climbing in Thailand consists for the most part
of sport climbing in a few crowded areas such
as Krabi, Railay, Ton Sai and Phi Phi in Southern
Thailand and less crowded climbing routes in
Chiang Mai in the North. However, there are
endless opportunities to expand climbing holidays
in other parts of Thailand.
Nga Province, for example, is a region
bursting with massive limestone karst mountains.
Almost no one goes to any of the many stunning
mountains and cliffs in this huge province.
We offer rock climbing trips to a small park
near Phang Nga Town to climb a nice variety
of bolted routes. This is an easy rock
climbing trip from Phuket
unexplored cliffs are just waiting to be discovered.
So, if you’ve ever dreamed of being the
first person to go up a new climbing route,
then read on.
climbing goals are not based solely on the climb.
Solitude, a direct connection with the stunning
limestone karst formations and the challenge
of pushing your personal limits, no matter whether
they are mental or physical, are all part of
the climbing experience.
of our favorite places to climb is Koh
Yao Noi in Phang Nga
Bay. There are dozens of bolted routes and trad
routes are also available. The bolted routes
are bolted with titanium glue-in bolts primarily,
especially at the lower levels.
addition to technical rock climbing trips, we
too) and often incorporate technical rock climbing
on these climbing routes.
top of many of the mountains in Phang Nga Province
reveal breathtaking scenery. From the tops of
some mountains, you’ll see world famous
Nga Bay. See some more
climbing images from Koh Yao Noi
here. From other sides you’ll see the
lush valley that lies to the north of the ridge
of mountains that traverse east and west. Therefore,
we concentrate on alpine-style climbing with
the goal of not only enjoying the climbing,
but to see what's on the top and over the other
Rock climbing emphasizes skills such as rope
management, anchoring, belaying, rappelling,
protection placement, climbing technique and
safety. You will also develop a sound foundation
in backwoods ethics.
or Trad Climbing involves
asccending rock climbing routes which do not
have permanent anchors (or bolts) to
help the climbers.
can be difficult rock for placing traditional
protection. Some rock can break easily and even
strong-looking rock can conceal a layer of softer
rock behind it. Therefore, it is imperative
that all precautions be taken when approaching
a new route.
protection, traditional climbing, is an art
form. It is as much a part of the climb as the
climbing itself. If you are interested in leading
a trad route, you should first practice placing
pro at lower levels and testing it.
goal should be to get to the point where you
can look at possible placements and you automatically
identify the appropriate protection that should
Placing pro quickly is also vital as you will
often be tired and you will need to free one
hand to place the pro. Flowing with your climbing
should be paramount.
best climbers don’t stop; they seem to
flow from one move directly into the next. Therefore,
plan your moves ahead of time and place your
protection quickly so you can keep things moving.
It is a good idea to visualize your moves while
you are still on the ground.
will also benefit greatly from seconding an
experienced climber. This enables you to learn
proper placements and it also develops skills
in removing protection.
Climbing using traditional protection is a very
rewarding experience. This can be as safe as
sport routes if you take the time to learn how
to place protection properly.
and just as important, traditional rock climbing
leaves the rock the natural... nothing is left
behind other than perhaps some chalk marks,
which wash away with the next rain.
environmentally-conscious, we always strive
to minimize our impact on the natural world.
Leave nothing behind.
on a certain level we feel that bolting detracts
from the climbing experience, we are not at
all opposed to doing it for reasons of safety
or in cases when routes are climbed repeatedly.
A well-placed bolt can be absolutely bomber!
In questionable limestone, this is often the
climbers carry much less gear up a rock. Basically,
they take what’s known as quickdraws.
These are two carabiners with a sewn webbing
sling between them. Bolted routes have metal
bolts pre-placed (in a drilled hole) into the
rock. Sometimes these are glued in and other
times these are expansion bolts. A bolt hanger
is attached to the bolt and that is where you
saltwater environments, such as Phang Nga Bay
(Koh Yao Noi) Krabi (Tonsai and Railey Beaches)
and Phi Phi, even marine-grade stainless steel
bolts corrode. The electrolysis-induced corrosion
factor in limestone is very high. Thus, many
of these bolts have been replaced with glue-in
titanium bolts. Click here to see some
climbing photos from
Phang Nga Bay.
don't climb on anyone else's bolts unless we
know who placed them and when they were placed.
The reward is not worth the risk. In Phang Nga
Province this is not nearly as serious as there
isn’t the salt air contributing to the
if not most climbers start off by learning on
a top rope. This is where a rope is already
set (anchored) above the intended climb. The
belayer is at ground level (usually)
and the climber climbs with the confidence that
if he/she falls, it will be very minimal in
length. A climber can also practice really difficult
moves when top roping for the same reason.
Another important skill is down climbing.
Down Climbing requires the use of different
muscles than those used in climbing up. Some
climbers get anxious or concerned more about
climbing down than up. This is a good time to
try top roping. With this setup, a climber can
be confident since falls will not be serious.
Knowing how to climb down is also an important
skill for trad climbing leaders as there are
sometimes cases when a leader must climb back
down to a piece of protection to either move
it, shift it or possible eliminate it.
