"Thaïlande - Krabi - Railay Beach" by Nicolas Vollmer via Flickr Creative Commons

Although the climbs may be spread out significantly, the vast regions of Asia and the Pacific have an exceptional catalog of established climbing sites. You’ll find loads of local climbing communities everywhere from the turquoise waters of Thailand’s Andaman Coast to New Zealand’s Golden Bay. As countries such as China and Malaysia begin to explore new routes you can expect this list to change dramatically in the near future.

  1. Krabi, Thailand The vertical limestone crags that rise directly out of the Andaman Sea are some of the finest tropical climbs in the world. Check out Rai Ley Beach for several world class routes.
  2. Golden Bay, New Zealand Considered the best limestone climbing in the Pacific, near Abel Tasman National Park. Highlights include the well known Payne’s Ford recreation area.
  3. Trango Tower, Pakistan The dramatic granite Trango Tower, aka Nameless Tower, on the north side of the Baltoro Glacier in Northern Pakistan features one of the most impressive vertical drops in the world.
  4. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam The limestone pillars rising directly out of the Gulf of Tonkin at this UNESCO world Heritage site make for some of the most fantastic climbing in Southeast Asia. Not much of a local scene, but more and more expats and visitors are helping fine tune the best routes.
  5. Mount Arapiles, Australia More than 3,000 climbs of every skill level can be found at this classic climbing destination with lengths ranging from 30 to 560 feet.
  6. Yangshuo, China China’s number one rock climbing destination with more than 200 bolted routes and numerous tour operators offering climbs.
  7. Katmandu, Nepal While Nepal may have some of the best trekking and mountaineering in the world, it lacks a wide variety of rock climbs. Still the sport is growing and there are some good routes such as Nagarjun Forest (17-18 climbing routes ranging from 5 to 7A) and Hattiban (six routes at 6A-6B+ grades).
  8. Kullu Valley, India This area near Manali in Himachal Pradesh features some of the highest reaches of the Himalayas and is a major adventure sports center.
  9. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Kuala Lumpur, specifically around the limestone outpost of Batu, is Malaysia’s most popular climb site. The north of the country and Borneo are just starting to be explored though, so expect the sport to grow here tremendously in the near future.
  10. Ramanagaram Rocks, India This climb site in Karnataka, just 31 miles from Bangalore, is one of the subcontinent’s best and the setting for the Hindu movie Sholay.

Click here for an Introduction to Rock / Ice Climbing Vacations