After graduating from college, I lost contact with Audrey MacArthur and Salome Abbot. We used to be classmates, studying, playing, and sharing dreams together. But after graduation, we went on different paths, busy with work and life, and gradually, we lost touch with each other. Until last month, I received an email from Audrey, saying that she wanted to go hunting with me and Salome in Damao Mountain, Shangrao, Jiangxi, China, and experience a different kind of travel. I was very excited when I saw this email. After all, this was our first reunion after graduation, and it was in such a mysterious and beautiful place. I immediately replied to her and contacted Salome, who also happily agreed. So, we decided on our travel plan.
Damao Mountain is a national scenic spot in Shangrao City, Jiangxi Province, China. It is located at the southern end of the Wuyi Mountains, with an altitude of 1776 meters. It is famous for its beautiful scenery, long history, rich biodiversity and magical legends. It is known as “the first fairy mountain in the south of the Yangtze River”, “the birthplace of Taoism in China”, “the hometown of Ganoderma lucidum in China” and so on. We chose this place as our tourist destination because we are all interested in Chinese culture and nature, and we all like adventure and challenge. We want to feel the thrill of night hunting and the local food culture here.
The scenery of Damao Mountain can be summarized in four words: strange, dangerous, beautiful, and secluded. Its peaks are peculiar, with various shapes, some resembling human figures, animals, utensils, some resembling letters, numbers, symbols, making people dazzled. Its canyons are steep, deep and dark, some stretching for tens of kilometers, some only allowing one person to pass through, making people thrilling. Its streams are beautiful, clear and transparent, some forming waterfalls, some forming lakes, making people linger. Its forests are quiet, lush, some covering ancient trees for thousands of years, some nurturing rare animals and plants, making people relaxed and happy.
The history and culture of Damao Mountain are also very profound. It is one of the birthplaces of Taoism in China, and is known as “the first fairy mountain in the south of the Yangtze River”. It used to be the place where Chinese emperors and literati worshipped and visited in different dynasties. It is also an important witness of the Chinese revolution history. Here, you can visit the Taoist holy place Sanqing Palace, and feel the charm of Taoist culture; you can climb to Tianxin Peak, and overlook the whole view of Damao Mountain; you can explore the Red Army Cave, and remember the heroic deeds of the revolutionary martyrs; you can also visit Lingzhi Cave and many other mysterious caves, and experience the magical legends of Damao Mountain.
Choosing Damao Mountain as a travel destination is because of the strong interest in Chinese culture and nature, and the love of adventure and challenge. Here, you can feel the thrill of night hunting and the local food culture.
Night hunting is a very exciting and dangerous activity that requires enough courage and skill. In Damao Mountain, there are many places suitable for night hunting, such as Bailu Ridge, Shizi Ridge, Yingzui Ridge, etc. These places have rich wildlife resources, such as wild boars, hares, pheasants, ducks, etc. To ensure the safety and success of night hunting, you need to prepare some necessary equipment, such as guns, ammunition, flashlights, knives, etc. But the most important equipment is night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars.
Night vision binoculars are a kind of binoculars that can see objects in the dark. They use micro-light amplifiers or infrared illuminators to convert weak ambient light or infrared rays into visible light, so that human eyes can see the scenery in the dark. Night vision binoculars have different generations and types. Generally speaking, the higher the generation, the better the performance and the more expensive the price. The advantage of night vision binoculars is that they can provide a clear view in the dark, making it easy to find and aim at prey; the disadvantage is that they are easily interfered by strong light, and they are heavy and inconvenient to carry.
Infrared binoculars are a kind of binoculars that can display the temperature distribution of objects according to the infrared radiation they emit. They use thermal imagers or infrared cameras to convert invisible infrared rays into color or black and white images, so that human eyes can see the temperature difference of objects. Infrared binoculars have different resolutions and ranges. Generally speaking, the higher the resolution, the wider the range, and the more expensive the price. The advantage of infrared binoculars is that they can work in any light conditions, and they can distinguish different kinds and states of animals; the disadvantage is that they cannot provide detailed information, and the battery consumption is fast, and they need to be replaced frequently.
When hunting in Damao Mountain, using night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars is very helpful. They can make people see farther, clearer, and more accurate in the dark. They can also help people avoid some dangers and difficulties. For example, in a night hunt, Audrey found a wild boar foraging in the grass with night vision binoculars. She immediately picked up her gun and prepared to shoot. But before she pulled the trigger, Salome observed the surrounding situation with infrared binoculars and found an abnormal red signal. He shouted: “Don’t shoot! There is a person there!” It turned out that the red signal was a local villager who had set up a fire in the grass to keep warm. If it weren’t for Salome’s timely discovery of him, Audrey might have injured him by mistake. This incident made us all scared, and also made us appreciate this two magical equipment more.
