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Krabi’s Best Rock Climbing in 2024 – Beginners/Experts

Thousands of people each year come to Krabi for one main reason – Rock Climbing! In our province, we have some of the best rock climbing routes in the world on limestone rocks in Railay Beach, a landlocked climbing paradise!

Best Rock Climbing Areas in Krabi

The best rock climbing in Krabi can be found in two main areas: Railay Beach and Ton Sai Beach. Both locations offer a variety of climbing routes for different skill levels.

Railay Beach is known as one of the top rock climbing destinations in the world and draws excellent climbers from across the globe every year. What better place to vacation for world-class rock climbers than a place like Railay?

Railay features stunning limestone cliffs and over 700 challenging climbing routes. The climbing routes in Railay are rated from beginner (5a) to expert (8c+), providing options for climbers of all abilities.

Ton Sai Beach is one of the main areas for the best rock climbing and is located adjacent to Railay, Ton Sai Beach is another popular rock climbing spot. It offers challenging routes and a vibrant climbing community. The climbing routes in Ton Sai are also rated from beginner (5a) to expert (8c).

Why Is Climbing in Krabi So Amazing?

Noppharat Thara Beach in Ao Nang, Krabi, with a view of excellent limestone karst formation for rock climbing practice.
Krabi is filled with vertical limestone karst, excellent for climbing. ©

Stunning Scenery! The limestone cliffs of Krabi rise majestically from the turquoise waters, creating a breathtaking backdrop for climbers. The views from the top are often awe-inspiring.

Diverse Climbing Routes. Krabi offers a wide range of climbing routes suitable for beginners, intermediate climbers, and advanced climbers. Whether you’re just starting or seeking a challenging ascent, you can find routes that cater to your skill level.

Accessibility. Many of the climbing areas in Krabi, such as Railay and Ton Sai, are easily accessible by boat. This convenience attracts climbers from around the world, as they can enjoy the sport amidst stunning natural surroundings without extensive travel.

Climbing Community. Krabi has a vibrant and welcoming climbing community of locals and expats living in the area. Whether you’re a solo climber or traveling with a group, you can connect with fellow climbers, share experiences, and find partners to climb with.

Rock climbing gear that you trust is a bit hard to come by in Krabi. There is no Petzl shop here or a world-class climbing shop. BRING YOUR OWN GEAR so you have the best you can afford. You can find some basic climbing gear in Krabi, like equipment, and accessories in the climbing shops located in Railay Beach and Ao Nang. These stores offer a range of items such as climbing shoes, harnesses, ropes, carabiners, and helmets.

So, while some climbing gear is available in Krabi, it’s always recommended to bring your own gear if you’re an experienced climber or if you have specific preferences. It ensures you have the equipment you’re comfortable with and that meets your personal requirements.

Tough Rock Climbing Routes in Railay Beach?

Pro rock climber hanging from a hand hold on an underside of a limestone cliff.
This guy told us he wasn’t very good. Then proceeded to climb up this inverted rock face! ©
  1. “Humanality” (Grade: 8b+). This iconic route is considered one of the most difficult climbs in Railay. It is a steep and sustained climb that demands strength, technique, and endurance.
  2. “The Nest” (Grade: 8b). Another challenging route, “The Nest” requires precise footwork and powerful moves. It features overhanging sections and intricate sequences that test climbers’ skills.
  3. “Thor’s Hammer” (Grade: 8a+). This route is known for its roof section and powerful moves. Climbers must navigate through steep terrain and tackle a series of strenuous boulder problems.
  4. “Tidal Wave” (Grade: 7c+). The “Tidal Wave” rock climbing route offers a combination of technical face climbing and a challenging crux section. It requires climbers to negotiate delicate moves and tricky sequences.
  5. “Dum’s Kitchen” (Grade: 7c). This route features a steep wall with small holds and intricate sequences. It demands both finger strength and precision to overcome its difficulties.
  6. “Groove Tube” (Grade: 7b+). “Groove Tube” is a classic climb on the prominent Thaiwand Wall. It involves a variety of climbing techniques, including stemming, finger locks, and laybacks, making it a diverse and challenging route.

These routes represent just a few examples of the challenging climbs available in Railay Beach. Remember, grading systems can vary and new routes are often established by climbers. Please consult with locals and local climbing guidebooks or seek the advice of experienced climbers on-site for the most up-to-date and accurate information on specific routes.

Rock Climbing in Krabi for Beginners

Rock climbing beginner tackles easy rocks outside cave in Krabi.
Beginner tries luck with steep rocks outside cave in Krabi. ©

If you are a beginner or novice rock climber and you’re looking for some of the best beginner routes to get started with, here are some of our recommendations. First, find a good rock climbing school that can help. This is a great place to start.

