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YangShuo

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Wine Bottle 

YangShuo Rock Climbing 


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Location: 24.77638, 110.48905 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Nate Ball, Dan Flynn, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ryan Kelly on May 14, 2010
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Description 

The pride and joy of the Guangxi Province is the tourist Mecca of Guilin County. The former capital territory is well known throughout the country for its mountainous setting and has grown into a major travel destination. The heavy reliance on tourism has created something of a cultural bubble where you’ll find a lot more openness to and adoption of western culture than you’ll find in China outside of major cities. This is especially present just outside of Guilin city in the town of YangShuo.

The town of YangShuo sits on the side of the Li River, covered in some 70,000 limestone karsts that line the horizon in any direction you turn. Once a relaxing get away, the town has sprung to life with the growing influx of climbers from around the world. For the good and the bad climbing is growing into a world-class destination in YangShuo, the likes of which rival Krabi in Thailand. Much like Krabi I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before people start complaining about how climbed out the area is and wax poetic about how great it used to be. Might want to get here quick!

Development for climbing began in the 90s when Todd Skinner first put up some bolts on Moon Hill. Additional routes were put up by traveling climbers over the next several years but things didn’t really take off until the next millennium when there was an explosion of new development. Just about any kind of climb can be found here now, from slab to overhang, single or multipitch, beginner romps to 5.15 as of Sharma’s visit in ’09. The potential for new development is almost limitless. There are currently around 400 climbs in the guidebook and more being put up every month. The development thus far mostly centers around Yangshuo, but there’s climbing elsewhere in Guilin if you’re ambitious enough to seek it out.

The climbing is typical Asian limestone. Smooth and white where sheltered from the environment, and spiky and black where the rain hits it. Most of the climbing is sport though there are a few traditional lines.

Getting There 

A visa is required. Check the main China page for details.

Yangshuo is probably the easiest reached non-major city in China, for those that don’'t speak the language. That said, you'’re not in Kansas anymore.

You have three basic options:
•
  • Fly into Guilin and take a bus to YangShuo (easiest and quickest, also most expensive)
•
  • Fly into Hong Kong and take the train to Guilin (easier than the following, but more expensive)

  • Fly into Guangzhou (if in Asia), an industrial city on the mainland across from HK (cheapest option, also the most adventure). Don’'t expect anyone to speak English here.

Guangzhou is an industrial city with not much to look at, but it makes for quite an experience to the western traveler, especially if traveling solo. Just getting to the train station is an adventure; buying a ticket even more so. I wouldn’'t recommend wasting much time here, but if you can get a cheap flight in it'’s really not all that bad. Pre-arranging your train ticket out will help prevent wasting time here when you could be climbing in YangShuo.

Communication 

The primary language is Mandarin Chinese.

Outside of the major cities and tourist traps China can be challenging for the foreigner, even those well-traveled. Don’'t expect the usual tourist signs in English, and multilingual assistance that you get in the rest of Asia. Even writing things down can be difficult at times. Your best bet is to practice up on charades before heading over.

Once you make it into Guilin County things change drastically. The heavy tourism has created a bubble of western culture much like the rest of southeast Asia. Signs are often doubled in English and the language is widely spoken. Getting around is simple so long as you stay in the bubble.

Seasons 

YangShuo is subtropical and affected by the East Asian Monsoon pattern. You can get away with climbing year round, but fall is unquestionably optimum with moderate temps and minimal rain. The summers get hot and wet with temps in the 90s and averaging over an inch of rain per day. The winter’s averages are reported in the 40-50s, which isn’t terrible for climbing, but snow is not unheard of. Rain will certainly be an issue, but if you can climb the higher numbers there are plenty of crags that stay dry even in downpours.

Accommodation 

Unless you have other reasons, stay downtown by the water. Touts will try to get you to take something up-street the second you get off the bus, just keep moving. Decent budget accommodation can be found, with a little work, for $5-10 US, and nicer stuff is certainly abundant. Group bedding is available for a couple of bucks if that’'s more your style.

The best place to stay is the aptly named “Climber's Inn” which is hidden in an alley off of Guihua Street. It is clean and reasonably-priced, though quite loud because of the nearby bars that blast dance music well into the night. Ear plugs recommended.
booking.com/hotel/cn/yang-shuo...

Check the comments for more suggestions.

