Rod McLaughlin


Potential rock-climbing near Tuan Giao (16 oct 15)

You can usually rely on The Lonely Planet - it's nearly always wrong. I picked up bits of a Lonely Planet Vietnam guide, and it dismissed Tuan Giao. Maybe it's changed since they last visited, but it's not a "remote mountain town" and it's more than "an OK place to bed down". It has a diverse and interesting people, a range of hotels, ubiquitous wifi, draught beer, a local rice wine, and the most interesting food I've come across in Vietnam, including a kind of fried Cornish pasty with noodles and coleslaw dipped in soup. And I just indulged in steak and chips in the Hong Ky cafe. 

Anyway, most interesting of all is, 13 Km before you reach Tuan Giao coming from Dien Bien Phu, is some amazing potential rock-climbing. I say "potential", because it doesn't have any bolts to attach the climbing rope to. It's limestone, which means you have to drill permanent bolts into the rock, and create a "sport climb". "Trad gear" isn't safe enough in limestone.

The difference between sport and trad

One day, I'd like to come here with someone who has experience of "putting up" rock climbs, and drill some bolts.



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