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This guide will make your search for the perfect kitesurfing wetsuit simple.

Having spent the past few years beach bumming and kitesurfing in Asia, I’ve thankfully had about as much need for a wetsuit as a fish needs a fur coat.

But alas, times are a’changing:

What with myself and Jim making an imminent move to Ireland, we’ve got wetsuits on the brain. Big, wooly, warm ones. And also pints of Guinness- but that’s a topic for another day.

My point is: there’s heeeella lotta wetsuits on the market these days, and trying to find the perfect kitesurfing wetsuit can make you feel kinda like this guy:

Listen, I feel you. I’ve been exactly where you are; trawling through online shops, trying to work out which wetsuit will fit over your butt and which’ll look like a very, very expensive bin bag.

So to help ease you through the process, I’ve compiled all the info I found during my own deep dive into the world of wetsuits and created what I THINK is a pretty user-friendly guide. Plus also some funny gifs. Because who doesn’t like those guys?!

In this guide, you’ll find simple comparison points and must-know info about each product, which should help you decide which one is best for you (or at least make you feel a little less like head butting your laptop).

We’ll also go through each of the factors you should consider when buying a kitesurf wetsuit, from the cut to the fabric and everything in between.

Meanwhile, Jim and I will continue to update this list as we get around to trying all the suits we can get our hands on!

Let’s dive in:

Disclosure: extremenomads.life is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This page may also contain affiliate links to products or services from other entities.

How to pick the perfect kitesurfing wetsuit

Front zippers and back zippers, wind skin and stretchy stuff, rubber and neoprene… jeez Louise, there’s a lot to consider.

The perfect kitesurf wetsuit can look pretty different to different people. But no matter what your preferences, you’ll want to think about things like:

  • Warmth factor and thickness
  • How restrictive it is
  • Durability
  • Drainage
  • What the fabric is made of (is it comfortable? Is it eco-friendly? Is it suitable for the climate you’ll be kiting in? More on all that coming up.)
  • The sizing and cut
  • The price. Of cooourse.

Most importantly, it’s crucial to try to pick the suit that’s going to fit your body type most comfortably (errg, I know it’s easier said than done when it comes to buying a wetsuit online, but stay with me here).

Not every wetsuit is created with the same reference point in mind; some brands have particularly thin legs and arms, for example, while others might have an especially short/long body.

Image: Louis Hansel on Unsplash

We’ve done our best to highlight these factors for each of the wetsuits listed below, so hopefully that’ll give you a solid baseline to work with.

Surf vs. kitesurfing wetsuits: what’s the difference?

Okay, so this whole article is about kitesurfing wetsuits, right? But is that even like, a thing?

Here’s the deal:

A lot of times brands differentiate between kitesurfing wetsuits and, say, surfing wetsuits purely for the sake of branding. In fact very few (if any) of the brands we’ve included on this list market their suits specifically/exclusively to any sport. Whether it’s surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, wakeboarding or water skiing, those wetsuits fill meet the needs of most watersports, except of course diving, which can present radically different designs especially as you go up the price range.

But that said:

Some brands have a background in a specific sport, and so their products are often tailored most towards said sport.

Some products have differences in cuts and reinforcement (for example, kitesurf specific wetsuits often don’t have the same flexibility in the arms/armpit area that’s required for paddling in surf).

Conversely, some kitesurf wetsuits have a thicker layer of smooth skin on the chest which provides extra protection from the wind (which surfers don’t have to deal with as much).

If you ask me, it’s a bit of a potato po-tah-to scenario.

A lot of experienced water sport lovers will tell you that surf wetsuits have been around much longer than kitesurf wetsuits, and have therefore benefited from greater r&d. Soooo, you may find some of the more established surf/outdoor brands have higher quality suits.

But at the end of the day, it’s all down to finding the product that works best for you.

Psssst: if you like this article, check out our other kite related reviews– like our pick of bombproof kiteboard travel bags or the snazziest waterproof smartwatches on the market!

Here’s our selection of kitesurf wetsuits to suit a variety of preferences and budgets:

Our selection of kitesurfing wetsuits for men O’Neill Psycho-Freak

If you’re on the hunt for a kitesurf wetsuit that’s comfortable and unrestrictive, the O’Neill Psycho-Freak should be right up your street. It’s made using the brand’s exclusive ‘Technobutter’ fabric which is designed to allow total freedom of movement (which also makes it gloriously easy to put on and take off).

The Technobutter Firewall material covers the chest and back, which helps to protect from extra wind chill and serves to keep you super toasty. Hydrophobic neoprene ensures water stays outside of the suit without leaking in; and the quick-dry properties and light foam rubber core keeps the suit from feeling bulky or absorbing water.

While that may sound like a wetsuit dream come true (he he) it’s important to keep in mind that supple material tends to degrade faster, so if you’re going to be putting this kitesurf wetsuit to very heavy, regular use, you may find yourself needing to replace it sooner than if you went with a more robust wetsuit.

Check out the Psycho-Freak 3/2 and the warmer 4/3 version on Amazon.

NP Mission

A crowd favourite for kiters who frequent super cold waters, the NP Mission is a kitesurfing wetsuit that’s all about combining flexibility and durability in one.

With bio ceramic lining and Yamamoto Limestone Neoprene, it’s actually one of the most supple wetsuits in Neil Pryde’s catalogue, but still does the job when it comes to keeping you warm when it’s f’ing freezing out– and extra points for the fact that limestone neoprene is petroleum free and way better for the environment than traditional neoprene.

The NP Mission also features a back zip.

Xcel Axis

Xcel is a name that comes up time and time again whenever people are talking about affordable wetsuits- and the Xcel Axis wetsuit fits that bill pretty damn well.

And it’s got plenty bang for your buck, too:

It’s one of the warmer kitesurfing wetsuits we’ve come across; especially when you compare the cost of this one with more expensive brands.

And if warm is what you’re after, take a look at their fully sealed limestone neoprene 5/4 hooded full suit. It’s made with eco-friendly ‘Superprene’ Japanese limestone which is designed to be extra durable while remaining lightweight. It’s also reinforced on the chest with watertight smoothskin and on the knees with extra padding.

If you dig Xcel’s bargain prices but don’t have the need for the full suit above, they’ve also got lighter versions like this 3/2 with thermo-lite chest lining and a handy front zip.

Hyperflex Access

There’s a lot to love about the Hyperflex Access wetsuit. In short, it’s a) super snug fitting and warm, and b) cheaper than any other wetsuit on this list. In fact, I’m gonna go ahead and say it’s the cheapest wetsuit we’ve ever come across full stop.

But as those who’ve tried Hyperflex will tell you, the cheap price doesn’t reflect the high quality of the wetsuit.

It’s made from extremely tight celled material which is known to do an extra good job of keeping you warm. Meanwhile, the smoothskin raw neoprene chest panel helps to block excess wind chill. It’s also got particularly low profile seams, which means they won’t rub against your skin (which is a really big bonus if you’re used to kiting for long periods of time).

The one thing to note about the Hyperflex Access is that it tends to fit a little on the small size, so we’d recommend buying one size up than you normally would.

On that note, the Access is also a wee bit more restrictive than other suits on this list, so while that does make it extra durable, this might not be the ideal one for you if you prefer a wetsuit with more flexibility .

Rip Curl Flash Bomb

Legendary surf brand Rip Curl are well known for their wetsuits, but how does the Flash Bomb hold up against the others on this list?

Well, with the extra stretchy E5 flash lining, it’s one of the comfier ones- but it doesn’t sacrifice anything in the way of warmth. Add that to the smoothskin on the chest and the full hood option and you’ve got yourself a damn warm wetsuit for kitesurfing.

In fact, the manufacturers also claim this is the fastest drying wetsuit in the world. Damn.

Now, for anyone who’s ever known the travesty of having a wetsuit literally fall apart at the seams, the blind stitching and gluing on the Flash Bomb is going to be a huge step up.

As for flexibility:

While this suit isn’t exclusively designed for surfing, Rip Curl is first and foremost a surf brand, so you can be pretty sure that this particular wetsuit allows for plenty of freedom of movement around the arms (to accomodate paddling on a surfboard).

The one thing we’ve noticed about Rip Curl’s wetsuits in general though, is that they tend to run fairly slim on the arms and legs. Check out their exact sizing specs for full details on this; but keep in mind that these suits typically fit slim/athletic builds best.

Check out the original Flash Bomb 4/3 wetsuit with a chest zip; the hooded 4/3 full suit or the super warm, extra snuggly 5/4 full suit version on Amazon.

Mystic Majestic

Household name Mystic has a pretty decent line up of kitesurf wetsuits, with the main Mystic Majestic model heading the pack these days.

It’s made with featherlite neoprene, which is designed with large cell material to reduce weight and density of the suit. While this might sound a little on the shivery side, Mystic have chosen to line the inside of the wetsuit with Teddyprene, which is a fleecy material that serves to keep you super snug, even in strong wind and freezy-cold water.

Best of all, Mystic really have covered all bases by offering the Majestic wetsuit with both a back zip and chest zip design option. Check out the mega popular back zip version in either wolf grey or classic black; or switch things up with the chest zip version in dark olive.

Patagonia Yulex R1-5

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Age-old outdoor brand Patagonia has us head over heels for their collection of insanely high quality Yulex wetsuits. But it’s not just their trademark durability that we love about these suits:

Yulex (which makes up 85% of the fabric content) is natural rubber that’s been sustainably sourced from locations approved by the Forest Stewardship Council and certified by the Rainforest Alliance (the remaining 15% of the suit’s fabric is made of synthetic rubber).

All of Patagonia’s wetsuits are neoprene-free, which means that anyone who buys one of their wetsuits is essentially helping to eliminate one more little slice of nasty petroleum-derived chemicals and products from the world.

Considering this, the Patagonia wetsuit is the ‘greenest’ one on the list– which earns it two big thumbs WAY up from us!

But let’s not forget about the other important stuff like functionality, durability, and comfort. How does Patagonia compare with others on this list?

Performance-wise, the range includes 5 different suits (from the lightest R1 to the heaviest duty R5) which are designed to insulate and regulate body temperature to the highest standard possible. They’re stretchy, warm, and come in front and back zip models– with full suit hoods also available for those kiting in super nippy conditions.

And to top it all off, Patagonia offer a LIFETIME warranty for their wetsuits. Life. Time. Warranty. Holy bananas!

Our selection of kitesurfing wetsuits for women Patagonia Yulex R1-5

Kicking off our list of ladies’ wetsuits is the ripper from Patagonia that we know and love, the Yulex R1-R5 collection. Just to reiterate, the super green Yulex fabric is like, the most eco friendly alternative to neoprene known to woman. Not only that, but they offer a lifetime warranty for their wetsuits. So we love them. Big shtyle!

Their suits are super durable thanks to their 85% natural rubber material, yet still they maintain a fair level of flexibility and overall suppleness. They’re available in 5 different thicknesses, from the lightest R1 which is designed for temps of 65-75 degrees to the snuggliest R5 which promises to keep you toasty in temps as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

There’s also a full suit hooded version for those of you needing maximum warmth factor!

In short:

If you’re looking for a kitesurf wetsuit that’s gonna be just as kind to Mama Nature as it is to you, this might be just the one you’re looking for.

Yes, for sure you pay a premium for the green factor here, but the quality more than makes up for it.

However, those of you on a tighter budget will want to keep reading to hear which cheaper wetsuits we rate!

Ride Engine Elara

Ride Engine also have their eye on their wetsuits environmental impact, as they’ve made sure to eliminate petroleum and toxic hydrophobic coatings from their Elara suit.

Instead of traditional oil-based neoprene, they’ve used limestone neoprene. Not only is this better for the environment, but it also means that the material is a whole lot more comfortable thanks to its dense closed cell structure– suppleness, stretch, and warmth in one.

With a pull-over neck gasket, liquid rubber seams, and extra thick padding around the core, the Elara suit is designed to be super warm and leakage-free, but still comfortable and easy to move around in thanks to the flexible fabric and padding that tapers off towards to arms and legs.

The suit is also lined with extra soft poly-fleece and comes with a pop of turquoise on the outside. Sweet!

Check out the full specs of both the

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Thinking about hiking (or climbing) the Grand Teton? Adventure writer and experienced climber Meg Atteberry shows us the ropes.

The Grand Teton is the crown jewel of the Teton Mountain Range in northwestern Wyoming.

Traditionally, this land belonged to the Bannock, Blackfoot, Crow, Flathead, Gros Ventre and Nez Perce Native people. In fact, the highest known Native American building structure is located near the summit of the Grand Teton.

The mountain towers at 13,776-feet tall, making it the second highest mountain in Wyoming (the first goes to Gannet Peak). However, what this mountain lacks in elevation, it makes up for in technical ability.

Ropes are required to reach the top.

Not only is the Grand Teton a worthy climbing objective, but it is also one of the top fifty classic climbs in North America!

Psst: if you LOVE adventurers in the mountains, check out our collection of hiking guides and get inspired for your upcoming travels!

image: Meg Atteberry

So how does one go about climbing the Grand Teton? Well, there are several different routes up this majestic mountain, and this insider guide to climbing the Grand Teton will give you all the juicy details.

Disclosure: extremenomads.life is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This page may also contain affiliate links to products or services from other entities.
Where is the Grand Teton?

Located in northwestern Wyoming, in Grand Teton National Park just outside of the town of Jackson, the Grand Teton rises abruptly above the Great Plains of America.

Part of the Grand Teton’s appeal is that it requires over 7,000 vertical feet of elevation gain to reach the top, meaning that you start at a fairly low elevation when you begin your climb.

Many mountaineers and climbers alike are drawn in by the sheer challenge of reaching the highest point in Grand Teton National Park.

What skills and fitness do I need to climb the Grand Teton?

First, since you can climb the Grand Teton both guided and unguided, you’ll want a different level of mountain proficiency for each.

Guided climbs require less skill, but you should still be able to hike up six miles one way (12 total) while carrying a 40-pound pack as well as basic mountain climbing skills.

You’ll also want to be familiar with roped climbing and at least have some gym climbing under your belt. Furthermore, the drops are steep and the fear-factor is real on this climb. There are points where you will be suspended in the air on a rope with nothing between you and the ground for several hundred feet, so have a healthy “head game” or ability to handle heights and exposure.

image: Meg Atteberry

If you’re doing the climb un-guided, you’ll need the above skills plus backpacking and alpine trad climbing expertise. This includes setting up trad anchors, rappelling, and extensive route finding. You’ll need to be self-sufficient on an unguided climb, and your pack will likely weigh far more than if you went on a guided climb.

The best time to climb the Grand Teton

Unless you are into serious winter endeavors, you’ll want to make sure that the Teton Range is mostly snow-free before attempting this climb.

There are permanent snowfields and glaciers in the Teton Range, so the snow never completely melts, however, a climb in winter conditions is certainly an extremely advanced mountaineering objective.

The weather is best from late June through August, with the potential for snow again in September.

During these times, the mountains generally see warmer weather during the day (although you’ll certainly want to pack a puffy layer and base layers), cool, occasionally freezing temperatures overnight, and plenty of thunderstorms. People die every year in the mountains from lightning strikes, so take care to understand the risks of climbing or staying above treeline in the afternoon.

Summer is considered monsoon season in the Rocky Mountains and expect thunderstorms to roll in quickly, dropping hail, lightning, and plenty of rain. This means you’ll want to get an alpine (pre-dawn) start on the day of your summit bid up the the Grand Teton.

image: Meg Atteberry

Plan to be back down to the saddle before noon to avoid dangerous storms. The weather on the Grand Teton is largely unpredictable, and many times climbers are thwarted from reaching the summit due to surprise storms.

How long does it take to climb the Grand Teton?

Timing largely depends on your ability and how you choose to climb the Grand Teton. For example, the speed record from car-to-car on the Grand Teton is two hours and 53 minutes.

Now, unless you’re an FKT (fastest known time) rock climber, that’s pretty unrealistic.

On the other end of that spectrum, guided trips take up to five days, including a day hiking both in and out, a skills day, and a summit day.

However, most people attempt to climb the Grand Teton as an overnight. They backpack up to the saddle, spend the night, and head out early in the morning for the summit, returning all the way back to the car the next day (it takes most people around 8 hours to summit and return to their camp). This requires the least amount of food but also allows your body to rest.

