What could be better than two weeks under the sun and heat of Laos to cut the winter and climb on a beautiful limestone full of tuffas! This is what climbing in Thakhek offers, a real little piece of paradise for climbers.
Baptiste, my rope companion for this adventure, living in Lorraine, we had planned to join us in Bangkok and then resume a domestic flight to Nakhon Phanom, border town with Laos and not far from Thakhek. So we spent a night in Bangkok, and took the opportunity to visit some night markets including the atypical Chang Chui Market, both art center and party venue!
Once you arrive at Nakhon Phanom airport you then have to take a mini bus or tuktuk to get to the bus station and then take a bus to Thakhek. About an hour and a half drive, counting the border crossing. We paid for the visa directly at the border crossing. Once you arrive in Thakhek, it will cost you an additional 100,000 Kip to make the 12km journey to the camp, Green Climber Home.
The camp is located in the middle of nature and is surrounded on all sides by the cliffs. Most of the routes are beautiful, and there’s something for everyone from 5a to 8b. The approach steps are ridiculous, counting about 5 minutes in flip-flops for most areas! The classic day starts with a good breakfast at the camp restaurant, then climbs on the shaded areas in the morning: “Swiss Oldies” for a smooth warm-up in the 5th, “Botanical Garden” for beautiful tracks on colos in the 6th and “Hangover” and ” Partymeille” to heat the forearms!!
At noon, we return to the restaurant / bar, for a meal not too hearty accompanied by a good mango lassi! Then nap, swim, nap and if you still have energy, climb on the other side this time: Hilton for his ways in the 5 and 6 and the famous roof with plethora of hard tracks.
In short, Thakhek is a real little place of paradise for climbers. No matter what your level, there’s something for everyone. Life on site is easy, the restaurant is good and very affordable, and it is possible to bathe on site! For rest days, you can rent scooters to visit the city and its surroundings. We visited some temples and caves. It is also possible to perform a large loop of several days in the interior of the country. Most, non-climbing tourists, are there for this 🙂 Finally there are other climbing sites in Laos, referenced in the topo, but of lesser interest, but it is also possible to combine your stay with a visit to Tonsai in Thailand, another splendid place for climbing!