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Areas in Laem Phra Nang (Railay & Tonsai)

Phra Nang Beach 0 / 33 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 34
Railay East 1 / 77 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 78
Railay West 1 / 36 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 37
Tonsai Bay 0 / 143 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 144
Access Issue: Warning! Stainless steel bolts are suspect near the coast! Details


Protection may vary from what you read in the guidebooks or here on this site as routes get rebolted and threads/slings are added or subtracted from a route.

Located in the Southern Province of Krabi, the peninsula of Phra Nang/Railay Beach is isolated from the mainland by the very cliffs we climb/play on, accessible only by boat from Ao Nang, Ao Nam Mao or Krabi Town. Once you're there, you will find yourself surrounded by the beautiful Andaman Sea, lush jungle, and fantastic limestone cliffs. It has plenty of activities for the average tourists (sun, sand, sea, cuisine, massages, kayaking, diving) but let's admit it: we're here to climb, play and chill out in an exotic tropical paradise.

The Peninsula is actually divided into distinct areas: West Railay, East Railay, Tonsai Bay and Phra Nang Beach (see photo map). The routes are all bolted sport-climbing routes. The French grading system is used.

It's probably the most popular place in Krabi to spend Christmas and New Year, with the limited number of rooms filling up around six months in advance.

ATMs located in Bobo's Market and along the path through the resorts to Railay East near a mini-mart, another is located on the East beach in front of the Viewpoint Resort. There is an ATM on Railay Beach, but not Tonsai (as of Feb 2014). There are several mini-marts and a couple of internet cafes. There are no cars or roads in Railay, which also gives the place a relaxed feel. All the climbing areas are a short walk away.

Guide book:

Getting There

Bus, train or plane.

By Plane: most travelers can fly directly into Krabi Airport or Phuket Airport. A short 1-hr taxi ride from Krabi or 2-hr taxi from Phuket to Ao Nang beach or Ao Nam Mao followed by a 15-minute long-tailed boat ride to either Railay West/Tonsai Beach from Ao Nang or a 15-minute long-tailed boat from Ao Nam Mao if staying at Railay East.

By Train: Overnight train from Bangkok to Surat Thani, then you must take a bus (or taxi) to Krabi which takes around 2-3 hours.

By Bus: (not recommended) cheapest way to travel, but you get what you pay for. From Gov't buses and travel agency Death Coaches you have several options, just be choosey.


Please check under the individual areas.

Guide Services

Things to do

The monastery is Krabi's central temple and a local gathering point during Buddhist events and weddings. The main attraction in the temple is an impressive reclining Buddha image.
  • Wat Tham Suea
Which literally means tiger cave temple, is located in the Khiriwong Valley amidst lush forests and mountains with large trees over a hundred years old approximately 9 kilometers northeast of Krabi Town. Aside from being the site of a meditation center, the compound is also a place of archaeological and historical interest as excavations have uncovered stone tools, pottery remains and Buddha footprint crafting molds. In addition, a cave in the compound has what appears to be tiger paw prints in the stone

