The Adventure Side of Thailand: Rock Climbing Paradise

When people first think of Thailand what comes to mind? Buddhas and gold-laced temples? Or sunshine, beaches and massage? Well, there is definitely a lesser known but just as magnificent side of Thailand– perfect for the thrill-seeking adventure types!

Limestone cliffs and vertical outcroppings soar from Phangnga Bay near Krabi, in southwest Thailand. Guesthouses and cafes line the roads of the quiet town at the junction of the Krabi River and the bay. Krabi Province encompasses the town, Railey Beach and Ton Sai Beach, coral reefs, caves and Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park. With all the cliffs and caves in the Krabi province, rock climbing has become a major tourist activity.

Bungalow Living, Krabi

Bungalow Living, Krabi

Railay Beach

On Railay Beach, also known as Railey Beach and Rai Le Beach, most of the routes are bolted for sports climbing, providing a safe environment. The bolts are close together, and ropes are threaded through them to prevent climbers from falling very far. More than 700 routes ply nearby rock cliffs and outcroppings. They range from beginner 5a to classic multi-pitch 6a to the extreme of 8c. You can also free climb or go bouldering at Railay Beach on routes rising more than 20 feet above the soft sand and higher over the deep water.

Ton Sai

Giant limestone formations soar above and overhang the beach at Ton Sai. Climbing routes feature challenging overhangs and multi-pitch courses. Bolted routes enable sports climbing, or you can free climb over the sandy beach. Ton Sai has a superb bouldering area where you can free climb to a ledge about 40 feet above the soft sand and then climb down on a ladder. A cave bouldering area offers sheltered climbing on rainy days.

Ton Sai Bay, Thailand

Ton Sai Bay, Thailand

Koh Yao Noi

Just offshore from Krabi, Koh Yao Noi is an island lost in time where residents make their living by fishing, and the call to prayer can be heard wafting through the jungle five times a day. Only recently has the island seen a tourist influx as travelers discover the dramatic scenery and superb rock-climbing opportunities. Koh Yao Noi and small neighboring islands have stunning, rarely touched climbs ranging from beginner to expert. Most are only accessible by boat.

Koh Phi Phi

Part of Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park, with soaring limestone pinnacles and turquoise bays, Koh Phi Phi became a better-known backpacker destination after the nearby filming of “The Beach.” Koh Phi Phi offers rock-climbing routes for beginners to experts. One of the most popular rock-climbing spots for experienced climbers is Ton Sai Tower, where routes range from 30 to 300 feet with grades 5 to 7a.

For more information on traveling to Thailand contact our travel specialists! Get out there and explore!!!

Sonja Arrasi, Cruise & Travel Masters
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