Our aim is to introduce responsible tourism development to the Pubutang community through showcasing the best of the region’s food, culture and scenery.
Born and raised in the villages of the majestic Yangshuo valley, since 2003 independent local businesswoman Monkey Jane (赖曾秀 – Lai Zengxui) has owned and operated Monkey Jane’s Guesthouse and the infamous “Amazing Rooftop Bar of the Marvellous Monkey Jane” in downtown Yangshuo. Remember that place you played beer pong and partied all night at during that whirlwind backpacking tour through Asia? Ah yeah that place…
Yangshuo’s most famous Monkey is going back to the countryside with her latest project in the riverside village of Pubutang, just 20 mins from Yangshuo but nestled deep in an undeveloped pocket of the Yangshuo valley. Deep family connections and a passion for local food and culture has brought forward this great opportunity to open up the countryside of Jane’s childhood to the outside world for the first time.
I first passed through Yangshuo in 2003, stealing a few days to see some more of China after a basketball tour with the Melbourne Tigers. I’d heard about this new climbing destination down south and just couldn’t resist the opportunity to scratch my climbing bug and check it out.
Not long arriving in Yangshuo had I met the marvellous Monkey Jane, been enticed to put my backpack down at her brand new Guesthouse, hooked up some climbing with Finnish adventure junkies Kalle and Juha and fallen in love with this awesome little town, its people, its culture and the good times.
Like everytime I leave Yangshuo, I couldn’t wait to get back. The following year I’d put my budding career on hold and was back among the majestic karst peaks working (and partying) for an extended stay with new Australian owned adventure company Chinaclimb. Since those great early days of helping to establish the ethics and culture of Yangshuo’s now thriving adventure industry, I’ve rarely gone six months without returning to renew old friendships, make new ones and reduce stress levels from living and working across Asia.
When my old mate Monkey Jane asked for some help in developing a new guesthouse in a great little riverside village just up the river, I couldn’t say no.
Much has changed over the past 14 years, no less than a wife and three kids, but the great friendships that were made on that first trip remain the same. With some old and some new friends we are inspiring each other to develop this exciting community tourism project in rural China, combining my love of Yangshuo, fascination with Asia and 13 years of work in the Australian Government’s Tourism Department.
My family and I are privileged to be welcomed into the Pubutang community and help establish the first tourism business in the long history of this rural farming village. We hope Pubutang can be a relaxing place for friends, families and fellow travelers to visit, enjoy and unwind, while setting a great example of how responsible tourism can play a positive role in sustainable development.