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Conquest of the vertical: The most colourful rock-climbing routes

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Connoisseur's Guide · Asia · thailand · Krabi · Conquest of the vertical: The most colourful rock-climbing routes

Krabi Island

Author: Juris Zīģelis0 COMMENTS

Krabi Island

Ko Pha Ngan is a small island crossing of which on a scooter takes just half an hour, yet it offers travelers an unforgettable experience.
Instead of staying in one of its southern side resorts we preferred a real rastaman type lodging near the water - a frugal bungalow built on piles and made of straw fiber with straw roofing. Locals are very open there and especially after sharing a couple of beers are ready to talk at length about local life, sights to see and things to do on the island.

Foto: Krabi IslandFoto: Krabi IslandFoto: Krabi IslandFoto: Krabi Island

You can get to the altitude of 600 m above sea level there, reaching the island's highest peak Khao Ra. The walk along narrow trails through forest, jungle and palm tree groves may take 2 to 3 hours (depending on one's fitness) and it promises encountering wild animals and hearing strange sounds.
The island offers diverse and exciting activities, such as getting a glimpse of its rich underwater word, hiking, elephant rides, savoring homemade ice-cream or just roaming around and seeking for things that would catch your interest.

Foto: Krabi IslandFoto: Krabi IslandFoto: Krabi Island

Our main attraction was rock climbing sites on Krabi peninsula. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful rock climbing meccas of the world with a fantastic climate, a blue sky, warm and clear water and palm trees along Ton Sai beach. Krabi boasts a vibrant nightlife too with singing, dancing and bars staying open till early hours. The entire peninsula is occupied by rock climbers - no honeymooners smooching at sunset or anything like that. Krabi gathers climbers form all across the world. In the evenings they meet in bars, enjoy jam sessions and share their climbing experience. Bands of bar owners themselves usually open such sessions, but later on anyone who can play can get on stage, and every night a new band forms! Yet everyone gets up quite early in the morning. Already around 7 o'clock they are waking cooks of local eateries and right after breakfast off they go to rocks of their choice. Cliffs are starting from 6b climbing grade according to French system and might be quite challenging for beginners. To avoid sweltering daytime heat, climbing can take place only during early hours or in the evening till sunset. It's very humid, too. People are sweating a lot, even in the shade, and gear is more susceptible to corrosion. It's a great problem, especially for climbing bolts, and steps to solve it are taken by Thaitanium project. It is dedicated to replacing unsafe steel climbing bolts with titanium ones throughout Thailand and anyone can support this effort by purchasing the Titanium Project's documentary and a guide book at Basecamp Tonsai shop.

Krabi offers also a unique Deep Water Solo experience, which means climbing above the water in a natural manner, without any bolts or ropes. If you fall, only water serves as the safety mattress! Be sure to critically evaluate your skills, however, because even a fall from 7 meter height can be painful enough and cause serious injuries, but the routes reach up to the height of 30 meters.
There are kayak rentals at Tonsai and Railay beaches, and you can paddle around the rocky shoreline, or else - rent a snorkeling gear and get a closer look at coral reefs and underwater world swarming around them. Krabi attracts also base jumping enthusiasts.

Another attraction is a local lagoon inside the mountain that fills with water during high tide. Getting there requires climbing along a steep and clayey path upwards and an even steeper and more clayey path downwards, and rock climbing skills may become very useful there. Yet the lagoon perhaps is not as impressive at all as getting there itself.


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