293 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Laem Phra Nang (Railay & Tonsai)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Groove Tube
Sport 2 pitches
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Fit To Be Thai'd
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Make a way
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Monkey Love
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
The Wave
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Beauty & Biest
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Sport 5 pitches
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Missing Snow
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Muay Thai
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
The Best Route In Minnesota
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Orange Chandeliers
Sport 3 pitches
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Lion King
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Dozer Days
Sport 2 pitches
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Babes in Thailand
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Lord of the Thai's
Sport 5 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Groove Tube Tonsai Bay > Fire Wall
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Sport 2 pitches
Fit To Be Thai'd Railay West > Thaiwand
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Sport
Make a way Railay East > 1-2-3 Wall
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Monkey Love Railay West > Thaiwand
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
The Wave Tonsai Bay > Monkey World
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Beauty & Biest Tonsai Bay > Tonsai Beach (F… > Main Wall (Babes in T…
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Humanality Tonsai Bay > Tonsai Beach (F… > Ladder Routes (Humana…
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport 5 pitches
Missing Snow Tonsai Bay > Tyrolean Wall
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Muay Thai Railay East > Muay Thai
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
The Best Route In Minnesota Phra Nang Beach > Escher World
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Orange Chandeliers Tonsai Bay > Ao Nang Tower
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport 3 pitches
Lion King Tonsai Bay > Dum's Kitchen
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Dozer Days Tonsai Bay > Nest
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport 2 pitches
Babes in Thailand Tonsai Bay > Tonsai Beach (F… > Main Wall (Babes in T…
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Lord of the Thai's Railay West > Thaiwand
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport 5 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Laem Phra Nang (Railay & Tonsai) »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
This is a great adventure and a great place to climb. However check out the routes first. A bolt has a short life expectancy, and you could be climbing on what looks like a perfectly good bolted route where the bolts' holding power amounts to a small RP. There is a local climbing shop were you can rent gear and get beta on routes. Don't think that in such a remote place you will be alone. When we were there the place was packed with Europeans and we stayed in Ao Nang. If you are planning on going, email me and I will provide as much beta as possible (i.e. where we made mistakes and where we discovered some real fun.) Dec 30, 2006
Clay Allred
Moab UT
Clay Allred   Moab UT
Get Wee's book when you get there, no offense to Sam, but its more up to date and is still only like 10 bucks when you get there. And don't miss Wee's deep water solo trip either, it's incredible, so sick. Feb 19, 2009
No offense to Clay for his comment or Wee for his book, I'm sure its great, BUT...

Buy Sam's book. Even if its in addition to Wee's BUY IT. Railey needs ALOT of new bolts and 100% of the proceeds of the book goes into new bolting. And from what I've seen, Sam is NO slacker, he spends damn near all of his vacation rebolting many, many climbs so we can all have a safe vacation. Nov 12, 2010
I can personally recommend Ao Nang Climber guide service. They are located in Ao Nang, 150 meters up the road from McDonalds.
Tel. +66 (0) 866 899 461
E-Mail: Dec 17, 2011
Water refill spots in Tonsai! Cheap and less waste.

I've been going between Krabi Town (where I'm living) and Tonsai on the weekends. In doing so I have figured out a few things to lessen waste build up here, especially those damn water bottles!

1) Bring some tupperware. You can buy it anywhere. There are a million plastic shops in SE Asia.

2) Simply put, reuse the plastic bag. No big deal. How many times do you need a plastic bag in a plastic bag, in another plastic bag?

3) Most importantly, refill your water! You can refill your water bottles at three places in Tonsai.

A) Saithong Resort. Top of the jungle trail on the Tonsai side is a bungalow/camping place (a truck with plants in the back parked in front). They sell the LARGE, 5 gallons, bottles. You will use it all so you may as well buy it. To purchase a bottle it's about 100 Baht. Plus 60 Baht for the water inside. Every time you need more water just bring your empty one and they will swap it out for a filled one, 60 Baht every time. Catching them in the evening is better. Around 5-6pm. Much cheaper and environmentally healthy this way.

B) Backyard Cafe.The hippie spot on the left at the bottom of the jungle trail that connects Raillay and Tonsai. It's a nice breakfast/chill spot and they will refill any of your smaller jugs. It ranges from 10-50 Baht.

C)Jungle Hut Laundry Across from Mountain View Resort

One Place to refill water, eat delicious (semi-organic no MSG) Indian food and they have yoga in the mornings is Utopia. You go by it if walking towards Diamond Wall (Highland Coffee). Say "hi!" to Georgia for me. She is the owner. This is also a great place to watch Dusky Langurs eat Mangos and play in the trees.

In conclusion, cheaper water + less bottle waste = happier Tonsai community!

