What friends have to say...
(for international references via email, please see Contact Us)

"Exploring villages around Yangshuo with this lovely couple was the highlight of my visit to China. It was great to escape the tourist traps and follow winding lanes or paths between the stone walls of orchards.   I was fascinated to see locals stacking wood into the earth oven dug into the the side of the hill. With his excellent English language skills,Gary was able to explain this ancient process of making charcoal for smokeless indoor cooking and heating.   We chatted to women washing on the steps of communal wells and learned how the clear spring  water is conserved by a serries of three wells; the first for drinking, the second for washing vegetables and the third for washing clothes.   As my guide pointed out various aspects of fengshui in the secluded valley I came away feeling  I understood a little of the wonderful sense of peace I experienced."

Sally Fitzpatrick
Newcastle Australia
Feb 2008

"When I think back on the year I spent in China teaching English, my memories of the Huang's stand out at the top of the list.  Gary, Sophia and little Lan Lan opened their home to me and enriched my experience of China in so many ways.  Gary taught me so much more than just Chinese.  He is the most honest and warm hearted person that I have had the honor of meeting.  Whenever I needed help, whether it was moving some of my things into his house while I traveled, or trying to find a new place to live, he was right there to help, no questions asked.  Several times he even shared his home with some of his students who where just back in to wn for a weekend.  My best memories of China are sitting on the bank's of the Li Jiang River in the evening studying Chinese with Gary or sitting around the Huang's dinner table enjoying some of the best home cooked Chinese food south of the Yangtze. Words just can't describe the warm-hearted nature of he and his family, you just have to experience it first hand!  They have a saying in China, 'Once somebody is your teacher, then they are your teacher for life.'   I am truly blessed that Gary is my teacher and friend for life."

Tucker  Percy
New York, USA
March 2008

"The first time I came to China, I stumbled into Yangshuo unable to speak a word of Chinese and having little sense of my surroundings. But much to my surprise and delight, I soon met Gary and Sophia who immediately welcomed me into their home. Gary proved a great Chinese teacher, patient and thoughtful; when I mentioned that I was interested in Chinese philosophy, he immediately pulled out a copy of the Tao De Ching and carefully explained some of his favorite passages to me! We went for walks through incredible mountainous farmland and at night shared great homecooked meals. It has been nearly two years since I first met Gary and Sophia and I recently returned to visit them for the Chinese New Year. I feel very greatful to have such good, caring friends.

Charles Stern
Maine, USA
March 2008

"I spent a year in China in 2006 and some of my fondest memories are with Gary and Sophia.  I was told by friends that Gary and Sophia were some of the kindest, generous people they've ever met - they weren't kidding!  Gary and Sophia went out of their way to make me feel welcome at their home.  Not only did Gary help me improve my Chinese, but Sophia always made the most delicious dinners for us!  It was truly an honor to be taught by Gary - he was truly warm and patient with me while I learned Chinese.  Sophia is an angel and of course, their lovely daughter LanLan who always made us laugh. I whole heartedly recommend Gary and Sophia's services if you are ever in Yangshuo - they are two of the kindest/sweetest people I've had the pleasure of meeting in all my travels."

Hannah Packowski
Toronto, Canada
August 2008
"I first met Gary and his family in August 2006, whilst living in Yangshuo.  Gary had an excellent reputation as a Mandarin teacher amongst the foreign teacher's living in the town. I began daily lessons with him in a small group situation, on the banks of the stunning Li River.  Gary's teaching methods were extremely effective and  I soon found myself progressing quickly.  With Gary's expertise the group was provided with an optimum learning experience. The classes were the highlight of my stay in China. They go highly recommended. I was also fortunate to experience the warm hospitality of the Huang family in their home.  Sophia shops daily at the nearby market and is a fine cook.  She serves delicious traditional cuisine at the family table, where all are welcomed.  Sophia is happy to reveal her cooking techniques and I would often watch her at work.  I have marvelous memories of sitting at the table for dinner, surrounded by the family and other friends, sharing wonderful food, stories and laughter.  Gary and Sophia's daughter, Lan Lan, is a delightful little girl who loves to meet new people.  When staying with the Huang's as a guest, my every need was catered for.  They love people.  It provided me with a feel for the "real" China - a welcoming family, local food freshly cooked and clean and comfortable accommodation.  It may not be five-star, but it's much more interesting and memorable than anything a hotel chain can provide.  Both Gary and Sophia are also a wealth of local knowledge and are qualified to guide tourists around the Yangshuo area.  The trips we made were immensely more rewarding with the Huang's to take us there.  Yangshuo is a magic destination, made even more special with local people who can introduce you to it's charms. 
Enjoy Yangshuo!  It is a remarkable place. And if you need accommodation, language and cooking lessons or tour guides, you can't go past Gary and Sophia Huang.  They are brilliant."
Alannah Rice
Melbourne, Australia
August 2008