Huu Lung, Vietnam
Huu Lung is located in Lang Son province, approximately 110 km North-East from Hanoi. Developed by Francis Haden and VietClimb back in May 2012, this area has a lot potentials for further development. So far, there are 30 or so routes in the area. Though remote, it is not too hard to find accommodations and transportation for independent travelers.
Thakhek is the capital of Khammouane province. The climbing area “Pha Tam Kam” is hidden 15km away from Thakhek town center. Green Climber’s Home is the perfect home base for serious climbers, since reasonably priced food and shelters (bungalows, dorms, tents) are conveniently located within 10 minutes walking distance to the crags. However, you can commute on rental motorcycles or tuktuks for more accommodation choices in town.
Nearly 150 routes offer different styles: from thin face climb to 3D stalagtites hopping to horizontal roof. Thanks to the recent bolting development, the rock is still far from being polished.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Located near a small village called Ban Sahakon in Mae On district, Crazy Horse Buttress is 34km away from Chiang Mai city. With more than 150 routes on structured limestone formation, it is easy to spend weeks climbing here. This climbing area has been developed with tremendous efforts and the right mind set – safe bolting, trash and human waste management, trails and belay platform building, water refill to minimize plastic use, etc.
Undeniably, Chiang Mai city offers plenty of accommodation choices and sightseeing opportunities, and to get to the crag you can either rent a scooter, hire a tuk tuk, or hitch the red trucks departing from CMRCA. However the city scene wears off quickly and the 45-minute commute can be weary after a day of climbing.
For faint-hearted climbers like us who failed the scooter driving test in the chaotic traffic, staying near the crag is very pleasant. One of the best things about staying in Mae On near is that it is not as touristy as Chiang Mai city. You won’t find Starbucks, pizza or knock-off Mexican restaurants here but you won’t miss out on local good eats and homey lodgings, all coming with an affordable price tag.