June 12, 2007

Episode XXVI: Climbing the Monkey


I have been living in Kaohsiung city already for a while but did not experience one of its most famous attractions for several months. I admit my fault. I have been to the Love River, Cijin Island, Takao British Consulate, Lotus Pond and Fine Arts Museum. Some of those places I have visited multiple times. But I missed some other thing.

I am thinking about Chaishan, in foreign community better known as a Monkey Mountain. Actually it is not a real mountain. Rather a huge hill covered with forest. It is located in the western part of the city. In Gushan district.

Funny thing is the radio I am working in is placed very close to it. Isn't it an irony? Being in the neighbourhood of something so often and do not know it well.

With my friend from a football team – Guy, the one I have been cycling in the Pintung County recently, we went to the Mountain during the noon on the weekend. It was pretty hot and humid. I was sweating a lot.

Chaishan is well equipped and very convenient for its visitors. There are boardwalks all over the place. Wooden paths that guide you around. Maps and directions. No chance to get lost.

Though it is always entertaining to see the people who treat themselves very serious while going up there. In fact it is more of a walk than a real climb or even a trek. Nevertheless professional gear is often seen. Full waterproof shoes, sticks, hats, ponchos, big rucksacks etc. It looks like wearing deep sea scuba diving equipment in a swimming pool.

Chaishan is well known for being home to many Taiwanese monkeys. They are quite spoiled by the tourists I have to say because they do not hesitate to harass a person in due to get a free meal. Having a sweet potato, peanuts or a banana I do not recommend going for a walk. It will most probably end up with an eye to eye confrontation with a bunch of hungry monkeys. I put my odds on the cheeky mammals.

One thing is to visit the Mountain during the day, another to go at night. To do that a torch is required because it is pitch black up there after the sunset.

With my experienced friends who love to camp and explore the nature spots of Taiwan I went to the Mountain at night. It was a totally different adventure.

We went to Chaishan to look for wild animals that live there. Definitely it was a great lesson of nature. We have seen some snakes. Small green bamboo viper and the other colourful one. Besides that many crabs, which find homes in snail shells. Spiders and bats. I was said small deer can be found as well. Monkeys are sleeping at the time. Situated high on the rocky shelves.
It is a great thing to have such a mysterious spot right next to the city centre. From now on I will surely visit it more regularly. Have to try to know what it is. I already do know.

1 comment:

Kaohsiung Living said...

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