Monday, October 01, 2007

Rock Climbing in Yangshuo, China

Here I am again, telling people about another of my amazing vacations. I'm sorry to say that as usual, I didn't see the main touristy sites. I didn't see the Great Wall. I didn't go to Beijing, and I didn't go to Shanghai. I had three weeks...and I went rock climbing....and it was awesome.

I went to Yangshuo, which is very close to the larger town of Guilin in the Southeast of China. The landscape is absolutely incredible. The thousands upon thousands of limestone karst formations aren't just in one small place, but everywhere for miles and miles. It really is a rock climber's paradise, especially nowadays since it's a bit of a virgin paradise. People have only been rock climbing here for less than 15 years, and only a handful of the karsts have established routes. The majority are sport climbs, with bolts and anchors, but there's the odd multipitch here and there for the trad climbers.

The town of Yangshuo is a quickly growing tourist town filled with chinese tourists and nagging salesmen. It probably has the most number of English speakers of any small town in China. The streets are filled with coffee shops and cafes serving Chinese and Western food. You can get off the main drag and find cheaper and more delicious food in the local markets.

Like I said I went to Yangshuo for rock climbing and I did some climbing most every day. On days that I didn't climb, I still went out to the crags to take some pictures. I found the joys of sitting at the top of the climb for 2 hours while my legs fell asleep, taking millions of pictures, then spending hours deleting all of them but the one or two good ones. I met some absolutely amazing people of all different backgrounds and nationalities. We all got along together very well and all of the friends I met were able to help me grow in many ways.

Before I left, I spent three days in Jeju camping at the beach
Yangshuo is a busy town, full of Chinese and International tourists
You take a short walk through the smaller villages to get to the crags
Matt showed us how to prepare for the climbs
The climbing was sometimes in interesting places
The views were amazing
The climbs were fun and technical
Sometimes VERY technical
I spent a lot of time at the Karst Cafe
This is our chef at the local night market
Sometimes we might eat near the crags
You can take a rest while you're climbing!
Go for a swim in the river
Have a drink in the bar
Relax by the riverside
We usually chartered a mini-bus to go to the crags
This picture is NOT taken from the front seat.....
There's still 4 more people that you can't see in this picture
You can also go to the crags by bike
But the roads are a bit...unpredictable
Its always fun climbing
It's especially fun in the moon!
Put your feet back on!
Music at the crag is always a nice treat
He's almost got it!
I met some great friends
Where will I go next?


  1. Once again Dan, you've got some awesome pics, especially some of those action shots. Maybe I should start taking millions of pics too - although I dont think I have the patience to sort through them all. I love the pic of the woman in highheels!

  2. Wow!

    yeah. . . so many places to go. . . so many places to go back to!

    such dilemmas make us waaaayyyy lucky!

  3. Julie7:48 PM

    Dan, I'm so envious. Thanks for posting those awesome pictures. Your t-shirt is true, dreams really do come true! :)

    And thanks for the postcard- it makes me feel really cool to get personal mail at my new apartment, especially from my world-traveling friend!

  4. DantheGerman4:10 PM

    Hey Dan,

    great pics!!! hope José will send me the CD!!!
    What a great holiday! Look forward to meet you. Frankjura is really cool place for fingerpockets and high first bolts;-)

  5. Hello, Dan!
    How are you?
    Could you send me photos whith me from Lei Pi Shan, Riverside, Moon Hill?
    Thank you!
    Vova from Russia!!!!!!!

  6. Anonymous8:38 PM

    Hi there,

    Stumbled on to your blog while doing a search on climbing in Yangshuo. Excellent blog on Korea...I also am teaching here in Busan. Rock on!

  7. Anonymous11:50 PM

    Excellent pix!
    Does anyone know how difficult are the routes in Yangshuo area?

    Are there routes between 6a - 7a?


  8. There's a few hundred routes, so there's something for every level. So yeah, there's routes 6a-7a.