/ Bangkok: Seeking Climbing/ Travel Advice
I'm hoping to gain some advice from any climbers on where to go/ what to do whilst in Bangkok. I will be on a university exchange in Bangkok for three months (Dec-March) this winter I will be traveling around Thailand whilst there - although I am without any concrete plans/partners at present.
My aim is to climb as much as possible and make the most of the weekends whilst there.
Could anyone recommend indoor walls in Bangkok or crags local to the city? I will have rope and draws with me.
If anyone has advice or will be in the region, I would be very happy to hear from you.
Nham pha pa yai camp is a couple of hours away from bangkok. This is the place Is really nice.
Google is your friend in terms of indoor walls as which you choose will depend on your budget and which university you go to (Thammarsat? Raemkenghaeng? Chula?). Partners are easy to find on the ex-pat forums or just turn up and boulder and strike up conversation. Even if your Thai isn't great, the folks at a climbing wall wi have good English.
Outdoors you can fly or take a train to Chiang Mai or Krabi on a Friday and be back by Monday morning. For general outings I'd recommend heading to Isaan but Yangon, HCMC and Phnom Penh are short flights away for city breaks (theres a decent climbing wall in Tuol Tom Puong in Phnom Penh).
Wow, thanks for the advice Pan Ron. I'll be over in the west of Bangkok at Mahidol University.
Great to hear there are options for weekend getaways and that there seems to be a thriving climbing community.
You're in luck. While Mahidol is a bit out of the way, the west bank of the Chayo Praya has more than its fair share of gyms, and Don Muang airport is accessible for flights out. There's no shortage of things to do. Bangkok is one my favourite cities - ignore the naysayers.
Finding climbing partners is pretty easy, especially in the peak season when you are there. Not sure about Chiang Mai climbing at the moment as there were rumours of a closure a while back.
Another option is Laos, inland from Tha Khaek, where a German couple started up a climbing guesthouse and bolted a lot of the valley walls on either side. Green Climbers or something like that. The trains and busses through Isaan to Nakhon Phanom and on to Tha Khaek expose you to the heart and soul of Thailand so worth it on its own - but I've flown there from Bangkok a few times so it can be done even quicker.
Would you recommend the train over a flight to krabi? Seems more flexible? Interested to hear more I'm just doing my research. Flights booked. Any good places to stay?
Not really. The trains are pleasant and the sleepers a nice experience. But its a 10 hour journey and it doesn't get you to Krabi; trains south go no closer than Surat Thani so you're going to have to get a 22-3 hour bus journey from there to Krabi town, then a bus+boat on from there to Ao Nang/Ton Sai/Raileh. You'd probably be better off just getting a VIP bus all the way to Krabi direct. They're comfortable and better than National Express, but not as good as a train sleeper.
Flying Air Asia, Nok or Smile is simply an easier trip, just as cheap and the flight is not much more than an hour. Haven't been to Ton Sai in ages. There's a steady stream of bungalows opening, closing and renaming so I wouldn't be a reliable source. As long as you aren't turning up late in the day at the peak times of Dec/Jan you should be able to turn up and get a room no problems. Just walk up from the beach and ask at the receptions (or follow a tout). But you may want to book in advance for peace-of-mind.
Can recommend you a good tailor in Bangkok...
Apart from the climbing, there's plenty of interesting touristy things to do, if that's your thing, both in Bangkok and environs - grab a flight up to Siem Reap if you can and have a look around Angkor Wat and the other temples while pretending to be Tomb Raider.
Phnom Penh, as mentioned, was also nice. The Russian market there is interesting and good for cheap kit - shop around and avoid the obvious knock-off stuff, though!
Mallorcan Deep Water Soloing pioneer Miquel Riera, 56, passed away after a battle with cancer on 9th October 2019. Daimon Beail shares a tribute to him. Miquel Riera was known as ''the godfather of psicobloc' and was one of the key...