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By michael broad
From Moab, Utah
Dec 24, 2013

My buddy and I are going to Thailand Jan 9th, staying for 2 months. So far we've booked a flight from Bankok to Krabi a few hours after we get in, also I booked a night at the 'Pak Up Hostel' in Krabi to de-jetlag. So, obviously we're starting in the Tonsai/Railay region, but besides that it's all pretty much open and I know nothing.
Any advice on good places to stay (somewhat on the cheap) and recommended places to go is appreciated. I'm looking to sport climb on the beach, have fun, and at some point hopefully have more of a 'cultural' experience. Also, interested in what to expect in terms of prices, do people rent apartments at all or is it better just to go with the hostels?
Thanks! Mike B


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Dec 24, 2013
modern man

dont book too much ahead of time for places, nice hotels(not hostels think pool) can be dirt cheap if you look around, English is a common universal language(dont let the frenchies fool ya at the crag) and dont be afraid of trannies at the front desk or dirty boat captains. always barter.


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By PalisadePete
Dec 25, 2013

haha, no hostels in Tonsai. You get bungalows.


300Baht = Pahsook thatch bungalow w/ toilet (you flush it with a bowl of water), dbl bed w/ mozzie net, cold shower (its wayy to hot outside to need hot water).

1200baht = Dream Valley nicest bungalow in Tonsai w/ free breakfast buffet & I hear you also get hot water, electricity 24/7 & internet.

Tonsai generally gets electricity from about 6PM to 6AM & internet is available at 11AM but only in a few places.

I think Railey is a different story so far as things like electricity and internet go. But just so you can get a feel for the price difference, a fresh coconut in Tonsai costs 35Baht while it's 95Baht in Railey West!

To stay SOMEWHAT cheap like I just did for the last month, I'd stay somewhere cheap for a week then go somewhere nicer (bed w/ no mosquito net) for a few nights then go back to a NOW CLEAN cheap bungalow. I swapped between a 300/night @ Pahsook & a 800/night at mountain view. Since no maid cleans up after you, it's nice to swap bungalows once yours fills up with sand.

There is a back way to get from Tonsai to Railey. Don't bother, it's steep, unnecessary, and lots of people will have bungalows up the road. This is the road up past basecamp tonsai & the places aren't any cheaper or nicer than what's closer to the beach.

To get to Railey, go to the beach and turn left. You can go around by the water (only go when you see others doing it). The trail is easy at super low tide, but there's a less obvious path to stay totally dry when the tide is medium low. At higher tides, take the mountain path that goes up past dum's kitchen. I repeat, it's a huge waste of time & much harder to take the third route option that goes behind Tonsai & over to diamond cave.

It took me 45 minutes to go from Pahsook to the Best Route in Minnesota, the absolute farthest place you could possibly climb (phra nang). Thus, it's better to stay in Tonsai & you'll also be able to meet other climbers there at night.

I romped around that whole place every day & had a freaking blast! I climbed super early, took a siesta at lunch time to swim in the sea, & would resume climbing in the afternoon, evening, and/or night. This way I climbed everywhere, which I wanted considering how much my plane ticket was! Most other people I met were happy drinking & climbing 3 pitch days & were on honeymoons / there to relax / not crush.

Some crags are best accessed at specific tides. Beware of needing to charter a boat / bushwack. Beware of adventure routes / crags as you may a) bake in the sun b) get attacked by monkeys or c) & most likely, get swarmed by mosquitos.

Tonsai has terrific happy shakes/peace pancakes, bamboo bongs right at the bar, and magic tea!

Come ready to fight monkeys. FOR REAL!!! If you throw rocks, they will throw rocks back at you!

I got attacked in Koh Phi Phi by a group of 25 monkeys after rappelling from a multipitch onto our bags that they had now claimed. Slingshots, mace, sticks...

Come ready for mosquitoes while climbing, while eating, while at your bungalow. Deet does not work, I wouldn't even bring it.

If someone says not to climb a route, DON'T! I saw some peeps get attacked by huge hornets after someone walking by told them not to do the route due to bees! They stung the climber, and after falling & yelling to be lowered, they followed him down & stung his belayer/girlfriend to!

Stay in the shade, ignore what the pussy euros say & go ahead and night climb, and climb seaside crags where the wind keeps the mozzies away.

It would be easy & fun to stay 2 months in Tonsai / Railey. There is also nice easy / moderate climbing at Koh Phi Phi and a few other islands. Phi Phi is a PARTY town filled with youngsters looking to get super fucked up. Not many climbers there. I went to Laoliang & enjoyed its remoteness & DWS adventures. Highly recommended!

Please buy the guide book that supports the titanium project as mentioned on this website.

Oh yeah, good luck on culture. It's an island feel. Thailand is mostly buddhist, but the southern region is all muslim. You won't see any monks or anything traditional. For true Thai culture, stop at some of the rad temples just outside Bangkok, or maybe try to find some of the boulders or towers to climb on the mainland while making your way back home.

I'd place my culture bet on doing your visa run, since you can only stay for 30 days!

Oh yeah, DON'T FUCK WITH THE WATER MONITORS!!! These lizards are fucking scary & could easily eat you. They are huge, weigh something like 50 - 60 pounds, move faster than you can run, and would be super pissed if you bushwack upon their nest!


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By John Shultz
From Osaka, Japan
Dec 25, 2013
Above the beautifully positioned routes at Makapuu. Oahu, HI.

For culture, Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi is amazing.


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By michael broad
From Moab, Utah
Dec 27, 2013

Sounds amazing! Thanks for the beta guys, I can't wait.


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By Hayat16
Dec 29, 2013

Hey all...I hope it's ok if I jump in on this thread. My husband and I will be in SE Asia for 3 weeks in Feb, and we are planning to climb while we're there. While we've both traveled a lot internationally and are moderate climbers with plenty of outdoor experience, this will be our first international climbing trip; we're looking for fun, quality climbing, not so much an "adventure." We're bringing our own sport gear. We will definitely have 5 days to climb in Krabi and may have an extra day or two in Chiang Mai if we aren't to jet-lagged and folks say it's worth it. With that...I have a few questions.

1) Is it worth trying to get our hands on a climbing guide ahead of time or are they all too out of date? Are we better off just getting one when we get there?

2) Any beta on deep water soloing? Good companies/ones to stay away from, etc.?

3) Is the climbing outside of Chiang Mai worth a quick day trip on our own or is it just not very feasible given time constraints?

Thank you!


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By Neyma
From LA or SD or Thailand..
Jan 25, 2014

Hayat16 wrote:
1) Is it worth trying to get our hands on a climbing guide ahead of time or are they all too out of date? Are we better off just getting one when we get there? 2) Any beta on deep water soloing? Good companies/ones to stay away from, etc.? 3) Is the climbing outside of Chiang Mai worth a quick day trip on our own or is it just not very feasible given time constraints? Thank you!


1 - just get one when you show up.
2 - I *think* they all give you the same boat/trip anyway and just take a %
3 - Don't miss it. chill, mellow, challenging climbing and no crowds. Some people say its better than the south. devote at least 2 full days (minimum) for climbing at crazy horse to get a feel.


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