I recently came back from a trip to Thakhek, Laos. Its an area full of solid sport climbing routes. It has a similar concept to what Krabi offers. But I feel like I’ve taken a liking to this new place more. ☺ Its really beautiful.
The idea for this trip first came about when I asked Mean where she was going to climb for the holidays. Both of us taught at schools and the only time to go out climbing was during the school holidays. Mean is from Bangkok, Thailand and we’ve known each other for a few years now since we met at competitions.
I was heading to Khon Kaen in thailand with the NUS team to boulder. Mean was going to join Harry, her coach from Sweden, to climb at Thakhek. Harry is from Indonesia and currently lives in sweden with his wife, Fatima and two boys Arifin and Leontin. I havent done some sport climbing outdoors for about 4 years. Its been boulder trip after boulder trip. So i thought i’d take this chance to go to this place at the Green Climbers Home to check it out.
When we got there, the temperature was about 20 degrees, pretty cooling. The campsite was pretty neat and clean. Mean and I slept in the dorms. They had slacklines and one main restaurant at the campsite.
This place is filled with people from around the world who come to climb. We met and ate with people from malaysia, philippines, japan, finland, canada, and just about anywhere in the world.
Access to the crags required us to cross a few small streams behind the campsite. The bridges were pretty cool and some even a slackline. The trails are pretty obvious so you'll hardly lose your way.
Climbing at Thakhek is full of different routes. There were face climbs and overhangs, and this one mega roof that everyone hangs around at in the evening. Sun and the heat are not so much of a problem, as there are lots of walls in the shade to climb at.
Eventually we worked on each of our individual projects.
Here is a list of routes that I climbed:
- Unbreakable 6c+, 41m
- Sintesizer 7a — flash
- Bullenpogo 7b — to be done
- Monkey trail 7b+ — to be done
- Hans dampf 6b, 35m
- Stalker 7a — flash
- Konterbier 7b+ — sent
- Mon general 6c — onsight
- Special forces 7c+ — sent
- Kickapoo 7a+, 30m — to be done
- Dr Isa 7c+, 20m☺👍🏼 next proj!
We did some exploring under the mountains, look through caves. Laos is famous for their many caves and we even had one in our own backyard.
On off days, or days we feel like we still have some skin, mean and I played around with their campus boards and did some light training. Or we walked the slacklines.
We rented some motorbikes and took a trip out to Thakhek town on one of our rest days. We rode to find a cave and just spent some time outside of climbing. Watermelons are sold by the side of the road for only 10,000 kip. Thats like 40 baht. Very refreshing. Thakhek is quite a quiet area, but filled with scenic landscapes and a relaxing town. Its really a beauty to climb here.
Mean and I made a video of our trip there. You can see it here: https://youtu.be/U5cdmOHDCGY
Till next time!