Stop press - there are now a good selection of beginner routes on Koh Yao Noi, which are all in pristine condition, unlike the beginner routes on Railay-Tonsai, which are now all polished by such high usage.
Koh Yao’s rock-faces are fast becoming Thailand’s next vertical playground. In the high season, when Railay and Tonsai are inundated with thousands of climbers, the best rock-climbing destination in Thailand is now Koh Yao Noi, with over a hundred routes of varied grades, all in pristine condition and affording wonderful views from the tops of its semi-deserted crags.
The climbing on Koh Yao Noi is perfect for the more adventurous climber, though it's not necessary to be able to climb advanced grades. For mid-range climbers this is currently the best destination in Thailand. The Railay/Tonsai routes in the range 6a - 6b+ are all highly polished and overcrowded in the high season, whereas on Koh Yao Noi the many new routes at these levels are in mint condition and never crowded.
Koh Yao Noi has some of the best rock climbing crags in Thailand.
The Grateful Wall, on the north side of Koh Yao Noi, is possibly the
best wall for moderate climbing in the whole of Thailand. Also, the setting is unbeatable
- perched 5 meters above the sea, you are blessed with amazing views
of the islands scattered throughout Phang-Nga Bay.
For those who liked exposed, airy, long, moderate routes the Mitt is phenomenally good if somewhat intimidating. Other crags are not listed in any guidebook or in this website's route directory, as we need special permission to climb there from the local bird’s
Located amongst some of the most popular islands in the region, these
secret crags offers up amazing climbing for the more experienced climber.
The HD Wall, the Dump Wall and the Big Tree Wall are located a stiff hike away
from Paradise Beach. The private nature of the rock climbing experience on
Koh Yao Noi is a great alternative to the crowds of Railay and Tonsai
during the high season.
For more advanced climbers the Watchtower and The Hang offer more extreme rock gymnastics. As of July 2009 there are 7c's awaiting second ascent.
Koh Yao Noi climbing offers a full spectrum of grades, face climbs, multi-pitch climbing, stalactites and three- dimensional puzzles.
Many crags in the Koh Yao Noi area are only accessible by boat, ensuring that you
will climb well away from any crowds. From Koh Yao Noi, you will climb
at areas not listed in any guidebooks, and on unknown islands off the Thailand tourism
The Koh Yao Noi area offers some of southern Thailand's best deep water soloing. There are some easy DWS routes available here, making this Thailand's best place to learn to deep water solo.
Thanks to Mark and Heather Miner for providing the following details of the routes on Koh Yao Noi. They publish the only comprehensive guide book to climbing on Koh Yao Noi, which independant climbers will find indespensible. On Railay, there are always people around the crags to ask advice from, or to borrow a guidebook from. This isn't the case on KYN: the crags are often deserted year-round and, if you want to know how to reach them and which routes to climb when you get there, you need a guidebook. Marc and Heather can be contacted on www.themountainshop.org. Thanks are also due to Marc and Heather for their stirling efforts in putting up so many of the fantastic new routes on the island. Bolting new routes is expensive, so visiting climbers arriving bearing bolts will be particularly well-received. Donations of cash, old ropes and carabiners are also very much appreciated.
On Kob Yao Noi we only offer private guiding, which costs THB 6,000 per day for up to 2 people, including tuition, all equipment hire and lunch. In addition to this, climbers need to reach the crags. This is free if you are staying at Paradise Resort, which is within walking distance of the crags. Otherwise we need to charter a longtail boat, which costs THB 2,000 / day.