Climbing Needs 

There were at least 5 climbing shops when I was there with everything from supplies, to info, guide services, or just someone to chat with. New stores are popping up constantly trying to get some of the pie, so some are a lot better than others. To give credit to those who helped established climbing in YangShuo be sure to check out China Climb (in the Lizard Lounge restaurant) where you can get a good selection of gear and they have a bouldering cave; Karst Café – great pizza and Echo and Eben were very friendly; Spiderman Climbing – across from Karst, and Black Rock Climbing.

Guidebooks 

There is a guidebook that can be purchased pretty much anywhere in town for around $17 USD. It covers all of the major areas which totals over 500 routes. If you'’re a savvy climber and there for more than a quick stop you’'ll no doubt meet other climbers that know of the non-publicized crags in the greater Guilin area.

Food 

Budget breakfast of local noodles with tasty extras, a marinated boiled egg, a cup of thick(ish) soy milk, and a deep-fried bread stick for 14RMB at 老味道桂林麵粉, on Diecui Rd, across from the big banyan tree between Furong and Rongyin St.

Budget dinner of choose-your-own veggies and/or meat at the intersection of Rongyin St and Chengzhong Rd for 12-15RMB.

Otherwise, there is food of every variety and price category. There are multiple grocery stores on Guihua St and fruit vendors on Diecui Rd.

Other Activities 

There's the usual assortment of tourist activities around town, and no shortage of tourist shops to gladly give you a hand and lighten your pocket. If you have the time I would also pad an extra day getting there or leaving to have a look around the city of Guilin, it's worth a day of your time.

Bikes can be rented throughout town for a few bucks and are a great way to access any of the climbs. They are also ideal for rest days spent peddling around the countryside.

Two short hikes in particular are also worthwhile. One climbs up the viewpoint right in Yangshuo park. Enter from Diecui Rd then walk to back and left side of the park to find the stairs that ascend the cliff side. Try to ignore the garbage, and hopefully you'll get a decent view. Across Pantao Rd from here is a winding alley that leads up to more stairs that climb up to the "TV Tower". It can be hard to find the entrance through the maze of back streets, but even exploring these can be fun. This hike is much longer but can still be done in under an hour one-way. There is a shady dude taking money at the top, but apparently this is semi-legit (felt so wrong). It should only be 5 RMB per person.

Liu Sanjie, aka the Impressions Light Show. Directed by Zhang Yimou, the mind behind the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing, the light show delivers in true Chinese 'over the top' style. Set in a cove of the Li river and backed by towering limestone karsts, over 600 performers act out an intriguing tale of… well, I have no idea what the story was about, but they dance around and there’s a lot of cool lights and stuff.

Climbing Season



Weather station 0.3 miles from here

141 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',20],['3 Stars',60],['2 Stars',47],['1 Star',11],['Bomb',2]
['<=5.6',1],['5.7',2],['5.8',8],['5.9',16],['5.10',53],['5.11',33],['5.12',19],['5.13',7],['>=5.14',2],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in YangShuo

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for YangShuo:
Emission Control (first pitch)   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Moon Hill
Jie Jie Hua Xiang (Tangerine Blossom Fragrance)   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   White Mountain
Rooster Booster   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 95'   The Egg : North Face
Happy New Year   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 5 pitches, 350'   The Thumb
Carbonic Acid Trip   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Wine Bottle
Luna Nascente P1   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Moon Hill
Poser's Lonely Reunion   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 90'   The Egg : North Face
Artemis   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Moon Hill
Scary Mary   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Chicken Cave
Eggstatic   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 2 pitches, 180'   The Egg : East Face (Fried Egg)
Apollo   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Moon Hill
Yangshuo Hotel   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   White Mountain
Proud Sky   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Moon Hill
The Phoenix   5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   White Mountain
Over the Moon   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Moon Hill
White Devil   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   White Mountain
Tsing Tao Beer   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   White Mountain
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in YangShuo

Featured Route For YangShuo
Rock Climbing Photo: Now that is how you use your head

