Tai Shan Magic: Monkey Mountain Walk.
Xin Nian Kwai La. (Happy New Year)
I was walking up Monkey Mountain (Tai Shan) today, New Years Day, a bright and sunny start to 2010. I've walked up this mountain a few times before, and have seen a few monkeys, mostly in the distance. These monkeys are notorious—people who live near the mountain can be subject to kitchen invasions if they leave their windows open. The monkeys like people food, and they are willing to come around people, although they can be shy.
Nature was very homey today... I saw a few dozen monkeys swarming around people at the base of the mountain, in some cases touching them. One monkey was holding onto a man's pant leg. Monkeys begging food, and being very comfortable with the visiting humans. Then, walking up the mountain, I saw a few little deer—like dwarf deer. I saw a family of squirrels, maybe six or eight of them, again, on or very close to the path, and unafraid. Then, walking back down from the viewpoint, the “high point” of my walk—two mother monkeys breastfeeding their young, the babies squeaking away as they suckled. It was a wonderful way to spend the twelfth day of Christmas... I love how the world stops on New Year's Day, including here in Taiwan.