Thailand: Ko Tao – Bouldering
Ko Tao, a beautiful island in the Gulf of Thailand that is known as a diver’ paradise. When you arrive to the island, first things you will see are granite stones scattered around great part of the island, they basically create the island.
There are several hundreds of boulders around the coast. Sometimes boulders are located right in the middle of sandy beaches, others are sprinkled as a heap on the edge of the beach so there are also everywhere in the jungle, where the rocks of various shapes and sizes wait for you to discover them. Bouldering is one of the most popular activities on Ko Tau. The island is one of the most popular destinations Thailand, this reflects on accommodation options. It is necessary to build new accommodation facilities. There are many hotels on many boulders or they are surrounded with hotels so they are of no use for climbers. Granite rockt are characteristic for its sharp structures.
Such dense housing development avoided My Frontyard, My Backyard, Secret Garden and Laem Thian. My Frontyard and My Backyard are areas well-accessible and they are visible from the main road so you can easily find them. You can’t reach Laem Thian even on scooter. By a 5 star hotel under construction (near the last turn to Laem Thian) you have to park your scooter and walk further about 30 minutes. Soon large boulders will appear on your right side. It is easier to find this area via GPS- N 10.0899747, E 99.8499075. Secret Garden is located on a private land, so it is better to keep around bungalows and don’t be very noisy. The most popular boulders are located at N 10.0940979, E 99.8331001 and the second at N 10.0942040, E 99.8337441. There are also beautiful boulders at Jansom Bay, however, today the beach is also private and you can enter it only if you pay 200 Bath (7 dollars).
There is only one shop for climbers on Ko Tau . It is calledGood Time Adventures. You can rent there shoes for bouldering, and other useful stuff. They also offer guides for 800 Bath (about 25 dollars) for an afternoon or morning. The shop is located at Sairee Beach (west of island) among resorts of Bans a AC resort - and in any other shop or restaurant Good Time Adventures they know and guide you there. It is hidden in a narrow shopping arcade so it is easy to miss them.
More information www.gtadventures.com (you can download a guide book there), email: Info@gtadventures.com, phone: 08 7275 3604. (maps are from: Schmitz, E., Changrua, W.: Rock Climbing Guidebook,.5th edition, 2009).
Text/photo: Martina Brožková
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