I’ve got time off before starting a new job and with a friend visiting from home we decided to make a short trip to the picturesque karst rock landscape of Yangshuo, a short flight and transfer from Hong Kong and the rock climbing capital of China.
On arrival in the afternoon we rented mountain bikes and rode around doing the tourist thing, taking a bamboo raft down the Yulong River and checking out Moon Hill before dinner in the blinding neon and defeating techno of downtown Yangshuo where each bar seems to try to out do its competitors by raising the volume.
The next morning we were off climbing at Wine Bottle Crag which had some seriously fun low and intermediate grade routes, the highlight being The Battle of Lankou (5.9) which was rated three smiley faces in the guidebook and was wonderful.
Someone had portable speakers playing an eclectic mix of the Backstreet Boys and sugary club music and soon “Lucky” by Swedish pop duo Twice Lucky was stuck in my head and wouldn’t leave. “I’m so lucky lucky, so lucky lucky …”; which was a fitting theme as was having a great day.
The weather was surprisingly cool; a nice change from sweating to death in Hong Kong and Thailand. The skies were grey and light rain was floating down by lunchtime so after a roadside noodle lunch we went to Pei Li Shan which is overhung, offering protection from the weather.
After knocking off an easy route at Pei Li Shan, we spent the afternoon having a crack at 5.11c and 5.13a routes – I got nowhere near finishing but I got a lot further than I thought I would so at the end of the day I was tired but a very happy camper and in love with Yangshuo.
The next morning we went to the easier routes and sharp and super grippy rock of Swiss Cheese Crag. It was crowded with a massive local tour group but by lunchtime they had left and we had the place to ourselves; it was serene with incandescent blue butterflies, shade, rustling bamboo and a rooster crowing in the distance.
I’ll be back.