Dapeng Fortress is located in the middle of Dapeng Peninsula in east Shenzhen. First built in the 27th year of Hongwu reign of the Ming dynasty (1394), it has a history of over 600 years. When it was set up in the Ming dynasty to resist Japanese pirates, its full name was the Dapeng Fortress of 1,000 Households, and it had played an important role in China's fight against Japanese pirates and British colonial invaders in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Standing 6 meters tall and extending 1,200 meters, the Fortress covers an area of about 100,000 sq meters, and its walls are of granite and bluestone bricks. Dapeng Fortress is so important that Shenzhen is now also known as " Pengcheng (literally the city of roc)".
Dappeng Fortress is extremely well preserved. While walking around it you will sometimes feel as if you have traveled back to Ming dynasty, surrounded by these intact ancient styled buildings. The inhabitants, though, will bring you back to reality. Yes, there are people living in this ancient town, isn’t it amazing? Most of the inhabitants here are migrant workers.
It is open to the public as a tourist spot. Tickets are 20 RMB for adults, 10 RMB for children above 1.1 meters in height and students, free for children under 1.1 meters. Inside the town there is a main street packed with vendors selling tofu jelly, herbal jelly, etc. At the end of the street you can find a cafe called “Gucheng Cafe”, which could be a nice place to chill but there is nothing impressive about the drinks. The more interesting parts are the non-tourist areas off the main street. You can wander around the quiet alleys to find features like wells that inhabitants still use to draw water, walls covered with moss, etc. It makes you forget about the busy city life a little bit. One hour is enough for seeing the major things but if you want to further explore it, it is worth spending more than 3 hours on as well.
It might sound inconvenient that Dapeng Fortress is located in a subdistrict outside the urban area, but there are several buses that can take you there from different districts (Luohu, Futian, Longgang). The following is a list of places you can depart from and what bus to take.
From Shenzhen Airport: Airport Express #6 to Liuyibu (Luohu)-> Bus E11 to Dapeng -> Bus B756 to Dapeng Suocheng
From Yinghu Bus Station: Bus E11 to Dapeng -> Bus B756 to Dapeng Suocheng
From Futian Bus Station: Bus H92 to Dapeng -> Bus B756 to Dapeng Suocheng
From Longgang: Bus 833 to Dapeng -> Bus B756 to Dapeng Suocheng
From Longgang Bus Terminal: Bus 818 to Dapeng -> Bus B756 to Dapeng Suocheng
There are a lot of restaurants owned by local people right inside Dapeng Fortress. The most popular one is called Peng Cheng Fan Guan, located at the East Gate Tower of the fortress. Other options can be Sheng He Nong Jia Cai or Nan Men Yuan Fan Guan. The food in most of the restaurants here are local Cantonese family style.
Since Dapeng Fortress is developed into one of Shenzhen’s most famous tourist spot, a lot of guest houses have been opened inside the fortress. You can easily find them near Nanmen West Rd. Price is usually around 300 RMB. You can also choose to stay at Jiaochangwei Community, which is near the ocean, about 20 minutes’ walk south-west from the fortress. You can find even more guest houses there than in Dapeng Fortress.
As it takes more than an hour to get to Dapeng, you probably don’t want to make it a one-day trip. You can consider staying overnight as mentioned above. It is a good idea to visit the fortress before or after going to the eastern beach area (Xichong, Dongchong, etc). You can take Bus M232 from Dapeng to Xi Chong and Bus M231 to Dong Chong.
When you have visitors that are coming to visit you in Shenzhen, Dapeng is a great choice to bring them as most visitors think that there is nothing "old" in Shenzhen but Dapeng can show a rare side of one of China's newest cities.