Asia Thailand

Rock climbing in Railay, Krabi

There is so much to do in Krabi, such as island hopping and scuba diving. The highlight of my trip to Thailand was definitely rock climbing in Railay Beach. Being one of the items on my bucket list, I was of course SUPERRR EXCITED!!

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Railay is one of the best places to go rock climbing, with routes set out for all levels, so you don’t need to worry if you’re a beginner or an advanced climber. I’ve spent most of my time doing sports climbing indoors, so a change of setting with white sand beaches, majestic limestone cliffs and turquoise waters.

You don’t have to worry about the difference in experience. I climb every week, but I went with my friends who have not tried any sort of climbing before, and all of us had so much fun! There are routes of varying levels and heights. SO MUCH FUN!


Getting There

There were so many rock climbing schools to choose from, so I was a little lost… but I just went for the ones which looked reputable, obviously. We went with Krabi Rock Climbing (website link) and yeah the name is soooo generic haha we had a hard time asking around for directions (yeah, we got lost).

There are PLENTY of schools to choose from, and you can even choose where you’d like to climb. There’s also an option to climb at Tonsai Bay and other places too. Up to you!!

We took the half day morning climbing tour, so we had to be there at 9am. The school is situated in Railay East. We were staying in Aonang area, so we needed to get to Aonang Beach to take one of the long tail boats, and get dropped off at Railay West. The boats start departing at about 8am. The boat is about 100baht per person, but the thing is, you gotta wait til the boat is filled up (8 people) then only you can depart. We were lazy to wait because we were too early (7.45am) so three of us shared the cost of 500baht for a private trip.

After arriving, at Railay West, we of course marvelled at the beautiful limestone cliffs and absolutely empty beach before we set off to our rock climbing school.

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So damn beautiful, especially when it’s empty.

Afterwards, we cut across from Railay West to Railay East via the walking street. Actually, we don’t even know how we got lost but yeah, we did. It was supposed to be a 5 minute walk but we ended up taking 20 minutes. Ridiculous! We are such noobs.


Equipment

Arrived at Krabi Rock Climbing and they prepared our gears. I brought my own, simply because I felt more comfortable using my own. But if you are not too picky, you can spare yourself the luggage space. There is no discount even if you brought your own gear.

The equipment they use is pretty much what I use. Black Diamond harnesses, Mad Rock shoes, chalk and chalk bag provided. They also provided beach mats for us to put our belongings on the sand, along with a free bottle of mineral water for each person. We went in a group of 4 (three of us, plus another tourist).

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Pictured above is my climbing gear. Pretty basic, and yes!! Bring your GoPro, because the views up there are worth it!

We were making our way to Phra Nang Bay (that’s the popular site) but it was too full on the day itself. So we had to walk another 15-20 minutes back to Railay East to climb. It’s way smaller than the previous site but the views are equally spectacular.

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On the way from the shop to the climbing site

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For those who have been climbing indoors and never the real rocks, it is a super different experience. I LOVED IT! The first time I tried, I was like… Where am I supposed to grab? I’m just so used to being directed at where to grab because of the colored holds. But here, you’re own your own!!! Endless possibilities!

Usually, I’d be grabbing the colored holds straight away because I know that’s what I’m supposed to grab. For this, I’m like testing everything before I put my full weight on it. So much fun deciding which part is the best for you to grab.

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Views from the top. It’s amazing. The highest part in this area is 30m. A panoramic view of the whole bay!

I’d gladly climb against this backdrop all the time. The sea breeze and sound of crashing waves is therapeutic. Except there’s also a lot of people shouting from the ground HAHA. The guides are all shouting instructions to everybody. I get so confused as to whether my guide was shouting at me or was it someone else’s guide. So chaotic sometimes!!!

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I managed to fit in about 5 routes this session. I think you can fit more on a more quiet day, but we had to wait quite some time for some routes, especially the 30m one. People usually take quite long on that route. My friends were done for the day, so they were just resting and relaxing on the beach while they waited for me. It’s awesome! You can always run to the beach and swim if you get bored.

Never run into the water with your harness on though!!! Some dude did that with the school’s equipment. Jeez!

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Such a great experience! If you’ve never tried before, you should definitely go for it if you’re in Krabi! We did scuba diving the day before and rock climbing the next day, and it was suuuuch a fruitful trip. Definitely something different than the typical island hopping to Maya Bay kinda thing…

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Afterwards, we returned the gear at the climb shop. Yeah, the walk back felt tiring thanks to the crazy heat at 1pm. Walked back to Railay West to have some lunch, before heading back to Aonang via the longtail boats again.

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This time round, the beach was littered with tourists hahaha. Thank goodness we managed to take in the beauty of the empty beach before it got damn crowded. One hell of a morning spent in Railay. I can see why people choose to stay here, instead of the (understandably) underwhelming Aonang beach. Such a contrast!

I’ll be back for you again, Railay!

 

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