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climbing destinations
Adventures in Thailand > Climbing Destinations
   

Climbing Destinations

   
 
climbing destinations  

Central Thailand

Chon Buri and Lop Buri province are the leading climbing destinations in the central region. In Chon Buri province, Koh Sichang is one of the last few relatively less commercialized destinations in the country. Try the rock spires on the southern point of Had Tham Phang beach as well as some rock cliffs facing Wat Tham Yai Prik. Caves are also a big draw here the biggest being Tham Saowapha, just north of the stairs down to Had Sai Kaew.

Just 2-hours away from Bangkok in Lop Buri is Khao Cheen Lair where some great limestone continues to be the focus of routing activities for Bangkok residents. Khao Jeen Lair is accessed via a temple and is a sacred place of worship. To get to the cliff you actually have to walk through the temple and up to the main face. The abbot has requested that all climbers come and say hello before going up. Furthermore, there is actually a sacred cave in the cliff. They have asked that no-one climb above the scared cave at all; climbing along the sides is allowed. If access is to be maintained it is essential that this is observed. The monks here are friendly and welcoming and of course always happy to receive donations and see people making merit.

Lan Sak district in Uthai Thani is 3.5 hours away from Bangkok and home to 60 metres of spotless limestone and some great routes.

 

Northern Thailand

There are many great rock climbing locations close to Chiang Mai Being a mountainous region, northern Thailand is home to many challenging climbs, some of which have not been officially mapped out. Local knowledge is usually the main guiding reference.

San Kamphaeng is 45 km from town with more than a 100 climbing routes. The most famous and popular climbing site is called Crazy Horse - a rock formation resembling a horse. Crazy Horse is 80 metres high and leads to an interesting 40 metre cave.

A lesser-known climbing site is at Chai Prakan district. Not as challenging as Crazy Horse, the site is home to a 25 metre sheer face in limestone cliffs with roughly 10 routes. Chaiprakhang is a rather scenic and rewarding experience with views of the valley, dropping away 200 metres below.

A newer climbing site is located in Chiang Rai at Mae Kok River. Called Comer Climb, it comprises five acres within a 10-minute walk of the river - which can also be viewed from the upper reaches of the rock. Most routes have never been climbed and are limestone rocks. The longest route here is about 200 feet straight up. This climbing site is a 5-minute bicycle ride from downtown Chiang Rai and is also a rather scenic site for climbing.

 

Southern Thailand

Khao Yoi in Phetchaburi province, located just 90 minutes south of Bangkok is home to climbs graded between the 6a - 6c range.

 

Southwest Thailand, Andaman Sea

Despite being more popular and famous for its pristine beaches, southern Thailand is the climbers hang-out. Probably the most famous climbing sites are Rai Lay Beach and Ton Sai in Phra Nang Bay. Both are located in Krabi, Thailand's most developed and extensive climbing area. With over 500 bolted routes in walking distance, Rai Lay has become one of the world's top climbing destinations. Over 650 routes have developed since the late 1980ís. Routes here follow limestone crags, steep, pocketed walls, overhangs and hanging stalactites. Some are accessed by boat while others are approached via a jungle walk or by abseiling above the sea.

Phi Phi Island is another popular rock climbing destination. The majority of the climbing here is conducted on Phi Phi Don. It should be noted that Phi Phi is an archipelago of 2 islands, Phi Phi Ley and Phi Phi Don.

Mountain climbing can also be conducted at Khao Sok National Park. Expeditions here are usually a combination of jungle trekking and visits to waterfalls within the park, as well as kayaking or bamboo rafting.

  climbing destinations  

Southeast Thailand, Gulf of Thailand

Koh Tao, accessible through Surat Thani at Koh Samui, is a relatively new destination for climbing. Located Northwest of Koh Samui and Koh Pha-ngan, Koh Tao and is the smallest and most isolated of these three islands in the southern end of the Gulf of Thailand. Climbing in Koh Tao is a completely different experience as the rocks here are granite boulders as opposed to Krabi's overhanging limestone walls. This type of climbing is referred to as "bouldering". More well known as a dive learning destination, Koh Tao is a destination with more than 40 mapped routes that offer solitude as opposed to the lively atmosphere in the Andaman destinations.

 

Best time to Climb

The best time to climb is November to mid February. July to October is the rainy season. Although boulders dry quickly, the rains will make your climb really slippery. December to February is a good time to climb however, it is also very crowded as this is the peak season. August is a generally the best time to climb in terms of crowds however, there is still the possibility of rain during this month.

 
climbing destinations  

References / Service Provider

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)'s website www.tourismthailand.org provides a very general introduction to mountain climbing and is a good starting point. The best reference for climbing in Thailand belongs to an avid climber, Simon Foley, at www.simonfoley.com/climbing/aroundthailand.htm. Information here is easy to understand and is a good reference point for both the novice and experienced climbers. Another good site is www.rockclimbingthailand.com where its co-owner Yhu Abuwa is a winner of the Thai National Championship for Bouldering/Difficulty in 2002. One of the best reference websites for novice climbers and those new to climbing in Thailand is http://grop.away.com/grop/location/asia/thailand/cli_krab.htm. This website contains all relevant and necessary information concerning climbing.

A good reference for an interesting climbing experience at Khao Sok in Phuket is http://paddleasia.com/mountainclimbing-thailand.htm. There is only one website for climbing in Koh Tao in Southeast Thailand in the Gulf of Thailand which is http://www.zengecko.com.

Most website references for climbing in Thailand concentrate in Southern Thailand within the Andaman sea. Very little information is available about climbing sites outside of Phra Nang Bay in Krabi and Phi Phi Island.

Good references for climbing in the North is
http://paddleasia.com/mountainclimbing-thailand.htm,
http://www.thailandclimbing.com/intro_toprope.html,
http://www.track-of-the-tiger.com and
www.thepeakadventure.com

Also be sure to consult the Thailand Rock Climbing Federation
Tel: (66) 2373 8725, (66) 2729 4773
and the Bangkok Rock Climbing Club
Tel: (66) 2434 6100, (66) 2435 5797.

 

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Source : www.tourismthailand.org

 
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