can anyone give me advice to what rock climbing is like in thailand and laos?
i'll be travelling alone and will be taking my climbing shoes and harness with me. is there an organisation running the climbing activities in thailand and laos?
any tips will be greatly appreciated.
#1 climbg has been a member since 21/10/2009. Posts: 14
Climbing in Thailand...hmmm...where to start? There are two primary destinations in Thailand for climbing (there are others but they are smaller and not exactly a "climbing" destination) The first and most well known is Tonsai/Railay. The area is located on the west coast very close to Krabi. Awesome and steep climbing on some of the craziest limestone around. Doesn't hurt that you're right on the beach either. You can read the area description found here:
I would recommend staying on Tonsai if travelling alone as its cheaper (by alot) and you'll have a much better chance of hooking up with a partner...they may even have a rope and draws! ;) There is a message board just outside Wee's Climbing shop in Tonsai and you can find people there who are also looking for partners and you should be able to find someone who climbs the same range of grades as you. There are a boatload a places to stay and prices can depend on the time of year. Nov-Dec the area starts to fill up with climbers and prices rise. The time between Xmas and New Years is the busiest and most expensive. In the past it has filled up but this year, based off on the low tourist numbers, there may be space available at all times. Sai Thong and Wee's are good and cheap options for accomodations. Country Side is a bit more but has fantastic bungalows and their restaurant is the best by far (or at least it was last year). The "chicken ladies" shack near the beach is the cheapest food around and highly recommended. Wee's Climbing shop publishes a great guidebook to the area and they also run Deep Water Solo (highly recommended) trips to some of the islands nearby.
There is a ton more I could write about the area but if you do a bit of research on the web you'll find lots of info.
The second area in Thailand is found near Chang Mai at the Crazy Horse Buttress crag. I've not been but here is the info I gathered. The crag is a bit out of town but some of the climbing shops have a van/song thew (sp?) that goes each day for a fee. I'm not sure how easy it is to find a partner in town but checking with the local climbing shops will be the best bet.
Climbing in Laos is limited (for the most part) to Vang Vieng. There are numerous crags found in the area and most are a quick trip via van or bike (you can even walk to Pa Dang across the river). There are two shops dealing with climbing in town. Green Discovery runs day trips to some of the crags and are pretty good. But for the serious climbing, check out Adam's Climbing Shop. These guys have done some serious development in the area and have a guidebook available for a small fee. Depending on the time of year (we were there in Feb) there should be some climbers in town and you can probably hook up with them. Otherwise you can take a day trip with one of the two shops. For the best climbing in the area, see if they're taking a trip to the Pa Tang crag. Awesome crag 30km outside of town! Best climbing so far in Laos. There is lots of route development on the go in that country so there may be new stuff since we visited! As for accomodations in Vang Vieng, you won't have a problem finding something right for you. You can stay on the outskirts of town for some quieter digs or be right in the middle of the 24 hr party by staying in the centre of town on the river.
Hope this info helps!
#2 crimptacular has been a member since 17/2/2009. Posts: 16
yes, that helps a lot. thanks so much!
#3 climbg has been a member since 21/10/2009. Posts: 14
Just checked out your pics on Ko Laoliang. Area looks pretty crazy and definitely loads of potential!!!
#5 crimptacular has been a member since 17/2/2009. Posts: 16
hi ac and tezza,
thanks so much for your input. i have a better idea of what to expect now.
#7 climbg has been a member since 21/10/2009. Posts: 14
Tezza, great call on Ko Lao Liang...you just made me switch part of my trip from Hong Kong to Ko Lao Liang...the photos look amazing!!! And pricing for 4days/3nights of only $7400 baht as the "VIP package"...ridiculously low price. Thanks again!
#8 knauermd has been a member since 13/11/2009. Posts: 3
A little update. I got a message from a guy associated with Laoliang this week - some interesting changes:
"tezza- this is the word on laoliang: The National Park will be operating the resort WITH LIR this season. They take care of the restaurant, maintenance and care of the beach environment, shopping, ensuring water supply etc.
The Laoliang Island Resort staff takes care of guests, activities, tents and the bar.
A set amount from every guest goes directly to the Park Service.
If Park stays true to their word; this can be the best of both worlds.
Email Mike at the laoliang site to get more details."
Now I was wrapt in the food when I visited, but I must admit National Park food has always been pretty good at the places I've visited.