There’s one word to describe what China’s done to what I believe to be its version of a national park system: bastardization. I spent today at a “National Geological Preserve” and if this is what they call a preserve, well–I guess I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves again.
Okay, what the hell? Carnival games, litter abound and more created by the second, a gondola and bungee jumping, construction on another gondola, a truck driving through a man-made lagoon whose sole purpose is to provide floatation for those leisure boats which are actually made of styrofoam, and vendors at every turn selling super soakers and plastic-packaged foods and beverages which all get tossed aside onto the trails (yes the super soakers as well). Could you imagine if we put a strip mall in Yosemite? Or a Gondola in Zion to the top of Angel’s Landing? Frankly, self-worth and challenge completion are totally overrated. We should totally make it so anyone can climb to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back whenever they so desire; a cable car would do the trick!
From what I’ve gathered, the Chinese view on natural wonders is that they are there for our entertainment; and if they’re not entertaining enough, then it’s up to us to make it entertaining! Perhaps “National Geological Preserve” was just a mistranslation and I sure hope so because if this is actually what they consider to be preservation, then I can’t imagine how awful exploitation must be.