Centara Krabi Hotel – Anda Dhevi Resort & Spa in Krabi, Thailand

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Elephant trekking in Krabi

THE monumental limestone rocks in Krabi attract climbers from all over the world to scale their heights - and they come in particular to Railay and Ton Sai. Many beginners are also tempted to try their hand here, whether they are looking for an adventurous day out, or a more serious involvement in the sport.

In Krabi the reasonably safe sport climbing is usually practised. Sport climbing is a form of roped climbing where metal bolts, placed close together permanently in the rock, are used for protection. If you slip, your harness and rope will arrest the fall after maximum 50cm, leaving you to concentrate on improving your technique.

It doesn't take a long time to become a competent climber. A 3-day course will give most people the confidence to lead a beginners' route. No special skills are required, other than the will to climb, so it's an activity that is suitable for all ages, including small children. The rewards are many, but all climbers report an overwhelming sense of achievement when they reach the top of their route, as well as an unparalleled view.

All the climbing schools in Krabi offer broadly similar programmes (1/2 day taster, one day and three day courses), including instructors, insurance, all equipment and refreshments, at similar prices (from 800-5000B). You can book directly at the school in Railay, Ton Sai or Ko Phi Phi, or through an agent on the mainland.

Seasoned climbers needn't worry about beginners hogging the rocks. With more than 600 bolted routes graded from F4 (easy) to
F8c (pros), there is plenty of space for everyone. If you have come alone, the climbing schools can often put you in touch with a partner, or check the message boards outside some shops in Railay.

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