Nanning Monkey business
I have just enjoyed a visit from my oldest daughter and her soon to be husband, and I can tell you I am exhausted. As I sit here on my balcony trying to get back into the “normal” swing of day-to-day life in Nanning. I think of the things we did and the places we went. In six short days, we went shopping, visited Qingxu Park, went shopping, had a family feast, and more shopping. We even managed to drive to Beihai for the day to go swimming and of course shopping.
Another thing we were able to do that was very enjoyable and relatively inexpensive (no shopping) was go to visit the monkeys at Longhu Mountain Reserve.
Approximately 80 km from Nanning, the Longhu Mountain Reserve, is set in a beautiful setting of forest, plants, mountain scenery and monkeys. Once we arrived and paid the 60 RMB admissions, and buying plenty of peanuts, a Chinese woman who in traditional dress, and an overly loud bullhorn attempted greeted us to guide us along the trail down the side of the mountain. I say attempted because my fourth brother-in-law, daughter, her fiancé and me all tried to outpace this crazed woman with the bullhorn. Pausing once to briefly look down on the river, from an arched bridge, as it cut its way through the mountains as we raced to the main group to the first of two monkey cities. Once to the other side we came across a small village of monkeys, who swarm their visitors looking for peanuts. Be warned though for the most part tamed, these monkeys are still a bit wild and smart. They see you reach into your pocket for peanuts or anything else they think might be tasty. They are not shy about helping themselves by picking your pocket. One man lost what appeared to be his lunch that he was carrying in a bag. After being entertained by the monkeys and taking a few pictures of one jumping onto my wife’s shoulder to get peanuts we continue. Walking down the trail, a monkey jumps onto my daughter and steals her bottle of water, which makes sen se after eating all those peanuts, prompting me to hide my own bottle of water. The trail that winds through the forest along the river is paved and in rather good condition, my wife tells me it used to be very dirty and that is why the admission is so expensive, it used to be 30 RMB.
After visiting another monkey village, we come upon a clearing where everyone washes their hands, something about washing your hands in this particular water brings you luck. I had to wait for about five minutes while a boy about eight washed his hands.
He must have been having a run of bad luck because he was really washing them, continuing to wash even after his parents said he was OK. They kept apologizing to me and I assured them it was all right. Here we sit and rest, eat some fruit, and talk while enjoying the quiet of the mountains, the woman on the bullhorn must have ran out of things to say. Visitors are then given the option of walking back along a different trail or paying another 10 RMB and taking a short boat ride down the river. We chose the river, where we board and different woman with an overly loud bullhorn talks and sings to us as a man poles us down the river.While peacefully floating down the river we throw the few peanuts we have left into the river watching monkeys dive from trees and rocks to swim out and
get the peanuts. Once we dock there is a short hike although straight up the side of the mountain to the park entrance, where there is a restaurant and the typical souvenir and snack stand that populate these kind of places. On the drive, back we stop at a truck stop for a late lunch of pepper fish, vegetables, and rice, while the attendants wash brother-in-law’s minivan.
All in all it is a very beautiful and entertaining way to spend the day, there are other attractions to see and do at the Longhu Mountain Reserve and I encourage anyone in Nanning to take the time and visit, you will not regret it. For those visiting Nanning or do not have access to a car there is a bus http://english.nanning.gov.cn/n725531/n751804/n752316/n753072/3574059.html that makes regular trips there and is well worth the visit.