Top 5 Rock Climbing Destinations in Asia
Climbing Asia can be an exhilarating activity that you and your friends can share together! Here are some of the best outdoor crags around Asia to try your hand at rock climbing!
Thakhek offers many unique routes through its limestone cliffs, but the optimal time for visiting is November to March when weather is dry.
Ko Phi Phi
The Phi Phi Islands in southern Thailand are an incredible archipelago of beautiful islands that has become internationally renowned since being featured in Leonardo Di Caprio’s hit movie, “The Beach”. However, Ko Phi Phi Don still remains an excellent travel destination with beautiful beaches and rock formations to be enjoyed by travellers looking for adventure.
Ko Phi Phi is home to three breathtaking viewpoints that offer amazing panoramic views over Loh Dalum and its surroundings, offering incredible trekking trails for hiking up. You should make time to visit all three and especially Viewpoint 1 which boasts magnificent panoramas over Loh Dalum town and mountains beyond! For added excitement, continue climbing further uphill until you reach Viewpoints 2 and 3, where the scenery only gets more stunning as you ascend further!
Snorkeling in Phi Phi’s crystal clear waters is an unforgettable experience, offering access to an expansive marine ecosystem below the surface. Witness beautiful fish swimming around in their colourful splendour! Take an organized snorkelling tour from Phi Phi Main Pier or arrange for day trips like Bamboo Island.
Phi Phi is home to one of the top attractions on Thailand: Viking Cave. A natural landmark located near Ton Sai Pier and with ancient drawings depicting Viking ships and other types of vessels on its walls, Viking Cave is often visited by tourists traveling by tour boats or long tail boats to reach Phi Phi.
Long Dong is a world-famous sandstone rock climbing destination located on Taiwan’s northeast coast. Offering more than 500 routes that range from easy to hard, Long Dong draws climbers from all around. Perfect for both trad and sport climbing alike, Long Dong provides stunning scenery as you climb. Spring, fall, and early winter are optimal times for visiting Long Dong; its crags won’t be as hot and humid, allowing easier route finding opportunities.
Long Dong climbing spots tend to attract both locals and expats. Since these cliffs don’t get as busy as some other popular destinations in Asia, you will usually have them to yourself; however, weekends may become quite busy with both locals and foreign climbers.
Long Dong boasts solid to semi-reliable bolts. However, metal corrosion is often an issue at seaside crags; therefore it is advised to bring along trad gear for safety reasons.
Long Dong’s cliffs are set amidst an ocean that boasts crystal-clear waters. Here, swimming and snorkeling are popular activities and provide plenty of excitement and discovery. Sandstone cliffs create an eerie dragon-like appearance along the coastline while housing hundreds of fish species and marine life.
Bus is the ideal way to reach the cliffs from Taipei, taking approximately an hour and costing 140 NT$. Buses can be found at Taipei West Bus Station Terminal A; ticket windows with signs for Luodong or Yilan should be used when purchasing tickets – head towards Hemei School North entrance once purchased for better access to these scenic spots.
Thakhek is a sleepy former French colonial town situated at the heart of Laos and features charming colonial-era buildings and a laidback pace of life, yet boasts an incredible karst region renowned as an Asian climbing mecca – it even contains Hang Son Doong cave, making Thakhek one of the greatest sport climbing hubs.
Karst formations offer plenty of rock climbing opportunities suitable for climbers of all experience levels. Although climbing is relatively new in Japan, some routes have already been established throughout the region – many rated V4 or higher and suitable for more experienced climbers. Newcomers to rock climbing can attend classes at the Green Climber’s Home where you will learn all the fundamentals.
Other than rock climbing, this region is famous for its beautiful scenery and picturesque limestone peaks. Additionally, there are numerous breathtaking waterfalls and scenic lakes to visit, villages where you can immerse yourself in local culture, as well as towns where you can immerse yourself further in their culture.
Be sure to consider the weather when planning your visit to Thakhek, as weather can drastically change depending on the season and can have an enormous effect on your experience. It’s recommended to visit between December and April when conditions are most comfortable and landscape is most strikingly beautiful.
Thakhek’s most preferred mode of travel is motorbike. There are multiple rental services in town and it’s simple to rent one from any point within the city. Make sure to wear protective gear while taking this trip.
Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba Island in Vietnam lies southeast of Hai Phong City and boasts picturesque beaches, majestic mountains and delectable seafood. Cat Ba is an ideal location for rock climbing and kayaking – you can rent climbing gear from there as well as professional services so that your experience is safe. Additionally, this island is home to seals as well as three species of dolphins!
This UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve boasts an abundance of natural habitats, from subtropical evergreen forests on hills to coastal mangrove forests, freshwater lakes, coral reefs, sandy beaches and coral reefs. Additionally, this park serves as a sanctuary for endangered Cat Ba langurs; visitors to the park can hike trails and discover caves while discovering wildlife.
Archipelago Islands offer an ideal karst landscape for rock climbing. There are more than 120 sport climbing routes on 13 crags across 13 islands of this archipelago and Dau Be Island, Ben Beo Mountain Cliff, and Ba Trai Dao Island are some of the more popular climbing sites for sport climbing enthusiasts. Winter months offer ideal conditions with cooler temperatures and less precipitation; making for ideal climbing weather!
Cat Ba Island can best be reached from Hanoi by bus and ferry, taking about four hours with scenic views along the way. When you reach Cat Ba, explore at your own pace; we suggest staying for at least three days to fully appreciate all its charms!
Halong Bay is an astounding natural masterpiece that offers serene beaches, floating villages, amazing caves and rock climbing opportunities that will leave your heart beating faster. One of Vietnam’s key geological sites – it lies along the Gulf of Tonkin in Quang Ninh Province in north eastern Vietnam with approximately 1,600 islands and islets rising out of its waters – Halong Bay is an absolute must-see when visiting Vietnam! A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994 and worthy of inclusion on any visitors list for Vietnam tourism.
Since 1994 when it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this stunning natural complex has drawn millions of tourists every year. With karst formations and spectacular islands scattered among calm emerald green waters, its pinnacles, towers and formations covered with lush vegetation make for spectacular snorkeling opportunities while its unspoiled islands make perfect spots for swimming or sunbathing on beautiful beaches.
Halong Bay remains an ecological and socio-economic wonder, even in spite of a high volume of visitor boats and recreational activities such as cruises. Its ecological and socio-economic effects remain well balanced and its regulations address tourist boat operation, mud dredging, land filling and fishing activities while its management and protection are regularly strengthened through local and provincial level legislation.
Some of Halong’s most well-known grottoes include Virgin Cave (Hang Trinh Nu), Hospital Cave, Surprise Cave and Thien Cung Cave – one of the finest examples with stunning formations of stalactites and stalagmites of various shapes and colors reminiscent of an extraordinary natural phenomena – made famous by a local legend which states that an innocent young woman committed suicide there and her body became stone.
Lan Ha Bay lies to the east of Halong Bay and offers an equally relaxing rock climbing experience. Home to 400 limestone cliffs and numerous rocky mountains, Lan Ha Bay draws avid adventurers – especially foreign visitors – looking for rock climbing paradise. It boasts beautiful scenery that captivates even casual adventurers!