I and Elizabeth Chaucer, Tabitha Lewis are college classmates, we are both nature and adventure lovers. After graduation, we went our separate ways, engaged in different professions, but kept in touch, from time to time to share each other’s life and experience. Last month, we decided to revisit old times, agreed to go to China’s Linyi Mengshan National Forest Park Dawan scenic area hunting, experience a different culture and scenery.
Linyi Mengshan National Forest Park is located in the north of Linyi City, Shandong Province, is one of China’s largest artificial forests. There is a rich biodiversity here, with nearly 300 kinds of wild animals and plants. Dawan scenic area is the core area of Mengshan Park, with vast grasslands, clear lakes, strange peaks and rocks. This is a paradise for hunting enthusiasts, with a variety of prey, such as rabbits, pheasants, ducks, deer and so on.
We chose this place as our destination, because we are all interested in China’s nature and culture, want to experience this ancient and mysterious country firsthand. We plan to stay here for a week, during the day to visit Mengshan Park’s various attractions, at night in Dawan scenic area hunting, enjoy the night’s excitement and fun. We also prepared professional hunting equipment, such as night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars, etc., in order to find and track prey in the dark.
This is the beginning of our hunting trip, the following story will be full of thrilling, exciting, interesting and delicious. Let me tell you in detail.
Linyi Mengshan National Forest Park is one of China’s largest artificial forests, located in the north of Linyi City, Shandong Province, about 40 kilometers from the city. There is a rich biodiversity here, with nearly 300 kinds of wild animals and plants, of which more than 30 are national first or second class protected animals, such as golden eagles, white cranes, black-necked cranes, elk, macaques and so on. This is also China’s largest wild orchid base, with more than 100 kinds of wild orchids, of which more than 10 are rare orchids in the world.
Dawan scenic area is the core area of Mengshan Park, covering an area of about 2000 hectares, is a water landscape composed of natural lakes and artificial reservoirs. There are vast grasslands, clear lakes, strange peaks and rocks, quaint villages and so on. This is also a paradise for hunting enthusiasts, with a variety of prey, such as rabbits, pheasants, ducks, deer and so on. There is also a special hunting project here, that is night tour of Mengshan, using night vision devices and infrared devices to find and track prey in the dark, experience the night’s excitement and fun.
Why choose this place as the destination? There are three reasons:
Firstly，this is one of China’s natural and cultural representatives，has a long history and tradition. It is said that this is the hometown of China’s ancient Shennong and Yan Emperor，is also one of the origins of China’s farming civilization. There are also many historical figures and cultural relics here，such as Confucius once lectured here，Mencius once traveled here，and the famous Mengshan Conference site.
Secondly，this is one of China’s tourist attractions，has beautiful natural scenery and rich tourism resources. In addition to Dawan scenic area，there are many other attractions worth seeing here，such as Mengshan Temple，Mengshan Tower，Mengshan Cableway，Mengshan Waterfall，Mengshan Grassland and so on. There are also many characteristic activities and festivals here，such as Mengshan Orchid Festival，Mengshan Grassland Music Festival，Mengshan Folk Culture Festival and so on.
Thirdly, this is one of China’s food capitals, with unique local flavors and delicious dishes. Here not only has Linyi’s characteristic food, such as pancakes, braised rabbit head, Mengshan bachelor chicken, Yishui feng cake, etc., but also other places’ food, such as Junan donkey meat, eight treasure bean drum, sanzhou porridge, etc. These foods are not only tasty, nutritious, but also rich in cultural connotations and folk significance.
According to the above reasons, choosing Linyi Mengshan National Forest Park Dawan scenic area as the destination is a wise choice. The itinerary is as follows:
Day 1: Depart from San Jose, take a plane to Linyi City, check in the hotel, rest for a while, go to Dawan scenic area at night to hunt, experience the fun of night tour of Mengshan.
Day 2: Get up in the morning, enjoy Linyi’s characteristic breakfast, such as pancakes, fried dough sticks, soy milk, etc. Then take a car to Mengshan Temple, visit this thousand-year-old Buddhist temple, appreciate its architectural style and cultural heritage. At noon, taste Mengshan bachelor chicken in the restaurant near the temple. This is a dish made with Mengshan’s specialty wild chicken. It is tender and spicy, very appetizing. In the afternoon, take the Mengshan cableway to the Mengshan Tower, overlooking the whole view of Mengshan Park, feel its magnificent and mysterious. In the evening, return to Dawan scenic area, continue hunting, try different prey and equipment.