White Devil 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b  Asia : China : ... : White Mountain
The best route of its grade at the crag? Yangshuo? Certainly a contender, White Devil boasts great, super-fun climbing from bottom to top. Ramps up to speed early with a tough, delicate crux near the bottom, climbs to a tricky few moves at mid-way, then a pumpy ride to a super satisfying (and a bit sharp) thank-god jug. The finish is a fun final 10m of 11b-ish jug hauling -- hard enough to fall off of and spoil a redpoint or onsight if you haven't saved quite enough....[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of YangShuo Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The view of the White Mountain area from The Egg
The view of the White Mountain area from The Egg
Rock Climbing Photo: The Moon Hill.  My hands got sweaty when I stood u...
The Moon Hill. My hands got sweaty when I stood u...
Rock Climbing Photo: Every night is a busy night on the streets on Yang...
Every night is a busy night on the streets on Yang...
Rock Climbing Photo: Interesting outdoor shop next door to one of the c...
Interesting outdoor shop next door to one of the c...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Winebottle Area as seen from the Golden Cat Ca...
BETA PHOTO: The Winebottle Area as seen from the Golden Cat Ca...

Comments on YangShuo Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 13, 2016
By Ken H
From: Granite, UT
Mar 30, 2011
PAYING TO CLIMB:
PLEASE DON'T PAY. NOTE: I've been an Access Fund member for years and do all I can to help keep climbing areas open and I'm saying Don't Pay.

A disturbing trend has started in Yangshuo of locals attempting to intimidate you into paying to climb at areas like: The Wine Bottle, Low Mountain, and Swiss Cheese Wall. The locals will walk up and say "hello" and then rub their fingers together. They are persistent and will hang around and probably yell at you in Chinese, motion for you to leave saying "no", and talk loudly on a mobile. PLEASE NOTE: These locals are NOT stewards of the crag nor do they own the land or anything like that they are just bums trying to force a buck out of you. EXCEPTION: Rumor has it the Wine Bottle may have been purchased and you might have an issue here. If you do pay them you are doing your fellow climbers a disservice and causing possible future access issues as whatever you pay them, they will want from the next climber and maybe more the next year. I have not heard of anyone being harmed by these hooligans but don't tease or antagonize them. Just say "no, no", keep climbing, and please DON'T PAY THEM. At this time there are no issues at the Egg or White Mountain.

For accommodations:
Rock Abond Inn: I highly recommend Rock Abond Inn owned by Abond (a sponsored black diamond climber) and run by his girlfriend Ting (also a climber). Ting speaks very good english and they are very helpful. We were able to just have them call a mini bus for us when we wanted to go to White Mountain or the Egg and often they knew if others were also going there. The driver they called also knew right where to drop us off.
yanbanginn.com/?lang=en

River View: It is a little more quiet than Rock Abound next to the river and has a little better views at about twice the price.
tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g...

Climber's Inn: This is a little guesthouse in the middle of the busiest area of Yangshuo and is a little cheaper than Rock Abond and many climbers stay here.

All three of these are only about 3 blocks apart.

Transportation:
Bike: You can bike to most of the crags if you like. Bikes cost $1-$2 per day. The wine bottle, the thumb, and swiss cheese are about 20-40 minutes by bike; Low Mountain, Chicken Cave, and Space Buttress are about 30-60 minutes; White Mountain and The Egg are probably about 45-60 minutes. This said you should be ready to search around and feel lost looking for how to get to the crag.

Mini Bus: I recommend mini bus for your first trip to white mountain or the egg. It is $10 total for a round trip and you can set a pick up time. The bus can hold about 6-7 people and climbers can go to the Egg or White Mountain on the same bus.
By reboot
From: Westminster, CO
Aug 19, 2011
A few things about the description:

Air Asia and some other local carriers fly into Guangzhou, often at very cheap rates.

Guangzhou isn't all that close to Yangshuo. You can fly into Guilin, the neighboring city, from any major city in China (Beijing, Shanghai Hongkong, etc), Bangkok, Singapore, and probably a few others.

It’s next to impossible to ‘wing it’ with an attempt at Cantonese or Mandarin.

Of course you can't wing it in Cantonese. You are in Guangxi, not Guangdong, nobody understands the Cantonese dialect there. Just because it's popular in the states (b/c of business dealing with Hongkong and its refusal to learn Mandarin) doesn't mean it's popular in China. On the other hand, if you can speak broken Mandarin, you'll be better off than most.

Chinese food is, on average, terrible.

That's a pretty ignorant statement. You are in Guangxi, so say the food there is terrible, and I might even half agree with you. They certainly don't take food nearly as seriously as their eastern neighbor (Cantonese food).

Without a doubt, don't miss Liu Sanjie, aka the Impressions Light Show.

