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Railay Rock Climbing

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Railay Beach Thailand is a mecca for rock climbing enthusiasts. There are endless limestone cliffs, with bolted sport routes that are within easy walking distance. The limestone walls tower above the sandy beaches and make for a climbing paradise. The great climbing combined with cheap accommodations and cheap food/beer make it so you never want to leave. I had originally planned to stay for 1 day and ended up staying for 5.

Another amazing opportunity that puts a twist on traditional Railay Rock Climbing is Deep Water Soloing in which you can hire a boat service to take you on a long-tail boat to an island opposite from Railay Beach and climb above the ocean. Now, instead of being held by a rope, you fall into the ocean.

My last full day in Railay, I decided to try it! I signed up with Basecamp Deep Water Solo. The trip cost $700BHT or $23US. We met at 8:45am to get climbing shoes and oriented for the day. Following, we went down to the beach and boarded a long-tail boat to take us across to an island with ample climbing routes.

We started at an easy location that has a 5a traverse and low grade 6 class. There are more challenging routes if that is what you are looking for. The easy 5a traverse allows you to get used to the idea of falling into the water. There is a ladder that the tour company puts up to help you climb out of the water. There is also chalk for your hands so that you hands are not slippery when you start the routes. Obviously, you do not climb with chalk bags or else you would have wet chalk after the 1st climb.

After climbing for 2-3 hours, everyone boards the boat and stops at a beach for lunch which is provided for by the guiding company. Lunch lasts for about an hour and included a really tasty rice and chicken meal. Following, we got back on the boat and went to the last climbing spot for the day. This spot was more technical and had a longer ladder to get to the start. The start of the climb was about 10ft off the water or 3 meters. Some participants climbed higher while others were content jumping from the top of the ladder, including myself.

Overall, the day was one of the highlights of my trip thus far and definitely my favorite activity at Railay Beach!

Nathan Vandermost

Nathan currently lives abroad as an American expat and is based in Hanoi, Vietnam. He enjoys learning new languages, meeting new people and exploring new places. Nathan has been living abroad since 2014 and likes to stay busy plotting his next trip.

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