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South East Asia's 12 Best Surf Breaks

Published September 8th, 2016

So you want to go on a surfing holiday, but are interested in travelling further abroad than Bali? Don't worry I got you, here's a list of the best beaches across South East Asia (Bali still included, because it’s Bali) for beginners through to experienced surfers looking for the next perfect wave or an endless summer.

Before setting off on your trip though, make sure you’re all over the requirements of travelling with your board(s)....before arriving at the airport.

Also quick packing tips are: invest in a good quality board bag, unscrew your fins and tape them to your board (along with the key) and use either bubble wrap or towels/jumpers to pad out the nose, tail and rails. 

Thailand

There are so many beaches to choose from in Phuket along the west coast which is surfed primarily during low season from April to November. There are very few swimmers around as the coast’s rips and currents can be quite dangerous at this time of year for those without a board.


 

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Kata Beach, Phuket

The perfect sandy bottomed beach strip with waves for beginners through to 3 metre hollow barrels for the more experienced. There are a variety of swells rolling in from the Andaman Sea during June to September.

Kalim Reef

A nice righthander, good for more experienced surfers just north of Patong. This beach is best at mid to high tides to avoid the at times shallow coral reef.

Kamala Beach

A great beginners beach break with consistent right and left hand waves within one of the best sheltered bays for windy conditions. There are also a few board rental stands along the beach too.

Bang Tao Beach

Bang Tao is one of the most luxurious locations on this list, peppered with grand resorts and five star hotels along the eight kilometre stretch of beach. The beach break offers both left and right handed waves perfect for beginners and weekend warriors.

 

Philippines

Generally speaking the best months for surfing in the philippines are from August to the beginning of November on the north-east coast during typhoon season. However strong cross shore winds come from December to April making for bigger swells which some more experienced surfers enjoy



Siargao Island’s Cloud Nine

If you’re surfing in the Philippines, you can be sure this is going to be your first stop. Cloud Nine is the country’s most popular and most accessible surf break. The clean barrels draw international and local surfers alike and is still relatively unknown to many tourists.

Calicoan Island, Samar

This skinny island is known mostly for its surf and laid back island vibes. ABCD Beach is the most popular but is strictly for the experienced surfer due to the strong undercurrent and flash rips.

Bagasbas Beach in Bicol

This surfer town is best when typhoons are creating larger swells in the Pacific otherwise it’s also a great spot for beginner to intermediate surfers. Bonus points for authenticity with mostly locals and in-the-know tourists/surfers that come.

San Fernando (La Union)

This is a great spot for beginner surfers with San Fernando’s smaller waves and instructors dotted along the beach, ready to help you hang ten (or at least stand up).


 Just go with the flow and follow the waves around South East Asia with these killer Asia Beach Break deals.

Eating all the foods: Philippines edition

Bang for your buck in Bangkok


Bali

As far as surfing abroad goes, it can be hard to look further than the top notch surf breaks of Bali.The el cheapo airfares and Bintang don’t hurt either.


 

A photo posted by Tyler Cowell (@tcowell1) on


Canggu

Canguu has a quickly growing community of young expat makers, drawn in part to the laidback way of life, the shared creativity and of course, the waves. Seasoned and intermediate surfers can’t get enough of the consistent swells of Batu Bolong and Echo Beach. The sets on these black sand beaches tend to shift throughout the day and the waves are bigger than nearby popular Kuta.

Uluwatu

Uluwatu is known as one of Bali’s most famous surf beaches and is just an hour’s drive from Kuta. The stunning cliffside shoreline makes for a beautiful backdrop when waiting for a wave beyond the break. When the surf is pumping it can get pretty crowded but the nearby famous Uluwatu Temple is a highlight worth exploring when not in the water. This spot requires reef shoes and some knowledge (either through research or friendly locals) about the changing current.

Bingin

Just north of Uluwatu is Bingin which doesn’t get as big but shares the same reef and provides a less intimidating alternative. The barrels here are also a little shorter than Uluwatu but just as consistent.

Padang-Padang

This is Bali’s Pipeline and is best for experienced surfers.That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop by if you are surfing Bali, the unique hollow rock entrance to the beach is beautiful to see. Also if you time your trip right the Rip Curl Cup surfing contest is on during the month of August featuring some of Indonesia and the world’s top surfers.




Okay now that you've done your homework, here are some ridiculous Asia Beach Holiday Deals on flights/accommodation/tours, basically the works.

Time to pack your bag with all of the bikini/boardies you own, grab your board, chuck on the double-pluggers and get out of here.

Seriously, why are you still reading this, you could be at the beach by now.


 

Sam Aldenton

Sam Aldenton is a travel writer, digital content creator (read: takes photos/videos with her iphone and sometimes a real camera) and former retail and youth trend forecaster. When she's not off discovering the world’s best pizza (an obsession picked up from her 4-years in New York), she makes her home in Brisbane, Australia. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @samaaldenton.