Faces of WildChina: Jenny Zhao 赵云先 

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If a destination is an end point, then the journey is the people you encounter along the way. They are what change “good” to “great”, “standard” to “extraordinary”, and “memorable” to “life-changing”.

Behind the smiling profile picture, the corporate email signature, the branded name tag, beats the true heart of WildChina: a vigorous network of personalities, dreams, and experiences driving magic and life through the company veins. 

So, meet the fairy godmothers(fathers) who take your China travel dreams, and not only grant them, but sprinkle a dusting of surprise throughout, so that even when you think you know what your Wildest dream looks like, something you didn’t even know existed is waiting to amaze. 

Faces of WildChina: Jenny Zhao 赵云先 
Jenny hiking in Wenhai

Where are you from and where do you live now?  

I am from a river city called Wuhan. After graduating from university in 2006, I relocated to Beijing.

Was there a specific moment in your life when you realized travel is what you wanted to do for work?  

 Yes, I remember it vividly. When I walked into my hotel room after a long day, I found a handwritten thank-you letter and a rose on my bedside, both from my client.  Though the trip was not an easy, we managed to make it memorable. Those moments constantly remind me how meaningful my job is!  

Faces of WildChina: Jenny Zhao 赵云先 
Jenny at the work event

Through your career, was there one piece of advice you received that really impacted how you do your job? If so, what was it?  

There have been so many good pieces of advice that I have received and learned from both work and travel experiences. Among them, one that I still highly value is the importance of developing a growth mindset. 

What is the best travel experience you’ve had so far?  

There have been so many incredible travel experiences that after each trip, I feel like I’ve just had the best one. Different journeys offer unforgettable moments, and each has created lasting memories. If I had to choose the one that really standout, it would be my trip to Yunnan during the spring festival with my husband and teenage son.

We camped under the stars in a beautiful site right next to Tiger Leaping Gorge. While we were simply enjoying the the night sky, a shooting star streaked across the sky, making this moment unforgettable. The next morning, after breakfast, we hiked to a mountain village, where we had the pleasure of meeting a Yi minority family. They welcomed us warmly, inviting us into their home and farm. We had a meal in their courtyard, prepared with ingredients sourced from their own garden. 

In the afternoon, our adventure took us to a higher vantage point where we enjoyed a lovely picnic. Wild horses roamed near us, with snow-capped peaks and majestic river in the background. Our children were happy too as they ran around and played together with local kids. It was truly an unforgettable moment to remember for a lifetime.  

Faces of WildChina: Jenny Zhao 赵云先 
Jenny at the WWF Summit in Beijing

What is the most memorable trip you’ve planned for a traveler?  

In 2016, I helped a client whose father, Panny, had been an American “Flying Tiger” pilot during World War II. They wanted to visit a small Yunnan Airport, where their father had fought and fallen in love with a Chinese nurse named Rita. They fell in love during such challenging times, continuing to exchange letters and keep each other’s photos. Panny returned to the US towards the end of the war after his father’s death and promised to find Rita after the war. Rita returned to Macau and moved a few times, and, unfortunately, lost her wallet where she kept Panny’s address. Long story short, in 2003 Panny received a package from her brother who had passed away. It was a box of identity cards from the airport hospital, a picture of Panny, and several unopened letters from Panny postmarked in 1946. He tried desperately to contact Rita but failed. The clients wanted me to help them to connect with Rita’s family members. It was not an easy task as I had no clue where to start. I kept asking people, but either received negative responses or no response at all. Nevertheless, I kept trying. Finally, I got in touch with a man who claimed to be Rita’s son! He was a writer and wrote a book about his mother’s story. So, I successfully got them all connected in Yunnan, and they also made a trip to the US all together afterwards! I felt incredibly happy that we were able to make it happen. And the story did not end there… 

Faces of WildChina: Jenny Zhao 赵云先 
Jenny mountain biking

What is the coolest WOW moment you’ve done for a traveler?  

At WildChina, we create WOW moments almost every day! It’s challenging to pick out the coolest, as the concept is subjective! However, I can name a few experiences that my clients really enjoyed. For example, an immersive dining experience at Ultraviolet, a surprise wedding proposal with a champagne picnic on the Great Wall, and an unforgettable experience sitting right next to a panda while it enjoyed its bamboo lunch!  

Faces of WildChina: Jenny Zhao 赵云先 
Jenny in the countryside of Beijing

If you had to pick one thing that makes a trip outstanding (not just good, but great), what would it be?  

A great local host with character is the soul of any remarkable trip!  

Faces of WildChina: Jenny Zhao 赵云先 
Jenny dressed in Yi minority costume

Tell us three places on your travel bucket list and why: 

There are so many places that I want to visit, but for the nearest future I have three destinations in mind:  

  1. Wuyishan, Fujian – I like tea a lot, and Wuyishan is renowned as a legendary place for some of the best Oolong tea, white tea and black tea. In addition, it is an incredibly beautiful place.  
  2. Quanzhou – I’m eager to explore the maritime Silk Road and try the local seafood.  
  3. Rome – This city holds a prominent position on my top list as I’ve read so many things about ancient Rome.
Faces of WildChina: Jenny Zhao 赵云先 
Jenny at the Cultural Travel Product Design Competition

What do you do when you aren’t working?  

Various activities bring me joy, including reading, swimming, and taking leisurely walks in my neighborhood.  

What’s a fun fact about you that most people don’t know?  

Depending on the season, I enjoy experimenting with different tea blends to discover new drinks. I always have my family members sample my creations, and no negative feedback is allowed! Haha!