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Tonsai Tower

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Tonsai Tower  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 30'
Location: 7.7347, 98.7657 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 19,316
Administrators: Nate Ball, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ryan Kelly on Jul 31, 2007
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Warning Stainless-steel bolts are suspect near the coast. A rebolting effort is underway. MORE INFO >>>


The main climbing wall on the beautiful island of Ko Phi Phi Don; not to be confused with Tonsai Wall or Tonsai Beach on the Phra Nang Peninsula. A large wall with nearly 30 moderate routes and a few hard ones as well. Two routes summit the 450 foot tower.

The protection on Tonsai Tower is completely made up of titanium and stainless steel glue in bolts, and all have been placed after the year 2000. The stainless bolts are much newer, and were of better quality to begin with, than most of the bolts in Railey. The correct, Red Hilti RE-500 Glue was used as well. There have been NO failures... compared to about one per week in Railey! The slings and anchor threads are regularly changed and can be trusted, but as always in Thailand, inspect all of the protection you are clipping!

EVERY SINGLE ANCHOR on Tonsai Tower has at least one Titanium Bolt.

The wall is popular with climbing schools, but the guides rarely work on the left side of the tower, or on anything above 5.8. Most of them are very accommodating if you really want to climb something they are using.

The increasing number of gumbies climbing here in high season is the largest hazard, followed by monkeys that will take your food if you leave it laying around.

The tower is packed full of routes and this does take away from some of the climbs. However, the features allow the entire wall to be climbed so that is what happened. See the route descriptions to find out what routes to do and which ones to skip.

Getting There 

Head out of Phi Phi town toward Tonsai bay and continue west along the beach towards the towering (aptly named) Tonsai Tower (“Tonsai” meaning tower). You can’t miss it. When the Tsunami Evacuation Path turns right toward the Drinking Wall, stay straight on the beach and you'll see the tower.

Follow the beach to the end and say hello to Pi Dar and Bong Dot at Phi Phi Popular Beach Resort. Walk UNDER the left side of the last bungalow, and head up and right the rocky scramble with fixed ropes, 5 min to the wall.

The trail comes out where Gladiator heads up and left, and three other climbs are packed in on the right.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.1 miles from here

37 Total Routes

['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',14],['2 Stars',14],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Tonsai Tower:
Golden Copulation   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 2 pitches, 130'   
High Noon (Formerly Mr. Phi Phi)   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 80'   
Gladiator   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
Stolen Russian Submarine   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   
The Severed Garden   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 60'   
Rev de Phi Phi Don   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 6 pitches, 450'   
Browse More Classics in Tonsai Tower

Featured Route For Tonsai Tower
Just before the crux.  Photo: David Kaszlikowski

Vertical Vision 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a  Asia : Thailand : ... : Tonsai Tower
Probably one of the most exposed pitches in all of Thailand! This climb starts on the orange ledge 90 meters up the wall. From the belay, traverse right past a titanium bolt and a thread and stem out to a large free hanging stalactite. Be gentle! Continue up and right past another large tufa. Get out on the tufa for the powerful crux move, and then up and right for a pumpy and extremely airy finish! ...[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of Tonsai Tower Slideshow Add Photo
Macaque at the base of the tonsai tower.  Watch ou...
Macaque at the base of the tonsai tower. Watch ou...
looking down from Tonsi Tower
looking down from Tonsi Tower
Deanna Lee on Tonsi Tower
Deanna Lee on Tonsi Tower
Right side base. Note the chunky nature of the roc...
Right side base. Note the chunky nature of the roc...

Comments on Tonsai Tower Add Comment
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By Ryan Kelly
From: work.
Aug 1, 2007
These were all taken from memory and pieced together with what little notes I took in my guidebook. And of course, info learned from Lightner's book. If anything seems severly out of whack, drop me an email and I'll fix it up. Have fun in Thailand.
By caughtinside
From: Oakland CA
Aug 1, 2007
I think those new bungalows at the end of the beach might be the best deal going on phi phi, we paid 800 baht for one. They wanted nothing to do with bargaining below that... They had 8 bungalows when we got there, 3 days later when we left there were another 8 under construction, they were so in demand...
By Ken H
From: Bell
Feb 12, 2011
We were here in 2007 (against the rumors of sewage on the beach from the Tsunami) and there was almost no one and you probably could get a bungalow on the beach for 800 baht. We are back and I think those are now 3,000 bath and booked full (Feb 2011). We got a fair private room (with bathroom) in town for 1,200 for 2/1,500 for 3 and people are waiting everyday to see if we are checking out.
By TAvance154
Dec 3, 2012
BRING BUG SPRAY! I had the time of my life climbing at this crag for a few days. But I've never had more bug bites in my entire life. You could play connect the dots on my leg for hours. Also..Don't feed the monkeys either, or they'll never leave you alone.

I stayed at the Popular Beach Resort which happened to be the closest place to the routes. Ended up being about 90 bucks(in April) a night(US dollars) which was alright split between 3 people. A/C room with private bath and tv.

Can't say enough how much fun I had out there! The people at the Deaf Gecko are awesome too, they will answer any question you have and are really close to the tower.
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