Last week, I visited a few Hakka villages in Shenzhen’s Longgang District. Further up the highway heading east, you cross into western Huizhou. One walled village here is particularly notable, not only for its size but its significance in World War II. In the township of Zhenlong is the walled village of Dashanxia.
Following the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong on Christmas day of 1941, a group of 68 British and Chinese soldiers led by Admiral Chan Chek, embarked on an incredible mission to escape from Hong Kong. They initially fled by sea, landing in what is now the Dapeng peninsula in Shenzhen, before making a trek overland where they penetrated Japanese encirclement to reach free Chinese territory in Waichow (Huizhou). Dashaxia was where the party camped out on the night of the 28th.
Built in 1798 by the Yup family, the village is 14,000 square meters in area and encompasses 9 alleys and built in the pattern of “9 halls, 18 wells”. Like other Hakka walled villages, the main entrance leads to the village temple.
Unfortunately, apart from the walls and the main entrance/temple, the rest of the village appears to be weathering away quickly. There appear to be only a few residents still remaining there.
The town of Zhenlong is not particularly easy to get to despite close proximity to Hong Kong. Transport options are limited to an express bus to Huizhou from Lo Wu Station and a slow backtrack to Zhenlong by local bus or taking a local bus from Shuanglong Metro station in Shenzhen.