From car to car the round trip distance up to the summit is 14 miles with over 7,000 feet of elevation gain.

You’ll do the first 12 miles and 5,000 feet of gain to reach the saddle between the Middle and Grand Teton, while the remaining 2,000 feet of gain is done in just over a mile one-way.

For those not well-versed in el-gain, that is some seriously strenuous climbing. Those who may want a more conservative approach could opt to say near the saddle a second night. This not only makes the descent a little easier, but it also gives you an extra day to summit in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Do I need special gear?

Unlike many beginner mountain climbs, all ascents up the Grand Teton require technical rock climbing gear and skills. There is no “easy” way to the top and unless you are comfortable free-soloing (climbing unroped), you’ll need some climbing gear. Exactly what gear you’ll need largely depends on your route.

There are a variety of routes of varying difficulty up the Grand Teton, with the easiest being the Owen Spalding Route, a 5.4. Some people may opt to solo this, however, most people opt for a more challenging route such as the 5.6 Upper Exum Ridge Route and use the Owen Spalding route, along with the 120-free hanging rappel to descend.

The following is a general list of what you’ll need to climb the Grand Teton

  • Backpacking gear (if you opt for a guided climb, you’ll want to check with your guide service for what you’ll need)
  • Summit day pack for multi-pitch climbing
  • Two 30m ropes
  • Climbing harness
  • Climbing helmet
  • Belay device suited for multi-pitching
  • Autoblock
  • Anchor material
  • Topo maps and photos with route description
  • GPS
  • Approach shoes (climbing shoes are optional for more difficult routes)
  • Alpine trad rack (exact protection, slings, and draws depend on your route)
  • A solid layering system (puffy layer, wind layer including pants, rain layer etc.)
  • Camera with an extra battery pack
  • Sun protection
  • Blue bags (The Grand Teton National Park requires you to use human waste disposal bags. You will need to pack your poo out with you and dispose of it away from the park.)
  • Bear-proof food storage
Grand Teton Climbing Permits

In order to climb the Grand Teton as an overnight climb, you’ll need backcountry permits for your climb.

Since this climb is so popular, it’s a smart idea to obtain your permit well in advance of your climb. Advanced permits are available from the first week of January through May 15th for that year.

If you’re going with a guide service, then you won’t have to worry about obtaining a permit.

Climbing with a Guide

For those who want to enjoy a climb up the Grand Teton but don’t have the skills to go on a self-sufficient climb, consider hiring a guide for your Grand Teton climb.

image: Meg Atteberry

There are two primary guiding services, Exum Guides and Jackson Hole Mountain Guides. Both provide similar trips, but Jackson Hole Mountain Guides has a better-protected base camp with better views and access to training climbs.

You can opt to go on a guided trip with or without a skills day, where you’ll learn multi-pitch climbing techniques, rope team techniques and more. Furthermore, the guides know the mountain like the back of their hand, so you don’t have to fret about route finding when on a guided climb.

This is a great option for those looking to get into alpine climbing or for those who simply don’t want the hassle of planning a self-sufficient trip.

How to select an unguided route

There are 30 named routes up the Grand Teton, each varying in difficulty. Select a route based on your ability, keeping in mind that if you are a 5.9 trad climber at the crag, you may want to take the difficulty down a few grades to ensure that you’ll be able to handle the climb.

Alpine climbing differs greatly from trad climbing at the crag or even multi-pitching. The rock tends to be dirtier and looser, making protection placements a bit more difficult. You’ll also have to combat ice, verglass (thin layers of ice), wet rock, altitude, and other high-alpine obstacles.

Hiking the Grand Teton

For those who aren’t up to the challenge of climbing the Grand Teton, you can still get above treeline and see the Grand Teton massif without putting on a climbing harness. There’s a whole bunch of Grand Teton hikes that offer awesome views and adventure potential, from easy day hikes to more challenging routes.

Let’s look at which of the Grand Teton trails should be on your radar:

The Garnet Canyon to Lower Saddle Trail offers up a chance to reach the ridge between the Middle Teton and the Grand Teton. This strenuous, 12-mile hike climbs up 5,300 feet and terminates at the saddle.

Along the way, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Teton Range and the valley below.

However, keep in mind that this hike should only be attempted in good weather and requires a fair amount of fitness to reach the top. You won’t be able to stand on the summit, but such a hike certainly will make you feel quite accomplished.

Grand Teton Tours

Whether you’re looking for a fun day tour or an epic week-long adventure, there’s a pile of Grand Teton tours to suit just about every taste and budget.

Take a look at this 4 hour wildlife safari that brings you through the national park spotting moose, grizzlies, and eagles.

If you fancy some on-water action, check out this 3-hour river tour that takes you floating down Snake River with an insane view of the Grand Teton mountains.

For a full week-long adventure, feast your eyes on this this incredible 7 day camping and hiking tour that takes you through Grand Teton National Park as well as Yellowstone and Bryce Canyon. EPIC!!!

Wrapping it up

Overall, climbing the Grand Teton is an absolute bucket list item for any mountaineer or alpine climber. There’s something magical about standing on the top of the mighty Grand and looking down at the wild, beautiful landscape below you.

If you have any questions about hiking or climbing the Grand Teton, feel free to drop a comment below and we’ll get back to you with an answer lickity split!


The post Hiking & Climbing the Grand Teton: Everything You Need to Know appeared first on Extreme Nomads.

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Wondering what to do in Hua Hin?

Perched on the western side of the Gulf of Thailand, Hua Hin is a coastal city known best for its vast sandy beach and swanky seaside resorts.

Once just a quiet fishing town, Hua Hin’s popularity as a holiday destination exploded in the early 1920’s when Thailand’s King at the time, Vajiravudh (Rama VI), chose Hua Hin as the location to build a stunning teak palace that he and the royal family would then use as a summer home.

Nowadays, Hua Hin is developing fast. The past decade has seen the city shift from being a low-key coastal getaway spot for Bangkok’s city dwellers to a mini-metropolis in its own right. A popular spot for young and old alike, Hua Hin draws a mixed bag of traveling nomads- from fresh-faced English teachers, to retirees, to the wandering water sports tribe.

Upon first glance of the congested traffic and boulevard rammed with shops and restaurants, it’s easy to pass quick judgement and write it off as just another city in the throes of awkward developments. But peel back the veneer and you’ll soon find that Hua Hin’s blustery kitesurfing beach, buzzing wake park, and misty mountain biking trails bring an energetic and edgy vibe to the city.

1 – Kitesurfing in Hua Hin

Hua Hin is one of the most popular- if not the most popular- place for kiteboarding in Thailand. The Hua Hin kitesurfing scene has developed quite quickly over the past 10 years or so, and now, the 7km kitesurfing beach is home to half a dozen kiteboarding schools.

As well as the Hua Hin kiteboarding beach, you can head off on epic downwinders to nearby spots like Pak Nam Pran, depending on the season and wind direction.

Best time to go kitesurfing in Hua Hin:

There are two seasons for kitesurfing in Hua Hin. The first is the northeast monsoon season which runs from November-January, followed by the thermal season from February-April.

Conditions for kitesurfing in Hua Hin: Wind strength:

The strength of the wind for kitesurfing in Hua Hin varies from season to season. During the monsoon, you can expect 15-25 knots of dense, sometimes gusty wind blowing side-on. The thermal season brings a more predictable 12-20 knots (also side-onshore).

Water conditions:

During the monsoon season, the water conditions for kiteboarding in Hua Hin are choppy and rough. During the thermal season, the chop out on the open water becomes much smaller and milder, while inside the small beachside lagoons, the water is calm and flat.

The only real “danger” when it comes to the water is the jellyfish; they tend to appear in high numbers for days/weeks at a time and can be a bit of a nuisance to kitesurfers. Thankfully, a light rash vest, thin leggings, or a spring suit are enough to protect against them.

Temperature:

Thanks to Thailand’s tropical climate, the water temperature hovers around 28 degrees Celsius throughout the year. During the dry winter season, temperatures rarely drop below 20 degrees and tend to stay nearer to 25 on average. In the summer, you can expect highs of 30-34 degrees. In case you haven’t guessed it yet: no wetsuit needed when kitesurfing in Hua Hin.

Beach:

The beach for kitesurfing in Hua Hin is spacious, sandy, and free from obstacles. The beach runs for several kilometers along the coast and is easily accessible from the city center. All you need to do is take any one of the small streets leading off the main road in the city and head east on foot (5-10 minutes) or in a tuk-tuk/taxi (2 minutes).

Kitesurfing schools in Hua Hin:

There are currently 6 kiteboarding schools in Hua Hin; 4 from KBA (Kiteboarding Asia), one from North Kiteboarding Club, and our personal recommendation, Surf Spot Hua Hin. The schools are well equipped to deal with customers needing gear rental, storage, rescue services, and lessons.

Surf Spot is definitely worth checking out, since they’ve recently upgraded their club to include a gym, a cafe, and a digital nomad friendly working space.

Tips for beginners kitesurfing in Hua Hin:

If you’re thinking about learning kiteboarding in Hua Hin, you should note that the wind during the thermal season is much more predictable and easier to learn in than that of the monsoon season.

On top of that, the mellow water conditions will make getting up on the board for the first time miles easier.

Beginners should think about coming kitesurfing in Hua Hin during March/April as these are the months with the best overall conditions. Make sure you book lessons with a qualified IKO instructor.

2 – Wakeboarding in Hua Hin

Thailand is at the forefront of the Asian wakeboarding scene, with a dozen or more super fun cable parks throughout the country- a handful of which are world-class. Lucky enough for any nomads hoping to do some wakeboarding in Hua Hin, the city is home to a pretty saucy full sized cable park, Black Mountain Wake Park.

Best time to go wakeboarding in Hua Hin:

Black Mountain is open all year round, so you can go wakeboarding in Hua Hin at any time. Visiting in the summer is, if anything, the quieter time to do so, since the wakeboarding parks in Thailand are popular winter hangouts for European riders who come over to train when their own local cables close down for the season.

A Few Days With San Im - YouTube
Cable wakeboarding in Hua Hin:

Black Mountain is a full sized Rixen cable with an 800 meter long counter clockwise run. With two kickers and a handful of sliders, including an A-frame and a pipe, the cable can accommodate up to 8 riders at a time. Open from 10.00-17.00 daily, you can buy a pass for a couple of hours, a day, a week, or a month if you plan on sticking around a little longer.

Tips for beginners for wakeboarding in Hua Hin:

Wakeboarding is an easy sport to pick up- even if you’ve never so much as stepped on any kind of board before. Try going wakeboarding in Hua Hin during off-peak hours (usually the morning time) if you feel like doing a few test runs before the crowds arrive.

There’s always an instructor present who’ll be able to give some light coaching and supply you with beginner-friendly boards and safety equipment. They also offer jetski rescue services if you crash in the middle of the lake.

3 – Surfing in Hua Hin

Hua Hin isn’t well known for its surf, but the reality is that it’s one of the few places to surf in Thailand during the winter months.

Best time to go surfing in Hua Hin

You’re most likely to find some surf in Hua Hin during the northeast monsoon which runs from November until February.

This is worth noting, since most of Thailand’s best surf spots on the Andaman coast stop working during these months.

Best spots for surfing in Hua Hin
  • Khao Takiab beach
  • Hat Wanakorn National Park
Conditions for surfing in Hua Hin

The northeast monsoon brings strong wind down from China and Japan. Typically it blows 10-25 knots of gusty, onshore wind- which is less than ideal for surfing in most cases.

The onshore wind makes the waves a little messy, which isn’t the easiest for beginner surfers.

Despite the extra challenge of paddling out against the wind, local surfers settle for the wind swell that comes with the northeast monsoon, since the rest of Thailand’s surf spots are pretty much wave-less during this time of year.

4 – Hiking in Hua Hin

Hua Hin has been built on a rather flat area, but outside of the bustling city limits, there are plenty of steep forested mountains and easy-going hills that make hiking in Hua Hin (and the surrounding area) an awesome outdoor activity.

Best time to go hiking in Hua Hin:

You can go hiking in Hua Hin almost all year round, though during the rainy season (which runs around late June and runs through October) the hiking trails can become slick with mud, which poses some danger. The best time of year to go hiking in Hua Hin is between November and March. April and May aren’t generally very rainy, but temperatures start to soar around this time, which isn’t ideal for long hikes.

Best places to go hiking in Hua Hin: Hiking Wat Khao Takiap:

In just 15 minutes by car or motorbike, you can reach one of the best- and closest- trails for hiking in Hua Hin. Khao Takiab sits just south of the city center, jutting out of the coastline slightly and overlooking the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Thailand.

The thickly forested mountain offers a moderately challenging hike to the top, marked out with a well-trodden trail and a series of stairs that lead to a small temple near the peak. Once there, you’ll be greeted by hundreds of wild monkeys (they’re used to human contact and are totally friendly and tame- although they have been known to ransack the odd backpack if it’s left unattended).

The view from the top offers an impressive look at the Gulf, countryside, and background cityscape.

Hiking Khao Hin Lek Fai:

As well as being one of Hua Hin’s best mountain biking trails, Khao Hin Lek Fai is also a great place to do some hiking in Hua Hin. Conveniently located just 10 minutes to the west of the city center, Khao Hin Lek Fai offers 3 km of winding hiking trails through the breezy, forested hills- home to dozens of wild peacocks. The trails fork off in different directions, making it possible to find yourself at both southerly and northerly facing peaks- each of which offer different views.

Hiking Sam Roi Yot National Park:

Sam Roi Yot (which we can translate to English as 300 peaks) sits about 40 km south of Hua Hin. As the name suggests, the region is chock a block with mountain peaks, many of which have their own designated hiking trails. Though it’s quite a bit further away, Sam Roi Yot is easily the most beautiful spot for hiking in Hua Hin and the surrounding area.

The best hikes in Sam Roi Yot include the challenging hour-long climb up Khao Deng and the incredible 90 minute trek up to the peak at Phraya Nakhon Cave, with its magical Buddhist temple set inside the cavern.

Early morning is the best time to do the latter; aim to arrive at the cave by 9.30 AM to catch the sun’s rays shining through the top of the cavern and lighting up the temple.

Conditions for hiking in Hua Hin:

Most of the trails for hiking in Hua Hin and the surrounding area are well-trodden and clearly marked, so they’re very easy to tackle yourself without a guide. The terrain is a mix of dirt, fallen leaves, and some rocks. In some cases, such as the Khao Deng hike, there are sections where you need to do some vertical climbing up steep rocky faces.

While it’s nothing the average fit person can’t manage, it may be difficult for young children, elderly, or people with reduced mobility. As mentioned above, the condition of the trails for hiking in Hua Hin deteriorates during periods of heavy rainfall, so it’s best not to go up the mountain until things dry out somewhat.

5 – Cycling & Mountain Biking in Hua Hin

Mountain biking in Hua Hin has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. There are several schools and clubs operating in the area, working hard to maintain trails in the jungle-clad mountains just outside of the city. On top of that, Hua Hin is often used as a tour stop for the Loose Riders Gravity Series, making downhill mountain biking in Hua Hin especially popular.

Most of the downhill mountain biking trails in Hua Hin have been forged up in the hills to the west of the downtown area, reachable after little more than a 15 minute bike ride from the city center.

As well as downhill mountain biking, there are also plenty of opportunities for cross-country and enduro mountain biking in Hua Hin, too.

Best time to go mountain biking in Hua Hin:

It’s possible to go mountain biking in Hua Hin at most times of the year, although there are short periods during the rainy season (July-October) when the trails become slick with mud from all the downpour. Before planning a trip at that time of year, we advise contacting one of the local schools to find out the current condition of the trails for mountain biking in Hua Hin.

Check out our mates Dan Meissner and Martin Everitt charging down Hua Hin’s top track: Khao Hin Lek Fai.

Best place to go mountain biking in Hua Hin: Khao Hin Lek Fai

Khao Hin Lek Fai (otherwise known as Mount Radar) is the most popular peak for downhill mountain biking in Hua Hin. Apart from the giant telecom towers at the top of the hill, the mountain is covered in rugged forest and wildlife- a far cry from the traffic and flashy shops of the city, just a few kilometers away.

Mount Radar boasts a modest collection of half a dozen trails, including the hair raising ICU Downhill Trail and the tamer Sen Bon (Upper) Trail. The ICU is fast, steep, and short (less than 1 kilometer) with a smattering of rock gardens. Meanwhile, Sen Bon is somewhat milder (although in parts, more technical) and offers one of the longer runs for mountain biking in Hua Hin.

