Faces of WildChina: Fang Fang 方钰霞

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Meet Fang Fang! Raised in Hangzhou, a city distinguished by UNESCO World Heritage status, Fang Fang has a deep appreciation for history and natural landscapes. Whether arranging helicopter tours over the Great Wall or guiding guests through personal ancestral quests, she excels at connecting travelers with the heart of each destination. 

Fang Fang smiling at the Forbidden City, Beijing.
Fang Fang at the Forbidden City, Beijing.

Where are you from and where do you live now? 

I am originally from Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, known for its serene West Lake and its heritage in silk and tea production. Now, I live in Shanghai, and what I love about this city is its lively street scenes, and diverse culinary offerings.

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

During my college years, I spent half a year studying on the island of Taiwan. This experience taught me the importance of immersing myself in local life to truly understand a place and its people. Inspired by this realization, I decided to pursue a career in travel so that I could show the real China to others. 

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

One piece of advice that profoundly influenced my approach is: “Don’t wait for the perfect moments.” This has taught me to be proactive and adaptable, seizing opportunities as they come. 

Fang Fang traveling by car with her family dog, Duoduo.
Fang Fang traveling with her family’s dog, Duoduo. 

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

One of my most memorable trips was a trek up Cangshan Mountain in Dali. We carried 5kg of rice for the monks living at the summit. At Boluo Temple, I saw a monk leaning against the door, completely absorbed in a book under the warm sun. His peaceful demeanor made me long for a similar moment of tranquility, where I could be fully present without any distractions. 

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

One of the most memorable trips I arranged was for a couple from Canada. The wife, originally from Guangdong, was eager to locate her family’s ancestral home based on a picture of a stone with vague inscriptions. After several days of searching, we finally located the small village two hours outside Guangzhou. Witnessing the emotional reunion of the family and sharing in their heartfelt moment made me proud of the work I do.

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

One of the most memorable WOW moments I arranged for a traveler was a helicopter tour above the Great Wall of China. This experience provided a breathtaking aerial view, offering the traveler a perspective of the Great Wall and its surrounding landscape that is entirely different from that on the ground. 

Fang Fang hiking on the MacLehose Trail in Hong Kong.
Fang Fang on the MacLehose Trail in Hong Kong. 

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

If I had to choose one factor that makes a trip outstanding, it would be flexibility. Being adaptable allows you to make the most of any situation and ensures a great experience, no matter what unexpected events arise. 

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

Three destinations that I have always dreamed of visiting are Spain, Cuba, and Nepal. I am drawn to Spain for the spiritual and physical challenges of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. Cuba intrigues me with its music, culture, and history and I would love to see the snow-capped Himalayan peaks in Nepal. 

What do you do when you aren’t working?

I like to spend my free time hiking and trekking. I enjoy being active outdoors. I also unwind by doing puzzles, which helps keep my mind sharp. 

Fang Fang hiking at Wugong Mountain, Jiangxi Province.
Fang Fang hiking at Wugong Mountain, Jiangxi Province.

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

I am not a great singer, but I am confident! I enjoy singing karaoke in Shanghai. Even though I might not hit all the right notes, I love the fun atmosphere and the chance to sing my heart out with friends.