spent a half-day climbing karsts in Yángshuò, China, one of China’s most popular climbing destinations, with the help of Insight Adventures (formerly ChinaClimb), guided by an American, English-speaking guide named Wade. He and the other guides I met were friendly, professional, and most important of all: trustworthy and safety-focused. Wade also gave me lots of encouragement and help when I had trouble on a difficult route. My favorite part, however, was the amount of attention he paid to me after our day of climbing. He invited me back to the company’s climbing gym for a hot pot, a kind-of Chinese stew. There, three Chinese employees spent a half-hour teaching me to make pork-filled dumplings and shared beers with me. I have a lot of respect for any guide company that takes care of its clients and provides them with rich travel experiences even after the official obligation to the client ends. It’s not only a smart way to do business; it’s also the right way to treat people. WB
Insight Adventures (formerly ChinaClimb) is located to the left of the House Lizard Bar and a Chinese food restaurant on Xian Qian Street, which you can reach by walking northeast from the Ai Yuan Hotel on West Street (Xi Jie, Yángshuò’s main pedestrian street lined with bars) and taking the last major left turn before the dead end into the Lí River road. For Y250 (US $42), Western, English-speaking climbing guides will take you on a half-day climbing trip to a nearby karst. Trips leave at 9 AM and 1 PM. Insight’s excellent guides provide all necessary equipment (harnesses, shoes, helmets, belay devices, ropes, anchors, and chalk) and will cater to any skill level, including beginning climbers. They can also provide information and gear for independent, expert climbers and can arrange multiday and multisport adventures. insight-adventures.com.
To read the whole story of the trip on which I discovered Insight Adventures, read: Climbing karsts — Rock climbing and Taylor Swift in Yángshuò, Guăngxī, China.