Conditions for mountain biking in Hua Hin:

Downhill: fast, steep mountain trails with technical rock gardens
Cross-country & enduro: on and off-road; trails and tours lead past the beachfront, fruit plantations, coastal mountains, and Sam Roi Yot National Park.

Top tours & companies for mountain biking in Hua Hin:

Velo Bike Shop Hua Hin: With another HQ in Bangkok, these guys are one of the most renowned shops to rent or buy gear for mountain biking in Hua Hin. They stock a full arsenal of GT and TREK mountain bikes which they rent out to customers looking to tackle any of the local trails. They maintain 3 downhill trails in the area and also operate a number of cross-country and enduro tours for mountain biking in Hua Hin, too.

Hua Hin Bike Tours: Rated number one on TripAdvisor in the category of tours for mountain biking in Hua Hin, they organise a mix of half-day, day, and multi-day mountain biking tours in Hua Hin and the surrounding countryside. Their tours are ideal for beginners, families, and travelers keen to see the local sights from a fresh perspective.

See this complete listing for additional contacts and shops for mountain biking in Hua Hin.

Tips for beginners when mountain biking in Hua Hin:

If you’re planning on doing some sightseeing in the countryside or taking on a 2-wheeled cross-country adventure, you don’t need to worry about much. There are dedicated bicycle lanes along most of the country roads, and outside of the city center, traffic really isn’t a threat.

Now, if you’re planning on trying your hand at some enduro or downhill, the easiest and safest way to get started is by hooking up with a local tour company. They’ll be able to offer full guidance, advice, and safety equipment.

Where to stay in Hua Hin

Being the fast-growing city that it is, there are tons of options when it comes to finding places to stay in Hua Hin. As is the case with most developing cities, you can choose to spend as little or as much as you like when looking for accommodation in Hua Hin- depending on the standard and style of lodgings that you’re looking for.

At the most basic end of the spectrum, you can rent a room out in a local guest house in Hua Hin for as little as $10/night. For this price, you can expect to have free WiFi and a very basic, small space. For as little as $5/night you can get a bed in a dorm room in any one of Hua Hin’s backpacker hostels. Definitely a good option for short term travelers on a budget, but if you plan on staying longer term, you’ll likely want to splash out a little more on a larger, more comfortable space.

Meanwhile, short term travelers looking for a little luxury will do well to check out any of Hua Hin’s high-end international resorts, such as the Intercontinental. HotelsCombined.com has a huge selection of well-priced guest houses, hostels, and hotels in Hua Hin.

Medium and long term travelers should definitely consider looking into apartment rentals in Hua Hin. AirBnB has hundreds of listings in Hua Hin- many of which are located conveniently downtown or next to the beach.

Coworking Spaces in Hua Hin

Coworking Space Hua Hin is the only official coworking space in the city. It’s located 4 km outside of the city center in the direction of the famous Cicada Market (more on that in the next section).

Open since November 2017, Coworking Space Hua Hin is equipped with printers, scanners, working desks, private meeting rooms, and their WiFi speeds measure in at a cool 100 Mbps. They also offer restaurant, coffee, and bakery services. Guests can purchase a hourly (equivalent $4.50 USD), daily ($7.50), weekly ($42), or monthly ($105) pass for Coworking Space Hua Hin.

Where to shop and eat in Hua Hin

Here’s what you need to know about food shopping in Hua Hin:

For your everyday bits and bobs (household products, drinks, snacks, and so on), pop into any local corner store (you can’t throw a stone without hitting a 7/11 in these parts, so this should be easy). As for big trips for grocery shopping in Hua Hin, Tesco Lotus is the place to go. For cheap, bulk buys, go to Macro just outside the city center. For imported products, you’ll want Villa Market on the main road or Gourmet Market in the BluPort shopping center.

The culture for eating out in Hua Hin is big- as is typical in most places in Southeast Asia. And the really good news? There’s so much choice; not just Thai food, but flavours from around the world- American burgers and grills, Italian, Japanese sushi, Indian curries, and more. We definitely recommend checking out Hua Hin Vegan Cafe. Their potato pancakes and cauliflower buffalo ‘wings’ are the best!

As is standard in Thailand, street food in Hua Hin is a way of life. Head down any of the smaller streets off the main boulevard and you’ll find someone frying, steaming, or grilling up something delicious. Keep an eye out for the popcorn lady; she makes chocolate covered popcorn that’ll rock your world.

In terms of Hua Hin’s markets, your stay in the city wouldn’t be complete without checking out the famous Cicada night market. Held during the weekends, the Cicada Hua Hin market kicks off at sunset and hosts a hodgepodge of local vendors selling not just food, but crafts, artwork, fashion, vintage products, and more.

Apart from Cicada, there are scads of other smaller night markets in Hua Hin that take place on different nights all over the city, including the Chatchai Market and Chatsila Market.

Internet in Hua Hin

The internet in Hua Hin averages 41 Mbps download and 8.5 Mbps (see stats for the internet in Hua Hin here).

Predictably, the strength and consistency of the internet in Hua Hin tends to drop the further you go from the city center (with the exception of residences and businesses that have already installed their own fiber optics, which is becoming more and more common now). The top broadband and WiFi providers for internet in Hua Hin are 3BB (also known as TT&T), TOT, and True.

When it comes to mobile internet in Hua Hin:

SIM cards are widely available in corner shops, 7/11, and from local telecom vendors.

4G in Thailand averages 9 Mb/s as measured by a recent (November 2017) state of mobile networks in Thailand (see report). It is in line with the Asia-Pacific region average of 9.69 Mb/s. The top 3 mobile providers in Thailand are Truemove, AIS and Dtac. See a full guide on Thailand’s SIM card options here.

How to get to Hua Hin

It’s mercifully simple to get to Hua Hin, which is likely one of..

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Wondering what to do outdoors in Hong Kong?

Most people’s impression of Hong Kong is that it’s all shopping, shipping, and banking, but step away from the bright lights of Kowloon and high-tech towers of Central and a whole other side of Hong Kong will reveal itself.

Just like that haircut we love to hate, Hong Kong is all business in the front and party in the back. All you need to do is hop on a half hour ferry and suddenly you’re in a whole new world, hanging out with the ‘lifestylers’ on the beach, or scaling the side of a mountain with the local adventure sports crew.

Hong Kong and its outlying islands, Lamma and Lantau, are an outdoor adventurer’s dream come true. The countryside is covered in mountain trails where local hikers and bikers head for the scenic views and challenging rides, the peaks are dotted with paragliders preparing to launch themselves into the sky, and the beaches are littered only with salty souls making the most of the wind and waves.

Best of all, this is happening within a stone’s throw of the biggest and baddest metropolis of the East. Downtown is a cosmopolitan city with every resource a digital nomad could ever need, from coworking spaces with all the bells and whistles to networking events with some of the business world’s most influential players.

Kitesurfing in Hong Kong

Just a short journey away from the bustling city streets in Central, Hong Kong’s very own kitesurfing community is making waves.

Kiting is a fast-growing sport here. Though there are a couple of clubs that have been around since the early days, it’s only in the past few years that kitesurfing in Hong Kong has started to catch on with the locals in a big way (though we still have yet to see a meaningful number of local women getting involved).

Check out this awesome project by our old friend Hill Siu, a Hong Kong to Macau kitesurf crossing she started in order to raise funds for ocean clean ups!

It is very generous of Macau Daily Times to give us the front page in the support of our project!

Posted by Kitesurfing HK to MACAO Charity Fundraising for the Ocean Cleanup on Monday, March 4, 2019
Best time to go kitesurfing in Hong Kong

The main season for kiteboarding in Hong Kong runs from September until March, peaking between November and January.

Conditions for kitesurfing in Hong Kong Wind

Hong Kong is a light wind spot, so most people’s quivers are 12, 14, and 17m; although on monsoon days you’ll need a smaller size.

Water

At the main kitesurfing spot, Shui Hau, the water is flat apart from some small wind chop. The Shui Hau kitesurfing spot is heavily affected by the tides, and although it is possible to kiteboard here during low tide, you’ll have to walk quite far from the launch site to reach the water.

The water is quite murky in colour, but clean all the same.

Temperature

The water temperature stays pretty comfortable year round, with an average of 26-30 degrees in summer and 15-25 in winter. You won’t usually need a wetsuit when kitesurfing in Hong Kong, although on chilly winter monsoon days, you’ll probably want a long sleeved rash vest to protect from the wind chill.

Beach

The beach at the main spot, Shui Hai, is covered in sharp little rocks and can pose a threat to inflatable kites. There’s a grassy area nearby which is a safer place to set up and land. Particularly at low tide, you’ll want to wear booties when kitesurfing here.

Best spots for kitesurfing in Hong Kong Kitesurfing at Shui Hau Beach

Located on the southern coast of Lantau Island, Shui Hau is Hong Kong’s main kiteboarding hub from September to March (peaking from November-January) when the east-northeast winds blow; though in reality, Shui Hau works best on a dead easterly direction since the beach area is flanked by big mountains on each side (if the direction changes mid-session it’s not uncommon to see kites drop from the sky en masse).

Shui Hau has flat, shallow water and side-on to onshore wind, with average speeds measuring in 10-20 knots. It’s heavily affected by the tides however, which means you might be in for a bit of a walk to get to the water, and there are some sharp shells and rocks underfoot (booties recommended).

Shui Hau is the home of the Hong Kong Kiteboarding School, along with a number of other local clubs.

Kitesurfing in Sai Kung

When the northerly winds kick in, Hong Kong’s kitesurfers head for Sai Kung in the New Territories; a place known for its fishing, hiking trails, and country parks. Kiting at Sai Kung isn’t for the faint of heart however, as winds are usually fairly gusty and offshore.

Kitesurfing at Pui O Beach

Hong Kong’s summer monsoon brings southeasterly winds along with it, which transforms Pui O Beach (Lantau) into Hong Kong’s ultimate kitesurf playground. Pui O has soft, clean sand and gentle rolling waves, plus Hong Kong’s top rated beach club (Mavericks) sits right on the edge of the sand.

Kitesurfing at Cheung Sha

Occasionally during the summer monsoon you can also kite at the nearby Cheung Sha Beach, another beautiful soft sand spot that sometimes has nice little waves.

Wakeboarding in Hong Kong

While there is currently no cable park in Hong Kong (Wake Park HK closed a couple of years ago and has yet to reopen; although we did see CORE Hong Kong open a two tower system for the duration of summer 2017 but no news yet on whether they’ll be back again), boat wakeboarding in Hong Kong happens at a couple of spots:

Best spots for wakeboarding in Hong Kong
  • Stanley Beach, Hong Kong Island
  • Sai Kung, New Territories

It is very generous of Macau Daily Times to give us the front page in the support of our project!

Posted by Kitesurfing HK to MACAO Charity Fundraising for the Ocean Cleanup on Monday, March 4, 2019
Clubs to contact for wakeboarding in Hong Kong

HK AquaBound CenterHong Kong Wakeboard

SUPing in Hong Kong

The surf is small and the wind is light, which may not please the hardcore kiters and surfers, but it does make for ideal SUPing conditions. In fact, Hong Kong hosts an admirable amount of SUP events and competitions thanks to the input of local clubs like the Hong Kong Stand Up Paddle Boarding Association.

Conditions for SUPing in Hong Kong

A mix of calm river paddles through traditional villages and quiet countryside, open sea paddling on gentle waves and baby wind chop, and small wave riding at Hong Kong’s surf spots.

Best spots for SUPing in Hong Kong

When it comes to the question of where to SUP in Hong Kong, the world- as they say- is your oyster. Hong Kong’s scenic countryside, myriad rivers, and expansive coastline dotted with islands offer tons of places that are perfect for pulling out a SUP and exploring from the water.

Challenge yourself with some gentle surf on Lantau’s southern beaches or Shek O’s Big Wave Bay, or get some flat water action in with a chilled out river paddle; whatever your SUP style is, you’ll find loads of like minded SUPers around ready to sort you out with board rentals and advice.

Our favourite SUP spot in all of Hong Kong can be found on the western coast of Lantau Island in a little traditional village, Tai O. The village sits on the banks of the Tai O River, which is flanked on either side by colourful houses perched on top of precarious looking stilts. Paddling down the river, past the houses and into the adjacent creek will bring you stunning views of Lantau’s towering western mountains, which are usually enshrouded in a sort of otherworldly mist.

Stand Up Paddle Hong Kong C4 Waterman - Kayak and Hike, Clearwater Bay - YouTube
Where to find SUP rentals in Hong Kong

Hiwindlover Water Sports Center, Stanley Beach (Hong Kong Island)

SUP Yoga , Stanley Beach (Hong Kong Island)

Treasure Island Group, Pui O (Lantau)

Long Coast Seasports, Cheung Sha (Lantau)

Blue Sky Sports Club, Sai Kung (New Territories)

Hiking in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a hiker’s paradise. Between the national parks, towering peaks, and well-trodden trails, there are plenty of hiking opportunities to suit every level.

Apart from the gobsmacking scenery and endless variety of paths to choose from, the best thing about Hong Kong’s hiking trails is that they are extremely easy to access no matter where in the city you are thanks to the awesome public transport system.

Lantau Island by Jay Dantinne Best time to go hiking in Hong Kong

Hiking can be done here all year round, but in terms of optimum temperature and weather, the best months are from November to March.

Best places for hiking in Hong Kong

There are 4 groups of hiking trails in Hong Kong, each of which is divided into smaller stages offering shorter individual hikes.

Hiking the Hong Kong Trail

Stretching from Victoria Peak to Big Wave Bay, this 50 kilometer trail is a popular one thanks to its diverse terrain, well-marked paths, and stunning natural scenery.

The trail is divided into 8 stages, the most famous of which is the iconic Dragon’s Back Ridge– which earned itself the title of World’s Best Urban Hike. The 8.5 km ridge hike brings trekkers to the 284 meter high peak overlooking Shek O Country Park and the dramatic coastline below.

Hiking the Lantau Trail

This 70 km long trail begins and ends on Lantau Island’s easterly harbour, Mui Wo. There are 12 stages within the larger trail, each of which are clearly marked every 500 meters. The trail’s tallest point, Lantau Peak, measures in at a staggering 934 meters.

Depending which stage of the trail you set off one, you may find yourself trekking through dense forest, peeking out at the azure coastline below, coming face-to-face with the iconic Tian Tan Buddha, or wandering around the misty paths in Tai O- the island’s traditional fishing village on stilts.

Hiking the MacLehose Trail

Spanning all the way from Hong Kong Island’s Sai Kung Peninsula in the east to Tuen Mun in the west, the MacLehose Trail is 100 kilometers long from start to finish.

The trail winds through the wild eastern country park, along towering peaks with sprawling views of Kowloon’s reservoirs, past a dormant volcano, and looks over countless coves, cliffs, and miles of coastline.

The MacLehose Trail also includes a hike up Hong Kong’s highest peak- Tai Mo Shan (957 meters). At certain points along this trail, you can actually make out mainland China in the distance.

Hiking the Wilson Trail

While it may not be the longest or the highest of hikes, the Wilson Trail might just have the most character of all. The 78 km trail runs through a total of eight country parks between the south of Hong Kong Island to the northeast of the New Territories.

The trail contains 10 stages, one of which passes through Victoria Harbour (and therefore is super easy to access via MTR). Stages 6, 7, and 8 of the trail are filled with wild monkeys (don’t feed them, however tempted you may be; them monkeys be gangster.)

Extra resources for hiking in Hong Kong

For further reading on Hong Kong’s hiking trails, check out the Discover Hong Kong Hiking Guide.

Cycling and Mountain Biking in Hong Kong

Whether you’re into throwing yourself down a mountain at breakneck speed or exploring the sloping roads of Hong Kong’s islands, this is the ideal place for a two-wheeled adventure.

There are zillions of cycling and mountain biking trails in Hong Kong for downhill, enduro, and cross-country. Considering the diversity of Hong Kong’s terrain, there’ll be something for every level of cyclist, from experienced die-hard downhillers to total mountain bike novices.

Best time to go mountain biking in Hong Kong

Between all the different off-road and on-road trails, you can ride year round in Hong Kong. That said, it’s a good idea to avoid planning a mountain biking trip to Hong Kong during the peak rainy season (April-June).

