Mount Danxia in Guangdong, China

During the last week of October, I with my dear colleagues had the chance to spend a weekend in Danxia. Mount Danxia is located an hour away...

During the last week of October, I with my dear colleagues had the chance to spend a weekend in Danxia. Mount Danxia is located an hour away from Shaoguan City in Guangdong, which is reachable through train from Shenzhen. Mt. Danxia consists a series of reddish interestingly shape mountains. Here is our our recommended itinerary if you would like to have a weekend getaway from Hong Kong. 

Friday: Leave work place in Hong Kong and take the train to Lok Ma Chau Shenzhen station (70 mins. from Central). Take a five mins. walk to Water Cube Massage & Spa Centre. (We enjoyed 2 massage services and we will stay overnight here. There is a free flow of fruits from the fruit bar, sauna room, gym room and complimentary wifi).

Saturday: Wake up early and take metro to Shenzhen north station after breakfast. We will then take the high speed train to Shaoguan. 

Shenzhen/ Shaoguan   G 74   0850/1031   (1H 41M)

Upon arrival, you will be picked up by your guide and transfer you to Nanhua Temple, one of the five great school of Buddhism where Hui Neng, the Sixth Patriarch of the Chan School of Buddhism, once lived and taught. After lunch, proceed to hotel to settle down the luggage (1h drive), then walk 10 min to the main entrance of Danxia Mountain Geo National Park and explore this beautiful site! Located in the northeast of Shaoguan city in Guangdong Province, Danxia Mountain is called "Red Stone Park of China". Because of the brilliant red color, the red stone group covering a total area of 282 square miles is called "Danxia Mountain", meaning "red rays of the sun" in Chinese word. Formed of the red sandy rock, Danxia Mountain area is characterized by the red steep cliffs with precipitous landform of even peak, sheer body and flat valleys. In geography, it is also the name place of "Danxia Landform".

This afternoon, we first visit the Yangyuan Mountain Scenic Area (陽元山景區), where you can see the iconic Yangyuan Stone (陽元石), named as it looks like a male genital. It is 28 meters high and 7 meters in diameter, and is famed as the "First Marvelous Stone in the World". Then take a 30-min boat ride along JingJiang River and enjoy the pretty idyllic sceneries and many other beauties for example the Elephants Crossing River (群象过江), the Golden Turtle in Worship (金龟朝圣), the Monster Seized in Six Fingers (六指擒魔), the Sister Peak (姐妹峰), the Tea-Pot Peak (茶壺峰) and the Goddess of Mercy Sending a Baby (觀音送子). Return to hotel after a long day and have dinner in the small Danxia town. Hotel offers hotspring where you can enjoy if you wish (self-paid). 

Sunday: After breakfast in hotel, we proceed to Danxia Mountain again to visit the Zhanglao Peak Scenic Area (長老峰景區). Enjoy a cable car ride to the peak level, where where is a good place to fully enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Danxia Mountain. Climb the Red Ladder and Iron Chain down to the middle level - Biechuan Temple view level, contains the Mandarin Duck Tree and the Biechuan Temple famous as one of the top ten Buddhist Temples in Guangdong and Guangxi areas. Then finally end at the carven temple in Jinshiyan Cliff.

Leave hotel after lunch , we drive back to Shaoguan city (1 hr) and visit the Feng Cai Temple (风采楼), which is built since the Ming Dynasty. You can spend your free time in the Walking Street and hunt for some souvenirs. Finally drive back to Shaoguan Train station and take the high-speed train back to Shenzhen North. 

Shaoguan / Shenzhen G1013 1810/ 1938 (1H 28M)

Arrive Shenzhen in late evening and take metro back to Futian station, cross border to Hong Kong and dismiss.

And here are some pictures I have taken during the trip - although I enjoyed taking photos, I don't really owned a nice camera.

We stayed in Danxia Mountain Hot Spring Resort which is a 10 min. walk to Danxia Mountain park entrance. It is already the best in the area yet it's only decent enough - you even have to bring your own toiletries as the room does not include it. (So much for it being a hotspring resort!)

There is not much choice in this area hotel and restaurant wise, I was also surprised that I didn't see any tourist of other nationalities here aside from the local Chinese. You will also need to hire a guide as everyone speak in Chinese (okay, maybe a few English translations but it's not really essential).

All in all, it's still offers a different kind of experience - a different China. The mountains are spectacular, the sunset is lovely and the walk is challenging as well. The air is indeed fresher compared to any other Chinese cities and the weather at that time is very cooperative, October is a nice season for hiking in China. Our guide said that it sometimes snow in this area, wouldn't that be nice? 

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