It's a love story of an ethnic Zhuang girl. Guangxi is home to a number of ethnic minority groups. Zhuang is the largest ethnic minority group in China (Han accounts ~91% of the population).
By Andy.C
Aug 22, 2011
I came here for a two day climbing trip Aug 17-18, 2011 and thoroughly enjoyed Yangshuo.

The summary is very thorough, but I'll add a few comments:

Getting there - You can take a scenic ferry ride from Guilin to Yangshuo. It takes ~4 hrs and includes a lunch on board the boat. They pass by the view that's currently on the back of the 20 RMB bill, and you can buy fish freshly caught from the river. Slightly expensive (~400RMB), but worth checking out if you have the time and money.

Eating - I strongly recommend trying the beer battered fish (pi2 jiu3 yu2). It's a Yangshuo specialty and not available elsewhere. It's fish cooked in a spicy tomato based sauce. I couldn't taste the beer, but still, it was so good I ate the whole thing. Ask for fish that has the least amount of bones (mao yu is a good option).

Things to Do - Apart from climbing, I would suggest renting a bike or a motorcycle to cruise through the city. Lots of fun and relatively cheap. I would avoid checking out the caves - they are extremely commercialized (think Disneyland) and filled with artificial color LED's.

Climbing guides - I didn't feel comfortable leading just yet, so I hired a guide to set up top ropes for me from Karst Climber. Ginger runs the business and can speak relatively good English. My guide's name was Xiao O and he was very good. Highly recommend if you are looking for a guide.

Grades - I personally thought the ratings were inflated one or two grades, especially the lower ratings (lower than 5.10).

Paying - When I was climbing at Wine Bottle, someone approached us asking us to pay. At the time, they were charging for guided groups, but individual climbers could climb for free. I think they were asking for 20RMB/person, an exorbitant amount. We didn't pay, but they asked us to register anyway.

Hope this helps.
By Joe Freeman
Apr 18, 2013
My wife and I stayed a couple days in yangshuo at the Climbers Inn. It was clean friendly and cheap. The family that owns and runs it cares about you enjoying your stay. One of the nicest places for traveling and climbing we came across. Lilly (owner/staff) is a great climbing partner if you catch a time she can go, and she can help with bike rentals and directions, getting tickets, etc,...pretty much anything, and speaks great English! :) Even let us borrow her guidebook our first day, but you can buy the Yangshuo guide here too.

The room had good hot water, decent bed and was clean and well lit.

N 24.77931 E 110.49126 is a GPS way point about 100 feet away from it, it off a narrow walkway between buildings, look for signs at either end of the alley to find it.
By Gneiss Yeti
From: Denver, Colorado
Jul 5, 2013
Anyone know about partner finding in yangshuo?
By Peteoria
Nov 7, 2013
I just arrived & will be here at least the next 30 days...

I'm working a few hours a week @ DMZ bar, otherwise PM & we'll get rad!
By hazmat
From: San Luis Obispo
May 30, 2014
Starting off a two month traveling adventure in YangShuo this summer. I will be there from July 29 to Aug 10 and will be looking for climbing partners. Any advice or beta for the area would be greatly appreciated. Message me if you'll be in the area or can share any info, thanks.
By Josh S
Jul 18, 2014
Just got back from a week in Yangshuo, and I highly recommend the place we stayed - The Tea Cozy.

yangshuoteacozy.com/

It's a little bit outside of town - about 5 km - so if you're looking to party it's probably not the best place. But its a short bike ride to a lot of the crags, and the staff is unbelievably friendly, helpful, and accommodating. The owner, Richard, does some climbing and drew us maps to some of the crags. Food is good too.

Also, I wouldn't recommend a trip there in July/August - the humidity is unreal.
By Danz Hao
Apr 13, 2015
I will be there May 4-9 2015 and would love a climbing partner. If anyone is available please message me!!
By Adam Pecan
From: Moab, UT
Oct 17, 2015
If you're planning on staying in Yangshuo for the season or at least a few weeks, getting an apartment is the way to go. If you're looking to find something ahead of time check out yangshuocrashpad.com . Nice apartments, awesome views, and really good deals on bikes/scooters. Julie and Ashui can hook you up with easy work in the area as well. Bouldering wall and microbrews next door are an added bonus :) A bit outside of town (15 min walk/ 5 min bike), so better if you're looking for somewhere quiet.
By Nate Ball
Administrator
From: Portland, OR
Sep 13, 2016
My wife and I just returned from a 10-day stay in Yangshuo. It is still an incredible place to climb, but things are changing quickly, and thus there is a lot you should know that isn't mentioned in the write-up or in any of the comments...