Hong Kong Trails #1 • Tin Man - YouTube
Best places to go mountain biking in Hong Kong

One of the greatest things about Hong Kong is the number of country parks that protect the land here (many of which are strewn with awesome MTB trails). However, if you want to ride these trails you first need to be granted a permit from the AFCD (see useful links below).

There are a total of nine designated MTB trails in Hong Kong (which measure up to 113 km of trail overall), as well as a free-for-all mountain biking site in Wan Tsai where all trails are open for riding.

Here are what the extreme nomad community call Hong Kong’s best mountain bike trails:

Off-road: Tai Mo San, Tai Lam Country Park, Chi Ma Wan Peninsula, Sai Kung West Country Park, Lamma Island, Shek O

On-road: Plover Cove, South Lantau, Tai Po and Tsuen Wan

Resources and clubs for mountain biking in Hong Kong

MTB Project – Hong Kong

Hong Kong Mountain Bike Association

Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (for permits to ride in the country parks).

Action Asia Events (big time MTB event organisers in HK).

Paragliding in Hong Kong

Paragliding is growing in popularity in Hong Kong. Thanks to the light winds and high mountain peaks, it’s the chosen home-away-from-home for many members of the flying nomad community.

Best time to go paragliding in Hong Kong

Most of the approved paragliding spots in Hong Kong cater for easterly winds, but between all of the spots it’s possible to fly in virtually every wind direction throughout the year.

Things to note about paragliding in Hong Kong

The majority of sites offer reasonable landing options, although there are some that are far more challenging and are only suitable for highly experienced pilots.

It’s important to note that Hong Kong’s airspace is closely monitored, and there are strict height restrictions and flying site limitations in place that must be adhered to at all times.

Best places for paragliding in Hong Kong

There are 8 places approved for paragliding in Hong Kong:

  •   Pat Sin Leng, Tai Po
  •   Long Ke Wan, Sai Kung East
  •   Pak Tam Au, Sai Kung North
  •   Ma On Shan Country Park
  •   Sai Wan, Sai Kung East
  •   Shek O, Hong Kong Island
  •   South Lantau Country Park
  •   Kau Lung Hang Shan, Tai Po
Clubs and schools for paragliding in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Paragliding Association offer tandem flights, pilot instruction, and support for those who already have their flying skills in the bag. Check out their website for the latest updates on the best times and sites to fly at.

Where to stay in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s housing rental system isn’t set up to support short to medium term stays, so if you’re planning to spend <1 month here, your best options are either Airbnb, hostels, or couchsurfing.

Couchsurfing is a good way to start off in the city- especially since it’s free; and what with the 30,000 registered hosts in HK, you’re sure to find somewhere to lay your head for a few nights.

Airbnb prices start around $30-50/night for a basic small space (you can squeeze that to $800/month if you negotiate a longer term stay), but double that budget and you’ll find yourself a cushy private studio with fast wifi.

Hostels can be found for as little as $12/night, but don’t get your hopes up for that price- and definitely don’t expect reliable wifi. Push your budget to $30/night and you’ll have yourself a nice selection of the city’s top notch hostels offering awesome wifi, good locations, and impeccable cleanliness (some even have dedicated workspaces, which means you could save money on coworking).

If you’re looking for a backpacker (and bank account) friendly option, check out the recommendations in this budget itinerary for Hong Kong.

For nomads looking to stay for the medium to long term, apartment or house rentals are for you. The thing is, most rental contracts in Hong Kong look for a two year lease and require a hefty enough security deposit, which isn’t the most nomad-friendly arrangement.

Prices in the outlying islands and New Territories hover around $1,200 US/month (you’ll be hard pushed to find much for under a grand), while rentals in Central and Kowloon are normally double that.

Working & Coworking Spaces in Hong Kong

Space is limited in Hong Kong, and because of that, space is expensive.

You’ll have oodles of choice when it comes to coworking spaces (though they are concentrated in the main city areas and fall away the further you go into the outlying regions).

But:

On the downside, coworking spaces in Hong Kong are expensive when you compare them to anywhere else in Asia (or anywhere else in the world, for that matter). Normal prices hover around $35 USD/day. Many won’t even offer day passes and will require a monthly membership.

On the upside, cafes and coffee shops are aware of this situation, and for that reason they are normally very welcoming to digital nomads looking to set up base for a day or half day (normally- but not always. We have heard a couple of stories of cafes refusing to allow customers on their wifi, etc).

The two biggest coffee shop chains in HK- Starbucks and Pacific Coffee- could actually pass for semi-coworking spaces with the amount of large work tables, available plugs, and free & fast wifi. The only negative of working from these places is that after half an hour you’ll be automatically logged out of your wifi session (you then need to manually log back in).

Then you have the smaller independent coffee shops, which almost always offer free wifi, but don’t necessarily have specific work-friendly locations or power plugs. The upside, however, is that these places usually have a way more chilled atmosphere, and the wifi won’t require re-logins.

Additionally, most Hong Kong libraries (and some embassy education centers on Hong Kong Island) also offer work spaces.

Coworking spaces in Hong Kong that we recommend: PaperclipNaked HubWeWorkWyndThe Hive, Ooosh

Lantau Island doesn’t have any dedicated coworking spaces yet, but there are a handful of digital nomad-friendly cafes that have fast reliable internet, plugs, and best of all- beach views.

Cafes and digital nomad working places in Lantau that we recommend: China Bear

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Side hustle coach & avid kitesurfer Raunak Datt shares 6 kitesurfing jobs you can get started in today.

Starting a side hustle is more than just having an extra income. It can also be the first step of doing what you love and getting paid for it.

You’ll get better results when you take your passion- or favorite sport- and use that to start a side business. That’s the formula to building a successful side business in something you love – or at least to making money in something you like!

But as anyone who’s ever tried turning a passion for watersports into a side business, main business, or location independent job can tell you, it isn’t straightforward.

Sometimes you need a guide to help you on your way. So with that in mind, here are 6 kitesurfing jobs you can start a side hustle in:

Become A Photographer
Master Yoda’s dark slide [image: Alexandru Baranescu; courtesy of KTA Media]

You know that feeling when you land your first jump and the sun is shining at an angle that catches you looking sweet as? Errm… me neither.

Let’s be real, while many of us live for the thrills we get from kiting at a great spot, it would be really cool if we could get a few shots of us doing the thing we love. As the number of people starting the sport grows every year, there’s a growing opportunity for recreational and professional photographers that can catch those awesome memories for kiters.

Now, photography is a challenging and rewarding kitesurfing job:

From a creative point of view, kitesurfing is an incredibly diverse sport with multiple styles, disciplines, and environments to choose from. From getting a close-up shot of a rider ripping on a wave to catching big air mega loops from the beach, you have so much to play with to find your own creative style.

So how should you get going? Photography, like any other craft, relies on you being good at the fundamentals- to begin with. When starting out, get to your favorite spot and just start taking pictures!

The best way is to learn by doing and studying how you could have done better.

Oh, and since you’re bound to get in the water, make sure to get a housing that protects your camera. Check out this insightful article with kitesurf photographer Shane on how to start in this side business!​​​​​​​

Start A Kitesurf Blog
Poland’s Victor Borsuk throwing it down in freestyle action and racing on day two – KTA Philippines 21.02.2014, being staged in Aqua Boracay by Yoo on Bulabog Beach . Photo by Alexandru Baranescu / KTA

If there are people who kitesurf, there will always be people who want to learn and read more about it. Building a blog around your favorite sport is an amazing way to share your thoughts, opinions, and research with others in the same boat.

Starting a blog is relatively easy to do, but separating yourself from the noise is where things get a bit more difficult. As more content gets produced every day, it becomes harder to stand out and build an audience.

What we recommend is to find a niche in or around kitesurfing that can be explored in depth. Are you a loyal kiter at a certain spot that you can share stories about? Do you LOVE gear and the intricacies of kiting? What’s your unique passion point?

Take Extreme Nomads, for example; their niche of travel blogging for extreme sports enthusiasts has helped them separate from the crowd, create awesome content and build a community of nomads!

If you’re not sure on how to find your unique passion point, I built a free email course that teaches you exactly how to do that; check it out here.

When it comes to the technical side of building a blog, I highly recommend you start by reading this article by Ryan Robinson on how to get going.​​​​​​​ It’s a game changer.

Produce Kitesurf Videos
KTA Thailand 2017 - Pak Nam Pran by Moose Cider - Vimeo

A sexy little edit that Jim made during one of the KTA events in Pranburi.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably binged on a lot of incredibly produced kite videos by the teams at Stance, Cabrinha or the vlogs of pros like Kevin Langeree.

While it may feel like creating awesome videos that go viral is reserved for the professional or well funded, that’s pretty far from the truth.

Producing great videos has little to do with what resources you have. It’s almost always about a great story and videography. While the quality of the video and audio do matter, in the long run, you want to focus more on getting good at telling stories and finding unique perspectives to share.

This could look like a vlog, where you share your journey and build an audience that values your story as a kitesurfer (and awesome human) or by creating narrative-driven videos that give your viewers a chance to see things from your perspective in a captivating way.

There is so much you can play with when it comes to videography, but the goal is to find your style and get good at it.

There are two ways kitesurf videographers are killing it:

The first way is through a self-produced YouTube channel that you monetize through Google Adsense. The money you make is based on how many views you rake in for each video. Use the youtube playbook for tips to get started and grow fast.

The second way is by becoming a freelancer for professional teams, brands and production houses in the professional world of kitesurfing. This direction requires more time, effort and skills. Building authority and a network of professionals is important. Here’s a great course to get you started in video production!

Become a Kitesurf Instructor
image: Grahame Booker/C2Sky Kite Center

Kitesurf instructors are the unofficial gatekeepers of this awesome sport. It’s usually through your first lessons in the water, learning how to body drag and power dive the kite where you get your first “high” in this beautiful sport. Becoming a part-time instructor of this sport is an extremely awesome way to develop your skills and share the stoke with people just beginning.

To become a kitesurf instructor, you should get qualified with the International Kiteboarding Organisation (IKO) as an assistant instructor before taking the level 1 instructor course. You can find all the details in the link above.

Here are some key things to consider when starting out:

  • Learn how to teach what you know well in simple terms and exercises.
  • Teach your students how to be independent. The reason behind that is that learning to kitesurf requires independence and trusting your own instincts; and an instructor that doesn’t push the student to get comfortable out in the water by themselves may not have a great experience.
Start a Kite Camp

Are you a local at a spot or a frequent traveler? Do you love event management and creating awesome experiences? If that sounds like you, then starting a kite camp may be your ideal kitesurfing job!

Here’s the deal:

A kite camp is essentially a training camp and retreat mixed into one. They offer kiters of different levels a chance to progress under a professional (or team of professionals) in a spot that has consistent and reliable wind conditions. Some kite camps even go for the all-inclusive experience and organize unique accommodation, handle food and some cultural or nightlife outings.

The demand for kite camps is growing as the number of kitesurfers grow. Estimates of the total kitesurfing population in the world was 2 million in 2014 with an annual growth rate of 9%.

That’s a lot of potential!

So how do you start a kite camp?

It all begins with choosing the season, location and approximate dates. Once you have those in mind, it’s time to do a competitive analysis on how other kite camps in the same season and location (or similar locations) are priced and what do they offer.

Next, it’s time to reach out to kite schools, accommodations and any other supplier you may need to have an idea about your initial expenses. With all of that, you should be able to make an informed opinion on what type of kite camp would work, how much should it cost and what will it offer.

Next, it’s time to think of what could it make it awesome. What would help your camp standout? It could be having a professional kiteboarder around, or adding extra things like coaching or fitness workshops around the kiting. Figure out what would make your retreat stand out.

Once you reach here, you’re ready to build a website, list your camp on booking platforms and market it to your audience! While this may be an overly simplistic journey of setting up your first kite camp, it should give you enough of a kick to get started.


Design & Sell Kite Gear

With a community as passionate as kitesurfers, creating gear and accessories around that passion can work incredibly well as a kitesurfing job (or side business).

Maybe designing your own kite or your own board is a little ambitious if you don’t have the technical know-how, but printing t-shirts or stickers is much more achievable, for example.

In creating physical products, making sure people will buy what you sell is top of the agenda- since you’ll need to make up for your production costs first and foremost. So how can you take your idea and find people to give you feedback (and eventually money)?

The first step is crafting out your idea into a small elevator pitch.

An elevator pitch is a statement that succinctly gives someone unknown to your idea all the information he/she may need. Once you have that, it’s time to find 30 people to share the pitch with. You can find these people in your personal network or online communities where your target customer would be.

I cover all of this in-depth and more in a free email course to validate your idea.

Once you reach 30 people, keep the conversation going and try to find out what would they love to wear- rather than just like to wear. While this may seem like a long process, the opportunity to explore your creative side, make a physical product and make money is well worth it!

Is there another kitesurfing job I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll update the post with the best ideas (and a link crediting you).

Pin me!


The post 6 Kitesurfing Jobs You can Start A Side Business in Today appeared first on Extreme Nomads.

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8 Best Things to do Outdoors in Lombok, Indonesia

Sandwiched between Bali and West Nusa Tenggara, Lombok is a breezy, tropical island bursting with potential for outdoor sports and adrenaline activities. Within the surfing community, Lombok already holds a reputation as one of the best surfing destinations in Asia. But big, badass waves are just the beginning of what the island has to offer on sea, land, and even in the air.

The rugged, rural north of Lombok is home to the sky tickling volcano, Mount Rinjani, and at its base lies dozens of tiny rural villages. Meanwhile, the southern portion of Lombok is where the typical tourist trail leads, with hotspots such as Kuta, Senggigi, and Tanjung Aan being the most popular haunts.

Though it wasn’t long ago that Lombok was isolated from the outside world, when life on the island danced to the tune of the local mosque bells and the early morning markets, modern Lombok is beginning to look a little different.

Visit Lombok today and you’ll still hear the prayers from the mosques echoing through the streets at sunrise; but you’re just as likely to catch a glimpse of some surfers tracking down the lip of a wave at Bangko Bangko; of families setting off to explore the underwater world of the Gili Islands; or digital nomads schlepping to their favourite cafe to set up shop for the day.

Lombok’s modern mishmash of culture is changing fast, and- with its tropical vibes, jaw-dropping scenery, burgeoning party scene, and outdoor adventure culture- it’s a pretty exciting time to get to know the island.

1 – Kitesurfing in Lombok

The scene for kitesurfing in Lombok is massively underrated, in our opinion. With its big, beautiful sandy beach, flat water lagoon, clear blue water, and reliable trade wind, it’s no wonder locals proudly tout that the kitesurfing in Lombok is some of the best in Indonesia.

Best time to go kitesurfing in Lombok

The season for kiteboarding in Lombok runs from May-September, peaking between June-August. August is the absolutely highest point of the season, but even then the kitesurfing beach is still uncrowded.

This is worth noting in a big, big way, because the majority of Asian kitesurfing spots don’t have reliable wind during the summer months, making Lombok one of the best places to go kitesurfing in Asia from May-September.

THE BEST KITESURFING IN INDONESIA - KALIANTAN - YouTube
Best spots for kitesurfing in Lombok
  • Kaliantan (main spot)
  • Extra location: Serenting Beach (conveniently located near Kuta)
Conditions for kitesurfing in Lombok Wind

At Kaliantan, the main spot for kitesurfing in Lombok, the average wind range during the season is 16-25 knots. During the peak of the high season (July/August) you can reliably kite almost every day in 20 knots of side onshore wind. Throughout the remaining months of the season, expect to be able to kitesurf on 90% of days. The stable trade winds blow from the southeast during the season and typically kick in by 10/11 AM every morning. Serenting is another kitesurfing beach in Lombok, but the wind is less strong and reliable than Kaliantan.

Water

Both Kaliantan and Serenting are protected flat water lagoons. The outer reef keeps the water inside the lagoon calm and flat (apart from some very small wind chop) which is ideal for freestyle. Meanwhile, the water outside the reef breaks in nice clean waves during high tide, ideal for intermediate and advanced wave riders. The bays are heavily affected by the tides, so kitesurfing during mid-high tide, when the distance between the coral and the surface of the water is +1 meter, is safer.

