|The front gate of Dapeng Fortress|
I went on a day trip to Dapeng（大鵬）, a subdistrict in Shenzhen about an hour and a half away from the city center. Aside from being conveniently close to the coastline, Dapeng is a great place to visit to explore the history of the area before Shenzhen's formation.
|Signage is in English|
My day trip was slightly interrupted by the rain, but I was able to throughly explore Dapeng Fortress（dapeng suocheng; 大鵬所成）and Dongshan Temple（dongshansi; 東山寺）.
I took bus E11 from Shenzhen North Station（shenzhenbei; 深圳北）, and got off at Dapeng Station（dapengzhan; 大鵬站）. Then, I walked to Dapeng Station #2（dapengzhan er; 大鵬站二）and took but 928 directly to the fort. Travel time was about two hours, but the scenery was interesting at many points so it didn't bore me. Plus I had a great book in tow.
Dapeng Fortress was build in 1394 to protect citizens from pirates. Almost 200 years after it was built, the fortress was attacked by the Japanese. Nevertheless, the complex is largely still intact. A beautifully antiquated place, the fortress has clearly been restored, but it still retains it's age regally.
|A picturesque cafe.|
Like many cultural relics in China, Dapeng Fortress has been painted with the brush of commercialism. There are several shops and cafes within the complex. However, I don't think they terribly distract from the atmosphere and there are several quiet places in the fortress to stroll around and take a break from the busy city. I actually ducked into a little cafe and enjoyed some lemon green tea when it started to rain heavily.
|A stone figure of the mythical|
|Old yet occupied homes.|
|Dongshan Temple main gate.|
|The colors at Dongshan Temple|
After visiting Dapeng Fortress, I walked to Dongshan Temple (which I don't recommend as the walkway is way to close to the main road). I hoped it wouldn't disappoint as it had begun to rain once again and the road to the temple is uphill.
And disappoint it didn't!
Dongshan Temple is a grand structure which was rebuilt in the mid-1800's and opened to the public as a tourist site in 2012. There are four main parts to the temple and multiple worship halls.
Like my day trip to Jiufen, Taiwan, I came appreciate the fact that it was raining during my day in Dapeng. It gave a relaxing yet slightly eerie atmosphere which truly made me feel like I'd gone back in time.