Exploring Southeast Asia is something everybody should do once. If you can do it by Stand Up Paddleboard all the better. Since you’ll already be travelling light, chucking an iSUP into your luggage won’t be an issue. A 10’8 will slide through most standard checked baggage allowances easily. At just 11.3 kg even the jankiest domestic flights and bus travel are doable with a board like the Cruise.
You, your SUP and your bag can even fit in a Tuk Tuk. If you can’t be convinced to travel with your own gear there are quite a few rental places to try in some pretty sweet spots. Let’s touch the tip of the iceberg with our top must SUP spots in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Koh Tao Quick Take:
- Reach a myriad of paddle friendly bays by scooter or motorcycle
- Take a sunset SUP tour guided by locals
- Snorkel by SUP
Thailand has 3,219 km of coastline, the water is electric blue and bathtub warm. It would honestly be harder to find a place NOT to SUP in the land of smiles. That said, our top choice for stand up paddle boarding in Thailand is the tiny island of Kho Tao in the Gulf of Thailand. Kho Tao is famous for diving, snorkelling, climbing and pretty wild partying.
You can rent a motorcycle or scooter cheaply and get to countless gorgeous bays perfect for stand up paddling. Another option is to take a trip by boat and SUP from the mothership. This area is easy for people to SUP by their lonesome but if you’d like to rent or have a tour, check out SUP Tao.
Lan Ha Bay, Cat Ba Island Quick take:
- Limestone pillars
- Emerald water
- Less tourists than Ha Long
Everyone’s heard of Ha Long Bay, the UNESCO heritage site with the Limestone pillars. You may not have heard of its neighbour Ha Lan Bay (also written Ha Lan) on nearby Cat Ba Island. While Ha Lan Bay also has impressive limestone formations it lacks the swarms of tourists. This is no poor relative to the famous Ha Long.
Lan Ha has stunning emerald waters of its own and plenty of jaw dropping scenery to gawk at. Because this area hosts hundreds of tiny islands some of them home to marauding monkeys, you’d be best booking a guided tour for your first excursion by SUP. Asia Outdoors and the Sails of Indochina both call this area home so give them a shout.
View this post on Instagram
The peaceful little sister to Ha Long bay, Lan Ha Bay. Hundreds of secluded beaches everywhere. Of the 3,000 + islands in the Vietnam bays, over 1,500 have been named! I was very surprised to hear that from our guide as we spent three days on our private junk boat. ~ ~ ~ ~ #schlandertravels #lanhabay #lanha #photographerfocus @photographerfocus #dji #fierce_shots @fierce_shots @dji_official #keepnaturewild #roamtheplanet #earthpix #wetravellit #halongbay @earthporn #thegoodlife #coupleswhotravel #bucketlist #droneoftheday #mavicpro #aerialphotography #vietnam @vietnamdestinations @discovervietnam #everydayvietnam #privateboat @airbnb #fromwhereidrone
Kampot Quick Take:
-Palm lined river banks
-Secret passages through mangroves
Beginners will appreciate the the placid waters of the Prek Tuek Chhou River. This is a great area to start your adventure in paddleboarding or to burn off whatever ails you from the night before. You can even start on today’s hangover with a stop at one of many charming riverside bars.
The waters of the Prek Tuek Chouu flow down from the hills through Preah Monivong Bokong National park and out to sea through the coastal town of Kampot. You’ll enjoy exploring tangled little offshoots through mangroves and densely palm lined banks.
Don’t worry about the freshwater Siamese Crocodiles, they’ve got a deal with the local ministry of tourism. Most tours begin with a car ride from Kampot upstream so the current is with you as you head back down to town by water. If you go with a company like SUP Asia you’ll be supporting local efforts to keep the river clean and provide environmental education to Cambodia’s kids.
Have you ever SUPed in SE Asia? We’d love to hear about your favourite spots! If you’ve got any to add please send them our way via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below!
View this post on Instagram
A Big Bluefin Thank you:
SUP Tao for the beautiful cover photo!