(Be sure to read my previous post for Part I!)
My one goal for visiting the Guizhou province was to see some MONKEYS! Did I achieve my goal? Read on to find out…
The next day, my relative came to pick us up and take us to a park. The first park we went to was more like a farm. There were a bunch of plants there. (lol, do you like my awesome blogging and writing skills?)
I enjoyed my walk among the plants! But tbh, I’m more of an “animal” farm than a “plant” farm kind of person. Soon after, we went to lunch, where I had my second interesting meal experience in Guiyang!
The restaurant was a traditional-style, where they cook the food in a huge wok in the center of the table, with the stove under the table. According to my grandma, this is the traditional style of cooking that people in this area used a long time ago. Now it’s “trendy” for restaurants lol.
After the server started up the fire, she put a huge piece of lard into the wok. Then, she started sauteeing the meat, vegetables, sauce, and spices. (By meat, I mean like everything – outside parts, inside parts, etc. The server put in an entire bowl of chicken heart/liver/inside stuff. I picked up a piece that I thought was maybe duck foot but it turned out to be the crown of a rooster. I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW YOU COULD EAT THAT!!)
When the soup thing was almost done, the server slapped some corn baba (粑粑) around the sides of the wok. Then, she covered the wok to let it steam up. After a few minutes, the meal was done cooking! The baba was sweet and tasty, easily my favorite part of the meal, but that’s because I’m weak sauce and can’t stand this region’s spicy food. 😦
Besides eating, I also took a lot of pictures with the straw decorations around the room. This is my blog, so this seems like an acceptable place to brag about how cute I am.
After lunch, we went the Guiyang Karst Park. Karst is a term used to describe the kind of landscape in this area. It is really unique – I’ve never seen rock parks like this before. And the nearby mountains are really steep, kind of gum-drop shaped. I definitely want to explore this province more in the future!
You can see that that they are constructing huge buildings in the background. This is a totally normal sight in China 😀 Apparently, they were trying to develop this land, but when they dug it up, they found these cool rock formations and turned it into a park instead. The park is actually quite big and really cool, especially if you’re into rocks!
We spent the rest of the afternoon chilling at a relative’s house. After dinner, my dad, grandparents, and I went to watch a show, which is called “The Colors of Guizhou”, or something like that.
The show is inspired by the natural beauty of Guizhou’s landscape as well as the rich cultures of the ethnic minorities that reside in the province. For example, the first performance was inspired by the rushing waters of the waterfalls.
There was a great variety of acts including dancing, singing, flute-whistling, acrobatics, heartwarming or sad acts, comedy acts, etc. I highly recommend watching this show! The production value is really great – the background images of each act were beautiful. In the end, this show made me really love Guizhou and want to come back to see everything else in this province!
The next day was Monday, the day I was set to leave. I had not seen any monkeys yet. This was my last chance! My grandparents took me to Qianling Park, which is known for the troops of wild monkeys that live there. I even bought a small bag of bananas and baozi 包子 to feed them (you’re not supposed to feed wild animals!! Don’t follow my example!!!).
We stopped by a small restaurant on the way there for breakfast. We ate warm soymilk with youtiao, which is usually described in English as “Chinese donuts”, although I’m not sure if that is an accurate description. Anyways, this soymilk + youtiao is a very popular breakfast combo in China. You dip the youtiao in the soymilk, which is why the soymilk is served in a bowl.
We headed to the park and walked around. We got there a little early, so I didn’t see any monkeys, although I was on the lookout the entire time. This is a really big park, and we walked quite a distance in and I did not see any monkeys. I was so disappointed. We decided to turn around and go home (I have a flight to catch in the afternoon!)
When we got back towards the entrance, we saw a huge crowd of people. Guess what they were surrounding? MONKEYS!! Suddenly, there were monkeys everywhere. Like, EVERYWHERE.
There were park officials with megaphones warning people to stay away from the monkeys and to not feed them. The monkeys, like any wild animal, can be aggressive, especially if they see you with food in your hands!
There were big adult monkeys, small kid monkeys, and even tiny baby monkeys latched onto their mommies. THERE WERE SO MANY MONKEYS. SO MANY. Monkeys are so cute! They are so expressive and their mannerism are very human-like.
As you can see, the monkeys here are very accustomed to people and have no problem jacking your stuff. I’m very pleased with my monkey experience in Qianling Park! It really was the cherry on top of a great weekend in Guiyang.
On the way back from the park, my dad and I stopped by a restaurant to try 丝娃娃, or “silk dolls”. It’s a local snack that consists of various vegetables such as cucumber or pickled radish and sauces wrapped in a thin flour pancake. It gets its name from the way the pancake “swaddles” the fillings, like you swaddle a baby in a silk blanket or something. (in Chinese, “doll” sometimes means child/baby). It’s really delicious and there are so many combinations of fillings to try! Definitely try it if you are ever in Guiyang!
I had a really great time in Guiyang over the course of the long weekend. Guizhou is not a huge tourist destination or a very well-known province in China, but it should be! There is so much to discover here and this region has it all – beautiful natural landscapes, rich culture, great food (if you like spicy/sour foods, which I personally am not used to. But maybe you’ll like it!), and MONKEYS. I didn’t even get to visit a lot of places in Guizhou because I was there during a national holiday, so we were too lazy to go to those places because we knew it was going to be super crowded. I can’t wait to come back one day!