Yangshuo Day 05 – Moon Hill

Climbing the Arch

Looking back through the arch, we could see the village of Yueliang (Mandarin: 月亮村) nestled just below a vast landscape of karst towers in the south. Groups of agile swifts (Family: Apodidae) could be seen performing aerial acrobatics, with sudden turns and quick dives, as they skillfully picked out insects from the air one by one. The rain had subsided by then, but layers of mist would occasionally still waft through the arch.

Moon Hill swiftlets

The aerial acrobatics of swifts (Family: Apodidae)

The village of Yueliang

The village of Yueliang seen through the arch

The north-west side of Moon Hill had a fair amount of routes to offer, with almost all of them catering to the more experienced climber. There were a couple of very easy routes with a 5 to 6a grade, but at least half of them had a difficulty of 7b or harder. There have been a lot of issues and uncertainties about whether climbers are even allowed to climb the arch, and this is made quite evident when you arrive at the crag and see that the first two bolts of each of the routes seem to have been removed. This can be overcome however, by either bringing along or making a stick-clip (like is needed when climbing Fairy Cave in Sarawak), or just free-climbing the first 6-8 metres to get to the bolt. We ended up doing the latter, so just stuck to routes that were well below our ability to climb.

Climbing Moon Hill

Ian on the first pitch of Emission Control, 5+, trying to avoid the dark slimy sections as best he can

We decided to head down the other trail ('Vanity'/'Dresser') as we descended. The route was somewhat similar to the first, albeit there was a small rise that gave way to a fairly decent view of Moon Hill's arch. We were quite hungry and it had started to rain quite heavily by the time we began to cycle back, so we keep our heads down and filled them with thoughts of stir-fry (CNY13) in order to get through the soaking ride back to the town of Yangshuo.

The arch of Moon Hill

Looking back towards the arch of Moon Hill

Route Playback

Suunto Movescount Stats



End of Day 5 Expenditure (CNY)*

Transport: 10

Accommodation: 54

Food: 23

Miscellaneous: 14


* Excluding the cost of the flights to and from China


: 81

: 270

 : 117

: 67

: 535 

Next (Day 06) : Xingping