Rock climbing in Yangshuo

Last weekend we visited Yangshuo 阳朔, a region in southwest China characterized by its dramatic karst towers. Karst topography is formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone.

Karst towers and valley (view from Area 51 climbing crag) Yangshuo

We felt tired after traveling for so many hours from Shanghai to Yangshuo for just a weekend. But it was well worth it for the friendly people we met, the beautiful mountain views, and the fun we had climbing in these cool limestone walls.

Miguel climbing in Treasure's Cave, Yangshuo


On Friday afternoon we flew from Shanghai to Guilin (2 hours) and then went by taxi to our hostel in Yangshuo (1 hour). Some friends recommended us to stay at Stone Bridge Hotel, a cute little hostel just outside the bustling city of Yangshuo, peaceful, quiet and close to the Li river. It was great to sleep outside the city, listening to the sounds of rain, frogs, insects and birds.

Stone Bridge Hotel is run by Frieda, a super friendly and kind Chinese woman. She is lovely and helped us a lot during the trip. At the hostel we also met Miguel, a sweet and funny Mexican guy living in LA. This year he is touring different climbing sites in the world.

On Saturday we were woken up by roosters, had breakfast and rented an electric motorbike to visit some climbing crags. Yangshuo is very humid and hot during May and June, making the roads and trails very slippery. It was raining all day, so we spent the day climbing at Treasure Cave.

Guess why is it called TREASURE cave? The treasure lies on the roof: giant 'tufas' hang from the enormous ceiling! A climbing dream. It was a unique experience to 'walk' on these enormous dissolved limestone stalactites.

Frieda climbing in Treasure's Cave, 6a+, Yangshuo

Frieda brought her adorable son to the climbing area. He cheered 'jiāyóu!' all the time she was on the wall. Jiāyóu 加油 is a Chinese motivational word meaning 'Come on!' and can be heard during any sporting event. Jiāyóu māma!

In the evening we went back to the village and had a delicious dinner. Then, at midnight the most important moment of the trip arrived: Raisa turned 28! That's why we had planned our trip to Yangshuo. We celebrated relaxing at the terrace of the hostel, having tea and listening to the sounds of nature. Tough life!

On Sunday we went to climb at Area 51, where Miguel had started a project days ago. It was a pretty overhanging and difficult route (5.14d).

Miguel climbing his project, 5.14d, in Area 515, Yangshuo

We climbed an exceptional line, long and with good grips, but with hard moves for our level. However, we managed to get to the top of the route and enjoy the nice views. The sun finally came out after so much rain, so the valley displayed beautiful lush vegetation with bright green colors.

View from Area 51 climbing crag, Yangshuo

A final surprise was waiting for us at the end of our trip. On Sunday afternoon we decided to come back to the town by ourselves, but our electric motorcycle ran out of battery and we got stuck in the middle of nowhere. OMG! Fortunately, we solved the problem 'quickly' and were able to get to the airport in time to fly back to Shanghai.

What we did last weekend? We had fun in nature!