The Giggling Tree is a “dream come through” for Paulien Leisink (1971, Eefde) and Karst Draaisma (1968, Tytsjerk). We met in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands while being students, some years later we became a couple and then started to explore the world. Being youth social workers by profession we spent two years traveling and working in projects in Romania, Ghana, Kenia and Nepal.
From Beijing we took the train back home in 2002 and stayed two years in the Netherlands again, before choosing to become tour leaders for a Dutch company. This job brought us back to China and seeing the opportunities of tourism we started searching for the right place for our own guesthouse. In Aishanmen we found the spot that is now the Giggling Tree. We negotiated with the village boss and were able to sign a contract for 15 years with 20 owners of 27 plots. Renovations took us a year and on Friday the 13th of April 2007 we opened our doors.
Our family took shape when Pelle was born in December 2006 and became complete when Raaf (2011) joined us in August 2013, being adopted from Ethiopia. When you come to the Giggling Tree in the weekend you will meet us for sure. During the week we are staying in Guilin mostly, as our children are joining nice schools over there nowadays. Dutch managers and the Chinese Giggling Team are there to welcome you though any time!