The bolt situation
Many of the bolts are nearing 20 years of life. Many of them are stainless steel, and thus perfectly safe, but many of them are not. It is nigh-impossible for a lay-person to know the difference, but I definitely saw a lot of plated-steel and even more bottom-shelf hardware-store budget crap, especially at the older crags (Wine Bottle, the Egg, the Thumb). The older routes at Moon Hill are ticking time bombs. There does not seem to be much stewardship of the area, though I could be wrong, but regardless it's best to be mindful of what you're clipping given the general lack of oversight or long-term vision for safety.

Grading standardization
Basically nonexistent. Sure, it doesn't really matter, just climb and have fun. You've been warned though! Some routes well within your grade may spank you severely, and others may be a straight dose of helium to the ego. None of this randomness has anything to do with climbing style. For example, grades tend to be slightly harder than the "holiday grades" in southern Thailand, but at least there they are fairly standardized. Here, not so much.

Construction and development
Not the climbing kind. The town of Yangshuo has burgeoned into an economic exploitation zone. Perhaps this has been going on for awhile, but we found the road into town torn down to bedrock to expand it into a proper highway, high-rise apartments popping up in every direction, and the former residential buildings transformed into high-end hotels and boutique salons. Even McDonald's was undergoing renovation into a three-story monstrosity. Maybe it never was a true backpacker's haven, but the days when climbers were a significant part of the population are certainly long gone now. As a result of all this, many things have changed - directions to the crags, getting around town, location of various shops, etc - so bear this in mind when trying to navigate. This will likely continue for the foreseeable future.

Chinese culture
Let's just say that, in many ways, it is not just strange but downright off-putting to many Westerners sensibilities. The incessant honking, for no apparent reason (certainly without any reaction), from every driver on the road. The madness of all the different types of vehicles driving, and stopping, whenever and wherever they want, without any enforcement of traffic laws. The hacking, coughing, chewing, spitting, and smoking that is habitual to seemingly every man (and some women). It's not just the cars that are loud, but the people tend to converse in yells and screams. They may sound angry, and maybe they're putting on a show, but people are just loud in general. Most people are out to make a buck off of someone else. You're a lucky soul if you don't get scammed in one way or another. Not everyone is awful, but this is a communist country enjoying a booming economy, and the vast majority of the over-one-billion people are convinced that China is the best country on Earth, which is why you have come.

Pollution or overcast?
We had seemingly great weather for most of our trip. A couple days of rain that didn't keep us from getting in a few burns. But on those perfect "overcast" days, we couldn't help but wonder, as visibility was never more than a kilometer or so, if the haze that engulfed the distant karsts was more than just low-lying moisture. The construction is constant, and emissions of the belching trucks and two-stroke scooters certainly aren't DEQ-worthy...

Food and lodging
I updated the Food section above with suggestions to two particular spots that are equal parts local, delicious, and cheap. If you're looking for partners, look no further than the Climber's Inn. I would also suggest it for all climbers in general. Lily will help you out in every possible way - latest approach info, bike rental, massage booking, etc.

Transportation
You can arrange for chartered bus pickup, and this is definitely convenient if you're climbing in a group, but I found that getting around by bike was incredibly convenient and directions to most crags didn't take too long to figure out if you'd done a little homework. Also a great way to warm up for your climbs and cool down at the end of the day... and just get in a little cardio!

Access issues
We saw spray-painted warnings on the rocks that climbers were required to pay at many of the most popular crags. However, we were not hassled, did not see any guided groups being hassled, and apparently the issue as a whole has been resolved entirely. That said, be very wary of people asking you to pay for anything. None of the climbing areas listed here are on private property, and thus nobody has the right to demand money from you.

In general, our experience was a great one. Yangshuo is still a pretty incredible place to visit for the natural scenery. Just don't expect to be walking into a place where everyone appreciates it quite the same way you do. It's a MAJOR tourist destination, and although this hasn't effected the availability of cheaper options too much, this small town is quickly shifting towards urbanized wasteland. Bear this in mind, spend as much time out of town as possible, meet some cool folks, and you will still enjoy your time here.