Day 3: Get up in the morning, enjoy Linyi’s characteristic breakfast, such as Yishui feng cake, eight treasure bean drum, sanzhou porridge, etc. Then take a car to Mengshan Conference site, visit this place that once changed China’s historical process, understand its behind story and significance. At noon, taste braised rabbit head in the nearby restaurant. This is a dish made with Mengshan’s specialty wild rabbit. The meat is tender and the soup is rich and delicious. In the afternoon, take a car to Mengshan Waterfall, watch this spectacular waterfall that is 108 meters high, feel its momentum and coolness. In the evening, return to Dawan scenic area, continue hunting, challenge your skills and courage.
Day 4: Get up in the morning, enjoy Linyi’s characteristic breakfast, such as Junan donkey meat, beef noodles, wonton soup etc. Then take a car to Mengshan Grassland，experience the grassland life，riding horses，grazing，picking etc. At noon，picnic on the grassland，taste your own hunting game，such as wild chicken，wild duck，wild rabbit etc. In the afternoon，participate in Mengshan Grassland Music Festival，enjoy various styles and types of music performances，feel the charm and power of music. In the evening，return to Dawan scenic area，end the hunting trip，summarize the harvest and insights.
Day 5: Get up in the morning，pack your luggage，prepare to leave. Before leaving，taste Linyi’s characteristic food again in the snack shop near the hotel，such as pancakes，braised rabbit head，Mengshan bachelor chicken，Yishui feng cake etc. Then take a car to the airport，take a plane back to San Jose.
Hunting is an ancient and exciting activity that not only exercises your body and willpower but also enhances friendship and unity. In Linyi Mengshan National Forest Park Dawan scenic area，there are a variety of prey，such as rabbits，pheasants，ducks，deer etc. These preys have their own habits and characteristics that require different methods and skills to capture. To ensure the safety and success of hunting，you need to prepare professional hunting equipment，such as guns，ammunition，knives，nets，baits etc. Among them，one of the most important equipment is night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars.
Night vision binoculars are devices that can see objects clearly in the dark. They use low-light amplification technology to convert weak ambient light into visible light，thus improving visual effects. Infrared binoculars are devices that can detect the infrared radiation emitted by objects. They use thermal imaging technology to display objects of different temperatures as images of different colors，thus distinguishing targets and backgrounds. These two devices are essential equipment for night hunting，because they can help hunters find and track prey in the dark，increase the accuracy and efficiency of hunting.
During the hunting process in Dawan scenic area, we encountered many thrilling, exciting, interesting scenes and feelings. Here are some examples:
On the first night, we planned to catch a rabbit for dinner. Using night vision binoculars, we found a gray animal in the grass, thinking it was a rabbit, and quietly approached it. When we were ready to shoot, we suddenly found that the animal was actually a hedgehog! Fortunately, we found out its identity in time, otherwise it would cause a lot of trouble.
On the second night, we wanted to challenge our skills and planned to catch a pheasant for breakfast. Using infrared binoculars, we found a red bird in the woods, thinking it was a pheasant, and quickly threw out a net. When we approached the net, we found that the bird was actually a red-billed blue magpie! This is a national second-class protected animal that cannot be killed at will. We quickly let it go and apologized to it.
On the third night, we wanted to experience the fun of the night and planned to catch a duck for lunch. Using night vision binoculars, we found a group of white waterfowl by the lake, thinking they were ducks, and slowly approached them. When we were ready to shoot, we heard a loud song! It turned out that the waterfowl were actually a group of white cranes! This is a national first-class protected animal that cannot be killed at will. We quickly put away our guns and enjoyed their singing.
In addition to hunting, another experience not to be missed is to taste Linyi’s characteristic food. Linyi is the southern gateway of Shandong Province, with a unique geographical location and climate conditions, breeding rich agricultural products and ingredients. Linyi’s food is mainly wheat-based, with light and delicious taste, focusing on original flavor and nutritional balance. In Linyi, you can taste a variety of delicious dishes, such as pancakes, braised rabbit head, Mengshan bachelor chicken, Yishui feng cake, Junan donkey meat, eight treasure bean drum, sanzhou porridge and so on. Here are some examples:
Pancakes: This is one of Linyi’s most representative foods and a common choice for breakfast. Pancakes are thin cakes made of flour, water, salt and oil. They can be filled with various fillings, such as eggs, ham, bean sprouts, cilantro and so on. The method of making pancakes is very simple. Just pour the batter into a flat pan, spread it with a spatula, stir-fry it a few times, and you can get out of the pan. The pancakes are soft and crispy, and they are more delicious with chili sauce or sweet sauce.
