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Reflection: Chinese Travel and the Naming of Places

As mentioned in an earlier post on Alishan, something odd about traveling in Taiwan is the naming of places – all points of interest, no matter how insignificant, must be named and labeled.  This is the pig stump.  That rock arrangement looks like a Buddha’s ear.  Over there is a very tall tree.

And to somebody who has traveled through scenic spots in other countries, this is really weird.  When climbing Mount Rinjani in Indonesia, there are basically no labeled points of interest.  There’s the summit, there’s the crater and accompanying lake, there’s the hot springs.  There’s a bunch of camping sites.  And that’s about it – everything else is simply ‘climbing trail’.

And it’s the same thing in New Zealand, home to the Great Trails.  Hiking in Abel Tasman National Park, there are only two points of interest – hiking trail, and camp grounds.  Nothing else.  It’s simply you and nature, and have to use your own eyes and imagination to find any sights of interest.

So why this difference?

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