Mar 7, 2014
Eric Thomas
Eric Thomas   Colorado
I'm going to put a recommendation for anyone who likes cooking and is keen to expand their knowledge to give Ya's Cooking School a try. Expensive for the dirt bag budget, but it makes up for it in a quality class. Great off day from climbing. Dec 12, 2014
I'll be visiting Krabi/Tonsai/Railey area in middle of February, and was wondering if folks have a recommendation for the best places to stay. I'm not looking for a resorty spot, something low key, with character, and walkable. Do you recommend booking a place ahead of time? Just finding something when we get there? Usually I go the latter route, but I just booked a spot for the night I get in to Bangkok, and a lot of the cheap, decent looking hostels were already full! It made me second guess just figuring it out when I get there... Let me know what people would suggest/what's worked in the past, and any places in particular you'd recommend looking into!

Thanks! Jan 23, 2016
Nate Ball
Portland, OR
Nate Ball   Portland, OR  
Saithong Resort, top of the hill. Jan 26, 2016
Gordon Larsen
St. George, UT
Gordon Larsen   St. George, UT
I just got back from climbing in Railay. This was my fourth visit (since 2009) to the area to climb and enjoy the beaches and do a little scuba diving. The climbing is still fantastic and every year there are more titanium rebolted routes which is nice. I however, did notice a lot more visitors to the beaches in general. Not so much an increase in climbers, but a definite increase in overall numbers of tourists and families. This was a little disappointing as I found the paths and walkways and beaches rather crowded during the daylight hours between 10 am and 4 pm. I still think it is a worthy destination for a climbing trip. Just know that it has been "discovered" and is a lot more busy. Great climbing destination for couples. Feb 8, 2016
Ryan Gittins
San Diego
Ryan Gittins   San Diego
Any additional recommendations on where to stay? It sounds like the West Railey beach is nicer? We'll be bringing our 2 year old daughter along so easy beach access would be great as would low key...not super resort or lots of partying travelers. Mar 12, 2016
Hey there, just an observation from our months there. In addition to being respectful and kind visitors to the local community, consider respectfully declining wasteful styrofoam and making it clear that animal cruelty is not something tourists support. We saw locals mistreating wild birds and torturing reptiles with their cats. Tourists = money and money talks. We were able to make it clear this was unacceptable in a respectful way (that adjacent shop owners applauded us for!). Just a reminder, you don't have to always be smiling when something f@#$ed up is going on! Apr 14, 2016
Tucson, AZ
mikehilbert   Tucson, AZ
Here's my trip report from my second trip here in as many years. Hit me up if you want any additional beta on the cheapest places to stay, rent gear, and eat here. Enjoy the read...

ouradventureyear.wordpress.… Nov 28, 2016
Will anyone be in the area from February 21-25? Looking for climbing partners! I have rope and quickdraws, can climb 10.5-11a outdoors. Feb 19, 2017
Will anyone be in the area from March 6th-12th of 2018? Looking for climbing partners! I can climb 10-11a outdoors, Also can coordinate on what gear to bring. Sep 29, 2017
Truckee, California
Jskierpx   Truckee, California
Thought it was worth posting here that I just bought the King Climbers guide book direct to do some planning for my trip in December. It is current, updated, and looks like a great guide. I looked all over the web for a book shop in the US with it without success, but just go to… and follow the instructions. I received the book in about a week direct to my house in California, all the way from Krabi for ~$30 (shipping included). Pretty smokin deal IMO since we can pay over $40 for guidebooks here. Sep 30, 2017
Lucas Barth
Yosemite, CA
Lucas Barth   Yosemite, CA
I las visited Tonsai in 2011, and I've heard it has changed a lot since then with the beachfront now all larger resorts like the Raillay side. Has anyone been there and seen the changes and can comment on what it's like now compared to several years ago. Are there still cheap bungalows and relatively cheap food to be had? Have any of the waste issues been dealt with i.e. burning trash and dumping sewage straight into Tonsai bay? Oct 25, 2017
Truckee, California
Jskierpx   Truckee, California
A word about drinking water from December 2017:

It has been mentioned here that you can find 5 gallon jugs at some places. I got lucky and Mama’s restaurant had one they sold me for 200baht, and gave me 100baht back when I returned the empty jug. With it I was able to last 5 days refilling my personal water bottle, never buying a plastic bottle and thus not producing any (plastic bottle) trash for my stay.