Temperature

The average air temperature in Lombok during the kitesurfing season is 29 degrees Celsius. The average water temperature is 26 degrees Celsius. You won’t need a wetsuit when kitesurfing in Lombok, though it’s a good idea to wear a rash vest to protect from UV rays.

Beach

The main beach for kitesurfing in Lombok, Kaliantan, is sandy and stretches along the coast for 1.2km. Some parts of the beach have little pieces of sharp coral, so you should always be careful that you pick a safe spot to set up, launch, and land your kite.

Hazards

Kaliantan is used as a site for seaweed farming. There are several bamboo sticks in the water marking out the seaweed farm, which can be dangerous if a kiteboarder collides with them. The sticks are only placed near to the beach, so experienced riders will easily be able to avoid them; beginners will have no issue as long as they carefully follow the direction of their instructor. The coral underneath the water can be quite sharp (so can the occasional sea urchin), so avoid walking and body drag instead.

Tips for beginners kitesurfing in Lombok

Keep an eye on the tides while you’re riding. Ask your instructor to give you a reference point for when you should come back in (e.g. check the level of the water against a rock so that you can see if it drops too low). Your instructor will be able to tell you where to enter/exit the water to avoid the bamboo sticks.

Schools and clubs for kitesurfing in Lombok

Kaliantan kitesurf: An IKO certified center with qualified instructors, their partnered resort is located 15 minutes away from the kitesurfing spot. They offer awesome downwind kitesurfing tours along the coast for advanced kiters. Kaliantan Kitesurf also provides a shuttle service to and from the kitesurfing beach, as well as motorbike rentals for customers who prefer to fly solo.

Seabreeze Kite Club: With a sister school in Sumatra and further locations in Siargao and Bantayan (Philippines), Seabreeze Kite Club in Lombok offers IKO lessons, gear rental, and are partnered with a local resort to offer kite-friendly accommodation.

The Playground - YouTube
2 – Wakeboarding in Lombok

Though, as of yet, there is no cable wakeboarding park in Lombok, the local watersports crew offer jet ski powered wakeboarding sessions. With plenty of flat water lagoons and year-round warm weather, wakeboarding in Lombok is a pretty sweet deal. Advanced riders can even take the chance to try wake foiling with the crew from The Playground.

Best time to go wakeboarding in Lombok

In terms of months, it’s hard to say when the best time for wakeboarding in Lombok really is. The local jetski wakeboarding operations run all year round. Time of day makes a difference though; it’s best to go early in the morning or later in the afternoon when the wind is low and the water is flat.

Conditions for wakeboarding in Lombok

Flat lagoon protected by an outer reef. The lagoon is tidal and the water conditions are affected by the wind (choppy during high wind and flat in the early morning, late afternoon, and during the no-wind season).

Best spots for wakeboarding in Lombok
  • Kuta
  • Mawon Bay
Tips for beginners for wakeboarding in Lombok

Your wake session will start on the beach with your instructor teaching you about proper riding position. Then, you’ll be given a life jacket for safety and comfort on the water. If you’re hoping to do some wakeboarding with children, you should be aware that jet ski powered wakeboarding isn’t ideal for young kids- though it is technically possible (boat powered wakeboarding is a better option). Speak with the local club before planning a session with young kids.

Clubs that offer wakeboarding in Lombok

The Playground, SeaGypsies

3 – SUPing in Lombok

SUPing (or stand up paddle boarding) is one of the best outdoor sports you can do in Lombok if you’re keen to get out there and explore your new surroundings. And you’ll want to, too, what with all the beaches, untouched coastline, and staggering cliffs that drop right into the ocean. Soak in the views, go island hopping, explore the coast, try some wave riding, or enjoy a sunset SUP yoga session.

Conditions for SUP in Lombok

You’ll find plenty of sheltered bays with flat water surrounded by outer reefs. Experienced paddlers can go to the outside of the reef to ride waves, while novice paddlers can stick to the calm conditions in the lagoon. Spots like Kuta Beach have very little current, which makes paddling far easier. Mawi offers big waves for experienced SUP surfers.

Best spots for SUP in Lombok
  • Ekas Bay
  • Kuta Beach
  • Pink Beach
  • Gili Nanggu
  • Gili Sudak
  • Rungkan Beach
  • Mawi
  • Tanjung Aan
4 – Hiking in Lombok

Lombok is covered in rolling hills whose peaks offer jaw-dropping inland views and Insta-worthy ocean vistas. What’s better, for every hill on the island there’s at least half a dozen potential hikes.

But the star of the show?

Without a doubt, it’s the monster-sized volcano in the north, Mount Rinjani; a hike so breathtaking that people travel to Lombok just to experience it.

Best time to go hiking in Lombok

April-October is dry season, which is naturally the best time to go hiking in Lombok (even the less-steep trails can get pretty harrowing when the whole hillside turns to mud in the rainy season). June-October is the absolute best time since these are the driest months.

Lombok by Benjamin Janos Best places to go hiking in Lombok Hiking Mount Rinjani

Belonging to the National Park of the same name, Mount Rinjani is the second highest volcano in Indonesiaand measures in at a staggering 3,726 meters. Accompanied by a mandatory guide (it’s illegal to go alone), visitors can take part in a wild camping and trekking experience on Mount Rinjani that typically lasts 3-5 days.

There are a number of different routes you can take when hiking Mt. Rinjani in Lombok, each of which varies in terms of distance, difficulty, and final destination. Typically, hikes begin in Sembulan and end in Senaru. The most popular routes are the Mount Rinjani summit hike, the Mount Rinjani crater hike, and the Mount Rinjani Lake Segara Anak hike.

Over the course of a 3-5 day hike on Mount Rinjani, you can expect to be hiking around 10 hours a day. Not everybody who sets out makes it to the summit! But for those that do, they’re rewarded with the most insanely beautiful views of the sun rising above the clouds and down the towering mountainside.

All of the above are pretty challenging hikes, so we recommend having at least a basic level of fitness before attempting to scale the mountain. The Mount Rinjani hike is steep in many parts- particularly as you approach the summit- and loose volcanic ash makes keeping your footing a little tricky in places.

It gets cold at the top, so we recommend wearing leggings/long pants and plenty of layers on top. A thermal puff jacket that you can easily fold away into a backpack is an awesome choice.

For a deeper look at hiking Mount Rinjani in Lombok, take a look at this detailed guide.

Extra spot for a mini hike – Sunset Peak

Located just on the edge of Tanjung Aan Beach, sunset peak is the spot to head for to catch the last rays of the evening after a long, lazy day of chilling on the beach. One of the easier places for hiking in Lombok, the sunset peak trail takes you meandering up the dry mountain terrain that’s been shaped by years of cattle migration.

Tips for beginners going hiking in Lombok
  • If you’re looking to do a Mount Rinjani hiking tour, keep in mind that it’s almost always worth paying more for a better tour company. Quality makes a big difference on the overnight expeditions ( you’ll be given better tents, food, and your trip leaders will usually be more environmental conscious, too). For optimal safety, look for a company that offers 1 guide per 5 trekkers (maximum).
  • Stick with easier hikes if you aren’t in great shape. Consider avoiding the full-on 5 day tours if you aren’t physically prepared.
  • During your hike, dress appropriately and stay hydrated.
  • Prepare in advance for the big hikes by jogging and doing some strength training.
  • Invest in a proper backpack (one that buckles at the hips, ideally).
  • Resist the urge to overpack!
Tours we recommend for hiking Mount Rinjani in Lombok

Senaru Trekking (they offer 5% discount to anyone who carries a bag of trash down the mountain)

Hiking in Lombok

Lombok is covered in rolling hills whose peaks offer jaw-dropping inland views and Insta-worthy ocean vistas. What’s better, for every hill on the island there’s at least half a dozen potential hikes.

But the star of the show?

Without a doubt, it’s the monster-sized volcano in the north, Mount Rinjani; a hike so breathtaking that people travel to Lombok just to experience it.

Best time to go hiking in Lombok

April-October is dry season, which is naturally the best time to go hiking in Lombok (even the less-steep trails can get pretty harrowing when the whole hillside turns to mud in the rainy season). June-October is the absolute best time since these are the driest months.

Best places to go hiking in Lombok Hiking Mount Rinjani

Belonging to the National Park of the same name, Mount Rinjani is the second highest volcano in Indonesia and measures in at a staggering 3,726 meters. Accompanied by a mandatory guide (it’s illegal to go alone), visitors can take part in a wild camping and trekking experience on Mount Rinjani that typically lasts 3-5 days.

Mount Rinjani by Jonas Verstuyft

There are a number of different routes you can take when hiking Mt. Rinjani in Lombok, each of which varies in terms of distance, difficulty, and final destination. Typically, hikes begin in Sembulan and end in Senaru. The most popular routes are the Mount Rinjani summit hike, the Mount Rinjani crater hike, and the Mount Rinjani Lake Segara Anak hike.

Over the course of a 3-5 day hike on Mount Rinjani, you can expect to be hiking around 10 hours a day. Not everybody who sets out makes it to the summit! But for those that do, they’re rewarded with the most insanely beautiful views of the sun rising above the clouds and down the towering mountainside.

All of the above are pretty challenging hikes, so we recommend having at least a basic level of fitness before attempting to scale the mountain. The Mount Rinjani hike is steep in many parts- particularly as you approach the summit- and loose volcanic ash makes keeping your footing a little tricky in places.

It gets cold at the top, so we recommend wearing leggings/long pants and plenty of layers on top. A thermal puff jacket that you can easily fold away into a backpack is an awesome choice.

For a deeper look at hiking Mount Rinjani in Lombok, take a look at this detailed guide.

Extra spot for a mini hike – Sunset Peak

Located just on the edge of Tanjung Aan Beach, sunset peak is the spot to head for to catch the last rays of the evening after a long, lazy day of chilling on the beach. One of the easier places for hiking in Lombok, the sunset peak trail takes you meandering up the dry mountain terrain that’s been shaped by years of cattle migration.

Tips for beginners going hiking in Lombok
  • If you’re looking to do a Mount Rinjani hiking tour, keep in mind that it’s almost always worth paying more for a better tour company. Quality makes a big difference on the overnight expeditions ( you’ll be given better tents, food, and your trip leaders will usually be more environmental conscious, too). For optimal safety, look for a company that offers 1 guide per 5 trekkers (maximum).
  • Stick with easier hikes if you aren’t in great shape. Consider avoiding the full-on 5 day tours if you aren’t physically prepared.
  • During your hike, dress appropriately and stay hydrated.
  • Prepare in advance for the big hikes by jogging and doing some strength training.
  • Invest in a proper backpack (one that buckles at the hips, ideally).
  • Resist the urge to overpack!
Tours we recommend for hiking Mount Rinjani in Lombok

Senaru Trekking (they offer 5% discount to anyone who carries a bag of trash down the mountain)

5 – Cycling and Mountain Biking in Lombok

Mountain biking in Lombok? Oh yeah. Think wild jungle, untouched beaches, ocean-facing cliffs, authentic local villages, and miles and miles of rural farmland. For wilderness enduro adventures, Ekas Peninsula is the place to head for.

You can choose to do a guided tour, but few people do. Most prefer to go full adventure style by renting a quality bike and getting down to some solo exploration.

Best time to go mountain biking in Lombok

Dry season is the best time of year to go mountain biking in Lombok. Though it’s technically possible to MTB in Lombok all year round, it’s best to avoid November-January when the rainy season is at its peak.

Conditions for mountain biking in Lombok

A mix of gravel, dirt, tarmac, off-road, hilly terrain (not flat)

ESCAPE - Mount Rinjani - Clementz - YouTube
Best spots for mountain biking in Lombok
  • Ekas Peninsula (one of the driest parts of Lombok, so if you’re hoping to do some MTB during the rainy season, this is your best bet)
  • Kaliantan beach
  • Cobra beach
  • Kura Kura
  • Southern coastline
Tips for beginners mountain biking in Lombok

Tours and rental excursions generally start with a safety briefing, which is a good opportunity to ask questions and learn about your equipment. Safety gear is always provided. If your fitness level isn’t up to scratch, consider sticking to the less challenging loops around the beach road and steer clear of the long-distance runs inland.

Clubs and centers for mountain biking in Lombok

The Playground

6 – Paragliding in Lombok

Paragliding in Lombok is picking up in popularity thanks to the growing community who have set up base in the south of the island. The local club, Whatsup? Lombok, offers tandem rides, paragliding courses, and adventure excursions. With plenty of launch and land sites to choose from, there’s lines and locations for paragliding in Lombok to suit beginner, intermediate, and advanced paragliders.

Conditions for paragliding in Lombok

A mix of thermal gliding, lift soaring, inland soaring, soft and steady breeze, beginner friendly launch and land sites, beach landings

Best spots for paragliding in Lombok
  • Kuta has various sites: Prabu, Are Guling, Serentin Hill, Seger, Marese, Torok Air Beleq
  • Southwest Lombok: Batu Hidung, Mekaki, Sepi, Meang
  • Southeast Lombok: Surgar Beach, Kaliantan, Anak Dara, Pergasingan
Clubs for paragliding in Lombok

Whatsup? Lombok (read more about the local paragliding conditions on their website)

7 – Diving in Lombok

The diving in Lombok is world class. Not only are the surrounding waters filled with coral and rich marine life, but just off the coast of Lombok are the renowned Gili Islands- known around the globe as one of the world’s best diving destinations.

Best time to go diving in Lombok

May-November is the best time of year for diving in Lombok, thanks to the favourable water conditions and presence of the biggest variety of marine life.

Conditions for diving in Lombok

With dozens of sites for diving in Lombok and even more on the outlying Gili Islands, there’s a huge variety of conditions and sites to suit different levels of experience. Spots like Belongas Bay have a strong current and big waves, so schools typically require you to show proof of experience (such as a dive book with a minimum amount of logged hours). Other sites, such as those around the Gili Islands, have virtually no current and calm, clear waters. The diving sites in Lombok feature a mix of slopes, drop-offs, and plateaus.

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Check out the Best Things to do Outdoors in Siargao Island, Philippines

Belonging to the province of Surigao del Norte, Siargao Island is a surf washed, tropical paradise where the only phrase more commonly heard than “have you eaten yet?” is “good luck leaving, this place will suck you in”.

The island is a patchwork of palm trees, jungle, and farmland; though it’s Siargao’s relentless surf that’s brought it to fame within the extreme sports community.

Siargao is, as many will tell you, the surfing capital of the Philippines. But it’s not just barrelling waves on offer; adrenaline sports and outdoor lovers also have their pick of kitesurfing, stand-up paddleboarding, diving, and mountain biking.

Surrounded by reef, knotted with mangroves, and covered in white sandy beaches, Siargao’s outdoor adventure offerings have begun to fuel the island’s modern culture. Early mornings, healthy food, and yoga come as standard.

But as with all idyllic hideaways, life in Siargao is changing at breakneck speed. There are few places you can go in the south which remain undisturbed by construction, and with word about Siargao quickly spreading, more and more tourists are choosing to include the island in their Philippines travel itinerary.

By all means, go to Siargao now before it all changes; but whatever you do, don’t go there in any rush to leave.

1 – Surfing in Siargao

Home of one of the world’s top 10 waves and host of multiple awesome surf comps, Siargao is the unanimous surfing capital of the Philippines.

The island reaps the rewards of having 30 km of exposed, wave battered coastline with more than 20 world-class surf breaks already discovered- and even more that are still kept secret by in-the-know locals.

While you’ll need to flirt with the right people to get the down-low on the best hidden breaks, here’s an overview of what you need to know about surfing in Siargao:

Best spots for surfing in Siargao: Cloud 9
Off The GRID | Episode 01, Siargao - YouTube

Located on the General Luna strip, Cloud 9 is a viciously powerful right hander, and has consistently been ranked as one of the top 10 waves in the world for the past few years.

Cloud 9 barrels and breaks over a shallow reef not far from the shore- so expect just a short paddle out.

The wave is powerful, the ride is short and fast, and if you mistime anything, the consequences can be pretty gnarly. But like the name suggests, when it goes your way, surfing Cloud 9 is paradise.

Cloud 9 is best surfed between September and November. You can also surf it after November and throughout the winter, but the cross-on northeast wind blows things out a little bit.

If you’re not yet an experienced surfer, avoid Cloud 9 during peak season and opt to surf it in the summer instead. It’ll be smaller, but much more forgiving for beginner and intermediate surfers.

