From the limestone peninsulas of the south to the crags of its picturesque north, Thailand is home to some great rock climbing opportunities. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to learn lead climbing or deep water soloing skills, rock climbing holidays in Thailand are set against beautiful scenery and a vibrant culture.
There’s world-class climbing within striking distance of both Phuket and Krabi. And majestic limestone islands rise out of the Andaman Sea, where you can wake up, get out of your tent and head straight to the rock face. Experience all of this on your choice of rock climbing holidays in Thailand. Here are five of the best.
Home to two of the most beautiful beaches on the planet, Railay/Tonsai is renownded amongst rock climbers for its beauty. A series of cliffs cut off the Railay/Tonsai peninsula, protecting the unique landscape here. These magnificent limestone formations stretch across the southern Thailand peninsula, providing great climbing routes for both beginners and more experienced climbers. From single to multi-pitch climbs, you can start right off the beach. Check out Basecamp Tonsai to find out more.
You can also climb right off the beach in Koh Lao Liang, where cliffs are never more than a few minutes walk from your tent. There’s more classic Thai limestone cliffs with a really full range of climbing grades and some great multi-pitch routes. It’s very similar terrain to that found in Tonsai/Railay but without the crowds that you often find there. There’s also a great bouldering cave and some deep water soloing available. KohYao Travel offer some great climbing packages here.
Koh Yao Noi island is situated in the Phang Nga Bay between Krabi and Phuket. It’s a stunning destination that’s thought to be one of the most up and coming in Thailand. It’s a small island so there isn’t a huge amount of climbing, but what is here is pretty spectacular. Koh Yao Noi is perhaps not ideally suited to beginners, as some of the climbing is challenging.
It’s a well-kept secret now but this can only last for so long, so it might be worth visiting before the cat gets out the (chalk) bag. Andaman Adventures offer climbing packages that include the island.
The small but impossibly beautiful Koh Phi Phi islands are located in the waters between Phuket and the Strait of Malacca, forming part of the Krabi province. Not much more than a few limestone rocks jutting out the sea surrounded by stunning beaches, it’s as good for climbers as that all sounds. For those looking to experience the thrill of climbing without ropes, Koh Phi Phi is also home to some world-class deep water soloing. Check out the courses run here by Spider Monkey to find out more details.
Unlike the other destinations above, Chiang Mai is found in central northern Thailand. This position off the beaten climbing track makes it a hidden gem of Thai climbing. The main crag, called Crazy Horse, is one of the most sustainable and fun to climb in the world. The huge limestone outcrop is home to the only AMGA certified guides in Thailand and the area itself is a vibrant cultural capital.
There are top lead climbing, multi-pitch and bouldering opportunities, and it’s a great place to learn the basics too. Find out more at www.thailandclimbing.com.
To make the most of the stunning climbing, gorgeous weather and friendly Thai culture it would be well worth doing a multi destination rock climbing holidays in Thailand. Rock & Sun’s fully guided 12 day tours in Southern Thailand include 10 days of climbing instruction and technique coaching – they guarantee your climbing will improve.
They start in the ‘Last Climbing Paradise’ Koh Lao Liang where their instructor has opened most of the routes himself. With only a 30 second approach from your tent on the beach, you’ll fit in lots of climbing. After 4 days of climbing, deep water soloing, swimming, snorkeling and kayaking on this beautiful island we continue our trip to the mainland.
Next stop is the crag of Ao Nang – called Chong Phli – with 80 pitches graded from 4 to 8a. It is not yet discovered by the masses so there is no polish and no queues. From our base in Chong Phli, we make day trips to Ton Sai, Railay and Koh Yao Noi plus on request to Koh Phi Phi.
The Rock & Sun team have over 25 years experience organising rock climbing holidays in Thailand. Not only do they know where to climb, but also where to eat, where to drink and where to get a much needed massage. To find out more visit: www.rockandsun.com
With great variations for different levels, stunning backdrops and the added bonus of a fascinating cultural experience, rock climbing holidays in Thailand are some of the best in the world.