Here are a couple of climbing schools you can contact for lessons.

Railay Rock Climbing Schools

A beginner rock climber learning at a school on Tonsai Beach in Railay, Ao Nang, Krabi.
Even beginners can try challenging rock faces like this with the proper safety gear! ©
  • Hot Rock Climbing School – in Railay Beach West, this rock climbing school is right in the center of Climbing Central. GPS: 8.011955535591655, 98.83846754247975
  • Real Rocks Climbing School – A school located away from Railay Beach in Ao Nam Mao. GPS: 8.029343380539805, 98.86168223253638
  • The Rock Shop – Part of Freedom Bar in Tonsai Beach. A climbing shop and instructor. GPS: 8.018507669884396, 98.83378156715766
  • Karst Climbing Krabi – Located away from the main Ao Nang Railay Beach area, this climbing instructor (Mon, a Thai guy) has built up an excellent following and received nothing but 5 star reviews. GPS: 8.037669261259527, 98.83042629131725

Rock Climbing Routes in Krabi for New Climbers

Here are three beginner-friendly routes new climbers can try in Ao Nang.

  1. “Diamond Cave” (Grade: 5a). This is a popular route for beginners located in Railay Beach. It offers an enjoyable climbing experience without being overly challenging. The route is well-protected and features a mix of slab climbing and small holds. The name “Diamond Cave” refers to a nearby cave in the area.
  2. “Wee’s Present” (Grade: 5b). Another good route for novice climbers to try is “Wee’s Present,” located in Tonsai Beach. It gives beginners an introduction to slightly more technical climbing. The route consists of various holds, edges, and pockets, offering a good opportunity to practice different techniques.
  3. “Escher World” (Grade: 5c). “Escher World” is a beginner-friendly route found in Railay Beach. It offers a bit more of a challenge than the previous two routes but is accessible for novice climbers. The climb incorporates a mix of vertical faces and easier slab sections, allowing climbers to practice their skills on varied terrain.

Remember, it’s always important to assess your own abilities and seek guidance from experienced climbers or local instructors before attempting any climb. The climbing ratings provided here are based on general guidelines, but grading systems can vary slightly between different climbing areas.

Rock Climbing Gear to Bring to Krabi

These are some of the basics you should bring to Krabi. Research with professional climbers to see what else you may need. Again, it is very difficult to get the right equipment once you are here in Krabi and ready to climb. It would be a shame that you miss out on this opp!

If you’re not sure about what brand to buy, I typically recommend and buy PETZL products for all our climbing needs. Well, most of them!

A Climbing Helmet is essential for protecting your head from potential falling rocks or impacts during climbing. Choose a well-fitted helmet designed specifically for climbing.

A Climbing Harness is worn around your waist and thighs and is used to attach yourself to the climbing rope. Look for a comfortable and adjustable harness that fits properly.

Climbing Shoes are rather inflexible and designed to provide optimal grip and sensitivity on the rock surface. Choose a pair that fits snugly to your feet and provides good support.

A Chalk Bag and Chalk are used to absorb moisture from your hands, improving grip while climbing. Carry a chalk bag and refill it with climbing chalk as needed. Don’t be shy with it, you’ll be sweating in Krabi’s high temperatures and humidity.

A Belay Device is used for controlling the rope during belaying. Choose a device that is suitable for the type of climbing you’ll be doing, such as a tube-style or assisted-braking device.

Metal Carabiners are used to attach various pieces of climbing equipment together. You’ll need locking carabiners for securing the rope to your harness and non-locking carabiners for other uses.

Quickdraws are used to connect the climbing rope to bolts or anchors on the rock. They consist of two carabiners connected by a sturdy piece of webbing or a chain.

Slings and Runners are versatile pieces of gear used for extending protection points, creating anchors, or building belay stations. They are made of strong and durable nylon material.

A dynamic Climbing Rope is an essential piece of gear for belaying and protecting against falls. Choose a rope suitable for the climbing type and length required for your routes.

A Personal Anchor System (PAS) is a length of webbing or cord with multiple attachment points. It allows you to secure yourself while transitioning between climbing and belaying.

Remember, this is just a basic list of gear, and there can be other specialized equipment required for certain climbs or situations. It’s important to receive proper instruction and guidance from experienced climbers or guides when selecting and using your gear to ensure safety!

Enjoy climbing in Ao Nang, Krabi. This place is a climbers’ mecca!

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