Jacking Horse

Nearby to Cloud 9, you’ve also got Jacking Horse (so named because the wave ‘jacks’ at the peak before it breaks over a shallow reef).

There are two waves you can surf here, an outer and an inner. The outer wave is more powerful, and better suited to experienced surfers. Beginners should stick to the inner wave (beginner-friendly waves are in the minority in Siargao, so this one’s worth noting).

Surf Jacking Horse at mid/high tide for the best ride (low tide is too shallow to surf safely).

Tuason’s Point

Also within walking distance of Cloud 9, Tuason’s Point is a winner for all the goofies in town.

This short, fast point break rivals Cloud 9 in a number of ways, and is often touted by locals as being the best left in Siargao.

With a shallow reef bottom and some sharp rocks lining the shore, Tuason’s Point is best left to experienced surfers. Beginner and intermediate surfers should check out any of the surrounding smaller breaks, most of which you can see from Tuason’s Point.

Stimpy’s

Accessible only by boat, Stimpy’s is a left hander that barrels and breaks over a shallow reef just off the coast of Rock Island (one of Siargao’s many offshore islets).

Not unlike its famous neighbour, Cloud 9, Stimpy’s is a fast, heavy, powerful ride that works best during shifting tides. Surfing at low tide can be risky though, since the sharp rocks and reef under the surface of the water can easily stab you or your board.

Once you’ve exhausted Stimpy’s, head around the corner on Rock Island to discover the rest of its 150 meter coastline (with plenty of choice between rights and lefts).

Daku Island & Guyam Island

Just a 5 minute boat ride from General Luna, Daku Island is rife with breaks and offers a less crowded alternative to the main Siargao island.

The nearby Guyam Island is even more remote and offers its own collection of waves for beginners and experienced surfers alike. Turn your trip to Guyam Island into an overnight adventure by pitching a tent at the campsite; word on the street is it’s the best place to catch the Siargao sunset.

Caridad

Along the central east coast of Siargao Island, Caridad is home to some clean left handers that barrel neatly during the peak surfing season. The waves here typically work best in E/NE swell.

Just 5 km further up the road from Caridad, Pacifico is another worthy wave to note. Pacifico’s long, tubing left hander is a sturdy one, and holds out even when the swell is big.

Pilar

Also on the east coast of Siargao, Pilar has 2 very reliable left breaks and a few more which can be real fun to surf when you catch them on the right day. The best waves break in front of the little town and work best during periods of NE swell.

You can access the waves here by taking a 90 minute boat ride from General Luna, or a cross country drive through the palm trees and farmland until you reach the town. Either way, Pilar is quiet, uncrowded, and fun alternative to the surf spots in General Luna.

Tips for beginners surfing in Siargao

The off-season brings more manageable swell for beginners, especially if you’re dead set on surfing the likes of Cloud 9. If you’re a total newbie and feeling serious about upping your level, get an instructor- you’ll make progress so much more efficiently. And lastly, even though you might be super tempted, avoid the really powerful waves until your level is up to scratch.

Best season for surfing in Siargao:

The best time to go surfing in Siargao is between June and November, when the southwest “habagat” monsoon and offshore swell bring the best conditions to Siargao’s most famous waves. Most local surfers consider September and October to be the best months for surfing in Siargao.

That said, different waves peak at different times of the year. So while one wave might work best during the SW monsoon, another might work better during the NE (which typically begins in November), depending on the orientation and direction of exposure.

If you’re looking for a cool surf camp in Siargao, check out this one from Harana Surf Resort.

Conditions for surfing in Siargao: Wind:

SW and E/NE work for different spots.

Waves:

During the peak surfing season in Siargao, waves typically measure up to 2.5 meters- but are also known to reach nearly 4 meters when a strong swell kicks in. Overhead walls of water, barrels and hollow tubes come as standard.

Along the coast, you can find a mix of mainly reef and point breaks, with a couple of beach breaks thrown in for good measure.

Beach:

Siargao’s beaches have powdery white sand, many of which are surrounded by reef.

Temperature:

The average air temperature in the peak surfing season in Siargao is 27 degrees Celsius, and sea temperatures hover between 28 and 30 degrees. You won’t need a wetsuit when surfing in Siargao.

Hazards:

Some of Siargao’s surf spots are affected by the tides, so surfers should always be careful during low tide that they don’t hurt themselves (or damage their board) on exposed sharp rocks or shallow reef. Check with locals to find out when the tide is too low to surf safely.

In addition, less experienced surfers should tread with caution when it comes to Siargao’s most powerful waves. Choose your wave according to your experience level.

Clubs and schools for surfing in Siargao:

Viento del Mar
Turtle Surf Camp
Kermit Siargao

2 – Kitesurfing in Siargao

With its huge flat water lagoon, hollow tubing waves, downwind adventure potential, and remote offshore islands, kitesurfing in Siargao is seriously dreamy.

Full disclosure: the wind in Siargao isn’t as reliable (or strong) as, say, Boracay, but when the wind plays ball it’s easily one of the most awesome kitesurfing destinations in Asia. And since most people head to Siargao to surf, kitesurfing is a naturally good fit for when the surfing conditions aren’t their best.

Kitesurf Siargao, Philippines | Episode 1: Kite Paradise (SurfKiteSchool.com) - YouTube

Let’s look in detail at what you can expect when kiteboarding in Siargao:

Best season for kitesurfing in Siargao:

Like many locations in Southeast Asia, the main Siargao kitesurfing season runs from November until the end of March, peaking between December and February when the northeast monsoon is at its strongest and most consistent. This is locally known as the amihan season. Since this is also Siargao’s rainy season, squalls are known to blow in and kill the wind- so you have to be ready to take advantage of the conditions when they’re there.

June-September is known as the habagat season. This is typhoon season for most of Asia, meaning storms as far as Japan are accelerating the wind and funnelling it down through the Surigao strait (between Mindanao Island and Cebu/Bohol) right to Siargao. This creates a Venturi effect, and sends some lovely westerly wind blowing onto a select few of Siargao’s kitesurfing spots.

Conditions for kitesurfing in Siargao: Wind

You can expect 12-20 knots of cross-onshore wind during the amihan season for kitesurfing in Siargao. It doesn’t always blow like that everyday though, which can be frustrating for those that choose to visit the island purely for kitesurfing (unless you’re really into foiling, in which case you’ll have beautiful conditions on a daily basis).

Since the habagat wind season is storm based, you’ll occasionally have a sequence of 4-5 windy days in a row where the wind blows strong (up to 25-30 knots). Aside from these storm fronts, the habagat season mainly brings a few months worth of 6-10 knot days which are ideal for foiling.

Check out the wind forecast for Siargao on windfinder.

Water:

Though Siargao is most famous for its barrelling waves, you can also get your flat water fix on the protected shallow lagoon.

Beach

Siargao is lined with white sand beaches, and the main kitesurfing beach is no different. At low tide, the beach is wide enough to comfortably launch and land your kite on, but during high tide the sandy area all but disappears. Luckily, there’s a grassy area behind the beach which serves as a good set-up site when the tide’s high.

Temperature:

Siargao’s tropical climate promises warm weather throughout the year. The average air temperature during the peak kitesurfing season in Siargao is 27 degrees Celsius, meanwhile, sea temperatures rarely go lower than 28 degrees or higher than 30. You won’t need a wetsuit when kitesurfing in Siargao.

Best spots for kitesurfing in Siargao: General Luna Lagoon

Widely considered to be the main kitesurfing spot in Siargao, the General Luna Lagoon is easterly facing, and therefore perfectly positioned to receive cross-onshore winds during the high season.

The lagoon is protected by an outer reef, so the water inside the reef is shallow and flat (apart from some small wind chop). Outside the reef, you can ride waves. The beach is sandy, as is the seabed leading into the lagoon. Watch out at high tide though; the beach area becomes very small, so you’ll need to set up on the grassy area behind.

Thanks to the shallow depth and flat water, General Luna is easily the best place for beginners to learn kitesurfing in Siargao.

North Catangnan

Just a 10 minute drive up the road from the main kitesurfing spot, General Luna, the North Catangnan area works best when the wind blows in excess of 15 knots.

Here, the northerly facing beach in front of Ocean 101 Beach Resort is the best kiteboarding spot, and gives you easy access to the monster waves at Cloud 9 if you’re looking to challenge yourself on a surfboard.

Pilar

Home of the renowned Magpupungko Rock Pools, Pilar is a 45 minute drive from General Luna by scooter- and the smooth drive through the dense groves of palm trees is worth the journey in itself.

Pilar is located on the east of the island, and during the high season its remote beaches receive pretty clean cross-onshore wind. Head here for a change of scene from General Luna.

Daku Island

Kitesurfing at Daku Island offers an uncrowded, remote alternative to the busier lagoon at General Luna. Best done as part of a downwinder from the main lagoon, you’ll ride along the palm fringed coastline towards Daku, where the clear waters, powdered sugar beach, and surrounding sandbars make a fun, dynamic backdrop for your session.

Tips for beginners kitesurfing in Siargao

The General Luna Lagoon is the best spot for beginners to learn how to kitesurf in Siargao, thanks to its shallow water and relatively consistent wind.

Beginners should avoid kitesurfing in the mega big waves in North Catangnan, and should only consider taking part in downwinders once they have the right level of experience.

If you’re looking to take kitesurfing lessons in Siargao, make sure you book with a qualified IKO instructor.

Clubs and schools for kitesurfing in Siargao

Viento del Mar
Seabreeze Kiteboarding
SurfKiteSchool

3 – Wakeboarding in Siargao

Up until 2018, there was little to no wakeboarding action in Siargao. Lucky for all you wakeboarding nomads out there, the island just opened its first ever cable wakeboarding park– and it’s already turning heads for being listed as one of TripAdvisor’s top 10 activities in Siargao.

Where to go wakeboarding in Siargao

Hidden away in a grove of coconut trees and just a 10 minute drive from General Luna, Siargao Wake Park is the place to go wakeboarding in Siargao.

The cable park is equipped with a 2.0 system in a 100 meter long lake, which is the perfect place for beginners and airstylers to practice their moves. At the end of the lake there’s a pool gap and 2 handrails connecting it with another elevated lake on the other side.

Siargao Wakepark - First Poolgap Rides - YouTube
Best time to go wakeboarding in Siargao

Siargao wake park is open all year round, so you can go wakeboarding in Siargao throughout the whole calendar year- boom! This is really worth noting for all you Europe and US-based wakeboarders, since Siargao’s weather is perfectly awesome during your winter months when your local wake parks close down for the season.

Tips for beginners wakeboarding in Siargao

Wakeboarding is a super accessible sport. You don’t have to be a pro surfer, kiteboarder, or any kind of boarder for that matter, and you’ll still be able to get up and riding within your first morning of being at the park.

The owner of Siargao Wake Park, Tom, and his team of staff are always on hand to provide instruction, coaching, and safety tips to all customers. You’ll also be kitted out with proper safety gear (like an impact vest and helmet) so that you’re totally comfortable and protected during your first experience wakeboarding in Siargao.

4 – SUPing and kayaking in Siargao

SUP culture is big in Siargao, with tons of people hitting up the lagoons and wave spots with their paddle boards every day. But for those who prefer to stay seated- or fancy getting some speed going- kayaks are also readily available and make for a great adventure activity in Siargao.

There are plenty of places for board and kayak rentals, and once you’re kitted out with your equipment, you’ll quickly find that there are endless places to explore.

Picture by Michael Louie Best places for SUPing and kayaking in Siargao General Luna

North Catangnan gives easy access to the estuaries that lead all the way from Cloud 9 inland to Dapa. The riverways twist and turn along the shoreline, offering a very different perspective of Siargao’s coconut trees, farmland, and rural countryside.

Daku & Guyam Islands

Highlights of SUPing and kayaking in Siargao include paddling to the outlying islands and sandbars in front of General Luna (the lagoon is also great during no-wind days).

Sohoton Cove National Park

Just a 1-hour boat ride from Siargao, Sohoton Cove is an incredibly scenic place to paddle. The National Park is a giant marine reserve bursting with limestone rock formations, squillions of tiny jungle covered islands, caves filled with bats, wild orchids, and the brightest blue water you’ll see this side of Palawan.

Mangrove forests

Siargao is home to the biggest mangrove reserve in the Philippines, with 4,000 hectares of mangrove laden river and land in Del Carmen, and a further 4,400 hectares scattered throughout the rest of the island.

With access to rivers, lagoons, and the open sea, paddling in Siargao’s mangrove reserve is a peaceful experience- and a poignant reminder of the importance of protecting the local ecosystem.

Sugba Lagoon

Sugba Lagoon is surrounded by mountains and filled with clear, aqua coloured water. While adrenaline junkies hurl themselves off the cliffs on either side, those looking to take things a little slower will love paddling through the cool waters of the sheltered lagoon. When paddling at Sugba Lagoon, you can double up your adventure experience and visit the mangroves at Del Carmen.

Where to rent SUPs and kayaks in Siargao

Kermit Surf Resort

Turtle Surf Camps

5 – Diving in Siargao

What with all that wave smashed coastline, no one would be surprised if you thought diving in Siargao was off the menu. But you’d be wrong!

Siargao Island is actually a pretty cool place to do some diving, and since it’s surrounded by reef and crystal clear water, the conditions are really quite nice.

Sadly, some of Siargao’s surrounding reef has been damaged by dynamite fishing. But apart from that, you can find a mix of underwater caves, coral slopes, mounds, and pinnacles. Sea life ranges from coral, eel, sea snakes, sharks, pufferfish, grouper, clownfish, moray, snapper, barracuda, and much more.

Conditions for diving in Siargao
  • Uncrowded dive spots
  • 28-30 degree water temperatures year round
  • Clear water with good visibility (especially during the dry season)
  • Beginner friendly dive sites with no current
  • More advanced dive sites up to 40 meters
Best season for diving in Siargao:

It’s possible to go diving in Siargao all year round, though the dry season (April-October) is somewhat better in terms of visibility. There tends to be more sediment in the water during the wet season, and the lower levels of sunlight during those months also contributes to a darker, murkier water colour.

The marine life doesn’t vary majorly between the two seasons, though the excess water movement in the wet season would- if anything- mean more marine life.

Best locations for diving in Siargao:

There are 4 main diving locations around Siargao, and since the local dive school, Palaka Siargao Dive Center, take their customers to all of them, you’ll have the chance to experience a mix of underwater worlds:

Palaka Dive - The Blue Cathedral - YouTube

Located just off the coast from Cloud 9, Blue Cathedral is arguably the most famous dive location in Siargao. The site sits just a stone’s throw from one of Siargao’s tiny outlying islets, Rock Island, and is reachable by boat from General Luna in less than half an hour.

With an average depth of 35 meters, diving at Blue Cathedral means exploring underwater tunnels, arches, reef, and coming face to face with tons of tropical fish like jackfish, emperors, and barracuda.

Blue Cathedral is also one of the island’s most challenging dive sites. With open Pacific waters and a tricky rock entry, diving at Blue Cathedral is best suited to those with previous diving experience (Palaka will insist on you doing a ‘check’ dive elsewhere before they’ll take you diving at Blue Cathedral).

Marine Sanctuary Lagoon

Located between Siargao proper and its three outlying islands (Guyam, Daku, and Naked Island), this shallow water dive spot is bursting with beautiful coral and colourful reef fish. You’ll see anemone, brain, cabbage, and staghorn- to name just a few. There’s even a resident pink frogfish that the Palaka divers have come to know quite well now.

Since the area is relatively small and all of the highlights are bunched close together (combined with the easy-going 12 meter depth), the lagoon is one of the more beginner friendly diving locations around Siargao.

Dona Dolores, JDK, and Daku Hills

These Pacific facing dive sites are well worth noting, since they all enjoy pretty good visibility year round (the open Pacific waters are less affected by the seasonal changes in visibility). While there is some nice coral and Pacific greens scattered around the site, the real highlight are the fish: red-tooth trigger, snapper, fusiliers, tuna, and jackfish.

Daku Rocks, Pansukyan, Don Papa

A challenging and diverse reef dive,..

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Wondering what to do in Bangkok?

From the glitz and glam of the iconic sky bar to the down and dirty backpacker roads, Bangkok sees a million different kinds of lives being lived on her streets every day.

Bangkok has long been a tourist hub, the main port of call before travelers head north to the mountains in Chiang Mai or south to the sunny islands. While it may still hold a reputation for its unscrupulous after hours activities, there’s a lot more to this weird, wonderful, and downright wild city.

