/ Thailaind - stay in Tonsai or Railay West?

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Lyndsay Superclimber - on 22 Apr 2012
Hi, I'm going to Thailaind in the last 2 weeks of July to go climbing around Tonsai. I'm travelling on my own so am hoping to meet lots of people to climb with there. My student days are well behind me though so I want to stay somewhere reasonably nice (ideally with a pool!) - I've also heard the beach at Tonsai isn't that nice and Railay West is much nicer. Can anyone advise me on which would be best to stay at? Also any other good hints and tips for when I'm there would be great!
Thanks, Lyndsay
lachy773 - on 22 Apr 2012
In reply to Lyndsay Superclimber: they are close together... tonsai is definately more rugged with people staying in bamboo bungalos and similar basic accom.. mainly climbers on a budget... if you want more comfort go to railay... it is more family orientated, and has some beautiful beaches.... you wont find and swimming pools etc at tonsai.... as for me ... i love tonsai its everything i want , cheap ,the best climbing, climber bars on the beach with slacklines etc... having said that, there is some good climbing closer to railay. but the best by far is in tonsai... but its not too hard getting between the too... there is a small headland on the beach which divides the two of them..
gary1 - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to Lyndsay Superclimber: If you are looking for a pool then go to West Railay..we stayed at Sand Sea resort which was good with a nice pool and the view at brekkie was amazing.It was only a 20 min walk to Tonsai either around the rocks at low tide or over the top following the jungle path.We climbe in Tonsai and at Phra Nang beach.The sunsets are out of this world and we will be starting at Railay in Decemeber before going onto Trang and the islands near.
David Hooper - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to Lyndsay Superclimber: They are pretty much suberbs of the same place. But one has a muddier mangrove beach and more hippy traveller ambience. The other has a far superior beach and views and more upmarket but "regimented" chalets.

There is a third option which is to get a long tail boat round to aonang (sic) every morning and evening which is where we stayed - bigger more choice, not so claustriphobic if you want to get away from the "scene" but still only a 10 minute boat commute.

Here is a piccy of the mangrove beach 'hippy"side

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=52625

and here is the nicer beach

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=52682

Im very jealous - you are going to have a lovely time wherever you stay - just dont let the free bongs in the bars de-motivate your climbing, Ive seen some real casualties out there ;o)

In reply to David Hooper: a good visual is

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=30904


Tonsai and mangroves to left and Railay to the right with the bushy walk through in the middle
edinburgh_man on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to Lyndsay Superclimber:

You should read James Pearson's comments about Railay and Tonsai for a different perspective:

http://jamespearsonclimbing.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/postcards-from-paradise-ton-sai-too-bad.html

http://jpclimbing.com/2012/pfp-tonsai-too-bad/

Cheers
Lyndsay Superclimber - on 23 Apr 2012
Thanks for all the advice. That's given me more of an idea...still not quite decided but will be easier to make the decision now. Thanks-I'm very excited about my trip!
Lyndsay
robin mueller - on 23 Apr 2012
In reply to Lyndsay Superclimber:

There is a range of options in Tonsai, from bamboo huts to more expensive apartments. It's possible to stay in Tonsai without slumming it, though Railay will offer more luxuries if that's what you are after.
grop spee - on 25 Apr 2012
Nowere in Tonsai has a pool, but you can get great bungalows for a cheap price in july because its out of season, try 'green valley', railay west is really nice resorts but you will be paying ALOT more than Tonsai, plus tonsai is were all the climbers hang out, the food is alot cheaper and you have much better bars and places to hangout, the beach is ok on tonsai if you go to the far left-hand side (looking out to sea) and there's some really good climbing there too (dums kitchen on the beach) you can climb then jump in the sea to cool down, if the tide is up!! and railay is only ten min walk away.
If i was you i would go to Tonsai and stay for a few days, you can walk to Railay and check it out and then make up your mind? i've been to Tonsai 4 times so of you have and questions just ask? Tonsai ROCKS!!!!!
grop spee - on 25 Apr 2012
> Nowere in Tonsai has a pool, but you can get great bungalows for a cheap price in july because its out of season, try 'green valley', railay west is really nice resorts but you will be paying ALOT more than Tonsai, plus tonsai is were all the climbers hang out, the food is alot cheaper and you have much better bars and places to hangout, the beach is ok on tonsai if you go to the far left-hand side (looking out to sea) and there's some really good climbing there too (dums kitchen on the beach) you can climb then jump in the sea to cool down, if the tide is up!! and railay is only ten min walk away.
> If i was you i would go to Tonsai and stay for a few days, you can walk to Railay and check it out and then make up your mind? i've been to Tonsai 4 times so of you have and questions just ask? Tonsai ROCKS!!!!!

