress is located in the middle of Dapeng Peninsula in east Shenzhen. Without the fort and its fierce, victorious naval army, Southern China could have been inhabited by Japanese pirates and British colonists.
  • The fort was first built in 1394 and may of the buildings from that time, known as 'The Dapeng Fortress of 1,000 Households' remain today.
  • The Fort itself is a substantial structure, standing 6 meters tall and extending 1,200 meters, covering an area of about 100,000 sq meters. Its walls are made of granite and bluestone bricks. Locals call it 'Pengcheng' which translates literally as 'The City of Rock.'
  • When the sun goes down and the tourists go home, Dapeng Fort is by no means a ghost town. Many migrant workers live and work there, leaving only at Chinese New Year when they return to their hometown to join their families for the Festival.
  • The Climate in Dapeng Ancient Fortress and Xichong Beach follows the same pattern as the South of China which means short, mild winters and long summers lasting from the beginning of March until Mid December. As it's right on the sea, it offers relief from temperatures of 30 degrees plus, which are found further inland. This also makes it perfect for summer and winter sea sports.

Inner Area of Dapeng Ancient Fortress

Shops in Dapeng Inner Lane, Dapeng Ancient Fortress, Shenzhen, China
Shops in Dapeng Inner Lane, Dapeng Ancient Fortress, Shenzhen, China | Source
The Boat House, named after its hull shaped roof.
The Boat House, named after its hull shaped roof. | Source
Beautiful stone carving, Dapeng Ancient Fortress
Beautiful stone carving, Dapeng Ancient Fortress | Source
Courtyard at Dapeng Ancient Fortress
Courtyard at Dapeng Ancient Fortress | Source
12 Chinese Animals in stone. One for each year of the Chinese Zodiac, known in Chinese as Shengxiao
12 Chinese Animals in stone. One for each year of the Chinese Zodiac, known in Chinese as Shengxiao | Source

Useful Information

Remember to Take
Local Travel Information
Weather Watch
Chinese money - at the time of writing there are no Exchange Bureaux at Dapeng
Easy to access from various Shenzhen districts
Monsoon season begins in April and lasts 6-8 weeks
A book of simple Chinese phrases
From Futian or from Yinghu bus station: Any of buses E11, B756, 833 and change to bus 756 to Dapeng Suochong
Expect frequent heavy but brief showers
Rain wear and a sturdy umbrella
From Shenzhen Airport take bus #6, change to bus E11 to bus 756
Winters are short and mild but you will need a light coat or jacket
A walking stick if you need help being mobile. Dapeng Fort is not wheelchair friendly.
 
 
The bus journey from Shenzhen takes over an hour so planning an overnight stay is a good idea and reduces the need to worry about late night transport back into the city.

Buildings in Dapeng Ancient Fortress

Entrance plaque to General Lai Enxi's Mansion
Entrance plaque to General Lai Enxi's Mansion | Source
Beautiful signage in Hanse, Chinese characters
Beautiful signage in Hanse, Chinese characters | Source
Road Sign in Dapeng Ancient Fort
Road Sign in Dapeng Ancient Fort | Source
Entrance to a house in Dapeng Ancient Fortress, China
Entrance to a house in Dapeng Ancient Fortress, China | Source
Exquisite carving in Dapeng Fort
Exquisite carving in Dapeng Fort | Source
Ancient Gods protect this house in Dapeng Ancient Fortress, Shenzhen, China
Ancient Gods protect this house in Dapeng Ancient Fortress, Shenzhen, China | Source
Doorway to an ancient home in Dapeng Fort, China
Doorway to an ancient home in Dapeng Fort, China | Source
Gateway to the old school in Dapeng Fort, Shenzhen
Gateway to the old school in Dapeng Fort, Shenzhen | Source
Wall Plaque at Dapeng Fortress, China
Wall Plaque at Dapeng Fortress, China | Source
The schoolyard in Dapeng Fort, Shenzhen, China
The schoolyard in Dapeng Fort, Shenzhen, China | Source

Your Thoughts

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People of Dapeng Ancient Fortress

Making dumplings for lunch
Making dumplings for lunch | Source
Lady cooking local delicacies on the street
Lady cooking local delicacies on the street | Source
Street food at Dapeng Ancient Fortress
Street food at Dapeng Ancient Fortress | Source
Stall seller at Dapeng Fortress
Stall seller at Dapeng Fortress | Source
Musician preparing to play at Dapeng Ancient Fortress
Musician preparing to play at Dapeng Ancient Fortress | Source
Climbing ancient stone steps at Dapeng Fort
Climbing ancient stone steps at Dapeng Fort | Source

Where to Stay in Xichong Beach

It is possible to stay right on the ancient doorstep of Dapeng Fort, however, many people go 200 metres or so down the hill to Xichong Beach resort and sleep there.

