How to get to Pubutang

We are here to help! Please feel free to contact us to get the best advice on how to arrive.

Baidu Maps location: https://j.map.baidu.com/fN_aO
Google Maps location: https://goo.gl/maps/Ya1vzPYVY7p

Air
– With the new highway now completed, we are a bit over an hour away from Guilin Liangjiang International Airport (KWL). Contact us to arrange your transfer from the airport direct to Pubutang.
– If transiting internationally through Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN), you may wish to consider catching the metro from the airport to Guangzhou South Station and then fast train on to Yangshuo, Gongchen or Guilin stations, where we can organise your transfer to Pubutang.

Rail
We are in the vicinity of a number of new fast train stations, providing convenient and cheap transport options from right across China. Fast trains in China can be booked easily on sites such as www.trip.com
– From Yangshuo fast train station, contact us to organise a transfer to the nearby town of Xing Ping (10mins) and then a scenic boat ride down the Li River (20mins) to Pubutang.
– Contact us to organise your transfer from Guilin, Yangshuo or Gongchen fast train stations.

Car
Contact us to organise a suitable car for your travelling party and budget.
– 20mins from Yangshuo
– 1.2 hr from Guilin
– 1.2 hrs from Gongchen
– 5 hrs from Guangzhou

Bike
The 9km Yangshuo to Pubutang ride is along paved, mostly flat surfaces passing paddyfields, small villages and magnificent river views. Perfect for a leisurely ride out to Pubutang for lunch! We highly recommend our mates Bike Asia for all your bike hire needs while in Yangshuo.  Contact us for more information about electric scooter hire in Yangshuo.

Boat
We haven’t tried it yet, but some of our friends are operating a new speedboat service from Guilin to locations down the Li River. Contact us for more information on this option.

The Marvellous Monkey Jane

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 in the south of the country and just couldn’t resist the opportunity to scratch my climbing bug and check it out.

Not long after arriving in Yangshuo, enjoying a spicy hot pot on the street with my Chinaclimb guide for the following day Tommy, had I met the marvellous Monkey Jane.

Tommy: Hey Grant meet my friend Monkey Jane.

Monkey: “Hi, where are you staying?”

Me: “Hey. Some hotel up the road”

Monkey: “How much they charge you?”

Me: 30 Yuan

Monkey:: I charge you 25 and have lovely Finnish climbing boys stay there. Go get your bags”

How could I refuse? With that, I went and got my backpack, set about a memorable week of climbing and partying at her brand new Guesthouse with Finnish adventure junkies Kalle and Juha , ate copious amounts of mouth watering dumplings at Mrs Yan’s and fallen in love with this awesome little town, its people, its culture and the good times.

Aunty Jane!

It was the start of a love affair with Yangshuo, with Monkey always playing the host for the many friends and family I’ve brought with me over the past 15 years.

Yangshuo is a town full of characters, though none are better than my old mate Monkey. Hailing from a small riverside village creatively named “riverside” (He Bien), in 2003 she opened her first guesthouse with the help of a ¥5,000 loan from an Uncle at the ripe old age of 23.

As one of three kids to a single mother growing up on a farm, life wasn’t easy for Jane, who through her guesthouse took on the role of bread winner for her extended family from a young age, employing most of them at some time or other. Her tough, uncompromising entrepreneurial spirit, openness to the wider world and love of a good time with her many friends and family has brought her much success, respect and standing within the Yangshuo community and around the world. The locals don’t call her “da dong” (big boss) for nothing.

Hundreds, if not thousands of young backpackers from all of the world have travelled through her digs over the years, lured by her cheap no-frills rooms, cheap beer and the chance to score a coveted “Monkey Jane’s Beer Pong Champion” t-shirt.

Her rooftop bar, the first of now many in Yangshuo, is an institution. A grimy low tin roof that screams at you with each downpour, walls adorned with the pissed ramblings of backpackers after a few too many snake shots, the best beer pong table in Yangshuo taking centre stage and, until lately, a million-dollar view taking in the town, river and surrounding Karst peaks.

With a bigger hotel having been built next door stealing much of that million-dollar view away, a lease fast approaching its end and a desire to get back to her country roots and enjoy the quiet life, Monkey went looking for a new challenge. Enter Pubutang!

When she called me up one day asking if I might like to help her out in this new venture of hers, I just had to check it out. Not long after my first visit to Pubutang, once again, I just couldn’t refuse!

It’s a real privilege to join Monkey for this next big step in both our professional lives in the development of the Pubutang Café and Guesthouse. While we are now business partners, I have no doubt we will always stay great mates.

 

A first visit

When my old mate Monkey Jane first contacted me to ask if I could help her out with the building of her new place in a little village up the river from Yangshuo, I was immediately attracted. “I can pay you back in one year, with interest” she said. “I’d get it from the bank but I’m 36 and not married so they think something is wrong with me…”

Over the past 13 years of regular visits with friends and family to my spiritual home of Yangshuo, which included a 6-month stay in 2004 working with Chinaclimb, I’ve been very proud to call Jane a great mate. As one of her first guests in the original Monkey Jane’s Guesthouse, it’s been a pleasure to watch her grow her family business over the years, enjoying many great adventures and too many late nights at her infamous rooftop bar.

Through our friendship I knew she wasn’t pulling a fast one on me. She could’ve asked anyone for help.  But she came to me first. I had to check it out before anyone else did.

We arrived in Pubutang on motorbikes, Jane ever the tour guide leading us up a freshly laid road up east side of the Li River, passing through the familiar paddy field and karst peak scenery, which after 13 years has never ceased to spellbound me, and all who go before it.

“Welcome to Monkey Beach!” she said. Having just signed a 20 year lease on this property, Jane had been putting the occasional party here, bussing the town’s local foreign and Chinese party crew out for barbecues by the river. While it would never pass for a beach in Australia, I suppose a rocky riverbank is pretty beachy in Yangshuo.

Climbing up the riverbank through the bamboo and empty Liquan beer bottles still left from the last month’s party, the old village school, a once magnificent mudbrick courtyard dwelling came into sight.

Jane’s already put a fair bit of money and work into this place. The roof has been waterproofed and resealed with a partly-built two-room red brick extension jettisoning out the side of the original mudbrick building. But there is plenty more yet to do before anyone will be staying here.

First impressions? I’m blown away by the courtyard house. It’s definitely seen better days, there is still plenty of work yet to be done but like Jane I can definitely see its potential. Old mudbrick and stone has met new redbrick and concrete with a resounding question mark left over how the finished product will look. There is no design, no plan, not even an idea where the kitchen might go.

I’m hooked, I can’t not take on this challenge, but we are going to have to take a step back and slow this ship down a bit. Jane says she has got a 20 year lease, which 10 of the village elders have signed off on…we have some time!

The next day we meet Xiao He, a young local building developer who Jane has enlisted to build it. Xiao He takes us in his new Honda sedan to Pubutang, passing by another similar mud brick guesthouse he has redeveloped recently. I like his work. A lot.

A feast of river fish and local produce, hosted by the village Chief in his modest home is awaiting us at Pubutang. Government officials just also happen to be in town and join us. While I have no way of understanding the local dialect and rely on Jane and my rudimentary mandarin to get me through, I totally get the sense of importance of this first ever foray into tourism has for this village. I feel very much welcomed by them and have a very good feeling about it. I’m definitely interested, lets do this!