We had been waiting for this week to arrive for so long and we were so happy we were finally on our way!
Green Climbers Home in Laos is basically a Climber’s heaven. It’s situated in Thakhek Laos, has over 160 different climbing routes and accommodation on site. It caters to all types of climbers.
To get here, we got a bus to Vientiane from Hanoi, Vietnam (which took a whopping 24 hours might I add!) and stayed there for 3 days before catching another bus to Thakhek. The bus to Thakhek cost $22 each, took 6 hours and was the jazziest bus we’d ever been on! It looked like something out of the transformers, it was electric blue and had graffiti painting all over the exterior. Inside there were mirrors and speakers built in to every panel. We were so surprised that smoke didn’t roll out and snoop dog didn’t appear with a joint when the doors opened to let us on!
When we got to the station, we jumped on a tuk tuk (150 Baht) which took us to GCH. We arrived there at around 7pm and loved it instantly! The main chill area/restaurant is the first thing we saw and is located right in the middle of the field. It’s open air so we could see loads of people already sitting down, drinking, eating and chatting with each other. It was a good sign!
We grabbed some dinner before we were shown to our accommodation and got chatting to some people. We met a couple who had never climbed before and were just about to start a beginners course (which anyone can do, so if you've never climbed before, this is the perfect place to learn!) and then met a guy who was actually travelling the world, specifically in search of finding new places to climb! Whether you are a complete beginner or an absolute pro, there’s no judgement and it’s so evident that everyone is there just doing something that they enjoy. It was a pretty cool experience to be around a group of people who had one same interest in common from the get go!
The food we ate during our week here was amazing, the menu has tonnes on it and is really well priced. There’s not really any other restaurants nearby, but even if there was, we still would have eaten at GCH instead. We’re both little health freaks so we relished the chance to have GCH’s humongous chicken salad for lunch and dinner everyday!
We checked in and were shown to our bungalow. There are 3 types of accommodation at GCH - camping, dorms or bungalow. We chose to go for the bungalow option at $20 per night for our first 3 nights and then swap to camping for $10 per night for the last 3 as we love camping anyway! However, we actually ended up staying in the bungalow the whole time as it was so cushty and when the day came to move, we couldn’t actually be bothered to move all our stuff into the tent! Lazy gits, we know!
Now... onto the actual climbing!
GCH is located slap bang in the middle of 160+ climbs. The routes and scenery were amazing and we couldn’t fault them during the week! They have a massive range from 4’s - 8’s, so there is something for everyone! The furthest climb is around a 25 minute walk through the jungle/forest at the back of the camp, whilst the closest climb is around a 30 second walk from behind the restaurant.
We had a bit of a pickle on our first day however as we couldn’t actually find the climb we wanted. We were luckily given a route book for free as someone had left there’s behind the day that we got there (usually costs £10) We actually borrowed it on the agreement that we leave it behind for someone afterwards as well, which we fully did intend to do.... if we didn’t accident leave the book at a climb, which resulted in it getting soaked when it rained that day, oops! (It’s the thought that counts)
But anyway, following the map in this book we followed the route for our first set of climbs. We must have walked up and down that forest for about half an hour completely stuck because we couldn’t find the area, we eventually found it later on in the week but my gosh, it was a bit of an anti-climax for us when we were desperate to get climbing on the first day!
We found another area eventually and got climbing, the routes were so, so good and we managed to tough old 50m multi-pitch climb later on in the week! The routes are actually incredibly marked and sign-posted, I think we just didn’t know what we were looking for and were being a pair of dopes on the first day!
Even getting there was hilarious, we had to cross over a rope bridge which was swinging all over the place nearly falling in a couple of times. There's so much stuff to do here outside of climbing, from trekking to caving to visiting local temples.
(Top Tip - if your exhausted from climbing, go take a dip in Green Climbers very own cave pool!)
One thing we will warn you about is here the mosquitos! If you haven’t took a bath in mosquito repellent, then be prepared to be eaten alive as they are on a rampage in Thakhek! We’ve assumed that there must be a circulation of steroids going around the mosquitos here because we had bites the size of 2 pence pieces! They sell mosquito repellent behind the bar, incase you are numpties like us and didn’t have any with you when you arrived.
Our only little niggle that we had whilst staying here was the tiny, black bees that don’t leave you alone whilst out climbing. Obviously this can’t be helped by GCH, but my gosh was it a painnn in the ass. There are these tiny black bees that love to buzz around and eventually fly into any crevice that you have on your face, I.e - your eyes, noes, ears and mouth! Whilst we were trying to climb and belay, it got really tricky to concentrate with 10-20 of them flying around your eyes and ears. One actually flew into Jac’s ear when he was half was up a wall! (I wanted to keep it as a pet but he said no and shook it out)
(Top Tip - Wear sunglasses and they won't be able to dive bomb into your eyes)
Our week was finished off with one of the most crazy thunderstorms we had ever seen/heard! We were due to leave in the morning and had had amazing weather throughout the rest of the week. We were woken up in the middle of the night by the storm, we went out onto the balcony and watched the rain lashing down onto the field, the lightning strikes lighting up the entire sky and listened to the thunder which literally sounded like the sky was falling down! Some of the people in the tents ended up heading to the restaurant and sleeping there for the night as there tents were flooded (We were pretty chuffed with our decision not to move into one at this point haha!)
Overall, our stay at GCH was awesome! One of the best things for us is our sim cards didn't work, so when we weren't climbing we'd just chill in a hammock and read our books! For us, it was so nice to get away from the distractions of the outside world and spend a week doing something we're both passionate about.
We loved the climbs, the accommodation, the people, the salads and at the end of the week... getting away from those bloody bees haha! If we are fortunate to go back to Laos in the future, we will definitely be making another stay here.
All Gone Rogue x
We've been travelling for 6 months now! Both of us love to blog and vlog and share our experiences with you! We try to only ever include things we've done in our blogs and certainly in our adventure blogs everything has been tried and tested.
When we're free