Braised rabbit head: This is a dish made with Mengshan’s specialty wild rabbit and also a favorite of hunters. The method of making braised rabbit head is very exquisite. You need to wash and cut the rabbit head first, marinate it with salt, cooking wine, ginger slices and so on for a period of time, then fry it in oil until golden brown, then use soy sauce, sugar, cooking wine, star anise, cinnamon and other seasonings to cook for about an hour until the soup is thick and the meat is tender. The braised rabbit head has a spicy and delicious taste. It tastes like chicken feet. You need to bite it open with your teeth and suck out the juice.
Mengshan bachelor chicken: This is a dish made with Mengshan’s specialty wild chicken and also the signature dish of Mengshan Temple. The method of making Mengshan bachelor chicken is very special. You need to kill the wild chicken first, remove the hair and viscera, then use bamboo skewers through the body, then roast it over fire until half-cooked, then put it in a pot with water and salt, ginger, scallions etc. boil until cooked. Mengshan bachelor chicken has a tender and fragrant taste. It tastes like white-cut chicken. You need to dip it with sauce, such as ginger, scallions, sesame oil etc.
Yishui feng cake: This is a dessert made with millet flour and red dates, which is also an essential food for Linyi people during the New Year. The method of making Yishui feng cake is very simple. Just mix millet flour and water into a dough, then knead it into a long shape, cut it into small pieces, then remove the core of the red dates and cut them into small slices, insert them into the dough, then put them in a steamer and steam them. Yishui feng cake has a soft and sweet taste. It tastes like rice cake. It implies harvest and auspiciousness.
Junan donkey meat: This is a food made with donkey meat, which is also a characteristic snack of Linyi. The method of making Junan donkey meat is very fine. You need to wash and cut the donkey meat first, marinate it with salt, cooking wine, ginger slices and so on for a period of time, then fry it in oil until the skin is crispy, then use soy sauce, sugar, cooking wine, star anise, cinnamon and other seasonings to cook for about an hour until the soup is dry and the meat is tender. Junan donkey meat has a fragrant and crisp taste. It tastes like beef. You need to eat it with bread or noodles.
Eight treasure bean drum: This is a food made with beans, which is also a traditional food of Linyi. The method of making eight treasure bean drum is very complicated. You need to soak and sprout eight kinds of beans separately, such as soybeans, black beans, red beans, green beans, peanuts, sesame seeds, walnuts and so on. Then mix the sprouted beans and flour into a dough, then knead the dough into a round or rectangular shape, put it in a pot with water and salt, yeast and so on and cook until fermented, then take it out and dry it and cut it into slices. Eight treasure bean drum has a soft and sweet taste. It tastes like bread. It can be eaten directly or fried.
Sanzhou porridge: This is a dessert made with rice flour and fruits, which is also a favorite summer food of Linyi people. The method of making sanzhou porridge is very simple. Just mix rice flour and water into a thin paste, then put it in a pot with sugar and osmanthus and cook until thick, then put it in the refrigerator to refrigerate. Before eating, pour the chilled sanzhou porridge into a bowl and add cut fruits, such as watermelon, apple, pear, peach and so on. Sanzhou porridge has a refreshing and sweet taste. It tastes like ice cream. It can relieve heat and quench thirst.
This is the story of my hunting trip with my classmates, a journey full of thrills, excitement, fun and deliciousness. In this trip, we not only experienced the natural scenery and cultural heritage of Linyi Mengshan National Forest Park Dawan scenic area, but also tasted Linyi’s characteristic food and snacks. We also used night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars to find and track prey in the dark, feeling the excitement and fun of the night. We also learned a lot of knowledge and skills, such as hunting methods and techniques, as well as the characteristics and production methods of various prey and food.
I want to thank my classmates for spending an unforgettable time with me. We enhanced our friendship and unity in this trip, and also broadened our horizons and knowledge. I also want to thank Linyi city for giving us a beautiful memory, and also let us have a deeper understanding and respect for China’s nature and culture. I hope to have the opportunity to come here again and continue to explore its charm and mystery.
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