Climbing on Ko Tao

Climb up rather than dive down.

What we say: 3.5 stars

Diving is not the only adventure sport on Ko Tao — climbing is one that’s often overlooked, but is great fun. It may not be as exhilarating as rock climbing in Krabi, but Ko Tao is home to more than 60 routes, of varying degrees of difficulty.

Where to start?

Where to start?

If you’ve climbed before and have some experience, then you might be interested to know that climbing here is quite different to what one usually finds in Thailand (and elsewhere). The climbing on Ko Tao is on volcanic granite which, over time, has weathered to produce small crystalline holds; this means the climbing here requires balance, tough hands and some great footwork. Those in the know tell me that this is great for any climber’s experience and learning.

Guiding services as well as full equipment hire are available on the island, along with some great maps to guide you if you want to give it a go on your own.

On the up...

On the up …

If you’ve never tried climbing before, then you can try a taster where you just get to have a go. Your instructor takes care of ropes, knots and all that technical stuff, meaning that you can just get scrambling up some of the island’s granite blocks.

If this is a bit pedestrian for you, and you fancy learning those knots and ropes and technical details so that you understand the basics, that’ll take a full day.

With Good Time Adventures on Sairee, the course starts at around 10:30 in the morning, when you’ll kick off by learning the basics on the ground: the knots, the ropes and techniques, with a bit of practising. After a lunch break, you’ll then head up the mountain to start putting what you’ve learned into action. You’ll experience a few different climbs to practise different techniques; by the end of the day you should be comfortable to go and climb similar level routes yourself.

Where do I put my foot?

At least I am not putting my foot in my mouth.

If you want to learn more and improve your techniques further, more training is available too. If you have a month, then there’s a package to take you from novice to master.

A taster with Goodtime Adventures will cost 2,200 baht, a beginner’s course 3,100, while a guide for the day will cost 1,400 baht, excluding gear, which can be rented with or without a guide.

More details
South Sairee Beach, Ko Tao
Last updated: 30th January, 2015

About the author:
Ayesha ditched her power suit in favour of a wetsuit and ventured to Ko Tao to indulge in her passion for scuba diving. Apart from writing for she manages the Master Divers Blog and whenever possible is underwater with her camera shooting fish!
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