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Experiencing Guizhou's wild beauty

Updated: 2024-02-17 12:32 ( China Daily )
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Tourists walk beside a hot spring pool in Shiqian, Guizhou province, on Nov 16.[Photo/Xinhua]

Day 3: The nature reserve

After a hike and a trip to the hot springs, doing something more relaxing on the third day is another great choice.

Located in neighboring Yanhe county, the Mayang River National Nature Reserve is about two hours' drive from Shiqian.

It is famous for its population of Francois' langurs, a first-class national protected wild animal in China, which is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. There are only around 2,000 of them in the world, and one-third live in Yanhe.

Lured by online promises of rare monkeys, we took to the winding mountain road full of anticipation. Anticipation that for me, unfortunately, soon gave way to a throbbing headache and the unpleasant pangs of carsickness. The one-and-half-hour journey felt like an eternity as the asphalt ribbon snaked deeper and deeper into the heart of the nature reserve.

But my misgivings melted away the moment we saw the first family of langurs. Wild and uncaged by zoo walls, these elegant primates with their soulful eyes and flowing black fur, were a revelation, and encountering them in their natural habitat, bathed in dappled sunlight, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

And then, there was the sunrise. As the first rays of dawn peeked over the crest of a mountain, turning the swirling mist below into a breathtaking ocean of clouds, our journey was etched in our memories, complete with its own haunting soundtrack.

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