A minibus trip to the ferry terminal, a series of boats. First via a large ferry, transfer to a smaller ferry and finally onto a longtail (aka death trap). Finally arriving at my destination of Railay Beach. In Krabi province, this small peninsula is only accessible by water due to the sheer limestone cliffs that make this a mecca for rock climbers from around the world.
Only being here for 2 days, the focus for me was certainly doing some rock climbing. I ended up in a one on one class with Bang, a local Thai instructor. Starting on a gorgeous sunny day we head out for a short 20 min walk to Tonsai beach, where some good beginner walls were located, for a few hours of fun. A quick refresher on the safety aspects and Bang lead-climbs up to run the ropes.
Climbing 4 walls in 3 hours sounds easier than it is! Having been many months since I’d been climbing, and having only ever climbed indoor before – this was quite an experience. Climbing up the rocks I was well guided by Bang on foot and hand holds, and had thoughts of Bear Grylls‘ advice he had given when climbing without ropes in Man vs Wild.
Each climb was physically strenous and by the end of each was throughly drenched in sweat; a breather of 20 mins was needed between each climb. Achieving the first 3 climbs was great, however Bang pushed me to a harder wall for my last climb. Only making it 1/4 of the way, nothing I could do would let me get past a transition requiring more height and strength than I had. Attempting 4 times and falling off every time, it had become apparent that I wasn’t going to make it and that my climbing strength had gone. As soon as I was down, BANG – straight in the water for a swim to cool down.
View of West Railay Beach
Bang doing what he does best
Yours truly sitting up the wall
Yep. Exactly what they look like, apparently this is a fishermans shrine
A stretch of the wall I’d been climbing
Rock overhanging Tonsai beach, great swimming spot
View up Tonsai Beach