/ Koa Yao or not Koa Yao

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ah - on 09 Dec 2013
I'm going to Phuket / Krabi area for a couple of weeks over new year and have around 4 days at the end of the holidays to try squeeze in some climbing.

Looked at Lao Liang but missus isn't up for camping.

Been to Tonsai for a few weeks so not fussed about going back

Looked at Koa Yao Noi but only acommodation left now is pretty basic and expensive for what it is (missus isn't keen on basic) or just damn expensive. Also it looks a bit tricky to get around to the climbing especially with a relative non-climber.

What I'd really like is a nice small island with some beach bouldering and the option to access some dws by wife-friendly kayaking, ideally on the edge of a paradise beach. Basically lao Liang but with a nice, non-extortionate hotel.

Does anyone (Peak DJ?) know if this exists?

Has to be pretty close to Phuket and Krabi for flight connections. Thank you in advance for your wise words.
ah - on 13 Dec 2013
In reply to ah:

Anyone.... anyone...?
ian Ll-J - on 13 Dec 2013
In reply to ah:

Sea kayaked all the way round Koa Yao last year with a school group, really enjoyed staying on the island as it's not that commercial / spoilt by mass tourism, the only climbing we did was accessed by boat and can't remember seeing many boulders worth climbing. We stayed in some very run down bungalows which would have been very cheap, just down the road from an idyllic 5 star resort (Ronaldo the footballer was staying there while we were on the island). If you're in touch with any of the kayaking companies they will also be happy to take you to the climbing areas.
ah - on 13 Dec 2013
In reply to ian Ll-J: Thanks Ian. Do you know which the run-down bungalows were, just so we don't book those :)

How long did it take to kayak round? Looks pretty big...

ian Ll-J - on 13 Dec 2013
In reply to ah:

Can't remember the name of the bungalows which we booked through Paddle Asia. We paddled around in 4 or 5 days, some of the nearby islands were great, but sadly Thai Beaches suffer a lot from washed up litter.

We climbed, kayaked, painted a mosque, mtn biked through the paddy fields and rubber plantations, had some thai boxing training with an ex world champ, played 5 a side at the local school all in all a great trip. Sadly had some hassles with the American guy who runs Paddle Asia, but they were great at getting things sorted so worth checking out their web pages for ideas of what you can do on the island...

The 5 star eco hotel is well worth a visit for a meal if you can't afford to stay there.
ah - on 15 Dec 2013
In reply to ian Ll-J:

Good info, thanks. We're now booked in a cheaper place and looking forward to using the saving to go for expensive meals :)
PeakDJ on 16 Dec 2013
In reply to ah:

Koh Yao is an awesome place - still very relaxed and unspoilt. I thought the Mitt had some of the best climbing in Thailand. Easy to ride most of the way on a scooter.

I can recommend bay view bungalows if you get stuck again for a place to stay. There are still a few places that don't have websites so I suspect even if you showed up without a reservation you'd find a place to stay.

Enjoy!!!
rickeden - on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to PeakDJ:

come on, 'I thought the Mitt had some of the best climbing in Thailand'. Only joking. You need to climb at Muak Lek and Keng Koi :)
PeakDJ on 06 Jan 2014
In reply to rickeden:

Hah - yeah, I must get to those little gems...sometime.

I was blown away by the Mitt - I had no idea routes could be that steep at those sort of grades.
rickeden - on 15 Jan 2014
In reply to PeakDJ:

YOU SHOULD TRY Taket in Laos
pawelx - on 15 Jan 2014
In reply to ah:

I went to Ko Yao about 5 years ago. Brilliant, 3-dimensional climbing. As someone else said here, you wouldn't think that 6a/6b (French grade) routes could be that steep. Imaging bridging one foot on the wall, the other on a hanging 10 meter stalactite. It's that sort of climbing, at least in one or two of the crags that I've seen. We also took a boat (hired from a local fisherman, cost was about 30 USD between 5 of us from what I remember) and went to some island where climbing was more like European limestone, vertical and crimpy, at least in the 6 grade that we were after.

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