When Jeff is working in Longhua, he only has Sundays off from work. Most Sundays we decide to go hiking somewhere in the area. Sunday, January 27, we decided to go hike up Yangtaishan, a small mountain that neither of us had climbed before. Yangtaishan translates to goat mountain in English. We saw many things on our hike, but no goats.
We had nice weather, sunny and not too warm. Jeff appreciated that. There were not too many people, which I greatly appreciated. Some of the other places where we have gone hiking in this area can get very crowded. Another pleasant surprise, there was not much trash alongside the paths! Was this because the local residents are finally learning not to throw garbage everywhere? Or was it because there were not many hikers using this park? That is the more likely explanation, but it was still very nice to not have to look at trash everywhere while we were hiking. Three of Jeff’s co-workers, Paul, Tony, Reese and came hiking with us.
The path going up the mountain was fairly new. A lot of effort must go into making all of these steps and railings to go up a 500 meter (1,000 foot) mountain. Is this done as part of some Chinese version of CCC? Hiring lots of people to turn undeveloped areas into nice parks? With many new parks in China like this one, I think that is what is happening.
At the top of Yangtaishan, there was an impressive rock with the name Yangtaishan carved into it, but not much else. Not much of a view, and no vendors selling food. In fact, there were no vendors selling food anywhere along the path, or even at the start of the path. That is likely another good indicator that not many people come hiking in this park yet. Vendors are good in China at finding places where lots of people go, so they can set up a temporary stall and sell drinks, food, and trinkets.
We took the trail along the river down the mountain. It was an older trail, more narrow, lots of rocks and fewer steps, but it was still nicely maintained. It was very pretty.
There was a reservoir from the dam on the river at the bottom of Yangtaishan.
In the cultural park at the bottom of Yangtaishan, there was a strange new monument.I know it is new because the dedication date on the monument is 2012. It was commemorating the communist army’s rescue of the Chinese residents of Hong Kong from the Japanese army during WWII. This rescue was great effort that likely saved a lot of people. However, the Chinese characters on the monument translate into English as “This rescue was almost the greatest victory” or “This rescue was kind of a great victory”. Jeff thought that he was reading it incorrectly, so he asked his co-workers what it said. They all were in agreement that he was reading it correctly. Why did they spend all that money to put up a large monument and then put Chinese characters on it that make it seem less worthy of a monument. Shouldn’t it just say “This rescue was a great victory”? Or, as Jeff pointed out, since a rescue usually means that you are not winning, i.e. victorious, it should say something like “This rescue was a great achievement or great success.”
Finally, the “only in China” moment of our outing. We walking down a nice, new paved walkway from the monument to the street when we came upon the bacon tree. Yes, there was a tree where someone had placed meat, likely pork, on clothes hangers that were hung from tree branches. This was a tree next to a new trellis in a nicely landscaped area. With meat hung to dry on its branches. There was a sign that said “No clothes drying” nearby but no one prohibited meat drying! So if anyone ever says “bacon doesn’t grow on trees”, I can say “yes it does in China!”