This is perhaps the primarily reason I went to Krabi. We went from Ao Nang to Railey and took a boat to the Phi Phi Islands as our route. Cliff diving is only available in Ton Sai, which is a short longboat ride away from Phi Phi Don.
Cliff diving is a very unregulated sport – basically, you do it at your own risk. You’ll have to place full trust on the guide too coz he’s not jumping and you’re sure you’ve seen rocks underneath the cliff.
What cliff diving is all about:
1. Chartering a longboat to take you to Ton Sai
2. Finding a suitable cliff and swimming from the longboat to the cliff
3. Climb up the razor sharp rock face to the jump off point
4. Leap off the cliff into the water below
5. Swim back to the longboat (unless you see a pool of red slowly spreading, then don’t bother, coz you’ve jumped into rocks )
The first one we did was 10 meters. The longboat stopped and I swam to the cliffs with the guide who showed me where to jump. I didn’t bring my digicam along coz I figured it won’t survive the 10 meter plunge.
I really, really wish I did coz the cliff that you have to climb is fucking dangerous. It’s not rocks, it’s more like razor sharp outcroppings – millions of them – which is where I cut my hands too. There is no path per se, so if you slip you’ll be impaled by the sharp rocks. It looks like this:
I was a bit wary coz the guide was pulling my (third) leg about injuries to the family jewels. He claimed his balls hit the water hard at a 10 meter jump and insisted I protect it. 🙁
The 10 meter cliff dive was from an outcropping of rock and the view down is fantastic. You get a thrill from looking down, not knowing if there’s rocks underneath and then jumping.
I urged my travel companion to try it as well and she did, much to my surprise. Kudos! She figures she can only do “crazy shit” like this with me so she might as well do it while she’s there.
I wanted more so I asked the guide to bring me to the 30 meter point, and off we went!
It followed the same routine of swimming from the long boat -> climbing up a jagged razor sharp cliff that I swear will cause serious injury if you misstep -> the jump into water. I was at the 20 meter point and wanted to climb further up.
My guide won’t go. He said it was too dangerous and despite me insisting on going on and paying him more money, he still won’t do the precarious climb to 30 meters. I offered him 500 baht extra (RM 50). It’s a no. He pointed to the jump site. It was a 20 meter jump off a branch of a tree.
This is one of the MOST ill conceived on-the-spot, “Hey, let’s make something up” seat-of-the-pants shit I’ve ever seen. I looked at my guide incredulously. He was dead serious. I was going to climb out off a cliff at 20 meters to a branch of unknown integrity and jump from it.
Call it a leap of faith.
I did it, landed badly (if you see the video, you’ll notice it took me a while to resurface coz it knocked the breath out of me). I still have chest pains to this very day. Crap.
I still insisted on going for the 30 meter jump though but the guide was vehemently against it.
He’ll get into trouble if I die.
(and I thought we had chartered an unlicensed longboat that would agree on anything)