The earth becomes your playground when you practice climbing. Although I am terrified of heights, I do love rock climbing. I really started to get into it when I was backpacking in Asia. One of the best places to begin is on the limestone cliffs in Railay, South East Asia. It’s the perfect spot for beginners, and novices too! After getting a feel for the sport, you can try out different rock faces, and before you know it, you’re addicted!
Here are my favourite (and not too expensive) spots for rock climbing in Southeast Asia.
Railay / Tonsai, Thailand
Railay is a dream scene in the province of Krabi, on the east coast of southern Thailand. It’s a perfect mix of white sand beaches and turquoise water surrounded by high limestone cliffs. It has an exclusive feel since you can only get there by boat. You can also practice deep water solo, climbing without a rope and falling back into the sea. I stayed there for three months, and I’m going back soon!
An idea of prices at Railay or Tonsai:
- Half-day climbing: approximately 900 baht ($35 CAD or €25);
- Full day climbing: approximately 1,500 baht ($57 CAD or €40);
- 3 days of climbing lessons for rope teams: 8000 baht ($305 CAD or €215).
Kho Yao Noi, Thailand
You can find Kho Yao Noi in the Krabi province, near Phuket. It’s a mysterious island that also happens to be a rock-climbing haven, one of the region’s best-kept secrets. It is similar to Railay because it’s new but much less popular and less touristy.
An idea of prices in Kho Yao Noi:
- Half-day climbing: approximately 1,800 baht ($69 CAD or €48)
- Full day climbing: approximately 3000 baht ($115 CAD or €81)
Vang Vieng, Laos
A small mountain village with legendary river parties (commonly known as tubing), Vang Vieng is not just a place to get drunk; you can climb there!
An idea of the prices at Vang Vieng:
- Half-day climbing: approximately $30 CAD or €21;
- Full day climbing: approximately $50 CAD or €35.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Dotted with Buddhist temples, Chiang Mai is the main city in northern Thailand. There you can find the perfect place to climb called Crazy Horse.
An idea of prices in Chiang Mai:
- Full day climbing: approximately 2,500 baht ($95 CAD or €67)
- 3 days of climbing lessons for rope teams: 9,000 baht ($344 CAD or €242)
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Halong Bay was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 and is considered one of the most beautiful seascapes on the planet. The area has recently opened up to climbers.
An idea of prices in Halong Bay:
- Half-day climbing: approximately $35 CAD or €25
- Full day climbing: approximately $55 CAD or €39
Do you agree with my top 5 rock climbing places? Any other suggestions to add?
Next up is Yangshuo, China! If you have any recommendations for Asia in general, don’t hesitate to share them with me in the comments!