Phoenix Mountain National Forest Park
Phoenix Mountain, traditionally known as Dragon Mountain or Helong Mountain, accounts for 55 square kilometers and has an altitude of 660 meters. 1600 years ago, Muronghuang, the former emperor of Yan Empire, ordered the construction of Dragon City on the mountain, for which the mountain was then called Dragon Mountain. There are three pagodas constructed by Liao Empire and named Tianzhu Peaks in the period of Yuan Empire. In Qing dynasty, Dragon Mountain was then renamed as Phoenix Mountain with the establishment of Buddhist temples of three categories—Shang (means upper), Zhong (means middle) and Xia (means lower), among which Yunjie Temple is the most representative of ancient constructions. On the top of the mountain tourists will find the famous Chaoyang Temple where lies a 3.16-meter-long Sakyamuni statue.
Phoenix Mountain is not only a well-known mountain with historical importance in East Liaoning Province, but a Holy Land of Buddhism with high reputation. Longxiang Buddhist Temple, the earliest Buddhist temple in Northeast China ever recorded by now, was built up on Phoenix Mountain by Murong Huangguang, the emperor of Yan Empire. Longxiang Temple is therefore considered as the “Ancestor Temple” of Buddhism in the Northeast and reputed as “The First Buddhist Temple” in Northeast China. Through further improvement and construction, three pagodas (Meyun Pagoda, Dabao Pagoda and repaired Lingxiao Pagoda) and four temples (Yanshou Temple, Tianqing Temple, Yunjie Temple and Huayan Temple which is un-existed now) constitute the main body of ancient constructions on the mountain. Besides, there are relics of Buddha Niche on Cliff in North Wei Empire, the Ancient Street Jiangxiang and Shibapan in Liao Dynasty, the Headstand Kwan-yin Cave in Qing dynasty and the Wofe (lying on the ground) Buddha Cave, etc. Phoenix Mountain is a densely plant-covered area and an important habitat of rare species—Black Marabou. Natural scenery here includes Jintuo Wangyue (means a big camel looking at the round moon in the sky), Xiangbi Hill (means a hill kooks like the trunk of an elephant), Natural Grand Buddha and so on. The Dragon Mountain Scenery District of Phoenix Mountain boasts of precipitous cliffs, deep valleys, continuous hills and up-standing peaks, which present an image of crouching beasts and a swimming dragon. Tourists will enjoy themselves in Phoenix Mountain to their heart content.