Krabi in southern Thailand is well known for its fantastic beaches and picturesque islands. It is also famous for crystal clear waters and flourishing coral reefs that attract divers and snorkelers from all around the world. In addition, Krabi is blessed with spectacular limestone cliffs that rise dramatically out of the Andaman sea, making it one of the most beautiful rock climbing destinations on the planet!
With in excess of seven hundred bolted routes that are graded using the French system - from F4 (easy climbs for beginners) to F8c (challenging climbs for professionals) - there are plenty of world class climbs to satisfy both the novice and expert alike. Climbing is considered a very safe sport in Krabi, as rope use is mandatory which, in combination with the bolt system, prevents a serious fall should you slip or stumble. You can purchase a good Thailand Rock Climbing guidebook in many of the local shops in the Krabi resorts of Ao Nang, Tonsai and Railay. These provide a solid introduction to the sport and valuable information on climbing routes in the country, including the Krabi area.
Many people decide to learn to climb in Krabi, enticed by the great selection of quality climbing schools and by the fact that just about everyone seems to be able to have a go! Good climbing schools in Krabi offer various courses including half day introductory courses and one and three day courses. These typically include instruction, insurance, climbing equipment, transportation to the site and even refreshments. Just ensure that you select a reputable climbing company that it is accredited by ACGA and then a three day beginners course and a little determination is all you need to get started! Rock climbing in Krabi is an activity suitable for all ages, from young children to pensioners and new climbers benefit from both the adrenalin rush of achievement felt at the top of the first climb and the breathtaking views. The limestone cliffs of Railay, which form part of the worlds largest coral reef and the stunning location of Tonsai are ideal places to begin.
For more experienced climbers, Krabi’s iconic cliffs, steep crags, pocketed rock faces and radical overhangs often punctuated by stalagmites, offer some seriously extraordinary and challenging climbs, all in outstanding scenery. Tham Phra Nang and Railay East contain some particularly rewarding climbing routes for professional climbers.
Decent climbing gear is readily available in Krabi, so you needn’t bring your own, but do make sure that your travel insurance policy includes personal accident insurance and fully covers rock climbing activities. Krabi boasts an extensive selection of low budget accommodation and Krabi hostels are often situated very close to the major climb sites. Large groups can take advantage of the big savings to be made by renting a Krabi holiday villa, which can prove extremely economical and offers more luxurious accommodation.
And there is simply nothing better after a hard day tackling the Krabi cliffs, than a traditional Thai massage back at your Krabi resort to relax those tired and aching limbs. If you are in Krabi for long you can even take time out to relax on the unspoilt beaches or try some other Krabi sports, such as diving or snorkeling!