On our trip to Joshua Tree National Park, someone in our group borrowed a tent but didn't set it up in their yard beforehand. Only after we were in the park did we discover that the fly was missing, the zippers didn't work, and some of the poles were missing. The temperature was supposed to… Read More »
Those who fear monkeys beware! Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China is infested with macaques. Admittedly, these monkeys look cute and harmless, and indeed upon seeing them, most tourists are quick to whip out their cameras. But the macaques are aggressive, and not afraid of humans.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (湖南张家界国家森林公园) is my favorite place in China (so far). The park is full of sky-high stone pillars, some of which soar over 1000 meters above the forest floor. Supposedly, these natural formations inspired James Cameron to create the “Hallelujah Floating Mountains” for his movie Avatar. Never one to turn down free publicity, Chinese officials renamed one of the pillars “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain” (阿凡达-哈利路亚山).
According to legend, early in the thirteenth century a nomadic tribal leader went on a hunting expedition to a mountain at the eastern edge of the Eurasian Steppe. As he stood on the summit, the spectacular view of the surrounding grasslands and forests inspired him. The man suddenly realized his desire to unify all of the tribes in the region. He gazed at the golden sunrise and commanded to his tribesmen, “Moerdaoga!” – “Ride into the battle on your horses!” The man's name was Genghis Khan, and this land would soon fall under his rule.