Yuanshan is one of many possible hikes in Shenzhen, but it is certainly one worth considering. When you first arrive, you will likely think it is either closed down, or completely run down. However this I feel adds to its charm.
After entering the main gate, I suggest heading to the temple first – you can’t go in but you can take a look. On the left-hand side you will see lots of shrines and pagodas which have an old, eerie feel about them. I have never seen anything like this in Shenzhen. It has a kind of Bali vibe (well at least a tinge of it).
After the temple, follow the sign for ‘trails.’ It’s vague but this is actually the information on the sign. You’ll walk along a long paved road which goes to a restaurant and store. You should be able to see the mountain looming in the distance.
Unfortunately, now the stairs begin. The mountain is around 600 meters high and it does punish the legs a little, especially going down. These are not typical cement stairs though, they are made from the rock available on the mountain and are surrounded by old trees. There’s interesting geology and even a cave or two. Some good photo opportunities and again it’s something a little different.
The views could be impressive on a clear day, if you’re lucky. Unfortunately, I wasn’t and had a bit of a smoggy view but don’t let that deter you. The cliff walk is very cool and something a bit fun. Overall, I would suggest this hike as it is certainly something as little different. Don’t come expecting the most impressive hike ever, but keep an open mind.
Henggang Metro Line 3 (Exit A) then get a short taxi of Didi to Yuanshan Mountain Scenic Area
Entrance ticket is RMB15
Joe Macpherson, also known as ‘Shenzhen Guide’ is a Welshman who has lived in Shenzhen for six years. He is the go-to person for Shenzhen advice on food, hiking and more. Check out his blog at wanderlustwelshman.com for more in-depth guides, plus other hidden gems in Shenzhen.
[All images via Joe Macpherson]