Best Destination for an International Climbing Trip on a Budget?


Original Post
Simon W · Feb 18, 2017 · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined May 2013 · Points: 20
I was going to title this, "Yet Another Thailand Thread," but decided this title would open up better input...

I've got the ability to take about a month off of work this year, and I have enough airline miles saved up to fly pretty much anywhere in the world.

I love Thai food, and steep sport climbing is also something I enjoy quite a bit, so I always just figured I'd take this trip to Thailand because it seems like I can stay there for that amount of time, pretty comfortably and not spend a ton of money. My friend here says the scene can be grungy and full of fat russian dudes (sex tourists : | ) so that's a bit of a deterrent but probably not enough to not go.

So far Pros of Thailand:
-Affordable
-Great food
-Can fly through Tokyo to get there (I have some friends there I can visit)

Cons:
-Popular areas might be dirty
-Russian sex tourists

I would love to see more of Europe and climb there but I think I should save that for a few years down the road after saving specifically for a trip..

I do have a friend in Zurich I could stay with but I don't think that alone would be enough to make a European climbing trip comparable to Thailand. I certainly plan to spend some money, but not looking to quadruple (or more) my typical monthly expenses like a cushy vacation would.

Timing is flexible at this point, I could probably go anytime between July and December, but I need to make up my mind now so I can ask for the time off in the right season. Plan is to try to rope someone I know here into going with me for the start of my trip and then climb with locals the rest of it.

Any and all input appreciated. Thanks!

Simon W · Feb 19, 2017 · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined May 2013 · Points: 20
Bump

Dan Cooksey · Feb 19, 2017 · Colorado Springs · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 15
So airfare is a bit expensive but....Kalymnos. housing, food, beer super cheap! I spent a week there and it cost me like $300 US.

Brian in SLC · Feb 19, 2017 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 12,570
El Chorro is pretty affordable and a spot you could get by without a car.

Geyikbayiri in southern Turkey is another spot. Get a pick up from the airport.

Croatia has a number of spots doable also sans car. Shared Airbnb would make it quite inexpensive.

JayMorse · Feb 19, 2017 · Hooksett, New Hampshire · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 30
The sex tourism in Thailand is nowhere near the rock climbing. The people at Tonsai will not be there for the sex tourism.

El Potrero Chico in Mexico is amazing and dirt cheap. Only a realistic option in the cooler months though, too hot in the Summer. I think the climbing there is wayyy better than the climbing at Tonsai. Though Tonsai is an absolutely gorgeous location. Both Mexico and Thailand have charming cultures and amazing food with dirt cheap accommodations.

Benjamin Chapman · Feb 19, 2017 · Small Town, USA · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 12,892
Iceland...Hnappavellir. Chris Sharman was photographed climbing there.
Great exchange rate...dollars to Krona. Lots of great lamb dishes.

Juan Vargas · Feb 19, 2017 · Bakersfield, CA · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 291
Second Geyikbayiri and Turkey in general. Have been there twice and it is really cheap. Have also been to Olympos, also near Antalya (good sport climbing right next to the beach) and Aladaglar (great sport and trad in the alpine) public transportation is pretty decent and you can pretty much get anywhere by bus or hitchhiking. Now, i don't know if you'd feel comfortable travelling here with the current political situation.

Phil Lauffen · Feb 19, 2017 · The Bubble · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 1,665
You can kinda get by anywhere cheaply if you

1) Camp (Geyik - $6, Rodellar -$10, Ceuse - $6)
2) Take public trans/hitchike
3) Cook your own food.

Don't limit yourself to Thailand. Go to the place you want to climb. It is likely that there is a dirtbag-friendly option, as that tends to be a large portion of the clientele.

I traveled for ~9 months through Europe, Turkey, Jordan, and back to Europe and I spent less than $500/mo, even with airfare.

Tim Wolfe · Feb 27, 2017 · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 2,870
Spain, Mediterranean coast just about anywhere. Cheap, great weather, climbing at all levels. Many places once you are there have free or very low cost camping and you can hike to the crags. Often lots of options to find a partner. Plus Thailand is great from an exotic standpoint but Spain has way better climbing conditions and more route options and variety. So if climbing is the primary goal I would go to the Med. Coast.

Simon W · Mar 4, 2017 · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined May 2013 · Points: 20
Tim Wolfe wrote:Spain, Mediterranean coast just about anywhere. Cheap, great weather, climbing at all levels. Many places once you are there have free or very low cost camping and you can hike to the crags. Often lots of options to find a partner. Plus Thailand is great from an exotic standpoint but Spain has way better climbing conditions and more route options and variety. So if climbing is the primary goal I would go to the Med. Coast.
This is a solid post, and thanks to all the others above.

Apologies for playing disappearing OP, my truck exploded going into Jackson and I've been dealing with it and other things since then.

Honestly, until this I was still leaning towards Thailand. I love the food and the steep climbing there looks great.

Spain could be really cool too though so I will look into it more carefully.

Anyone have any beta on best way to get camping/climbing gear in the locales they recommend? I'm probably just looking to fly over with a 60L pack and nothing that will cause problems with airport security if possible, or check it..

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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