Thailand: Phra Nang and Ton Sai Beaches
We have already mentioned the Phra Nang beach. It is the most beautiful beach (like popular Railey beaches) on cape Laem Phra Nang. The best thing about this beach is that there are no bungalows (only 2 exits from 5 star bungalows).
Also, there are no grocery shops, stalls with refreshments, nor bars. You can get there only from Railey east along the karst cave of Phra Nang . Also, you will walk by a steep “road” with lines that will lead you to view point and a lagoon in the center of a cliff. You can get on the beach from the south side on direction to south cliff where people can climb. Steep cliffs line the beach on the north, which gives it nice atmosphere. By the beach is the Happy island. During low tide you can walk there by your own, water is no higher than your waist. There are also mapped climbing routes but hooks are bended on some places, meaning you are forbidden to climb there.
Right when you arrive on the beach you will notice large stalactite right on the middle of the road. Its peak is two meters above ground and below is about half-meter stool. It is a tourist attraction for non-climbers and they like to embrace stalactite to look cool on photographs. But it is a challenge for non-climbers. As we spoke with other climbers they also had this idea about conquering this large stalactite. But it is indeed no easy task.
If you get on the stool (if you have at least average height) the stalactite will end between your chest and shoulders. Thus you have to have really strong arms to pull yourself up and to maneuver. Grips are there splendid, but it is worse with legs which you have to crouch in front of your body. Also beware of your thorax that you can easily scrape, as many boulders do, during first pull up. It is because your are trying to balance your body when you are getting off the stool and you lean forward. A guide who had a course for one French family gave them advice how to conquer the stalactite across the wall on which it hangs. Anyway, conquest of this stalactite would leave you full of memories. The boulder wall is overhang but it gives good climbing opportunities as it has small as well as large grips. However, grips are slippery because the cliff is located right at the beach. Should you decide to boulder there I can guarantee you will end on photos of many tourists who will take pictures of you in awe what are you doing.
Should you walk little further you will encounter original falus temple, the princess temple in the cliff right on the beach. There are many wooden stakes with red tips. When you see the temple you are on the right place. There are many 6a and higher trails above and below the temple. The wall is in shadow during the whole day. Guides often come here to conduct their courses (they usually have four people or a couple). The cost is 800 Baths (about 26 dollars) per person a day.
The trails are well-equiped with grips and hooks, but there are also “fixed” loops. Stands are made of loops with three point fixation. The trails are interesting and when you get on the end of it (about 12 meters) you can enjoy beautiful view of the beach.
The Ton Sai climb walls are much more difficult than those on the Phra Nang thus climb schools don’t conduct their courses there. During low tide you can walk across from the Railey west to north on rocks or on kayak. You can rent kayaks on the Railey west.
Text/photo: Martina Brožková
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