I, a wildlife protection expert, and my two friends Bob Rob and Newman Robeson went to Luoyang Shuanglong Mountain Provincial Forest Park and experienced an unforgettable animal protection trip. Shuanglong Mountain Forest Park is the largest forest park in Henan Province, with rich animal and plant resources and beautiful natural scenery. Our purpose was to observe and protect the local wildlife, understand their living habits and ecological environment. In order to be able to observe more animals at night, we prepared night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars, which can let us see the shape and heat of animals in the dark, very practical and convenient. In addition to exploring the mysteries of the park, we also tasted the local delicacies, such as Luoyang Palace Beer, Crystal Meat, Mutton Soup, etc., which made us enjoy a feast. This was a trip full of surprises and fun, which gave me a deeper understanding and feeling of animal protection. Below, I will share with you our travel experience in detail!
Shuanglong Mountain Forest Park is located in the southwest of Luoyang City, Henan Province, about 40 kilometers away from the urban area. It covers an area of more than 2,000 hectares and is one of the largest forest parks in Henan Province. The park is based on Shuanglong Mountain, composed of four major scenic areas: Langdong Gorge, Peach Blossom Creek, Xiangshui River, and Hongyan Gorge. It has various natural and cultural landscapes, such as strange peaks and rocks, streams and waterfalls, historical sites, and folk customs. The park’s altitude ranges from 300 meters to 1,000 meters, with a mild and rainy climate, lush and diverse vegetation, and an ideal place for eco-tourism.
We took a bus from Luoyang city center on Friday morning and arrived at the entrance of the park about an hour later. We bought tickets and maps at the entrance and then entered the park. We decided to go to the water park first to have some fun. There are various water projects and facilities there, such as rafting, slides, fountains, swimming pools, etc. We put on swimsuits, took life jackets, and started our water journey. We played in the water park for about two hours and felt very exciting and comfortable. We played happily in the water, frolicking, fighting, racing, and took a lot of photos as souvenirs.
After playing in the water park, we went to the nearby 17-hole ancient-style kiln cave accommodation area, where there are many antique kiln cave houses for tourists to stay. Kiln cave houses are local characteristic buildings that are made of adobe bricks and are semi-underground houses. They look like a big bowl upside down on the ground. The interior space is spacious and comfortable, cool in summer and warm in winter. We booked a three-person room in a kiln cave house, put our luggage away, and went to a nearby restaurant for lunch. The menu of the restaurant has many local delicacies, such as Luoyang Palace Beer, Crystal Meat, Mutton Soup, Garlic Sprouts Stir-fried Meat, etc. We ordered a few dishes and a pot of beer and started to enjoy them. These delicacies are made with local fresh ingredients and have a delicious and spicy taste that made us very satisfied.
After lunch, we went back to the kiln cave house for a while, prepared night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars, and set off to observe wild animals at night. This was the highlight of our trip and also our duty as animal protection experts. Next I will introduce you to our process and feelings of observing wild animals at night.
Observing wild animals at night is a very special experience that requires certain skills and patience. We followed the staff of the park to a place suitable for observing animals. There was an open grassland surrounded by dense woods. We found a hidden position on the grassland, put night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars next to us, and started our observation.
Night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars are two different devices that can let us see animals in the dark but have different principles and effects. Night vision binoculars use low-light amplifiers to amplify weak light into visible images that let us see the shape and color of animals. Infrared binoculars use thermal imagers to convert the heat energy emitted by animals into visible images that let us see the heat and outline of animals. These two devices have their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, night vision binoculars can show more details but perform poorly in low-light conditions such as haze or rain or snow; infrared binoculars can work in any light condition but cannot distinguish color or texture. We used these two devices flexibly according to different situations to obtain the best observation effect.
We observed for about three hours at night, during which we saw many different kinds of animals, some common and some rare. We took many photos and videos with night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars, recording their activities and behaviors. We also measured their body temperature, heart rate, breathing and other physiological indicators, as well as the environmental temperature, humidity, oxygen and other parameters with professional instruments. These data are very useful for us to analyze and protect animals. Let me introduce some of the animals we observed!
Among the animals we observed, some are familiar to us, such as squirrels, sparrows, rabbits, foxes and so on. These animals are regular visitors of the Shuanglong Mountain Forest Park, and they live very comfortably and happily in the park. We saw their fur color and texture with night vision binoculars, and their heat and activity range with infrared binoculars. We found that they all have their own territories and habits, such as squirrels like to build nests and store food on trees, sparrows like to sing and look for bugs in bushes, rabbits like to jump and eat grass on grasslands, foxes like to lurk and hunt in woods. These animals are important parts of the ecological balance of the park, and we need to respect and protect them.
