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.
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. Due to logistics, climbing in Tonsai and Railay comes with a higher price tag, so check out our tips below to prepare better.