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Dapeng Ancient Fortress near Shenzhen, South China
Views from Dapeng Ancient Fortress
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.
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.
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Dapeng Ancient Fortress Outer Area
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
Remember to Take
Local Travel Information
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.
Buildings in Dapeng Ancient Fortress
Are you interested in visiting Dapeng from what you've read so far?
People of Dapeng Ancient Fortress
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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
Xichong Beach Resort. Shenzhen. China
Accommodation at Xichong Beach Resort
High End Accommodation
No meals provided
No meals provided
Meals can be provided
Limited toiletries provided
Cable TV and Wi-fi
Cable TV and Wi-fi
Cable TV, Wi-fi and room phone
Seafood Specialities at Xichong Beach Resort
Activities at Xichong Beach
Jet Ski riding
Watch the sun rise over the mountain