Phoenix Mountain (凤凰山 “FengHuang Shan”) in Guangzhou is a good place for a half day excursion. At first we picked this mountain in hopes of seeing the origin of Dangcong Oolong Tea. The local specialty there seems to be fishing equipment, and there wasn’t any sign of tea being a thing around there. I found out later that the tea is from the greater Phoenix Mountain in Chaozhou. Although we didn’t find a grand mountain, we had a great day.
The mountain trail is easily accessed from Guangzhou.The only tricky part is getting to the trail. It took us a couple ask-for-directions to get to the trail. The locals seem to be a little confused by our search of this hill. Phoenix Mountain has an unnamed trail with free access, and since it isn’t a popular destination, there isn’t any signs pointing towards the trail.
So here are my directions: from Tianhe Coach Terminal take the 84A towards Yushatan (鱼沙坦), and get off at Yudonglu（鱼东路）and then walk northeast along Yudonglu until you see a big river. As you walk along that direction, there’ll be a few spots of staircases going up somewhere, and all of them lead to the peak of Phoenix Mountain.
This isn’t my typical experience ‘hiking’ mountains in China. Most of the time I expect some kind of entrance fee, or the place is played up to entertain visitors, or crowded with people, or all of the above. This place is more like a public park for all. It is well kept but not overly dressed up. It’s also not crowded. I enjoyed the quiet climb up the stairs while ‘admiring’ giant spiders, and the seldom passing of fellow hikers.