There is a new climbing wall in Ubud, Bali called Tokei. This is a review with photos and an interview with the founder, Vanya Polunin, who is also my friend.
Specifications of climbing wall
- How many holds? At least 300
- How large is the space? The wall is 20m wide and 4.5m high
- How many routes are there? At least 17, as of September 2017. There are plans to have four routes per grade.
- How often do the routes change? A few new routes every week.
- When is the opening planned? October 2017
- How much is the cost? 75K without shoe rental, 100K with shoe rental
- What are the hours of opening? 12:00 – 20:00
- Where is it located? Jalan Rayan Andong, off the end of the main road in Ubud. Five minutes from the center of Ubud.
- What else should we know? This is primarily a bouldering gym. There are no belaying routes harness equipment.
- Is there a cafe? Not yet. Space has been provisioned upstairs in a loft area with expected opening in 2018.
- Bike car park available. Strong fans are included (no AC).
Where did the name come from?
Tokei is a way to write the name of the gecko. They are the best climbers in Bali. I wanted to name it after the local culture, and these animals are in every building. It is actually written as toke, but I wrote it as Tokei because it seems more balanced.
What are your goals for the gym? Or why did you start this climbing gym?
Climbing is a hobby for me. I love doing it. I wanted to make one of my hobbies one of my works. Because why work on something you do not enjoy?
In Ubud, I saw that a climbing gym was missing. This is a sport that is not represented here. And it is perfect for the yoga community. Rock climbing is a great way to do some physical activity in a fun environment. It uses your mind and your body. You must think through the routes, where to put your body, how to turn, when to use balance and when to use strength.
What is your history with Bali? When did you first visit?
I first came to Bali five years ago. Mainly because it was the closest option to Singapore for me to try surfing. I fell in love with Bali straight away, although I never found success with surfing.
Since that time I have come back 2-3 times every year.
About the Founder:
Vanya Polunin is a clown and principal performer in Slava’s Snow Show, based in Paris, France. In his own words: “We’re a Russian family. I speak Russian every day. But I haven’t lived in Russia since I was 7 years old.”
“We moved to France in 2001. Everybody asks, Why France? For theater, it is a good central point. Before that, we lived in England. But France has better food, better wine, and better weather. This climbing wall, this project in Bali, it is something for me. I wanted it to exist here, so I made it. I hope others will also enjoy it.”