Thailand is considered to be one of the most beautiful and exciting climbing destination in the world. While there, one place you should not miss is the climber’s paradise of Koh Lao Liang.
Curious? If you want to see a sneak preview, watch Rock & Sun’s Thailand video.
Rock Climbing On Lao Liang
For close to thirty years Thailand has been the tropical sport climbing destination of choice. Lao Liang, developed by Rock & Sun about 12 years ago, is a must visit destination for any sport climber. It is a climbing paradise consisting of classic three dimensional climbing on pocketed limestone walls, tufas, flow-stone formations and caves.
This idyllic small island resort is less than two kilometres in length, consisting of a long sandy beach and an impressive sea cliff. Not surprisingly, most of the climbs on Koh Lao Liang begin straight from the golden sandy beach, while some require a knee-deep belay from the ocean, with the rope in a rucksack or on a kayak. It is not uncommon to spot dolphins, sea eagles, kingfishers, turtles or flying fish while gazing down from belay ledges on multi pitch routes or during boat trips between the islands. The accommodation is in the form of double room frame tents pitched under tree cover and never more than 25m from the beach with power, lighting and fans – most people would describe this as glamping rather than camping! The catering is excellent and is full board buffet style for all meals. There is a bar on the beach with lounging areas and hammocks nearby. The bar operates an honesty system during the day and bar staff serve cocktails, beers and soft drinks in the evening (you won’t need your wallet until it’s time to settle your bar bill at the end of your stay).
The island has been developed as a climbing destination within the past 10 years. Being about 16km from the mainland, it has an off the beaten track, exclusive feel to it. So no polish and no crowds! There are rarely more than 20 climbers staying at any one time and there is an abundance of routes from grade 4 to 7C. The climbing is in the sun until 11am, making this the perfect place to relax in the morning and climb in the afternoon. Mornings usually consist of reading a book in the sun, swimming, snorkelling, kayaking or fishing. After lunch, you’ll be climbing some of the best routes in Thailand. With the majority of the climbing being less than two minutes walking distance from your tent, a full days climbing can be had even when starting after mid-day.
Type Of Climbing:
- Great for all abilities
- Grades from 4 to 7C
- About 50 routes
- About 70 pitches
- Great for non climbers and family members
- Climb straight off the beach
- Sport climbing
- Single pitch
- TOP DESTINATION
- Accommodation is in large frame tents
- Transfers to/from the island are not included in the price
- Non Refundable
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Water, Tea, Coffee
- Accommodation in large frame tents
- Guided/Instructed Climbing
- Transfer with minivan from Trang airport/bus station/railway station to Had Sam Ran pier
- Transfer with Long tail boat from Had Sam Ran pier to Lao Liang
- Transfer with Long tail boat from Lao Liang to Had Sam Ran pier
- Transfer with minivan from Had Sam Ran pier to Trang bus station/airport/city
- Minivan rate is 300 Baht/person/1 way
- Long tail boat rate is 500 Baht/person/1 way
When to go
Koh Lao Liang is not open year-round. This year the island has opened on November 1st 2016 and will close sometime in March 2017. After that, it will close for the low season and monsoon. We recommend to avoid Christmas and New Year if you can, because it might be very busy on the island during these holidays.
How Long To stay
We recommend a 4 night stay on the island to get the best out of your trip. When staying for 4 nights, you can climb on the afternoon of your arrival day, then you’ll have 3 full days on which you can relax or go snorkelling, swimming, fishing, kayaking in the morning and go climbing from about 11.30 onwards. The next day you will leave sometime around lunchtime.
With Whom To Go
We do not recommend going to Lao Liang on your own (if you’re a climber). The beauty of the island is that it is often quiet, but this also means that you might struggle to find someone to climb with. Therefore we recommend to find a climbing partner first and then travel to Lao Liang together. Another option is to join one of Rock & Sun’s guided twelve night Sport Climbing Holidays.
It goes without saying that the island is perfect for couples, friends as well as families. The island also has a lot to offer for non-climbers (snorkelling, swimming, kayaking, sunbathing etc).
Prices are based on sharing a tent. There are tents for 2 persons (2 separate mattresses that can be used as a twin room, or pushed together as a double), and there are ‘Family tents’ that sleep up to 4 people (f.i. parents on one side, children on the other; or it can f.i. be shared by 3 friends).
How To Book
Many people have asked us how to make a reservation for staying on Lao Liang. Some online booking agents mention that the island is fully booked for the whole season, while other agents don’t have a record of Lao Liang Island resort. Because we have been going to Lao Liang for about 10 years, we are in direct contact with the management of the island. We will check availability with them directly before taking your booking.
We offer packages to Lao Liang, including 4 nights accommodation in a tent (based on sharing), including breakfast, lunch, dinner and water, tea, coffee.
To enquire about availability for your dates, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that bookings for Lao Liang are non-refundable.
How to Get there
There are several ways to get to Lao Liang, all of which start in Trang. There are 3 locations in Trang from which a minivan can take you to the Had Sam Ran pier, from where the longtail boat leaves to the island. The three pick up locations in Trang are: Trang airport, Trang bus station and SriTrang hotel, which is very near to Trang’s railway station. Make your own way to one of these locations and you will be picked up sometime between 10am and 12 (timings depend on other travellers arriving on the same day as you). After a 30 – 40 minute drive you will arrive at Had Sam Ran pier. The Longtail boat leaves sometime between 11am and 1pm. After about an hour on the boat, you will arrive on Koh Lao Liang, where lunch is ready to be served.
Please remember that the cost of the transfers to/from the island is NOT INCLUDED in the package price. When sharing with other people, the minivan costs 300 Baht/person/1 way, and the long tail boat costs 500 Baht/person/1 way. There is only one boat a day. If you want to go by boat in the afternoon, a private boat needs to be arranged, against 3000 Baht/boat. On departure day, the boat aims to leave the island around lunchtime.
Things to keep in mind
Please remember that you are on a small island that is about 16 kilometres offshore. This has a few important consequences:
Be extra aware of safety while climbing. Look at your potential fall before you commit to a ‘low-percentage’-move. If you don’t think the fall will be clean, don’t commit to the move. A climbing accident on this island can be a disaster because you are at least 3 hours travelling away from an international hospital.
Please do not waste water. Keep your showers short and if you see a leaking tap or toilet, please inform a staff member so it can be fixed. All fresh water is being delivered by a water boat that only comes a few times a week.
What to Bring?
Please note there are no shops on Lao Liang. We recommend to bring the following:
An 80m or 70m rope
18 or more quickdraws
Shoes, Harness, Screwgates, Slings, Helmet, Chalk, First Aid Kit
Big beach mat to keep the sand off your rope
Snacks (crisps, nuts, sweets)
Baby powder (perfect solution to dry your feet and get the sand off before putting on your climbing shoes – plus it prevents your feet and shoes from getting smelly)
Long trousers and shirt with long sleeves for evenings
Book, game or music instrument
The tents are supplied with a fan, plug socket, light, 2 mattresses, bed linen and towels.
We Recommend Protectivity Insurance: