This weekend I joined my company’s photography society on a trip to the little known Dapeng Fortress, about 55km east of the city centre. Dapeng Fortress is a small but well preserved ancient town that was built in the Ming Dynasty (1394) to protect the southern coast from Japanese Pirates and later in 1838 bore the brunt of the British naval invasion (thus beginning the Opium Wars).
What makes the town even more fascinating is that it’s still lived in, mainly by migrant workers, with everyday life taking place amongst 600 years of history. The narrow streets contain countless hidden architectural gems from ornately carved wooden beams to beautiful door paintings and a number of freshwater wells (still in use).
Most of the town is in reasonable condition although work is being undertaken to restore and maintain some areas under its state-protected status. It is well worth taking a few hours to wander around and might just be the perfect getaway from the non-stop hustle and bustle of the city.