Rock climbing

World class

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What we say: 4.5 stars

With hundreds of bolted routes that lead up massive sheer rock faces to pinnacles with soaring ocean views, Railay is a dream destination for climbers.

Although some corrosion has taken place, the overall rock quality is outstanding. At time of writing, a team of foreigners and Thais were rebolting many routes with titanium gear. The cliffs are riddled with crevices and some have ledges and caves that can be climbed to. On the French grading scale, the easiest routes are scored at 5a while several extremely challenging climbs go all the way up to 8c.

Some of the most popular cliffs include Three Wall at the south end of Railay East, the massive Thaiwand Wall at the southern side of Railay West and, for really serious climbers, Ao Nang Tower, which can only be reached by longtail and dares you to go for an extremely difficult third pitch. For something different, head to Highland Rock Climbing inland from Railay East to climb a floodlit wall at night, or go along with one of the many companies that offer "deep water soloing", the latest craze that entails free climbing a rock face and then jumping (or falling) into deep Andaman Sea water.

Railay has several rock climbing schools, including the reputable Hot Rock Climbing and King Climbers, both with offices on Railay East. Courses run from 600 baht for a basic beginner's session and up to 12,000 for a multi-day advanced course. Climbing gear can be rented from most schools. If bringing your own, the minimum you'll need would be 60 metres of rope, several slings and quickdraws and lots of chalk.

Last updated: 27th June, 2013

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