The caveat is that after I finished my first 5 gallon jug, I had a hard time finding another spot to sell me a replacement, and Mama’s was low so she wouldn’t sell me another. My advice, try your best to ask around everywhere to get yourself a big jug. Worst case you are unsuccessful, but they will know there is a demand for them and it may get easier over time. They know there is a trash problem and plastic bottles are one of the worst offenders, so I do believe they are working on this.

As far as Tonsai tummy, it is really hit or miss. I made it 2 weeks without issue, eating at several spots in Tonsai. I went to a restaurant that I had eaten at at-least 5 times before, and got sick. Up all night vomiting, my girlfriend having it come out of both ends at once...pleasant I know. For what its worth, myself and the few others that got sick, was from dishes with meat in them. I had smoothies and cold salads during my stay but ultimately it was a meat dish that did it. Maybe they let it sit out too long? The locals are in tune that there is a reputation in Tonsai by now, so I wasn’t too surprised to see them rinsing vegetables with filtered water and ice cubes were filtered water as well. Some of them just may not be quite up to par with meat prep/storage or knowing when to toss it. I ate over 95% Vegan meals during my stay and the food is absolutely mind blowingly tasty so just ditch the meat for a few weeks :) Jan 15, 2018
Just escaped Tonsai. Was there 14 years ago right after tsunami and it was a wild exotic my opinion is totally biased. If you have never been there and you are a overhanging gym rat you have to go. If you are an old person like me and like are better off going to you local church and climbing the polished pillars. All the easier climbs are super polished. Eagle wall was probably the best but it is on its way downhill. Besides the polish hope you don't mind swimming in raw sewage. There is no way I would put my body in the water with open wounds. You really can't see it unless its low tide and you smell it or it pours and you see the raw sewage cascading down the hill into the ocean. And I won't even talk about the piles of garbage and trash and volumes of humanoids. Basically it is overrun and still more people are coming. We were at 1-2-3 wall and 50 chinese showed up for a lesson on 1 or 2 climbs. If you like ganja and don't mind a Thai death penalty for drugs then Tonsai is the place, we saw too many climbers smoking and climbing at the same time. Also for Thai standards it was expensive. $28 for a bungalow with no room wifi or AC, cleaning 1 time per week, cockroaches, etc. You CAN live cheap maybe for $12 but it is pretty disgusting. Oh yeah, friend of ours ran into a Cobra walking back to bungalow so make sure you have your headlights at night. I guess it tried to get under the door of a bungalow before the snake catchers got it. Hopefully your luck is better than ours, maybe we just didn't hit it right.... Jan 20, 2018
Quinn Rohlf
Portland, Oregon
Quinn Rohlf   Portland, Oregon
I just got back from Tonsai and it wasn’t for me. I think the biggest thing that took me by surprise was the number of non-climbers present. I was picturing a setting more like Potrero or El Chorro - maybe a bit dirty and possibly crowded at times, but not too touristy and full of people who are there primarily to climb. This isn’t the case - lots of backpackers staying in Tonsai, things feel much like the rest of the beaten track in Thailand with multiple tour companies and party bars catering to that crowd.

That said, the climbing seemed quite good and both climbers and non-climbers alike are friendly. Just don’t go into it expecting a climbing-focused scene like you’d find at the crags I mentioned.

Also, comments about the sewage and trash situation are not exaggerated. Jan 28, 2018

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