Faces of WildChina: Juanita Huang 黄千千

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Meet Juanita! Hailing from a small coastal city in southeastern China, Juanita is a polyglot fluent in Spanish, English, and Mandarin, with a background in Spanish studies. She firmly believes that anticipating guests’ needs is the cornerstone of crafting exceptional trips. Whether it’s ensuring travelers have their favorite coffee or arranging for the perfect photo opportunities, Juanita goes the extra mile to make every journey memorable.

Faces of WildChina: Juanita Huang 黄千千
Juanita enjoying a few cups of coffee in Beijing

Where are you from and where do you live now? 

I was born on the southeastern coast of China, in Quanzhou, Fujian. Quanzhou was a major port during the Song and Yuan dynasties and played a crucial role in the ancient Maritime Silk Road. This heritage is reflected in the city’s diverse architecture, temples, and cultural sites that showcase a blend of Chinese, Islamic, and Christian influences. Its cultural heritage has even earned Quanzhou a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List! 

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

Even though I grew up going on trips to various places across the country, I never considered a career in the travel industry. It wasn’t until my junior year in college that I discovered WildChina. A (now) colleague visited our school recruit, and after learning about WildChina, it left a lasting impression on me, standing out as very different from the traditional travel companies I had known before. 

"My mom, aunts, and female cousins and I climbing a mountain behind my grandmother's house"
“My mom, aunts, and female cousins and I climbing a mountain behind my grandmother’s house”

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

My first trip to northwestern China was the best travel experience I have had so far. I was born in a small coastal city in southeastern China, so I am quite accustomed to hills and the sea. However, the majestic natural landscapes, unique cultural customs, and rich culinary traditions of this inland region of China left me deeply impressed. I traveled for a week with two female friends. We drive around ourselves and explored grasslands, snowy mountains, and inland lakes. Each day brought different scenery. I was so inspired by this trip that I returned to the same region twice more! 

Juanita in the snow
Juanita in the snow

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

For two guests who wanted to immerse themselves in authentic Chinese local life, I arranged some very local experiences: a traditional bathhouse experience complete with scrubbing services, a blind massage session, and a culinary journey featuring a variety of authentic regional cuisines. 

Juanita in Tibet
Juanita in Tibet

What is the coolest WOW moment you’ve had happen on one of the trips you arranged? 

Actually, one of the most memorable WOW moments I’ve had for a traveler occurred unexpectedly. While the guests were visiting Fuxing Park in Shanghai, a Chinese gentleman dancing in the park invited one of my travelers to dance with him. Despite being strangers, they spontaneously engaged in a duet dance, showcasing a remarkable moment of connection and cultural exchange.  

Juanita paddleboarding on the water in Nanning, Guangxi.
Juanita paddleboarding on the water in Nanning, Guangxi.

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

I believe that anticipating guests’ needs is what brings an experienced travel designer to the front and makes a trip outstanding for the travelers. For example, we not only prepare specific coffee that guests are accustomed to, but we also offer them Chinese tea, so they have the familiar and the new, both at hand. Also, many travelers want to take photos of the places and things they experience on their trip. I believe that a great guide should also be an excellent amateur photographer, ready to suggest poses and angles for the best shots! 

Faces of WildChina: Juanita Huang 黄千千
Juanita at the Potala Palace in Tibet

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

In China, Guizhou province is on my travel list. It is a region with a high concentration of ethnic minorities, and I am very interested in their cultural customs. I would like to participate in their festivals. Additionally, I want to watch one of Guizhou’s recently popular rural football matches in person. 

Internationally, I would like to visit South America, particularly Peru, Colombia, and Argentina. I have some friends from Peru who have warmly invited me to travel there and stay with them. In Peru, I would like to visit Machu Picchu and explore the Incan civilization. My interest in Colombia began with Gabriel García Márquez’s works and the TV series “Narcos.” I would love to see Bogotá, Medellín, and the Magdalena River in person. Argentina, being one of the farthest countries from China, fascinates me. I am especially eager to visit Ushuaia, often referred to as the “end of the world,” which I think would be an incredible experience. 

What do you do when you aren’t working?

In my spare time, I enjoy reading books, particularly non-fiction works on humanities and social sciences, as well as literature from Latin America.

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

I have a keen interest in international politics. I regularly follow related news and read commentary on the subject.