Among the animals we observed, some are rare to us, such as yinggeyanwu, white deer, golden leopard and so on. These animals are rare species of the Shuanglong Mountain Forest Park, and they are specially protected and cared for in the park. We saw their shapes and features with night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars, and we were very surprised and lucky. We found that they all have their own characteristics and habits, such as yinggeyanwu is a kind of bird that only appears at night, they can make wonderful songs and dances, attracting other birds; white deer is a mysterious animal, they have pure white fur and noble temperament, they are considered as auspicious symbols; golden leopard is a strong animal, they have golden spots and agile skills, they are the highest level of carnivores in the park. These animals are precious treasures of the park, we should love and cherish them.
In the process of observing wild animals at night, we learned a lot of knowledge and experience, and also felt the wonder and beauty of nature. We had a deeper understanding and sense of responsibility for animal protection, and also more respect and gratitude for the park staff and local residents. The next morning, after we got up, we were ready to explore other scenic spots in the park. These scenic spots have different styles and features, which opened our eyes. Let me introduce you to our daytime tour of the park!
The four scenic spots of Shuanglong Mountain Forest Park have their own charm and features, which made us feel different styles and fun when we visited them during the day. Under the guidance of the park staff, we visited the Wolf Cave Gorge Adventure Area, Peach Blossom Creek Forest Tour Area, Xiangshui River Natural Scenery Area, and Hongyan Gorge Leisure Resort Area in turn, and each scenic spot amazed us.
Wolf Cave Gorge Adventure Area is the most challenging scenic spot in the park. It is a canyon that is 1000 meters deep, with many strange-shaped rocks and caves. It requires a certain amount of physical strength and courage to explore. We put on professional equipment and followed the guide into the Wolf Cave Gorge, along the rugged mountain road and the gurgling stream. We saw many amazing natural landscapes, such as Two Ghosts Wrestling, Stone Cow Lying on the Slope, Wangmu Character Stone, Natural Bathtub, Heavenly Lion Worshiping Buddha and so on. These landscapes are all miracles created by nature, which made us feel the magic and power of nature.
Peach Blossom Creek Forest Tour Area is the most vibrant scenic spot in the park. It is a valley covered with dense forest, with many flowers and fruit trees. In spring, the whole mountain is full of peach blossoms, which is very beautiful. We took a sightseeing car and shuttled through the Peach Blossom Creek, enjoying the sea of flowers and greenery around us. We also got off the car and walked into the forest, breathing the fresh air, listening to the birds and insects, feeling the oxygen bar and music of the forest. We also tasted some local specialties, such as peach blossom honey, peach blossom wine, peach blossom tea and so on. These specialties are all made from peach blossoms, sweet and delicious, rich in nutrition.
Xiangshui River Natural Scenery Area is the most dynamic scenic spot in the park. It is a canyon formed by Xiangshui River, with many spectacular waterfalls and lakes. The water sound is like thunder, magnificent. We took a bamboo raft and drifted on Xiangshui River, feeling the impact and speed of the water flow. We saw many beautiful water scenes, such as Hundred-Meter Waterfall, Dragon Gate Jumping Stream, Jade Girl Bathing, Immortal Pointing the Way and so on. These water scenes are all wonders formed by Xiangshui River, which made us feel the agility and beauty of water.
Hongyan Gorge Leisure Resort Area is the most leisurely scenic spot in the park. It is a valley composed of red rocks, with many hot springs and farmhouses. It is suitable for relaxing and experiencing rural life. We stayed in Hongyan Gorge for one night, enjoying the hot spring bath and farmhouse dishes. We also participated in some interesting activities, such as picking fruits, making handicrafts, singing and dancing and so on. These activities all reflect the local folk customs and cultural features, which made us feel the warmth and joy of the countryside.
In the process of visiting the park during the day, we saw a lot of different scenery and views, experienced a lot of different fun and emotions. We had a deeper understanding and appreciation of the nature and culture of the park, and also more gains and feelings about our own travel. On the afternoon of the third day, we ended our trip and prepared to return to Luoyang city. This was a trip full of surprises and fun, which made me have a deeper understanding and insight into animal protection.
Our animal protection tour ended like this. Looking back at these three days of experience, I felt very happy and satisfied. We saw a lot of beautiful scenery and precious animals in Shuanglong Mountain Forest Park, and also tasted a lot of delicious food and specialties. We used night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars to observe a lot of animals’ lives and behaviors, and also collected a lot of data and information. We also met a lot of enthusiastic staff and friendly residents, feeling their passion and support for animal protection. This trip made me have a deeper understanding and insight into animal protection, and also made me have more awe and love for nature and life.
Animal protection is a very important but difficult cause. It is related to the ecological balance of the earth and the future of mankind. As animal protection experts, we have the responsibility and obligation to pay attention to and participate in animal protection work, use our knowledge and skills to help and protect animals, let them live and reproduce in a safe and healthy environment. At the same time, we also hope that more people can join in animal protection work，use our actions and voices to appeal for animal protection progress，let us share this beautiful earth with animals.
Thank you for accompanying me to listen to my travel story. I am very happy to communicate with you my thoughts and feelings. If you have any questions or suggestions about animal protection or Shuanglong Mountain Forest Park, please feel free to tell me. 😊