Bangkok’s creative soul runs deep. Street art covers the walls in the harder-to-reach parts of the city, and artisan cafes spring up faster than you can count. By night, the street markets pulse with crowds of visitors coming to peruse the stalls, while downtown the deep house and techno thumps through the thick walls of the clubs.

But Bangkok’s not all smoothie bars and sweaty night clubs:

Interest from the government to encourage the growth of SMEs means the city’s start-up scene is really beginning to thrive. Add that to a smattering of brand new coworking spaces, reasonable cost of living, and drool-worthy local food and it’s easy to see why Bangkok’s digital nomad scene is growing faster than ever.

1 – Wakeboarding in Bangkok

Thailand has seen an explosion of popularity in the world of wake over the past few years, and Bangkok is home to a hefty slice of the action. In fact, Bangkok is actually home to some of the best cable parks in Asia.

Best cable wakeboarding in Bangkok Wakeboarding at Taco Lake

Impressively, people have been riding around on this lake since 1991. Just 20 minutes from Suvarnabhumi airport and 45 min from downtown, Taco Lake is kitted out with a mix of kickers and sliders. On site they have their own kitchen serving up fresh Thai food, as well as an array of rooms which are available to rent short-medium term (each with air-con, hot shower, wifi, and kitchen access).

Wakeboarding at Thai Wake Park (Lumlukka)

Set up by a group of wake-crazy locals, Thai Wake Park has hosted some pretty major comps (like the Asia Wake Park Tour) in its time. It’s got a 5 corner Rixen counter clockwise cable (check out the sick cable layout here) as well as a 2 tower system for private rides, beginners, and pros looking to nail down some serious training. They offer their own accommodation on-site, and discounts are available for ‘slow-mads’ staying more than 2 weeks.

Enzo Asseraf - One Battery @ Thai Wake Park - YouTube
Wakeboarding at Zanook

Only 25 minutes drive from the city center, Zanook’s German made 5 tower Rixen system is one of just 2 clockwise systems in all of Asia. A nice challenge for the goofies among us and for sure a welcome change for the regulars! They’ve also got an inflatable aqua park next door as well as SUP rentals for the lake.

Wakeboarding at TE Wake n’ Ski

These guys run a boat and winch operation in the north of the city. One of the trainers is reigning Asian wake champ, ‘Bomb’ Padiwat Jaemjan. Just next door to the lake, they’ve got poolside cabanas available to rent on a monthly basis for really good rates.

Wakeboarding at MDPG Monday playground

Located in the northwest of the city, MDPG sports a handmade 2.0 cable. It might not be the biggest and baddest in the city, but their rates are good and the 2.0 is ideal for beginners looking to nail down some basic riding skills.

2 – Surfing at the Flow House

In addition to the world-class wakeboarding, Bangkok’s heart is also home to the Flow House 2.0, an “urban beach club” sporting a double FlowRider system imported right from San Francisco! This concept basically creates an everlasting artificial wave on which you can ride with either a bodyboard or a small finless surfboard. The place is also equipped with a plunge pool, a bar, a surf shop, a bike zone and of course, free wifi and lots of space to work or chill.

One day at Flow House Bangkok (Full version) - YouTube
3 – Hiking around Bangkok

As far as nature hiking goes, you’ll have to travel outside the city to get to anything remotely green.

Best time of year for hiking near Bangkok

You can hike near Bangkok pretty much year round, but it’s best to avoid the rainy season since the hillsides can turn slick with mud after a few days of heavy downpour.

Best spots for hiking near Bangkok

From closest to furthest, here are some of the best hikes near Bangkok:

Hiking in Ko Kret

This island sits 15 km north of central Bangkok. It has a 5 km trail through the oldest settlement of the Mon people; expect to see colourful markets, serene temples, and teetering piles of handmade terracotta.

Hiking in Khao San Lam

1.5 hours away in Saraburi Province. The Khao San Lam National Park is all gentle peaks (the highest of which is 330 meters) and diving valleys. Oh, and it’s also scattered with waterfalls that are amazing to swim in.

Hiking in Nam Pha Pa Yai

2 hours away from central Bangkok, the hiking trails are just one of the draws of Nam Pha Pa Yai. It’s also bound to satisfy cyclists and rock climbers and is best enjoyed over the course of a couple of days. Top tip: stay in the dedicated camping ground- they have tents and treehouses up for rent.

Hiking in Kaeng Krachan

Though it may be one of the further jaunts (3 hours from downtown), Kaeng Krachan is Thailand’s biggest National Park. Located on the border of Myanmar, the park is full of exotic wildlife (think elephants, leopards, gibbons, and tigers). Do it solo or with a guide- however you choose to explore it, don’t rush. We recommend making a real adventure of it and staying for a few days.

Erawan National Park

3 hours and 15 minutes away from central Bangkok, the Erawan National Park is the prize jewel of Kanchanaburi- a region known best for its beautiful landscape. With a mix of hiking trails, tiered waterfalls, and dreamy blue lagoons, it’s the sort of place you’d be happy to make the journey for once you see how beautiful it is.

4 – Cycling in Bangkok

With its swerving traffic and general chaos on the street level, we’d forgive you for thinking that cycling in Bangkok is a no-go.

But not only would you be wrong, you’d actually be missing out on experiencing a really awesome side to the city that gets overlooked by your average joe tourist.

Interest in cycling is at an all time high in Thailand right now, and while most of it is centered around road cycling (especially in Bangkok) mountain bikers will still be able to get their fix in the city.

Thailand's Underground Bike Revolution - YouTube
Sightseeing & exploring while cycling in Bangkok

Cycling in Bangkok is an awesome way to see the sites and sneak in some exercise (because we all know what happens when you eat pad thai and mango sticky rice every day).

Bangkok’s cycling trails are actually pretty cool. Make sure you check out:

  • Golden Mount Pagoda (which has sick panoramic views of the city and the old Bangkok prison)
  • Chinatown
  • the public parks (where there are often dedicated cycling lanes)
  • Sukhumvit and Banglamphu (which also have dedicated cycling lanes)
  • the jungle

Wait, what?

Jungle- in Bangkok? Nay, you say.

But yes, it’s totally true: and the untouched jungle across the Chao Phraya River is one of the best places for cycling in Bangkok. You can spend the day peddling through the tropical wilderness, visiting a traditional incense craft village, and picking up some treats at the local floating market when you book a spot on an epic jungle bike tour.

Cross country cycling in Bangkok

Just half an hour from Khao San Road, you’ve got one (out of 2) of Bangkok’s off-road trails. Phuttamonthon Park MTB XC Trail is a 7 km single flat rack, which is well-looked after and a regular haunt for semi-pros looking for a wee training session.

It’s fairly flat (expect around a 1m elevation change), but even so it’s pretty fun to weave in and out of the trees and take a break from the city and traffic. Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for monitor lizards and giant terrapins! They like to chill out in the middle of the track.

Mountain biking in Bangkok

Located on Phahonyothin Road in the north of Bangkok, ATV & MTB Club 11 is a 4 km MTB track with approximately 4 meters of elevation change.

Within a stone’s throw of the army base, the track is kitted out with berms, jumps, steep ascents and descents, sand traps, rock gardens, water traps and ponds. It’s located right next to the army base, so you’ll need ID to enter (foreigners need to show their passport).

For a list of bike shops in Thailand click here.

5 – Ziplining in Bangkok

A surely unique way to discover all the beauties and intricacies of the tropical rainforest is from the air. Get to navigate through the jungle from tree to tree in a network of ropes and bridges, reaching multiple breathtaking viewpoints and learning about all different aspects of this eco-system.

Check out Get Your Guide’s ziplining day tour in Bangkok

Picture by Perry Grone Where to stay in Bangkok

Cheap local style home stays, family friendly guest houses and hotels, quirky and social hostels, luxurious resorts, and private apartments… You name it, Bangkok has it.

Short term nomads in Bangkok who are looking for a good deal should know that many places in the city offer weekly rates. There are scads of local style guesthouses and budget friendly hotels that’ll offer you a discount if you’re staying for more than a couple of nights.

If you’re only sticking around the city for a short amount of time, you might want to check out this 5-day itinerary for Bangkok to help you map out how to best spend any of your remaining free time.

When it comes to longer term rentals, you have a few options:

Airbnb has tons of listings in Bangkok, but it’s often the slightly more expensive way to go.

That said, you’re paying for convenience. It’s a good idea to book a place for your first few nights, then head for a coworking space and chat to a few Bangkok digital nomads about their digs and how much they pay.

As a rule of thumb:

Local landlords tend to give 3, 6, or 12 months leases (the longer the lease the better value). There are also a couple of incredibly handy Facebook groups that deal with sublets and house swaps in Bangkok, such as this one, as well as specialized platforms for long term rentals: merooms.co, and nomadrental.com.

A basic, local style studio with wifi and kitchen access might cost you as little as $250/month. Meanwhile, a comfortable serviced apartment in a central area (with wifi, a kitchen, and cleaning services) would be closer to $550.

For a more detailed look at the city’s most convenient areas to stay in (and the accommodation options therein) check out this guide on where to stay in Bangkok.

Working & Coworking Spaces in Bangkok

There’s no shortage of facilities for digital nomads in Bangkok. No matter what kind of workspace you need- perfectly silent and professional, or something a little more creative- there’s a coworking space or a cafe that’ll have your name on it.

As far as the coworking scene goes, there’s more and more spaces opening up with every passing month. Of the established spaces in the city so far, our nomad community recommends Hubba in Watthana district, The Hive (which has 2 locations, Thonglor and Prakanong, you can try them for free on Tuesdays), and E88, near Sukhumvit Road.

The above coworking spaces all have hot desks, private meeting rooms, Skype areas, printing, and coffee facilities.

Expect to pay around 200 baht for a day pass.

As far as cafes go, most places in Bangkok are fairly welcoming to digital nomads. Wifi is generally offered gratis as long as you buy something off the menu. The tricky part is finding a place with free wifi and plugs (bonus points for good tables and no annoying music).

Our nomad community recommends Tomntoms coffee shop chain. You get 3 hours free wifi with every coffee ordered; plus they have their own homemade pretzels!

Where to shop and eat in Bangkok

Food in Bangkok is awesome (especially if you like your spicy stuff).

Seriously, the street food in Bangkok is like nowhere else- steaming coconut curries, spicy soups with lemongrass and ginger, noodles flamed fried with fresh herbs and greens… Damn it’s good- and plenty of options for the veggies among us, too. Price-wise, expect to pay upwards of $1.50-3 for a basic Thai meal.

Market trawling is one of the best things to do in Bangkok, hands down. You can dig up crazy bargains on clothes, funky knick-knacks, and of course…. food! Local farmer’s markets are easy to come by and offer the cheapest place to get your fresh produce, meats, eggs, and other household staples.

Virtually every street in Bangkok will have at least one (if not 2 or 3) convenience stores, be it 7-Eleven, Circle K, or Family Mart. These little shops have all the essentials: beer, snacks, basic Thai meals, coffee, household items, and toiletries. If you need to do a bigger shop, the local supermarkets have everything from Asian staples to a selection of imported products.

However, if you’ve got a hankering for a jar of pesto and a block of cheddar cheese, you’ll need to head off for one of the imported supermarkets like Tops, Villa Market, Gourmet Market, or Delishop.

But it ain’t all food that Bangkok is good for. Spend literally 5 minutes in the city and you’ll see that Bangkok is heaven for high street shopping. If you’re keen to do a bit of retail therapy, make sure you check out this super informative Bangkok Tour Guide detailing where to shop, eat, stay, and more.

Internet in Bangkok

Internet in Bangkok is pretty good all-round.

Several districts in Bangkok are fitted with fiber optics. However, there are still many downtown areas that suffer from slower speeds due to older lines.

Virtually every one of the city’s hotels, guesthouses, serviced apartments, cafes, and restaurants offer free wifi for their customers (of varying speeds and reliability, sadly).

That said, if you need fast and reliable, look no further than the quickly growing selection of coworking spaces in Bangkok. These dedicated spots offer lightning speed connections (100 Mbps download easy) and tons of other digital nomad facilities (see coworking spaces in Bangkok below for more).

SIM cards are quite cheap and can be bought, well… basically everywhere.

If you’re staying short term (i.e. less than 2 weeks or so) you’re best off picking up a tourist SIM at the airport. You can get packages with 10 GB of high speed 4G + unlimited 3G for around $35. Those staying longer term may want to consider a local prepaid SIM.

4G internet in Thailand averages 9 Mb/s as measured by a recent (November 2017) state of mobile networks in Thailand (see report). It is in line with the Asia-Pacific region average of 9.69 Mb/s.

The top 3 mobile providers of internet in Thailand are Truemove, AIS and Dtac. See a full guide on Thailand’s SIM card options here.

How to get to Bangkok

Bangkok has 2 international airports: Don Mueang (DMK) and Suvarnabhumi (BKK).

DMK is where the budget airlines fly in and out of, and BKK is the one you can expect to fly to if you’re traveling from Europe, America, or Asia on one of the better airlines. The two airports are well connected by a free shuttle bus service.

How to get around Bangkok

A scooter/motorbike is the most flexible way of getting around Bangkok, and it’s also the most economical choice in the long run.

Second hand bikes can be picked up for around $450 (tax on vehicles in Thailand is quite high compared with other Asian countries, so this price is significantly higher than, say, Vietnam or Cambodia). At least gas is cheap as chips.

If you’re looking to get somewhere quick and hassle-free, Grab and Uber offer a convenient way to get around Bangkok (they’re cheaper and way more convenient than a normal taxi). That said, if you’re up for navigating the public transport system, the whole city is quite well connected by the MRT and BTS Skytrain.

To find the best public transport to or from Bangkok, use this search form from 12go.asia – the most efficient and user-friendly public transportation booking platform for Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore,  India, Philippines, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.

The post Top 5 Outdoor Activities in and around Bangkok, Thailand appeared first on Extreme Nomads.

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Complete Guide to Chiang Mai Outdoor Activities

Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai already enjoys a solid reputation as one of Asia’s most established digital nomad hubs.

Many are drawn to Chiang Mai for the cheap cost of living, laidback lifestyle, and the ability to have access to quality digital nomad facilities- whilst still living somewhere close to nature.

On top of that, Chiang Mai is brimming with cultural diversity. Sharing a border with both Myanmar and Laos, the northern mountains around Chiang Mai have come to be filled with culture and colour unlike anywhere else in the world.

With more than half a dozen national parks, countless stunning temples, world-renowned animal sanctuaries, hidden waterfalls, lush jungle, wild forests, and beautiful weather, you can be sure there’s already an active nomad community in Chiang Mai who are making the most of what this little corner of the world has to offer.

Wakeboarding in Chiang Mai

Up until 2017, wakeboarding in Chiang Mai was unheard of.

Luckily, that’s all gone and changed.

Where to go wakeboarding in Chiang Mai Wakeboarding at Canyon Wake Park

Since the 1st of January 2018, Chiang Mai is home to the first (and only) cable park in all of Northern Thailand.

Only 25 minutes from the city, and located in the heart of a gorgeous canyon, it’s sure to attract a hefty load of the local digital nomads looking to get some refreshing fun and action after long laptop hours.

Welcome to Canyon Wake Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand! - YouTube

The cable is a 2.0 system from the Russian company Spin, and runs along a 200 meter stretch of fresh water. Although there are no obstacles yet, the first kicker is expected to be added in early 2018.

Prices are really attractive at the moment, starting at 200 baht for a 10 minutes set, and 750 baht for an all-day pass, gear included (they’ve got wakeskates too).

The canyon also features a massive waterpark with inflatables madness as well as an airy bar restaurant with decent wifi.

Is wakeboarding your primary addiction? If so, don’t forget to check out the best destination for wakeboarding nomads in our books: Bangkok. Hiking in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is arguably the most beautiful mountainous region in all of Thailand, so there’s no shortage of hiking and trekking opportunities.

Where to go hiking in Chiang Mai

While there are many, many trails and treks to choose from, these are the ones you definitely shouldn’t miss:

Hiking the Monk’s Trail at Doi Suthep

The Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is all hidden waterfalls, bamboo forest, colourful wildflowers, and sweeping views of Chiang Mai below. It’s also where you’ll find one of Thailand’s most sacred temples, Wat Phrathat.

