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Tonsai and Railay, Thailand

No matter how serious I am about climbing, I find that a laid-back style suits me best. Endless morning coffees, late arrivals, short approaches, napping between climbs, doing a few climbs, finishing early to go to a beach or a bar…you get the picture? Now, imagine all that, but with a breathtaking beach in an exotic location — that’s the kind of climbing you’ll find at Tonsai and Railay

Tonsai beach
With climbing just steps from the sand, Tonsai Beach is the perfect spot for a climbing vacation

The quintessential climbing holiday spot

There’s perfect, overhanging walls directly above this sandy beach, and a bar directly below, full of fellow climbers. Can you imagine a better location for a relaxed climbing holiday? I can’t. This “beach” that I just described is really two climbing spots near Krabi in Thailand: Tonsai and Railay. During the climbing season, these two areas are transformed into a friendly community of like-minded climbers and hippies from all over the world.

In Tonsai and Railay, camaraderie and ease sum up the way of life when visiting. If traveling solo, finding a climbing partner is as easy as it gets, just show up at the bar. There are also plenty of guided climbing tours catered to your skills, guides, and rent-a-partners. The specialty (besides feeling like you’re climbing in paradise) is 3D climbing on stalactites. Lots of fun! For an unforgettable experience, I recommend one of the breathtaking multi-pitches on Thaiwand Wall.

It’s affordable and not too crowded… for now

Since Tonsai and Railay are popular tourist destinations, finding accommodation that suits your needs will not be an issue. The most typical type of arrangements are bungalows, though, the region has it all, from camping sites to hotel resorts. Decide if you would rather be closer to Railay or Tonsai and start planning from there. To add to the appeal, once there, you’ll find most everything quite affordable.

The area is increasing in popularity, and prices are steadily rising.  I’d recommend visiting before this gem hits the mainstream. Anyone who’s ever tried rock climbing Washington knows the joy of finding a primo, crowd-free route. Due to logistics, climbing in Tonsai and Railay comes with a higher price tag, so check out our tips below to prepare better.

About the author
Climbing nerd, 5.14 crusher, and big wall speed climber

Jurica got bitten by the climbing bug 15 years ago. Since then, there was hardly a week without him obsessing about a climbing project, new training plan, or visiting a new crag. He used his spare non-climbing time to earn a PhD in Computer Science and win the first ever ESA data-mining contest.

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