|GPS:||13.694, 100.569 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||Art Morimitsu on Dec 7, 2006|
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From the secluded island paradise of Koh Laoliang to the tremendous amount of tower climbing and bouldering in Central Thailand, there is something for everyone.
Of course a visit to the country would not be complete without seeing where it all began. The awe inspiring island of Koh Phi Phi hosts the best moderate multipitch climbing in the country as well as a few harder classics.
The food is incredible (and cheap) and so is the shopping. A visit to Thailand is a trip into a unique culture with some of the best limestone climbing around.
The most interesting area for climbers (versus tourists) would be Southern Thailand near Krabi and Koh Phi-Phi. However, although not a tropical beach, the rest of Thailand has something for any climber with several other areas and a vast number of other activities.
Most of the routes are bolted sport routes with anchors, so leave your trad gear at home.
The rebolting process is ongoing and never-ending. The effort is now led by the well-organized and hard-working Thaitanium Project that sources its bolts from Titan Climbing. Many people have put in their own time and money. If you climb here you owe it to the local community to make a donation. They have worked for over a decade now and you owe your life to them... literally!
Use the links below to educate yourself before you go. Donate to the Thaitanium Project to receive an excellent film about the issue, and find a way to help when you are there as well. If you are interested in making a large donation of any kind (money, time, equipment, etc) then please either contact these guys, or contact me at Ryan.Tyler.Williams@gmail.com.
The Thaitanium Project Home
The Thaitanium Project Facebook
To my knowledge, King's new 2011 7th Ed. guidebook is the most up to date and accurate in terms of documenting the status of the bolts in Tonsai and Railey. King uses a "T" on the route topos to show where Titanium has been used. All proceeds from book sales go to rebolting Railay and Tonsai. Apparently, you can order the book from King Climbers for 1,050 Baht (or US equivalent) at email@example.com (specify # of books needed and your address).
Sam Lightner Jr's book is still available on Amazon and as far as I know all of those proceeds support rebolting as well. While other books are more current, I personally consider Sam's book to be the Bible of climbing in Thailand. Thailand: A Climbing Guide is still the best piece of literature to have when preparing for a trip to the Kingdom. If you wish to know more, I suggest you contact Sam directly, as he is a member here.
As always, do your own research when it comes to supporting climbing shops and/or guidebook authors (local or foreign). It is important to support the people who do the work, but it is also important to hold them accountable for the claims that they make. If you find out that anyone is using re-bolting money for anything else, please comment on this page.
The popular American climbing publications make the problem worse by publishing articles and photo essays with stories about climbing on the beach, girls in bikinis and casual beers and fire shows late into the night.
What they fail to mention is that there are huge waste management problems in climbing "paradise" and that we are a big part of the problem. The locals will do what is easiest and cheapest - use plastic and styrofoam and burn and hide the waste. It is up to you, the traveler, the one who is supporting their businesses, to complain about the garbage and set an example. DO NOT take styrofoam to go containers; instead purchase a cheap tupperware container (or bring one and donate it when you leave) and give it to the restaurant when you want to order take away. DO NOT accept a plastic bag and a straw when you purchase a beer or soda. Who uses a straw to drink beer anyway?
For water in particular, it is usually possible to buy big (5 gallon?) jugs for very little money. You may be asked to pay a deposit for the bottle, but they will probably deliver it to you. Buy one of these bottles and refill your personal bottles daily. If everyone did this, it would drastically decrease the amount of garbage that is produced every day.
This issue is no less important that the rebolting issue. No one wants to climb in a garbage dumb, and certain places are headed that way. Be responsible. Change things!
- Sam Lightner Jr's Thailand: a climbing guide (100% of the profits from sales of Sam's guidebook support the rebolting effort)
- King climbers Route guide book (100% of the profits from sales of King's guidebook support the rebolting effort)
- Wee Changrua and Elke Schmitz Climbing in Thailand
- Josh Morris and Khaetthaleeya Uppakham Rock Climbing in Northern Thailand
- Thailand Sport Climbing, The Pocket Guide 2010 by Sirichai Pongsopon
Protection may vary from what you read in the guidebooks or here on this site as routes get retrobolted and threads/slings are added or subtracted from a route.
Much lower temperatures are experienced in the North and Northeast during nighttime. The South has a tropical rainforest climate with temperatures averaging 28 degrees Celsius almost all year round.
Regardless, all types of accommodations in Thailand are known for being clean, efficient, and friendly, with world-class service and unbeatable hospitality that comes naturally for all Thais, being an integral component of the culture. Prices vary depending on the time of the year. Nationwide, they are at their highest during the cool season (Nov-Feb) and are less during the hot season (Mar-May) and rainy season (Jun-Oct). The only exception is Bangkok, where occupancy rate is high throughout the year and prices remain relatively fixed. Hotels in Chiang Mai and Phuket are fully booked during the cool season. From Dec 15-Jan 15, prices will increase even further as this is the peak time for tourism.
Quite honestly, I spent 2 weeks wearing nothing but flip-flops and board shorts while climbing in Railay Beach.
Most of the bottled water is treated by reverse osmosis and or UV light. It is safe to drink, but it has no minerals at all and goes right through you. It is advisable to buy hydration salts at the local shops to add to your water while you are climbing. The average tourist is fine with regular water, but climbers need something more. Also, there are a few brand names such as "Minere" that are real mineral water, and they are better for you.
Finally, "water machines" are popping up all over the country. I can't imagine that there are any on Tonsai, but maybe Railey and definitely Phi Phi and in the cities. Buy a big jug, bring your Nalgene, save your bottles - USE THE WATER MACHINES! As noted above, garbage is a huge problem and the more you refill your bottles the less you contribute to the problem.
Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG). Transmission of hepatitis A virus can occur through direct person-to-person contact; through exposure to contaminated water, ice, or shellfish harvested in contaminated water; or from fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are eaten uncooked and that were contaminated during harvesting or subsequent handling.
Hepatitis B, especially if you might be exposed to blood or body fluids (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 1112 years who did not receive the series as infants.
Japanese encephalitis, if you plan to visit rural farming areas and under special circumstances, such as a known outbreak of Japanese encephalitis.
Malaria: your risk of malaria may be high in some of the countries in this region. See your health-care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug. For details concerning risk and preventive medications, see Malaria Information for Travelers to Southeast Asia.
While SE Asia has Malaria zones, Southern Thailand is not one of them. If you are only staying in S. Thailand, you won't need anti-malaria meds.
Rabies, if you might have extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas, such as might occur during camping, hiking, or bicycling, or engaging in certain occupational activities. All monkeys should be treated as if they are infected, and many are. You will certainly see the monkeys, and may be fighting with them for your food if you aren't careful.
Typhoid, particularly if you are visiting developing countries in this region. Typhoid fever can be contracted through contaminated drinking water or food, or by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person who is infected. Large outbreaks are most often related to fecal contamination of water supplies or foods sold by street vendors.
As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria and measles.
Classic Climbing Routes at Thailand
Days w Precip