9/14/10 - I just spent a week climbing about Tonsai and Railey and southern Thailand and was surprised at how many of southeast Asia’s climbing areas are still unheard of by travelers. Several of the climbers I met were on extended trips in Southeast Asia and were shocked to hear that the area they just left had climbing.
I have to admit, after ten years of living in Asia, I should realize that information is hard to find. Most areas I know about I learned via word of mouth. The information trickles in, but it’s very limited. Many of the areas have tiny local guidebooks, but they are not readily available. Even the World Wide Web doesn’t help unless you know about a specific area already.
To help the traveling climber, I’m going to blog about some of the lesser known areas in southeast Asia. I plan on writing about the areas I’ve seen and climbed first hand. I plan on sharing a bit from the climbing guide I writing each time. Hope it helps you with your travels in Asia.
I’ll start with Guangzhou in southern China, but I’ll be providing information on various climbing destinations in Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, including Borneo, and Vietnam. I’m going to mention areas that are near where travelers end up, either on business or along the southeast Asian backpacking trails.
Southern China, Guangzhou.
Rock Climbing on White Cloud Mountain
I lived in Guangzhou for two years and was very surprised to discover the city had a bit of fun climbing available without even leaving the city. When you consider that most of the manufacturing in China reaches Guangzhou at one point or another, it’s not surprising that I met many climbers on business trips in there. Many of them did the same thing as me, typed Guangzhou Climbing into a search engine. Most found nothing more than my email address and a few random posts on my personal blog. Once in town, they were very happy to head to the cliff for half a day of climbing.
Baiyun Mountain, aka White Cloud Mountain, is within 30 minutes of any hotel in Guangzhou, even with traffic. Jump in a taxi, and ask the driver to take you to Baiyun San, and you’ll find yourself at the base of the cable car. From the top of the cable car, a 20-minute walk leads you the cliff located behind the tennis court. If you show up on a Sunday, you’ll find half a dozen climbers sharing food, conversation, and ropes.
The cliff high on the mountain is very solid sandstone, roughly 50 feet high, and hosts a dozen-plus sport routes. Most routes are in the 5.10 range, but a couple easier or more challenging routes are available.
Eman recently finished a climber's guide to Okinawa, the first English guidebook on rock climbing in Japan, which you can find on Amazon.com.
See more at Eman's website: class5photos.blogspot.com