Mark JohnstonCLIMBERS’ INN IN YANGSHUO Mark Johnston June 30 China, Lodging, Reviews, Travel Private Room Amenities Pricing Location 3.8Overall Score Initially we had booked different reservations for our stay in Yangshuo, but upon a recommendation from another backpacker we switched for a much more affordable and friendly option- The Climbers’ Inn. Hoping to get in some climbing during our stay, this seemed to be a good, last-minute swap. The owner and manager Lily was incredibly helpful, friendly and eager to get everyone crushing at the crag before the day was through. Due to wet weather, poor conditioning and the higher than expected cost of rentals, Britnee and I only made it out for one day of climbing, which was a blast. Yet the friendliness, comfort and great cost of the Climbers’ Inn still scored it highly in our book. Private Room: We thought we had reserved a dorm room online but ended up in a small, private, two-bed room with private bathroom for the same cost. Our days were busy exploring the stunning landscape that surrounds the town, but we were quite happy to escape the heat and humidity and relax under the free air conditioner on occasion. On the downside- while the beds were large enough for each of us, the mattresses were very firm which proved to be a little uncomfortable by the last night there. There was a window in our room but it looked out into the hallway and allowed little or no natural light in. However, plenty of noise did get in from the clubs on West Street just down the alley. Thankfully they all seemed to quiet down or close up by midnight most nights. Amenities: A big plus was that the private bathroom offered a western toilet, although one couldn’t flush the toilet paper, which is common here in China. Hot water would come and go while showering which could be frustrating at times, but after returning from days out biking or climbing in the June heat, a cold shower was much preferred. There was a large fridge in the lobby for residents to store their food and on occasion the climbers would cook a large meal together to enjoy at the hostel. Wifi was excellent and easy to connect to anytime we tried. Besides the fingerboard in the lobby, there was little else available as far as amenities at the Climbers’ Inn, but the staff’s helpfulness easily made up for it. Lily was incredibly welcoming from the moment we arrived, quick to get us settled into our room and eager to get us out and climbing, riding, eating and exploring the area right away. She was well-connected in the community and whether you’re a beast looking to climb the hardest stuff Yangshuo has to offer, or a beginner in need of rentals and a guide, Lily will get you lined up with whatever you need. The town has turned into quite the tourist destination and you’ll be bombarded on the streets by locals trying to sell you tours, bike rentals and food. Before you do/buy anything, check with Lily as she’ll most likely get you a better deal. We can’t say enough about how much more enjoyable she made our stay in Yangshuo and we’ll definitely be back. Pricing: The Climbers’ Inn was one of the cheapest options in town and by far the most affordable hostel we’d stayed in on this trip to date. At a cost of 33 CNY per person per night, we only paid 400 CNY for the six nights in Yangshuo, and saved a whole lot more on rentals thanks to Lily’s help. Upon checking in we were sold on the local guide book for an additional 120 CNY, and while we only used this for our one-day climbing, it’ll hopefully be put to use again. Location: In a small alley, a short walk from the popular West Street, the Climbers’ Inn is in the heart of Yangshuo. There are tons of local and Western restaurants, grocery stores, climbing outfitters, clubs and bars within minutes of walking from the front door. Bike and scooter rentals are everywhere, allowing guests to explore further by themselves, but if you’re there to climb, as all other guests were, shared taxis to the crags can be quickly arranged. Next hostel on our route: the beautiful HELLO CHENGDU INTERNATIONAL YOUTH HOSTEL IN CHINA!