Newfound Climbing Glory: Green Climbers’ Home in Thakhek, Laos

I’m back!!!! After a month with no reliable internet connection, I’m now in the best possible position to start updating you all on all that you’ve missed! 🙂 I hope you are fantastic!

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We met Yonas in Chiang Mai. He’s a friendly guy Nico climbed with a few times at the Crazy Horse Buttress (the relatively well-known climbing crag in northern Thailand). I also managed to join them for a solid day’s worth of climbing during our last day. 6 consecutive successful climbs – including a long and hard 6a – after finally recovering from my diving injury at Koh Phi Phi.

I couldn’t have felt more motivated about rock climbing.

Nico and I had planned to spend a significant amount of time climbing in Vang Vieng. We had hoped to replace any possible disappointment from tubing with satisfaction from climbing. However, Yonas had just returned to Thailand from Laos, raving about the climbing scene in a virtually unknown town called Thakhek. Comparatively, he hardly hesitated to advise us to skip climbing in Vang Vieng altogether, and recommended we allocate more time in Thakhek instead.

Route from Vientiene to Thakhek in Laos (Map)

Route from Vientiene to Thakhek in Laos (Map)

We reduced our intended climbs in Vang Vieng to two days, and extended our cumulative time spent in Laos by about a week to add another town to our itinerary.

 

Crossing a stream near the crag at Green Climber’s Home, Thakhek, Laos

Crossing a stream near the crag at Green Climber’s Home, Thakhek, Laos

Thakhek town is pretty basic… with little charm and not much to do or see. However, what the town lacks, the climbing crag compensates. The scenery, countryside and isolation are simply remarkable. Unlike many climbing destinations, accommodation is available on the crag.

Nico took this remarkable night photo of our bungalow on the crag in Thakhek, Laos

Nico took this remarkable night photo of our bungalow on the crag in Thakhek, Laos

About 2-3 minutes from our gorgeous bungalow are the majority of routes. The belaying surface is generally flat. There’s no need to walk or trek or climb or kayak extensively in order to get to a good wall (as is the case in Tonsai, for example).

Climbing in Thakhek, Laos

Climbing in Thakhek, Laos

There’s a lovely restaurant on site that serves various dishes (highly recommended are the Western style chicken salad and the mint and yoghurt shake). The German owners – Tanya and Uli – are hardcore climbers (having bolted many of the routes themselves), super friendly and managing their site in conjunction with Green Discovery Laos – the only sustainable eco-tourism company available in Laos.

View from our bungalow, Thakhek, Laos

View from our bungalow, Thakhek, Laos

What makes our experience even more spectacular is that the site is brand new! Only open in Dec 2011, not only were the facilities sparkly clean and shiny, but we managed to enjoy the new climbing scene with few people actually knowing about it.

This is climbable crag on the left: phenomenal. Mostly 6b and 6c+ routes. Some harder – and all in a dramatic overhang

This is climbable crag on the left: phenomenal. Mostly 6b and 6c+ routes. Some harder – and all in a dramatic overhang

A wonderfully quiet, active and relaxing way to spend 8 days. Living in a bamboo hut at the foot of cliffs. Climbing. Eating. Siesta… Climbing. Eating. Sleeping. Then the same cycle all over again. No traffic. No noise. No internet. No phones. The nearest town – Thakhek – 12 kilometres away.

But hurry – a representative from a travel guide visited Green Climber’s Home in January. Lonely Planet will soon be next. As details will be published in the next edition, I worry that much of what I’ve written above may no longer be true. If you are long overdue a climbing trip, and are looking for your next destination, try Thakhek. Sooner rather than later.

 

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4 thoughts on “Newfound Climbing Glory: Green Climbers’ Home in Thakhek, Laos

  1. Pingback: Notes on Rock Climbing at Green Climbers Home in Thakhek, Laos … | The Rock Climbing SIte

  2. Pingback: Notes on Rock Climbing at Green Climbers Home in Thakhek, Laos « Time Out – New Beginnings

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