On our previous tour of the Krabi islands almost three and a half years ago we stayed in Ao Nang which is a great area if you want the beach, pubs and every sort of restaurant you can think of. However as were only there for two days we decided to stay in the quieter area of Krabi Town. Feeling rested and relaxed we decided it was time for some activities and looked into rock climbing.
Rock climbing in Krabi is very well known and it also incorporates Railay Beach into the day, voted one of the beast beaches by National geographic. There are literally tons of tours on offer and you have to have a good look at what they all offer. It is also handy to check on trip advisor to find out what people have paid for certain tours. With many of the tours the prices vary between travel agents and even if it is written down it’s usually always negotiable. We found ‘King Climbers’ on trip advisor and after seeing that someone paid 800 baht for the half day we went in search for a likewise offer. The first place we went to sold the same tour for 1,350 baht! Most places were offering it for around the 1,000 mark until we came across one where we got the price down to 800.
We were picked up in the morning and taken to Ao Nang beach were we caught a long tailed boat to Railay, once there you could see the beauty of the beach despite there being loads of tourist there too. We walked to the climbing shop and got kitted up with climbing boots, a chalk bag and harness before making our way round to the other side of the island where we would be climbing. The area was busy but not too busy and we were told we would be climbing at about grade 5 (which means nothing to me!) but depending on how we went there were harder courses and easier ones too. The area seemed to have something to accommodate everyone with a group of children at one end and solo climbers doing climbs that seemed impossible at the other!
Our first climb started by pulling yourself up by you hands and getting you first foot hold near your hand… was quite a challenging start, I thought it would be easier!! The first climb took me a while but I got to the top and got an awesome view of the bay. Andy scooted up clearly having way more strength and longer arms than me and the two other girls on our trip!
Our next climb was higher and started off a bit easier but soon about 3/4 of the way up I became stuck, no matter how hard I tried I just could not get a grip on the rock and the left hand hold was just too far out for me to reach, not only that but with my back injury which runs down my right leg I just didn’t have the strength to push up. I struggled for 15/20 minutes refusing to give up (a bit of stubborn on my part) the problem I soon found out is the longer you hold on the quicker and sorer it becomes. When I finally had to admit defeat (something that I didn’t take so well) my fingers were cut and my arms were shaking from straining them so hard. Again Andy zipped up having no problems reaching the tricky grip I just couldn’t reach!
The final climb was the really big one and again up I went and half way up I got stuck again for about 10 minutes I struggles to push myself up, with calls from the ground telling me it is ok if I had to come down. I refused to listen and kept pushing as hard as I could until finally I managed to get over the rock however my success was not long lived as I hit the 3/4mark and once again could not get good enough purchase on my holds to push up. No matter how hard I tried my right leg would not push up and my arms were now beyond painful! Another 15 or so minutes of intense struggle I had to give up.
Andy started his climb and after a very small struggle at the two I found difficult he was only about 5 meters from the top. However the last 5 meters was a sheer cliff with only 3 holds for both feel and your left hand. No matter how hard Andy tried he just could not get up the last 5 meters. He did really well considering how exposed the last climb was and how high he got, for someone who is not comfortable with heights this was amazing.
With the third climb over the climbing part of the day was over, and if I am really honest I couldn’t do another one as my arms, legs and fingers were burning! Unless you are a regular rock climber or super fit, a half day is more than enough! The climbing shop we went through allowed you to take the boat back to Krabi at lunch time or stay on Railay until 5.30 we decided to stay and take advantage of being on Railay. We had lunch then went for a lie down in the shade.
We both had a great time and I would definitely recommend it and add it to my “must see Thailand” we went through King climbers and paid 800 baht for a half day of climbing with the optional late boat back to Krabi.
Originally published here.