Blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Asia has something for everyone. From idyllic white-sand beaches fringed by palm trees to party beaches where the night never ends to hot spots for surfing and BOTE inflatable paddleboard, there’s a beach for every type of traveller.
In this post, we’ll take a look at five of the best beach activities you can do in Asia. Not only that, we’ll tell you the best places to do them too.
Hopefully, after reading this article you’ll find it easier to plan your trip to Asia – and which water sports you’re going to do.
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Stand up paddleboarding
Fast becoming one of the most popular board sports in the world, stand up paddle boarding is taking Asia by storm. While it may seem tranquil and relaxed from afar, SUP works every muscle in your body, with an emphasis on your core muscles. So, it’s great if you are looking to develop your abs.
One of the reasons stand up paddleboarding is so popular is its versatility. Should you want to get a gentle workout on flat water while appreciating your stunning surroundings, try regular paddle boarding somewhere like Palawan in the Philippines. If you have a dog, he may want to try SUP too!
Want to escape from stress while still enjoying a workout? Sunrise SUP Yoga in the pristine waters of Bali might suit you. If you’re looking for really big thrills, then maybe surf SUP at San Juan La Union in the Philippines will be your best bet.
Best places for stand up paddleboarding in Asia:
Palawan (Philippines), Kuta Beach and Gili Islands (Bali, Indonesia), Koh Tao (Thailand), Lan Ha Bay (Vietnam), Kampot (Cambodia).
Another super-popular board sport, surfing needs no introduction. However, what you might not be aware is that Asia is the cheapest place to learn to surf in the world – more specifically the Philippines. Urbiztondo Beach at San Juan La Union and the tiny island of Boracay on the north coast of Panay have great breaks and you’ll have plenty of money left over to continue your adventures.
Another of the best surfing locations in the world is Indonesia – Bali in particular has several great spots including Kuta and Uluwatu Beaches. Kuta is a great place to begin, while it’s a good idea to get a bit of experience behind you before escaping the crowds and graduating to Uluwatu!
Best places for surfing in Asia:
Siargao Island, San Juan La Union, Boracay (Philippines), Kuta and Uluwatu Beach (Bali, Indonesia), Arugam Bay (Sri Lanka), White Beach (Okinawa, Japan), Bang Tao Beach (Phuket, Thailand)
The only thing that’s difficult about scuba diving on the world’s largest continent is finding a place to do it. With tropical blue waters warmed by the sun, diverse marine life, and some of the cheapest places to put on your set of flippers and jump into the ocean.
Tubbataha Reef National Park in the Philippines is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which was nominated as one of the 7 Wonders of Nature in 2008. Some of the animals you’ll see here include manta rays and whale sharks. Head to Malaysia and you’ll find the Coral Triangle. This is in the area that the Pacific and Indian Oceans meet and it’s one of the most biodiverse areas in the world, so there’s no shortage of underwater flora and fauna to see.
Best places for scuba diving in Asia:
Tioman Island (Malaysia) Phi Phi Islands (Thailand), Komodo Island (Indonesia), Tubbataha Reef (Philippines), Pondicherry (India).
While scuba diving is on many travellers’ bucket lists, it can take a lot of time and effort to get your PADI certificate – or maybe you just can’t be bothered for hours and hours of lessons while you’re on holiday. If you want to get a snapshot of the marine flora and fauna in Asia, maybe snorkelling is for you instead.
It’s especially popular in Southeast Asia – whether that’s in the Gulf of Thailand, the Andaman Sea, or off the islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Snorkelling is a magical experience which will open up the underwater world to you in the easiest way. Whether you want to do it from the safety of a beach, or head out on an organised trip with a guide and do it at a coral reef, that’s up to you.
Snorkelling is a popular activity for families and it requires minimal equipment to take part.
Best places for snorkelling in Asia:
Cape Maeda (Okinawa, Japan) Palawan (Philippines) Phu Quoc Islands (Vietnam), Koh Rong (Cambodia), Gili Islands (Indonesia).
If you find the idea of scuba diving and snorkelling fascinating but are worried about the difficulty, you don’t have to miss out on seeing what’s under the water. Sea walking will see you put on a heavy helmet and walk along the seabed attached to a rope. It’s a wonderful way for non-swimmers to experience the magic of life beneath the ocean.
Best places for sea walking in Asia:
Sabah (Borneo, Malaysia), Bali (Indonesia)
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