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Rock-Climbing

Climbers discovered the cliffs around Nang Cape in the late 1980s. The mostly vertical cliffs rising up out of the sea were, and certainly are, a dream come true for hard-core climbers. Today anyone daring enough can learn to scale the face of a rock (and to jump off it) in one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. There are 500 to 600 established climbing routes. Notable feats include the Tonsai Beach overhang and Thaiwand Wall, where climbers must use lanterns to pass through a cave and then rappel down from the top. Beginners can learn some skills through half-day or full-day courses for fixed rates of B1,200 or B2,000, respectively. Most climbing organizations are found on East Railay. Slightly less adventurous, or more spendthrift, types can try the free climb to "the lagoon." The lagoon itself isn't all that impressive, but the view from the top is spectacular. The trailhead for the fairly arduous climb up the occasionally near-vertical mud, rock, vine, and fixed-rope ascent is along the path to Phra Nang Beach, immediately across from the gazebo. Watch out for monkeys!

Cliffs Man. Cliffs Man is one of the more reputable rock climbing schools. Nang Cape. 075/621768 or 012/304619.

Tex Rock Climbing. Half-day to three-day climbing courses can be arranged here. Nang Cape. 075/631509.

King Climbers. All the guides here are accredited by the ACGA and have a minimum of five years' climbing experience. Nang Cape. 075/637125. www.railay.com.