Krabi doesn’t just have amazing beaches. It has amazing beaches with towering picturesque limestone cliffs that make it among the world’s best and biggest rock climbing destinations. And actually, if you find yourself in Krabi in mid April, it’s a perfect opportunity to watch or even join the Krabi Rock and Fire International Contest.
Back in April 2014 we had the pleasure of witnessing the Krabi Rock and Fire International Contest. It’s Thailand’s largest rock climbing competition and features lead climbing and deep water soloing. It has some bad ass freestyle fire shows, too.
Talk about athleticism! These men and women show off their skill and physical prowess during their two-day performances. Sometimes it was all we could do to keep our jaws from dropping in awe.
When and Where
All of the events of the Krabi Rock and Fire International Contest take place in the little town of Railay. It’s a sub-district of Krabi that’s only about a 30 minute drive from Krabi’s airport and another fifteen minute ride by long-tail boat.
The competition takes place on every year over the course of two days in mid April. The sign-up & sign-in area and main stage is at Phra Nang Cave Beach. There are some pretty hefty cash grand prizes for the winners, too.
The rock climbing competition is split between the cliffs at Phra Nang Cave Beach and at Tonsai Beach. Both of these cliff areas are used by climbers year-round.
The deep water soloing takes place in Ao Nang Bay. Here you can arrange for a small boat to take you from Ao Nang Beach out to a barge to watch the competitors. Competitors climb the cliffs that overhang the water and then jump off into deep waters of the Andaman Sea below.
The freestyle fire competition takes place on Railay West Beach. A large stage is set up along the beach-front restaurants and the competition starts after nightfall.
Although we later learned that fire shows occur fairly frequently on Thailand’s beaches, this was the first show we had ever seen and it was awesome!
Who Can Enter the Krabi Rock and Fire International Contest
Anyone can sign up, amateurs and professionals alike, and take part in the Krabi Rock and Fire International Contest. You can apply in advance or simply join the day of the event. Sign-up tables are located on Phra Nang Cave Beach.
The climbing contest is broken into categories based on skill level and men and women groups. There are roughly 600 different climbing routes that span across the cliffs at the two beaches, so people of any levels of skills and experience are welcomed.
Going Rock Climbing and Getting Equipment in Krabi
In case you want to compete in the Krabi Rock and Fire International Contest, or even rock climb in Krabi at any time of the year, you don’t need to worry about bringing your own gear with you. There are several companies you can rent gear and even take rock climbing classes with, including:
Tex Rock Climbing
(075) 637-125 or (081) 476-6035
Deep Water Soloing in Krabi
For anyone who wants to take rock climbing to the next level, try out deep water soloing. With only a pair of climbing shoes (and a lot of courage), you can rock climb free solo above water. Mountaineers will love the rush of pushing themselves to the limit without the interruption of placing gear or worrying about a belayer. You can go on this ultimate thrill-seeking adventure with:
Wee’s Climbing School
Contact Information and Location
The best way to sign-up for the Krabi Rock and Fire International Contest in advance is to contact the Tourism Authority of Thailand office.
TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) Krabi Office
(075) 622-163 or (075) 612-8112
DISCLAIMER: A big thanks goes out to the TAT for sponsoring this trip!