no mangroves on Tonsai thats Railay east, dont go there.
Cheese Monkey - on 26 Apr 2012
In reply to Lyndsay Superclimber: I'm not even considering Railay. Straight to Tonsai, 4 days to go!!!! Woooop
Toby Dunn - on 26 Apr 2012
In reply to Lyndsay Superclimber:

TONSAI. definitely. ;-)
john arran - on 26 Apr 2012
In reply to Lyndsay Superclimber:

Railay East has some of the better-value mid-range accommodation, many with a/c and some with pool. There's also a lot going on during the evening. But there's really no beach or swimming option on that side so you'll need to walk the 5 or 10 minutes to the West beach or Phranang beach for beach/bathing.

Railay West has a great beach and good but expensive accommodation. There are pools but I don't understand why you would bother when the sea is so close and so good.

There's a lot of good climbing around Railay, generally needing a 5-15 minute walk.

Tonsai is where most climbers stay and I expect it will be easier to find climbing partners there than on Railay. Most but not all of the accommodation is basic but some have larger a/c rooms too. There's a different vibe on Tonsai - less holidaymaker and more traveller. Climbing here is ridiculously accessible - generally within a few minutes walk.

Ao Nang has many more accommodation, eating and nightlife options and boats to Railay/Tonsai are quick and easy to get, which you'll need to do as there is no climbing at Ao Nang itself. However, a large part of the attraction of Railay/Tonsai for us is that there are no roads and no traffic. It also would be much harder to find climbing partners in Ao Nang.

I'd say if your focus is climbing stay in Tonsai, if you want a bit more pampering at the expense of climbing go to Railay. You're sure to have a great time anyway.

p.s. Not sure what James Pearson was on about in his blog. We were there just two months ago, having been several other times over the years, and I thought it was impressive how sensitively the new developments had been done considering the mess they could have made and often do seem to make in other places. It's still a great place and I'll definitely be back again in future.
Lyndsay Superclimber - on 28 Apr 2012
Thanks everyone, you've all been really useful. Have decided and...TONSAI IT IS! Very excited - just got a guide book (will give you yours back as soon as I see you Toby!) and some of the routes look AWESOME! If anyone's there in the last 2 weeks of July give me a shout :-)
Lyndsay Superclimber - on 28 Apr 2012
In reply to grop spee:
Hey, thanks that's really useful. 4 times - wow, it must be good :-) Am hoping to go to some remoter islands to do a bit of climbing too-any tips? (I'm about 6b standard) Also, wasn't going to book my flight back from Krabi-Bangkok until I was there in case I'd gone to some islands etc and was easier to fly out of somewhere else (e.g.Phuket). Is that a good idea or do the flights get booked up? Thnaks!
grop spee - on 02 May 2012
Hay Lyndsay, ive allways arrived and left lastminite and never had any problems getting flights for the same day,from Krabi, but be carefull if its a friday or sunday because they are the busiest days, but if you book 2-3days ahead you will never have no problem, you can allways get an overnight coach to bangkok from anywere, its super easy in Thailand everything is set-up. Flights from Phuket might be differant because its busier but i would avoid Phuket to be honest!! its abit shit!!
Good climbing on Phi Phi Don and its close to TonSai, there's a Tonsai beach on Phiphi Don aswell!!
Check out online an island called Laoliang, ive never been but it looks Amazing, good climbing and very romantic, i really want to go there.
You should climb 'Orange chandelier' on Ao nang tower its very good, dont let the first 3meters put you off or the grade, most of the climbing in Thailand is juggy with big moves, so climb fast and give alot of the 6c a try the grades are a little soft, 'The big wave' is also a very good,great, multi-pitch, and 'Beauty and the beast' which shares the first pitch with big wave is also great and the third pitch is a little harder than anything on the big wave, The Keep is the best crag there, every climb is excellant and its crimpy climbing not juggy- try the 6c's!! and try the deep water soloing
P.s you can book trips to Laoliang from Tonsai
Trying to think of away to get to Tonsai AGAIN!!!
Lyndsay Superclimber - on 10 May 2012
In reply to grop spee: Wow, thanks for all your advice. I'll definitely look up some of those islands and give the 6c's a try. It sounds amazing and I really can't wait! 2 months & 2 days to go.....yipee!!!!!
John Grogan on 20 May 2012
In reply to Lyndsay Superclimber:

How did you get on? I am flying into Phuket with the family in January, so would like to hear what you thought about the accomodation?

Cheers

John

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