In addition to the excitement of night hunting, Damao Mountain also has another attraction, which is the local food. Here, you can taste a variety of authentic mountain delicacies, such as dengzhan fruit, Wuyuan steamed cake, Yiyang oil-drenched fish, Guangfeng fried noodles, Shimen mountain pond fish, chopped pepper fish, etc. These delicacies are not only delicious in taste, but also rich in nutrition, making people unforgettable.
Dengzhan fruit is a kind of wild mushroom that looks like a lampshade and has red, yellow, white and other colors. It grows under the forest of Damao Mountain and requires careful eyes to find it. It has a fragrant taste and a tender texture. It can be cooked by frying, stir-frying, boiling and other methods. It is rich in protein, amino acids, vitamins and other nutrients, which are beneficial to enhance immunity and anti-aging.
Wuyuan steamed cake is a traditional snack made from rice flour and red bean paste. Its production method is to mix rice flour and water into a paste, put it into a round iron box, then add red bean paste at the bottom of the iron box, and then steam it with a steamer. It looks like a small cake with a white surface and a red center. It tastes sweet but not greasy, soft but not loose. It can be eaten as breakfast or dessert. It is rich in carbohydrates, dietary fiber, iron and other nutrients, which are beneficial to supplement energy and promote digestion.
Yiyang oil-drenched fish is a famous dish, made with live crucian carp and special oil. Its production method is to scale and gut the live crucian carp, wash and cut into slices, then marinate with salt, cooking wine, ginger slices and so on for a while. Then fry the fish slices in a wok until golden and remove, then pour the oil into the wok and stir-fry until fragrant, finally pour the oil over the fish slices. It has a golden and tempting appearance, and a fragrant aroma. It tastes salty, fragrant and slightly spicy, with a tender and smooth texture. It can be eaten with rice or noodles. It is rich in protein, calcium, zinc and other nutrients, which are beneficial to enhance physical fitness and beauty.
Guangfeng fried noodles is a special noodle dish, made with rice noodles and shredded meat, vegetables and so on. Its production method is to soak the rice noodles until soft and cut into thin strips, then fry them in a wok. Then add shredded meat, vegetables and other ingredients to the wok and stir-fry for a while, then add salt, soy sauce, vinegar and other seasonings and mix well. It has a colorful color and a sour and sweet taste. It has a moderate softness and hardness, and a balanced nutrition. It is rich in carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and other nutrients, which are beneficial to improve appetite and nourish the body.
Shimen mountain pond fish is a local specialty, made with pond fish from Damao Mountain and spring water from Shimen Mountain. Its production method is to scale and gut the pond fish, wash and put them in a large pot, then add spring water from Shimen Mountain, then add salt, ginger, green onion, pepper and other seasonings, boil over high heat and then simmer over low heat. It is characterized by clear soup and tender fish, delicious and fragrant. It tastes pure and natural, with a delicate and smooth texture. It can be eaten alone or with rice or noodles. It is rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus and other nutrients, which are beneficial to calcium supplementation and bone strengthening.
Chopped pepper fish is a spicy dish, made with fresh fish and chopped pepper. Chopped pepper is a seasoning made from red chili peppers and salt, etc., with the characteristics of spicy but not dry, fragrant but not greasy. Its production method is to scale and gut the fresh fish, wash and cut into slices, then marinate with salt, cooking wine, starch and so on for a while. Then stir-fry the chopped pepper in a wok until fragrant, then add water, soy sauce, sugar and other seasonings and bring to a boil. Finally add the fish slices to the wok and cook until done. It has a bright red color and a strong spicy flavor. It tastes sour, sweet and slightly spicy, with a fresh and juicy texture, which can stimulate the taste buds and increase the appetite. It is rich in protein, vitamin C, collagen and other nutrients, which are beneficial to antioxidant and skin beautification.
After tasting these delicacies in Damao Mountain, we felt satisfied and enjoyed both physically and mentally. These delicacies not only made us linger, but also made us have a deeper understanding and respect for the local culture and customs of Damao Mountain.
This trip to Damao Mountain was the first reunion of me and Audrey, Salome after graduation, and also the most unforgettable trip in our lives. Here, we felt the scenery, history, culture, biodiversity and magical legends of Damao Mountain. We experienced the thrill of night hunting, using night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars, this two magical equipment. We tasted the local food, such as dengzhan fruit, Wuyuan steamed cake, Yiyang oil-drenched fish, Guangfeng fried noodles, Shimen mountain pond fish, chopped pepper fish, etc. These delicacies not only made us enjoy the food, but also made us have a deeper understanding and respect for the local culture and customs of Damao Mountain.
This trip gave us a lot of gains, not only increased our knowledge, but also enhanced our feelings. We are full of love and gratitude for Damao Mountain, and also full of expectation for meeting again in the future. We hope that one day we can come back to this beautiful place and continue to explore its mysteries and charms. We also hope that more people can come here and feel its beauty and magic.