Krabi climbing (limestone rock climbing) at Railay beach is some of the best in the world. There are very difficult routes that test the world’s best and there are easy beginner faces to give you your first-time rock climbing experience in Krabi.
Railay Beach, Krabi province’s rock climbing mecca is found to the West of Ao Nam Mao Beach which is a little known beach west of the Gastropod Fossils site. Getting there is easier than it sounds. You can take a longtail boat straight from Chao Fa Pier in Krabi Town for 100 baht if you can get 6 people to go with you at the same time. You might wait extraordinarily long to find 6 people though during the off-season. Sometimes they ask if you want to go for 150 baht for 4 people. 600 baht seems to be the amount they want to make to go one-way.
If you don’t want to leave from Chao Fa pier in Krabi town you can take a tuk-tuk, songtaew (truck) or motorbike taxi to Ao Nang or Ao Nam Mao and you can get a longtail boat from there. Prices vary a bit. The cheapest way is from Ao Nam Mao’s small pier where you’ll pay just 50 baht one way if you get the required number of people – I can’t remember how many 6 or 8. From Ao Nang, it’s 100 baht each person. I’ve had to wait up to 40 minutes at Ao Nam Mao to get the required amount of people. The problem is more returning from Railay as few people seem to return to Ao Nam Mao, they go back to Ao Nang mostly, then Krabi town, then Ao Nam Mao!
Railay Beach has world-class rock climbing routes available. I heard that there were over 700 routes to choose from. If that’s true, one could spend a year climbing here and have an awfully good time climbing all the rock faces Krabi’s Railay beach has to offer. Think about this though… Railay is just a tiny place. There are THOUSANDS of limestone hills/mountains all around Krabi that you could climb if you wanted to be adventurous and chart new territory.
Not all Krabi rock climbing is difficult. I managed to find a path to the lagoon that is navigable even by me, but I had the wrong shoes at the time and didn’t feel like slicing my foot open on the jagged rocks over which the thick rope lay. If you go to Railay beach West and then go north… you’ll be able to have a short climb up a path and then through some rocks that will bring you to the spot most of the climbers will be practicing and also hanging out at.
Krabi rock climbing company, CLIFFS MAN is located on Railay beach East and they take you here to this spot to learn climbing. There are some beautiful spots and great photos can be had of male and female climbers. I will post some photos and videos here on this page when I find the time to edit them for publication.
You can head over to the Phra Nang cave (pictured) which is really a nice spot. It’s my favorite spot if I had to pick a favorite. Don’t miss the phallus (penis) wood carvings cave which is fascinating (hah!). Railay West has some shopping, some nice restaurants (outdoor) and last time I went to a book store with many English language novels.
At the Northwest side of Railay West is where the climbers tend to go and hang out. There are numerous climbing routes, I think someone said 700+. If you climb – go here! Even if you don’t climb, it’s fun to watch people climb too – I’ve taken videos of people climbing and I’ll get them online soon. Rock climbing is a slow and cautious activity, not always quick and exciting but fun to watch anyway.
I don’t stay in Railay when I go, I’m very cheap and the 1000 baht plus for marginally decent rooms during the high season doesn’t do it for me. I usually go in the morning and return around 5 or 6 pm. There are some nice accommodations there if you have the cash. Alternatively, you can visit during low season when 2 different hotels (at least) offer rooms for as low as 350 baht.
If you’re a rock climber fanatic and you don’t have much cash… plan a trip to rock climb in Railay Beach, just off the Ao Nang Beach coast (short boat ride) Krabi, Thailand during the low season. You WON’T be sorry you did.
Important Phone numbers for your stay in Krabi (Railay and all over Krabi province):
- Krabi Emergency Help: Dial 1669.
- TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) Regional Office: 07.562.2164
- Krabi Tourist Police: 07.563.7208
- Marine Police: 07.561.2756 and 2757
- Krabi Airport 7 km east of Krabi Town: 07.563.6541 and 6549
- Immigration: 07.561.1097
- Krabi Bus Terminal in Krabi Town: 07.561.1804 and 1184
- Thai Airways International: 07.562.2439 and 2441 and 2442
- Krabi town Hospital: 07.563.1768 and 1769
Copyright ©2013 Vern Lovic.