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Thailand advice please

Original Post
Nick Gibson · · Denver, CO · Joined May 2012 · Points: 0

My girlfriend and I will be heading to Thailand in a few months— Railay and Tonsai. We’d appreciate any advice you may have on gear (60 or 70m rope?) / routes / best bars or hang outs / etc.

We’ll be looking to climbing up to 5.11-, and probably not much harder than that unless something is really worth the time to project.

We’re particularly interested in finding some good multi pitch lines out there.

Also I’ve heard there has been a lot of titanium bolting updates out there. Which are most trustworthy? (I don’t know what titanium bolts look like).


Mike · · Phoenix · Joined May 2006 · Points: 2,615

Definitely bring the 70, I recall several routes needing that,  and it would give more options on the multi-pitches you want to do. Also for the rest of your gear, consider bringing your old junky stuff (including the rope) then donating it when you leave. It will get re-purposed for anchors & threads & such.
To check on current anchor/bolt conditions  check out: and please consider donating or helping out while you are there.
As for bars/guesthouses, it's been a while for me so I'll let others comment on that.
HTH. Enjoy!

Chad N · · Victor Idaho · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 2,162

A great multi pitch near Railay is Orange Chandeliers. If you make it over to Phi Phi, Happy Banana and Rev de Phi Phi Don are both good.

There is a beach bar near the sand in Tonsai with awesome views of the cliffs and sunset.

It’s a great place, enjoy! 

Kyle Edmondson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 40

Chong Phli/ Spirit Mountain is well worth the time.

OldManRiver _ · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 105

There are some reggae bars on the path connecting Railay East & West. I'd be more specific but they're same same (but different).

Maybe check out candlestick wall if you're into multi-pish.

Krispy Kreme at BKK may be tops though.

David Hutchinson · · Bellingham. WA · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 0

Nick, we spent June in Railay climbing and enjoying food, beach, sun, swimming and the wonderful folks we met.
Gear was 70 meter rope, 20 QDs, several alpine draws. Buy a guide book there, helps the local folks.  Plus it gives good information and gets you a chance to meet local climbers.
Play it safe on grades to get used to routes and grades.  6a-6c should keep you entertained with some 6c+ or 7a to challenge .
Start early in the morning to beat the guides to the more popular cliffs where they take clients.
Have fun and be safe.

James W · · Houston, TX · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 94

The ultra classic multi pitch is Humanality 5.10d that climbs right above the Freedom Bar on the beach. So to that point, Freedom Bar is a good bar for sunset or to hang out if you are doing any projects on Tonsai Roof. Based off your climbing grade, most classic single pitch routes on the beach will have a crowd during that time of year, as we are in peak season now. Plus expect to climb on a lot of slick limestone if you are climbing 5.10's on the beach. 

Candlestick Wall is another great area for a multi pitch. I did one called Crystal Flame that finished right through a tunnel that gave a pretty sweet free hanging rappel (but for this route you'll need two ropes). 

So bring a 70 meter, buy a guide book, stay at a Bungalow on Tonsai where all the climbers are, all the bars around the bungalows are generally cool so you won't have any problems. Viking Bar was my favorite.

Don't worry about the titanium bolts. They are solid and just stick to the classics and you'll be fine. And don't be alarmed if you have to clip into a few slings (an old rope threaded through a rock). They hold up better than the screw in bolts we use here in the States because they withstand the humidity and salty air. 

I usually stayed at Green Valley Resort which runs about 300 baht a night (10 US dollars). Don't worry about booking ahead of time if you want to stay there, there's always something available at one of the Bungalow resorts even on NYE. There won't be A/C though but usually with a fan you are okay at night. Be sure to buy some bug spray for the mornings and evenings. 

If you want to stay on Railay Beach, it's more resort-y, less people who are serious about climbing, and overall not as fun in my opinion. But be sure to eat there a few times as they do have some good food. Mama's Chicken at Tonsai is actually the most popular though. 

Lastly, I've been to Tonsai first 5 years ago and most recently last year. It's constantly changing because of new development, but either way you'll have a good time with a good attitude. If you need any more advice feel free to message me and I'll help you any way I can.

Claire Fields · · Denver, CO · Joined Feb 2018 · Points: 0

Bring the 70 and 16 draws and you should be fine. But a guidebook, don't climb anything that has stainless bolts (they'll be marked in the guidebook and very obvious). We brought two ropes and some multi pitches require a tag line for a rappel but we didn't do any of those and you could always rent a rope or any extra gear you need for the day. I would recommend chill out or green valley bungalows- chill out has concrete floors which means less mosquitoes. Ya, Tonsai is a playground for the 12 and up climber but neither my bf or i were when we went and there are tons of five star routes in the moderate range. I recommend pla lek, Caroline's last day, groove tube, big wave (multi pitch, i think it's called the wave on mp) and no doubt you'll find yourself on the warm-up at the beach every morning (missing snow). If you're even close to the grade you should absolutely hop on cross eyed (7b)... Guidebook says if there's a climbing god this route proves it. Agreed.

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,482

Also, don't criticize the King of Thailand in public. Hooo boy, don't do that.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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