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Longqiwan, a quiet resort near Dapeng Fortress
Latest Updated by 2006-07-12 11:03:48
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LONGQIWAN is not a household word among tourists from downtown Shenzhen, but many people have seen it without knowing its name. It lies south of the well-known Dapeng Fortress, a 600-year-old military base and the city's only heritage site under State protection.

The top of the southern gate of Dapeng Fortress offers a clear view of the sea. On summer days, when it's too hot to tour the fortress, a nice alternative is to spend the hottest hours on the tree-covered beach and visit the fortress at sunset.

There are good reasons why Longqiwan has not become as popular as Dameisha. The water is a little muddy. There is no lifeguard or shower facility, although there is a shark-proof net. Swimmers should be careful. While the water near shore is only about one meter deep, there is a sharp drop 10 meters off the beach, according to locals.

For beachgoers not particularly interested in swimming, Longqiwan is worth a visit. Along with the cool shade from seaside trees and a nice view of continuous hills, there's no noise from loudspeakers. A luxury hotel right on the beach is called Golden Inlet Holiday Village, also known as Jinshuiwan Resort. The hotel provides beachgoers with wooden chairs free of charge.

The beachside restaurant, Feng Qing Yue Lang Leisure House, rents boats for sightseeing. The restaurant serves snacks and barbecue. It also rents outdoor barbecue grills for 150 yuan (US$19) for a grill for 10. The restaurant rents out a fishing boat for 400 yuan an hour and offers a speedboat tour of the bay for 150 yuan.

The Golden Inlet Holiday Village is about one kilometer away from the popular Dapeng Sea Food Street, where fresh, cheap seafood is available.

The street, no wider than 10 meters, is lined on one side by dozens of stalls selling seafood and by restaurants on the other. People can buy seafood from a stall and have it cooked at a nearby restaurant, which charges only a small amount for cooking.

When the sun starts to set and the temperature drops, it's time to visit Dapeng Fortress, which is open till 6 p.m. The fortress is about one kilometer northeast of Golden Inlet Holiday Village.

At Dapeng Fortress you will find yourself several centuries distant from modern Shenzhen. This well-preserved walled town dates back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and was originally built in 1394 to defend the coast against pirates.

On Sept. 4, 1839, five British naval vessels launched a surprise attack on the Chinese maritime forces at Dapeng Fortress in the waters off Kowloon. Chinese troops in fishing boats, led by General Lai Enjue, defeated the better-equipped enemy. The Kowloon naval battle is now widely considered the start of the Opium Wars.

The fortress compound contains homes, temples, shops and courtyards that look pretty much the same as when they were built centuries ago.

The fortress has more than 1,000 houses, most of which are occupied by migrants or locals unwilling to move. Hakka women wearing their traditional hats - round, wide-brimmed bamboo hats with dark blue cloth on the edge - are striking sights at the fortress.

The municipal government is spending millions of yuan to restore the fortress. Some 30 million yuan has been spent to bury the maze of power lines and plumbing, and more will be spent to rebuild a moat around the wall of the fortress.

Editor: Wing

By: Helen Deng Source: Szdaily web edition
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