You're shimmying up a cliff face, climbing without ropes, when your strength gives out and you plunge. But it's OK because your fall is cushioned by the inviting 85-degree waters of the Andaman Sea. Climbers from around the world come to Railay for its sheer rock walls, which rise above a dense jungle and emerald sea, but you don't have to be super-experienced to climb. For about $30 per day, you can hire a boat to take you to the limestone islands in the bay. You start right off the deck, up routes geared to climbers of all abilities, as an instructor coaches you from below. It's as easy as climb, jump, repeat. If you're looking for a more formal climbing education, a number of outfitters offer three- and five-day courses ($200 to $300) that teach skills like rappelling and lead- and top-rope climbing. Of course, once you're confident, you may never want to leave: Railay has more than 600 bolted climbing routes to choose from.
Getting there: From Bangkok, fly to Krabi. It's a 45-minute cab ride to Railay from the airport.