Two years ago, the train journey from Yangshuo-Guilin-Guangzhou-Hong Kong was over 12 hours. Today, the high speed rail will connect Yangshuo to Shenzhen in a mere 3. How times progress.
This trip was yet another one of my climbing trips. And M was able to join me this time 🙂 we caught the 7am HSR from Shenzhen North and arrived to GongCheng 恭城 where we then paid a driver 40 Yuan each to drive us to Yangshuo. Yangshuo hasn’t changed too much: still touristy but perhaps a lot more music pounding clubs. However, all along the countryside of Yangshuo and along the villages that the HSR cuts through, I have noticed a lot more new 3-4 story village houses being built. Whereas 2-3 years ago they were all single level home made mud brick homes, the homes have now become new multi story houses with large windows and modern amenities. How society progresses.
Other than climbing, one day we went to do the LongJing rafting which was so much fun and would never have been allowed in a more developed country. Basically they give you a helmet and life jacket and let you go on a 2 person inflatable raft with no paddles down a river with 10m drops and rapids for a hour plus down the river. Definitely the most exhilarating and fun thing I have done in a long time. M and I were laughing and screaming the entire way down! I must do it every time I go to Yangshuo.
For dinner our hotel recommended a village farm food restaurant called Li-River Farmers inn 獅龍鼎鍋飯which is a restaurant past the Riverside Crag or light show. The food was delicious and it was very local. We also checked out the famouse Goose Restaurant, claypot rice and Gan’s noodles. The first night we arrived for dinner at 830pm only to find everything sold out already because the restaurant closed at 9! After that we made sure to eat at 7pm everyday.
Now for some climbing talk…
During our trip we went to:
Swiss Cheese Wall- a climbing school demanded we give them access to the routes we were doing because they had “leased” the crag. I don’t know if this is true or not but they should put up a sign or be much less rude about it.
Treasure Cave: very nice routes, would love go back.
Chicken Cave: we didn’t make it up there because we got attacked with branches by an old lady who demanded payment for passing through her fruit orchards. The guide book told us to ignore her but I don’t know how that is possible since she chased after us. We didn’t want her to be screaming all day and throwing our gear off the crag so we just left her. If she had been more polite or opened up a little shop selling water or toilet access she would have had more luck. Seeing her house was the newest in the village I am sure she has been receiving lots of payments. I wish bad things on her.
Bayan Tree: very nice crag with some hard climbs. Lead my hardest 6c+ yet. The grades in Yangshuo are harder than in Hong Kong.
We got the new guidebook, and already 200 routes have been added since the last edition from 2012. I was sad to see Moon Hill to be closed due to climbers sneaking in and not paying the entrance fee. Don’t pay when you don’t have to because then people will demand it of future climbers, but please pay when you are required to because you will set a bad example and no one can access it in the future!
I love Yangshuo climbing, there is just so much of it and with so much development opportunities. I will try to go back as often asI can. I hope then make a night train from Shenzhen soon…