One common practice in sport climbing is to
climb until you fall off. This is certainly
not something that a climber should do when
trad climbing. This is yet another reason why
knowing how to down-climb and feeling confident
in down climbing is important.
climbing means placing protection and using
that protection to aid in climbing. In other
words, gear is used to get up and down the rock.
climbing is often incorporated in our exploratory
trips and some traditional climbing routes when
unclimbable areas are reached. Small cracks
that are too tiny for fingers to enter are one
of the examples where aid climbing becomes necessary.
Micro-stoppers (pictured right) are
often placed in extremely thin cracks and you
rely on these to 'aid' you up the rock.
climbing is a discipline within the climbing
community and it attracks climbers who are interested
in engineering and problem solving.
also for those interested in learning trad climbing
as it helps you learn how to place gear/protection.
It also helps build your confidence in your
climbing also has its own rating system. Don't
think for a second that aid climbing is 'cheating'
or it's easy... it's not. Aid climbing is often
used to climb tricky roofs, over-hangs and extremely
challenging sections of rock.
many rock climbing tour operators offer aid
climbing for whatever reason. We find it challenging,
inspiring and a wonderful way to get beginners
interested in traditional rock climbing.
If you have limited time and would
like a one-day or a two-day
climbing trip, we offer
a get-away to Phang Nga Town. Just an hour from
Phuket or Krabi, Phang Nga Town has retained
its charm and character.
This off-the-beaten-path destination gets very
few foreign tourists, isn't full of bars and
it's quiet. There is a small park at the edge
of town with a lot of bolted routes. Most routes
are 5a to 6b, but there are easier and harder
routes too. If you don't like the thought of
standing in line to get on a climb in Krabi,
escape to Phang Nga Town with us.
Click here to see our
have the opportunity to join us as we explore
Phang Nga Province’s limestone cliffs.
Feel the freedom and the sense of accomplishment
that comes with getting a hands-on experience
on the cliffs of Phang Nga Province.
can join us if you are moderately fit and, of
course, not afraid of heights. No previous
climbing experience is needed. First-timers
are more than welcomed to join us. It's fun
and you don't have to do anything that you're
not comfortable with. Click here to see a rock
climbing grade conversion
climbing trips can be added to your Phang
Nga Bay kayaking tour,
Sok kayaking adventure
tour or booked as a stand-alone tour. Contact
us for details
is a wonderful guidebook available
for the bolted routes in Phang Nga Bay.
Contact Heather at The
Mountain Shop to get
some adventure in your life? Rock climbing could
be just the answer.
All safety precautions
are taken, but the very nature of this sport
includes some risk. However, risks can be minimized
by proper skills training.
being a certified first aid instructor and being
certified in several international first
aid organizations, Dave is a
certified rescue technician through Rescue 3
International. Climbing, if done properly
and if all goes as planned, is a relatively
safe adventure activity. In the event of an
accident it is imperative that your climbing
guide knows exactly what to do and is prepared
with both the equipment and the skill to perform
note: It is illegal for a foreigner
to be a guide in Thailand. A licensed Thai guide
is required by law to accompany EVERY tour.
We respect the law of the land and have a Thai
guide on our trips. It is, however, legal to
have foreign tour leaders and safety instructors
as long as there is also a licensed Thai guide
on the trip.
Click here to read a rock
climbing trip report
from a ten-day trip.
here to see a video of rock
climbing in the city
park in Phang Nga Town. Please subscribe to
us for details
We have climbed a couple times
together with Dave, both in Phang Nga Town
and on Koh Yao Noi, and we loved it.
Phang Nga Town
is a park just outside the town where the
Thais having their Sunday picnics. The surrounding
is quite different compared to Phuket and
the rocks protrude majestically.
One of the best things with
this park is the easy access, so a perfect
place for a short climbing trip, even for
a half day. The routes vary in degrees of
difficulty, from 5+ and upwards, so everyone
can find something to climb, i.e. ideally
for groups that are on different levels.
Koh Yao Noi
is a peaceful island located in Phang Nga
Bay far away from tourist hordes. We really
liked the atmosphere on the island, and it's
worth a visit even without climbing. But the
climbing is fabulous and it's like a Swedish
smorgasbord with a lot of deliciousness to
grab. "Grateful Wall" became a personal
favorite, which is just by the seaside and
only reachable by boat (fortunately Dave has
his own longtail). The wall offers routes
with grade 6a to 6c all bolted with new titanium
bolts (as most of the routes in this area).
There are a lot of holes in different sizes,
which makes it possible to vary the climbing
even on the same route.
If you looking forward meeting
a lot of other climbers neither of Phang Nga
Town or Koh Yao Noi is the right place for
you, but if you prefer climbing instead of
waiting on your turn they both are great places.
Without Dave´s excellent
local knowledge and his good connections,
our visits wouldn't be as wonderful as they
turned out to be. He is also nice guy and
a living one-liner machine, and we enjoyed
his company very much.
Thanks a lot, Dave, for make
our four month Phuket stay more bearable.
Christoffer & Malin Axelsson