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We’ve told you about our adventures to Dameisha (大梅沙) and Xiaomeisha (小梅沙), but today I have a different story to tell. Last Friday, we took a long bus ride out to Dapeng (大鹏-true story, this means “large Roc” as in roc the mythical bird, a small-ish town on the easternmost outskirts of Shenzhen, to visit the beaches we had been told were truly beautiful. After about an hour and a half on the buses (and keep in mind that our district, Yantian (盐田)is the closest anyone gets to these beaches) we arrived at Jinshawan (金沙湾), which translates to “Golden Bay.” Apparently, there are several different beaches around that neck of the woods, but the one we went into was about 13.5 元 to get in ($2 USD), and much better than both Dameisha and Xiaomeisha.

The Boardwalk was still warm, but not as boiling hot as the sand was.

The Boardwalk was still warm, but not as boiling hot as the sand was.

The beach was clean(ish), the water was nice and cool, and there were actually some decent sized waves. We arrived about an hour earlier than everyone else so we would have some extra time to enjoy the beach in solitude, and it was pretty awesome. Eventually, the rest of the gang showed up, and with a frisbee or two we spent a good three or four hours basking in the sunlight.

At around four p.m. we decided we’d had enough. However, since it took us so long to get out there, we figured we might as well consolidate our bus trips and have a visit to Dapeng Fortress, located about a half hour (by bus, always by bus) from the beach. The fortress was built in the late 1300s in order to protect the area from pirates, and over the next few centuries it slowly turned into a walled town. We explored for about forty minutes, which gave us all the time we needed to get a feel for the place without accidentally stumbling in to people’s homes at dinner time (which we may or may not have done anyway).

As this is one of the few true historical sites near Shenzhen, I was pretty happy to get the chance to visit. The walls were basic stone, and both looked and felter incredibly old and incredibly solid. Even the homes reeked of the past, and though the town had obviously been modernized, their was more than a hint of the ancient here.

Dapeng Fortress is also, apparently, something of a venue, as we seemed to have just missed a mass wedding. There was also a collection of Chinese men and women wearing the same shirt (I don’t think they were related to the mass wedding). There are lots of these tour groups in China, but this was the first one I had seen since leaving Beijing, where our near-residence in Beida (北京大学) made us a common sight for traveling Chinese folks.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable day, and by the time we finally made it home, we were more than happy to climb up to our bedroom and finally get some well earned sleep. And it was a good thing we did, for within two days, we would face the wrath of Typhoon Usagi (I’d love to provide the Mandarin for Usagi, but since it is a Japanese word for bunny, I don’t think there is much I can really do)

So long, fairwell, and until we meet again! 下次见!!