It is 7:30 in the morning. We leave early today to visit a natural park with many waterfalls. We are leaving early because it is a 1,5 hour drive. More importantly, it is 1 May, which is a national Chinese holiday probably is the busiest day of the year.
My wife and I had already visited Tong Ling Shan natural park, 7 years ago. The mountains, covered in bamboo and countless other kinds of trees and flowers, are still very beautiful. However, we could hardly believe how much had changed in the last seven years. The sandy, rocky (and scary) mountain roads are replaced with brand new, shiny roads and many tunnels. Next to these roads, entirely new villages are being built for rich folks from Wenzhou city who want a second home in the mountains. Good for local economy I guess, but bad for the wonderful environment.
Tong ling shan park
It was great to visit Tong Ling Shan park again. It was much busier than last time, when we were almost alone. Nonetheless, walking on the scary, slippery forest trails along the beautiful waterfalls was still very impressive. Unfortunately, it is a shame to see that some people just throw their trash everywhere. I surely hope that it will not get worse in the future.
After a two-hour hike, we hit the road again. Although I already knew that traffic can be crazy in China, I could not get used to the Chinese way of driving, and my hart often appears to skip a beat. For my parents, who had never visited China before, the traffic was even a greater shock! After having lunch in a local (mediocre) restaurant, our friendly (but maniacal) driver drove us to the so-called Baizhang Waterfall. Although the entrance area was quite crowded, the path to the waterfall itself was closed due to construction. However, we were still grateful for the great, sunny day out and we happily drove back to Wencheng, with some traffic ‘shocks’ along the way.
Thousands of led-lights
In Wencheng, we bought some fresh shrimps and vegetables on the market for dinner, and walked around a bit. After another lovely (and huge) home-made dinner, my parents-in-law walked with us to the river boulevard, which was decorated with thousands of flashy led-lights, which stretched along the river for more than 2 kilometers. Really romantic…in a Chinese way. The atmosphere is still very lively in the evening, with people dancing and playing table tennis. I had the opportunity to ‘ping pong’ with some locals. Awesome!