Heng Shan 衡山

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Heng Shan 衡山 (also known as Nan Yue 南岳)is one of the five great mountains in China. The highest peak is the 1300m Zhurong Peak. It is not known for birding but there are still some interesting birds to be found here and the forest is good enough for surprises.


Key Species

White-capped Redstart


Other Species

Asian House Martin, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Speckled Piculet, Plumbeous Redstart, Green-backed Tit, Yellow-bellied Tit, Rufous-faced Warbler, Goodson's/Claudia's Warbler, Eurasian Jay.


Other Wildlife

Striped Squirrel.



One of the best areas is from the foot of the cablecar along a path behind the food stalls towards the Poetry Rocks area. From this path there are others heading off into the hills which are less frequented and well worth birding. Birding from the top of the cable car to the summit can be a challenge given the large number of tourists. The summit area appears to support only a few species such as Cinereous Tit and Chinese Bulbul as well as Asian House Martins at the right time of year.


Habitat and Vegetation

The higher reaches of the mountain are mostly conifers. Better broadleaf woods are found from the foot of the cablecar and slopes below that.


Getting there

Heng Shan is easily reached from Heng Yang (one hour bus ride) or on the high speed train - there is a station at Heng Shan East, 10km away from the town.


General Information

There are plenty of hotels in Nan Yue and from there it is at most a 15 minute walk to the entrance to the mountain. The cost per person as at 2016 is approximately Rmb150 which includes the trip up in the cable car or by bus. It is often better to go by bus as the cable cars are very few and queues can take hours.