Faces of WildChina: Phoebe Yang 杨雨桐 

WildChina > WildChina > Faces of WildChina: Phoebe Yang 杨雨桐 

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: Phoebe Yang 杨雨桐 
Phoebe at the Christ Church in Oxford

Where are you from and where do you live now?

I was born in Panzhihua, a sunny town on the border of Sichuan Province and Yunnan Province. I moved to Chengdu at the age of 12. After completing my university studies in France and the UK, I returned to Chengdu and now work here.

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

My parents are big fans of road trips, and we usually spend our holidays traveling. Because of this, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many people working in the tourism industry. I’m often impressed by their enthusiasm for their jobs. I’ve met some responsible guides and friendly family hotel hosts who do their best to create wonderful memories for visitors. I also enjoy sharing useful information with fellow travelers. Over time, I’ve realized that I’d like to be a part of this industry I’m passionate about. 

Faces of WildChina: Phoebe Yang 杨雨桐 
Phoebe crossing the stone bridge in Fenghuang Ancient Town, Hunan Province

Throughout your career, was there one piece of advice you received that really impacted how you do your job?

One piece of advice that has greatly benefited me is to always be prepared for the worst situation. This is especially true in our profession as travel designers, where we place a high value on the experiences of each guest. To create the most memorable journeys for them, it’s important for us to anticipate potential challenges during the trips and respond with flexible solutions.

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

Even though several years have passed, I can still vividly recall many details of my trip to Xinjiang Province. Xinjiang is an incredible blend of diverse landscapes, featuring mountains, lakes, forests, and deserts. It is rare to find such a combination of views in other parts of the world. Xinjiang is also a magical land where unbelievable things happen: we witnessed a huge red moon on the horizon, encountered heavy rain in the Taklamakan Desert, and while traversing Luobupo, it felt like we were driving on Mars, even though none of us had ever been to Mars. Xinjiang remains on my travel bucket list. One visit is simply not enough.

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

The most memorable journey I planned was my parents’ first trip to Europe. It was also the first time I had designed such an extended trip, lasting one month. We traveled from France to Switzerland and Italy. Naturally, we encountered numerous problems: our car had a flat tire on a deserted road, and we got lost in the Italian countryside. However, along the way, we met some genuinely warm-hearted people who helped us. A passing driver assisted us in changing the tire, and an elderly farmer, who did not speak English, guided us to our hotel when we got lost. While I might forget some other details about this trip over time, these lovely human connections will always remain in my memory.

Faces of WildChina: Phoebe Yang 杨雨桐 
Phoebe paragliding in Fethiye, Turkey

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

During the journey in Turkey with my parents, I secretly booked a paragliding activity for us. I “lied” by telling my parents that we were going up the mountain for a panoramic view. Upon arrival on the top of the mountain, I surprised them by revealing that we were going paragliding. We had one of the most unforgettable experiences, enjoying the views of the Mediterranean Sea and the coastal village from above! I believe all of us were literally WOWed in the air.

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

For me, a journey is exceptional when I feel like I’ve truly “lived” in this place for at least a couple of days, not just “passed by” there. I like one saying: “The world is a book, and people who do not travel read only a page.” In my opinion, traveling is like reading but in a physical way. However,  visiting touristy sites can feel like turning pages without reading the content. During my trips, I try to notice both the differences and similarities between the places I visit and the place I call home. If I have time during the trip, I take a stroll along the streets and try to imagine how the local people live.

What is your favorite place in China?

I personally consider Chengdu to be the coolest city in China., not only because of its chill ambiance and slow-paced lifestyle, but also its closeness to Xinjiang, Tibet, and Qinghai, places I wish to explore further. It’s more convenient to start a road trip to Western China from Chengdu. But I guess the primary reason I choose to stay here is the food – I cannot live without Sichuanese cuisine.

Faces of WildChina: Phoebe Yang 杨雨桐 
Jungfraujoch, Switzerland

Tell us three places on your travel bucket list and why (in China or worldwide):

Mohe in Heilongjiang Province: Mohe is the northernmost town in China, and it can get as cold as -40 degrees in winter! I would like to experience how cold it feels. Living mostly in southern cities, I rarely see snow.

Faroe Islands: The first time I came across some stunning photos of the Faroe Islands on the Internet, I added this destination to the top of my travel bucket list. I dream of hiking through the Faroe Islands as a part of a bigger trip  to the Nordic countries.

New Zealand: I’ve always dreamed about an RV trip in New Zealand, captivated by its natural beauty. Besides, I’ve never been to the southern hemisphere and I wonder how people celebrate Christmas in summer. I would love to experience it once.

What do you do when you aren’t working? (This can be family-oriented or a hobby or a sport etc.)

I spend most of my free time with my family or friends, watching movies or going outdoors for hikes. I also enjoy all kinds of performances: concerts, musicals, dances, and stand-up comedy.

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

I took swimming lessons at the age of 7. My coach was so strict that  I felt scared of swimming. After finishing the class, I became reluctant to go to the swimming pool. I haven’t swum since, and I’m not even sure I still know how to swim 🙂