Qingyuan is popularly known as Phoenix City because of its resemblance to a phoenix on the map. The name of Phoenix City also arises from a legend, which goes as follows: Once upon a time there dwelt on a huge Chinese parasol tree not far from where the Worker's Cultural Palace of Qingyuan nowadays stands a nest of phoenixes. And under the huge tree lived a young man named Zhang Yi, who made a living by rowing a boat. One year the North River flooded badly and the deluge wreaked havoc on all regions along its path but caused the greatest damage to Qingyuan, just as a poem says about the different levels of damage done to the regions along the path of destruction when a flood occurs. Seeing the great flood was quickly inundating the city, Zhang Yi rowed his small boat everywhere to rescue people. When his effort brought him under his Chinese parasol tree, he heard a phoenix chirping, and he realized that the water level was soon to reach the tree top, and that the phoenix, which judging from its chirping must be a chick and could not fly yet, was in grave danger because, it seemed, the big phoenix had gone out to look for food. Because the water was about to submerge the tree completely soon, he could do nothing but jump into the water and swim toward the center of the tree top. He found the small chick and held her in his arm and tried to swim back to his boat, but some vines wrapping around the tree caught his feet, which made it impossible for him to make it to the boat. He put the small chick on the boat but he himself was devoured by the quickly rising water. When the mother phoenix flew back home and saw what had happened, she was moved and could not see why she should not help to fulfill the young man's desire to save lives now that a young man had risked his life and died of saving her chick. So she lay prostrately on the water surface so that the drowning people could climb onto her back and escape alive. She used up every bit of her strength to save people and finally lost her life too. Then her body changed into two streets of Qingyuan, which look like a phoenix when viewed from afar. The place where the phoenix died is now called Fengli, and Qingyuan has got the name of Phoenix City ever since.
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