Accommodation ranges from small chalets to boutique hotels with prices fixed accordingly (see the information box below), but the main attraction is that the resort sits literally on the beach, providing easy access to an array of fresh seafood, sea sports and other activities such as cheap bike hire.

An integral part of the village is the vast number of eateries which also range from bars with Karoake (Chinese style) to restaurants on the sea front, to fast food diners, cafés, tea shops and coffee bars. Basically every taste is catered for in both drink and food and, what I liked best is that (again, at the time of writing) there are no MacDonald's, KFC's or Burger Kings in evidence. I'm guessing this is intentional and I think it's a good thing which allows the area to retain its ancient authenticity.

Xichong Beach Resort Village Accommodation

Colourful and attractive lanes
Colourful and attractive lanes | Source
Tropical, leafy green avenues
Tropical, leafy green avenues | Source
Mid-priced chalet accomodation
Mid-priced chalet accomodation | Source
Xichong Beach Resort Accomodation
Xichong Beach Resort Accomodation | Source
Accommodation at Xichong Beach Resort
Accommodation at Xichong Beach Resort | Source
Gateway to bars and accommodation at Xichong Beach Resort
Gateway to bars and accommodation at Xichong Beach Resort | Source
Restaurant at Xichong Beach Resort
Restaurant at Xichong Beach Resort | Source

Xichong Beach Resort. Shenzhen. China

Accommodation at Xichong Beach Resort

Value Accommodation
Mid-Priced Chalets
High End Accommodation
No meals provided
No meals provided
Meals can be provided
Limited toiletries provided
Limited toiletries
Toiletries provided
Cable TV and Wi-fi
Cable TV and Wi-fi
Cable TV, Wi-fi and room phone
Prices vary depending on the establishment and the season. Prices on the internet are usually given in CNY (Chinese money) so exchange rates need to be factored in when drawing up a budget. Family suits or smaller rooms are plentiful.

Seafood Specialities at Xichong Beach Resort

Choose from a variety of seafood
Choose from a variety of seafood | Source
Which is delivered several times a day
Which is delivered several times a day | Source
The sea is less than 10 feet away from the restaurant strip
The sea is less than 10 feet away from the restaurant strip | Source
One of the many seafood restaurants you can choose to dine at. Experience great food, great service and great value for money
One of the many seafood restaurants you can choose to dine at. Experience great food, great service and great value for money | Source
Meat dumplings for breakfast or any time of day.
Meat dumplings for breakfast or any time of day. | Source

Activities at Xichong Beach

For Children
For Adults
For Families
Pony Riding
Horse riding
Camping
Swimming
Jet Ski riding
Hiking
Fireworks
Golfing
Barbeque
 
Diving
Wedding Pictures
 
Watch the sun rise over the mountain
Fishing
 
 
Boat rides

Xichong Beach

These photos of Xichong Beach were taken at 6am. I was hoping to catch the sunrise, however it was a mild but very cloudy winter's day so I settled for a long, peaceful walk instead.
These photos of Xichong Beach were taken at 6am. I was hoping to catch the sunrise, however it was a mild but very cloudy winter's day so I settled for a long, peaceful walk instead. | Source
Xichong Beach at daybreak
Xichong Beach at daybreak | Source
Xichong Beach pier
Xichong Beach pier | Source

Comments

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    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 15 months ago from london

      Very well written, interesting and well worth reading Hub. makes me want to visit, Ava. A fascinating look at their culture and history.

      I like Chinese movies. I may have told you, don't remember. But the towns and cities, as well as the Ming Dynasties, comes up pretty regularly in their movies. Excellent article. Perhaps you have a Chinese Soul.

    • InspiringWriter profile image
      Author

      Ava Ming 15 months ago from Shenzhen, China

      Hi Manatita44 (would love to know the origin of your Hubpages name), thanks for your kind words and glad you enjoyed the article.

      Yes you mentioned that you liked to watch Chinese films, perhaps now it's time to see the real thing? Me and my Chinese soul will keep an eye out for you (-:

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