China History Photography Shenzhen Travel

Dapeng Fortress

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).

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Torn Posters on Door
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Danger! Keep Out!
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Mother & Baby
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Washing Day
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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.

Author

Originally from the UK, David is designer and wanderer currently based in Kamakura. Prior to this, he lived in China and still returns frequently to continue exploring this vast and varied land. He started Randomwire in 2003 to chronicle his travels and occasional musings. Feel free to drop him a line.

2 Comments Add New Comment

  1. Marc says:

    Hi David

    I’ve been a viewer of RANDOMWIRE for a year or so, since I made friends with someone living in Shenzhen, (I’m from the UK). It really is an INTERESTING and informing site.

    I’m on a visit just now and would love to see Dapeng Fortress. Could you give a little detail on getting there from Nanshan, and is the fort itself surrounded by the village…or is the village inside the fort?! We can drive there, but I think we need a specific location.

    Thanks a lot and keep up the good work, great stuff.

    Marc

    1. David says:

      Hi Marc – thanks for the comments!

      Dapeng Fortress is definitely worth at visit – the original village is inside the fort (and still active) but today there are also lots of houses surrounding the city walls also.

      Getting there is a little hard and you will definitely need to drive. It’s about 55km away from Shenzhen in Longgang District. The best I can do in terms of directions is give you a link to it on Google Maps – http://bit.ly/cuRMwZ – hope you will have a Chinese speaker with you!

      Feel free to drop me a line if you want to meet up while you’re over here.

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