First time? Try a lesson
If you’ve never climbed, it might be smart to take a lesson. We chose for Krabi Rock Climbing at Railey because they have good reviews. Personally I don’t think the lessons were that great. Because climbing in – and Krabi itself, is very popular, you have to share the walls with lots of beginners from other climbing schools. But probably, as beginner you won’t see the danger in that at first. Below the rocks we saw a lot of girls with their mobile in their hands going down the wall. I mean, you didn’t experience it when you #instagrammed it right? ;-)
We were picked up at the hotel by the organisation of Krabi Rock Climbing and brought to the boat at the Chao Fah pier. It’s included in the price. On the way back we got to use a ticket and we took the boat from West-Railey back to Ao Nang.
Don’t be surprised when you have to sit at the back of the pick-up truck holding yourself, when picked up from the hotel, it is Asia :)
An over crowded rock
When we arrive at the beach, we see a beautiful limestone rock. I also see a lot of other groups of climbers and I think to myself: ” Bit tight, but hey, doable”. When the minutes pass by, more and more groups arrive and at a certain point we have to climb above and below others.
When I ask our climbing teacher if it’s always this crowded? He answers that this is just not that crowded. Normally it’s around 40+ people. I almost fall of my chair (or in this case, the rock I’m sitting on :P).
So yeah, be aware that Asia has different standards than we for example in Europe have. It’s just not that safe. But wauw, it is amazing. The rock are just supercool and the view over the beach and sea behind you.
I definetely have to come back when I’m more experienced!
The best time to climb in Krabi
From May to August it’s rainseason in Thailand meaning that most of the days it is very rainy. Your best chance is in the morning or late afternoon, you should be able to climb a route of 1 or 2.
How to get to Ao Nang from the mainland?
From the mainland you have about 5 options:
- From Ao Nang Beach in Krabi you can take a longtail boat to Ao Tonsai, Haad Phra Nang or Railay-West. It will cost you about 100 Baht (return) per person and takes about 15 minutes. You can buy a ticket at the booth where the main road meets the beach (see bottom map). If you want to go back by board from Railay, just look for the man yelling ‘Ao Nang’ or find the booth at the beach, can’t miss it :).
- From Krabi Town you can take a boat from the Chao Fah pier (near the The Mud Crabs Sculpture). There are scheduled times but full means full in Asia. It’s possible that when you arrive at a scheduled time, the boat is already gone. Costs are 150 baht. I’d recommend you to either be on time or take a boat from other piers (make sure you grab a songthaew).
- Then you have the Ao Nammao pier, accessible by songthaew (budget!) Or taxi from Ao Nang or Krabi. Here the locals take the boat more often, so the boats leave more often. You arrive at the pier in Railey-East. A ticket costs about 80 baht per person.
- You can also take a private boat, ofcourse it’s more expensive, about 1,500 baht from Krabi Town.
- Rent an SUP or canoe. At Ao Nang Beach you have several options at the beach to rent a canoe. A nice way to discover Ao Nang!