The path is marked out with strips of golden monks’ robes tied to the trees.

This hike is pretty beginner friendly- to a certain point- and from there on becomes quite a bit more challenging with steep inclines and a muddy makeshift stairway.

If you’re in for a real adventure: follow the monk’s path, discover the ins and outs of the sacred temple complex, and tuck into a delicious Thai meal way up in the mountains by taking part in a full day trekking tour of Doi Suthep.

Hiking Doi Inthanon

Recognised as part of the Himalayan Mountain Range and boasting the highest peak in all of Thailand (2,565m above sea level), the Doi Inthanon National Park has a couple of awesome trails for you to test our your trekking skills.

The main trail is broken into two sections; the first is set in the dense jungle, and though the trees are high and the ferns are thick, the trail is well-maintained and will lead you to a beautiful waterfall hidden away in the forest. The second leg of the trail takes you further past the forest to an open meadow-like area where you’ll have fantastic views of the scenery below.

There’s also a pair of shrines tucked away in an honorary garden near the summit (built to honour the sixtieth birthdays of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit).

One of the best ways to experience Doi Inthanon National Park is to take part in a guided trek. This way, you’ll be guaranteed to find the best waterfalls, temples, and trails.

You can do a challenging full day tour which takes you exploring the traditional Hmong and Karen villages, or a private soft hike to some beautiful waterfalls and fascinating hill tribes.

Hiking Doi Luang Chiang Dao

Located an hour and a half north of Chiang Mai, Doi Luang Chiang Dao is the third highest peak in Thailand measuring in at 2,225 meters. For the extra adventurous, this is an awesome place to camp out for a night and make your hike a 2-day affair.

What with the stunning limestone cliffs, caves, hot springs, and even a jungle temple, you’ll wish you could stay for a whole week.

Picture by Deanna Deshea Cycling and mountain biking in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is quickly becoming one of Southeast Asia’s top spots for mountain biking, thanks to its fantastic conditions, challenging trails, and beautiful scenery.

There’s plenty to choose from no matter what kind of riding you’re into, and there’s plenty to see on every trail- from colourful hill tribes and ethnic villages, to hidden temples and waterfalls.

Cross-country mountain biking in Chiang Mai

Cross-country riders should head for the trails behind the 700 Year Chiang Mai Stadium up to Huay Tung Tao Lake, where you can cruise around 5 km of mixed terrain on your way to the lake, where you can stop off at the lakeside huts for some cheap and delicious local grub.

Enduro mountain biking in Chiang Mai

Enduro riders will likely be drawn to Chiang Mai’s neighbouring national parks, covered in rideable trails that take you through the lush jungle and wild forests, past hidden temples set into the mountainside on your way up to the panoramic viewpoints at the peak.

For a real outdoor adventure, we recommend combining your cycling trip with some river kayaking in the stunning Mae Taeng Forest Reserve. You’ll be in for some bird watching, wildlife spotting, temple running, and you’ll even get to visit some of the pristine, hard-to-reach farmlands.

Downhill mountain biking in Chiang Mai

Downhill riders will be spoiled for choice in Chiang Mai thanks to the countless trails that promise fast-paced, steep, technical, heart-in-your-mouth rides. Doi Suthep Pui National Park has nearly a dozen such trails to choose from, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one that suits your style.

Bike Park Chiang Mai | Mountain Biking Thailand - YouTube
Clubs and schools for mountain biking in Chiang Mai

Mad Monkey Chiang Mai: The kings of downhill mountain biking in Chiang Mai, the Mad Monkey team provide rentals and organise tours on the mountains for both beginners and pros alike.

Trailhead Thailand: Winners of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2017, Trailhead do bike rentals and tours on the mountain trails and through the city (their cultural tour through downtown Chiang Mai is one of a kind).

Bike Park Chiang Mai: Known by the die-hard mountain biking tribe as the biggest and best bike park in Asia, Bike Park Chiang Mai has a jump park, MTB training center, cross-country and pump track.

It’s worth remembering that Thailand is a seasonal country, so visiting during the summer months might result in a number of unrideable days due to monsoon rains and too much mud. October to March is the best time of year to hit the trails.

Rock Climbing in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is full of active nomads who come to take advantage of the local climbs, some of which have been recognised within the industry as world class. With both indoor and outdoor climbs around to suit every level, there’s plenty of faces to sink your fingers into.

Where to go rock climbing in Chiang Mai Rock climbing Crazy Horse Buttress

First developed as a climbing spot in 1998, the face at Crazy Horse Buttress is where the foothills of the Himalayas meet with the lush jungle below. There are more than 200 routes at Crazy Horse Buttress, with a mix of technical slabs and cracks, and even some hair-raising climbs through the intricate caves systems- stalactites and all.

Rock climbing at NO GRAVITY Indoor Climbing

This indoor climbing gym has over 370 square meters of climbs suitable for all levels- from total novice to seasoned climber. Open daily, you can try it out for a day for a couple of bucks fixed price, or if you’re planning on doing regular climbs you can also grab yourself a 1 month, 6 month, or 1 year membership.

Clubs for rock climbing in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures: If you’re new to the climbing scene in Chiang Mai (or to the climbing scene anywhere for that matter), these guys should be on your radar. Offering advice, outings, and instruction on all things rock climbing, they also cover a range of bouldering and caving adventures.

Climbing at Crazy Horse, Chiang Mai in 2017 (Thailand) - YouTube
Zip Lining in Chiang Mai

Zip lining is a pretty unique activity- and definitely one of the adventurous among us:

You can now take in the sights and sounds of Chiang Mai’s wild jungles from above (and at speed) while flying through the air on a zip line. In fact, it just so happens to be the largest canopy zip line tour in the world.

Impressive, impressive… but the real highlight of zip lining in Chiang Mai?

GIBBON SPOTTING!

If you keep your eyes peeled, you might get lucky and come face to face with some wild gibbons in their natural habitat.

We recommend joining a full day zip line jungle adventure, where you’ll be guided through the dense jungle, taken for a ride up above the treetops, and brought on an epic waterfall hike at the Mae Kampong Falls.

Though for the foodies and gourmets among you, you’ll definitely want to snag the chance to combine your zip lining experience with an authentic Thai cooking class back in Chiang Mai’s Old Town.

Where to stay in Chiang Mai

For nomads looking to set down their bags in Chiang Mai for the medium to long-term, there are tons of options to suit just about every style, need, and budget.

Chiang Mai is a growing city, which means there are lots of different areas where you can rent a place.

A big part of the digital nomad community tend to settle downtown in Nimman or Santitham, where you’ll find the more upmarket, trendy (and pricey) apartments. But spread your search to the outlying suburbs and there’s a huge range of options, from unfurnished Thai-style studios (from $100-300/month) to fully-furnished, multi-room condos ($600-1,000/month). Western-style kitchens can be hard to come by, but if you’re willing to part with a bit more dosh (upwards of $650/month) you’re more likely to find places with such facilities.

For short term stays, you’re better off booking a spot on HotelsCombined.com for a couple of nights (somewhere centrally located, in or around the Old City), then going to look around for a longer term solution when you arrive.

Check out these super cool rooms in a renovated Rice Barn.

Or the very charming Warehouse Art Studio.

Belooga.co is a useful platform to find rentals endorsed by other digital nomads (wifi speeds listed for each place).

Working & Coworking Spaces in Chiang Mai

Being the established digital nomad hub that it is, Chiang Mai is absolutely bursting at the seams with dedicated coworking spaces and work-friendly cafes.

The most popular coworking spaces in Chiang Mai are Punspace (which has three branches; Nimman, Tha Phae Gate, and Wiang Kaew) and CAMP (located on the 5th floor of Maya Shopping Center. The latter has more of a cafe vibe, but is often said to have the best internet and it’s open 24/7).

Apart from the big names, there are countless smaller-scale coworking spaces scattered throughout the city. We recommend checking out: GMT Chiang Mai, MANA Coworking Space, Hub53 Coworking and Coliving Space, and Outer Space Chiang Mai.

For further information on co-working spaces in Chiang Mai, check out Chiang Mai on workfrom.co or Chiang Mai on coworker.com

If co-working spaces just aren’t your bag, there’s a vast amount of cool, quirky cafes (where you won’t need to pay a daily or monthly desk fee) that offer great wifi, a relaxed atmosphere, and- naturally- an endless supply of freshly brewed coffee.

While little beats walking around and discovering your own place, we can recommend a couple of good spots to start. Try Clay Studio – Coffee in the Garden and Cafe de Oasis, both of which have beautiful, open-air gardens to work from.

Where to shop and eat in Chiang Mai

Like most Thai communities, local life revolves around the vibrant daily markets scattered throughout the city and suburbs. Each area has its own market(s) selling all manner of fresh fruits and veggies, meat, fish, eggs, spices, and freshly cooked local delicacies. They won’t be hard to find; just open your eyes and go for a walk (and do it while you’re hungry!).

Some local markets we recommend: San Pa Koi, Worrawat, the Royal Project outlet, JJ market, Sompet Market, Thanin Market (sometimes called Siri Wattana Market), Kaad Luang (Royal Market), and Sabai Sabai Organic Market.

For other household products and essentials, there’s a 7/11 on virtually every street corner. If you’re in need of a bigger haul with a wider selection (and some imported products) head for a Tesco or Rimping supermarket (you can find organic produce at the Rimping in Meechok Plaza).

Internet in Chiang Mai

As one of Asia’s main digital nomad cities, the local community has jumped on the high-speed internet bandwagon in a major way. 15-25 Mbps download is the standard internet speed in Chiang Mai- at least in most cafes and workspaces.

There are also a number of places that have speeds in excess of 25 Mbps, and some of the coworking spaces in Chiang Mai even have up to 100 Mbps. However, a lot of the serviced apartments and other housing rentals are significantly slower (10 down 5 up on a good day). If you want faster speeds at home you’ll need to organise your own internet scheme ($25/month will get you a long way).

When it comes to mobile internet in Chiang Mai, you can get 4G virtually everywhere you go (expect to pay around $15/month for a decent 4G bundle).

4G in Thailand averages 9 Mb/s as measured by a recent (November 2017) state of mobile networks in Thailand (see report). It is in line with the Asia-Pacific region average of 9.69 Mb/s. The top 3 mobile providers in Thailand are Truemove, AIS and Dtac.

See a full guide on Thailand’s SIM card options here.

How to get to Chiang Mai How to get to Chiang Mai by plane

Chiang Mai has its own international airport (CMX) located just 20 minutes away from the downtown area. Expect a taxi from the airport to the Old City to cost no more than $6.

If your departure airport doesn’t fly to CMX, catch a plane to Bangkok and hop on one of the quick domestic flights to Chiang Mai. There are dozens of flights doing this route every day, and you can snag a ticket for as little as $25.

Having an international airport in Chiang Mai is a huge advantage. It’s easy to stay connected with the rest of the world, whether that means making regular visits to friends and family, meeting with business associates abroad, or discovering the rest of Southeast Asia- it’s right at your doorstep, after all.

How to get to Chiang Mai by train

Alternatively, you can take the overnight train from the station in Bangkok which will get you to Chiang Mai in 15 hours. This is the go-to choice for adventurous travelers looking to get a real-deal local experience and savour the stunning views of the Thai scenery.

How to get around Chiang Mai

Most nomads feel the best way to get around Chiang Mai is by scooter. Buy it, rent it; use it to dash around and discover the city at your own speed. Expect to pay around $75/month for a rental (paying a little more for a good quality bike will be worth it fuel/safety wise).

If you don’t fancy driving your own set of wheels, you can easily get around using the city’s songthaew network. This is a popular mode of transport throughout Thailand, and is a cross between a pick-up truck, a taxi, and a bus. Otherwise, seize the opportunity to move your feet and choose to walk- there are pedestrian paths virtually everywhere.

Uber and Grab are two apps worth downloading before you hit Chiang Mai; it’s the quickest (and often the cheapest) way to hail a taxi and ensure you and your driver don’t lose anything in translation.

To find the best public transport option to or from Chiang Mai, check out our partner 12go.asia – an efficient public transportation search engine and booking platform for southeast Asia. We use them ourselves!

The post 5 Cool Things to do Outdoors in Chiang Mai, Thailand appeared first on Extreme Nomads.

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We review the latest (and quite possibly the greatest) floating sunglasses to hit the market.

Let’s start this review with a nugget of reality:

Here at Extreme Nomads, we’re damn serious about our watershades.

Last year, we searched high and low for the ultimate pair of watersports sunglasses for all the high impact sports (like kiteboarding and windsurfing) that we do; and even though we love what we found, we were still left wanting for a pair of awesome floating sunglasses for our mellower salt water sessions.

And so the search continued.

What we didn’t know at the time, was that our favourite watershades brand (more on them below!) already had plans in the pipeline to develop a pair of floating sunglasses specifically with activities like sailing, kayaking, fishing, kite foiling, and stand-up paddle boarding in mind.

We managed to get our hands on a pair before their official release (YAASSSSS!!!) and put them to the test…. The extreme nomad test. Because that’s a thing now, you guys.

So here it is- a detailed review of the newest and dare we say, maybe even the best floating sunglasses on the market right now. We’ve also included some extra guidance at the end of the article to help you better decide if these are the right sunglasses for your specific needs.

Without further ado, *drumroll*….. Here’s what you need to know about the Flo watershades by LiP Sunglasses (which are set to be released in May 2019):

This page contains a lot of awesome stuff, including some magical affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of those links, we’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

The low-down on LiP

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that us lot at Extreme Nomads are pretty bonkers about LiP.

They’re a Taiwan-based brand who started off by taking an honest-to-Betsy bash at creating an indestructible pair of watersports sunglasses (which they did. Twice). They’ve since branched out with a slick AF urban collection, which we’re also shamelessly in love with (just take a glance at our review of their insanely high quality sunglasses with Zeiss lenses to see why).

The company is a kooky collective of extreme sports lovers and do-ers, from paragliders to kiteboarders and virtually everything in between.

Julia Tausch (kiteboarder) rocking LiP’s newest floating sunglasses model for a SUP sesh

In short:

They ain’t just your average joe designers. They ain’t just sales slingers. They know their shit when it comes to action sports and they fully understand what’s needed from a pair of shades for use on the water- and their newest model of floating sunglasses pretty much says it all.

Our review of LiP’s floating sunglasses Our buddy Daniel Meissner wearing the ‘Flo’ floating sunglasses in mustard yellow The concept

The Flo is a multipurpose watershade for sailors, kayakers, paddlers, and anglers (or essentially anyone doing any kind of low impact watersport). The designers created these babies to be as functional, versatile, and reliable as possible- so they’re a solid choice if you’re the sort of person who dabbles in a bunch of different water activities.

Psst: the Flo sunglasses are also totally unisex! We’ve passed them round to loads of our guy and girl friends to test, and the consensus is that they look pretty rad on everyone.

The specs

By grace of its newly developed FLOT8 technology, the Flo’s will float on the surface of the water after a crash, wipeout, or accidental drop overboard.

When we tested them out, we found that the tips of the arms are the most buoyant part of the sunglasses, so that’s the part that you’ll see best when they’re in the water. The lens side is a little heavier, and so you’ll find that some models will float slightly unevenly (particularly the models with Zeiss lenses, as they’re a wee bit heavier) albeit effectively.

To make it even easier to spot them in the water, the designers chose to accent the inside of the arms with bright yellow, which does a great job of increasing their visibility if you find yourself needing to rescue them from afar.

Now, if you’ve ever found yourself half blinded on the water by spray and droplets on your sunglasses, this next point will be a biggy for you:

The lenses have both hydrophobic and oleophobic coatings, which basically means that you’ll still be able to see perfectly clearly even if you splash a whole lot of salt water over your shades.

As for their durability, they’re second to none:

The GRILAMID® TR90 frames are so heavy duty that they’re basically indestructible, which is awesome if you’re me, and you normally end up breaking every nice thing you own.

The other massive upside is that the T90 frames are super lightweight, which makes them really comfortable to wear for (even for long periods of time, which is a big thing if you sometimes get pains in the side of your head from wearing bad-fitting sunglasses).

Lastly, we love the crazy peripheral view that you get wearing these shades. Not only does it kinda feel like you’re wearing the sunglasses version of a surround sound system (does that metaphor make sense to anyone besides me?!), but their 8 base curve radius lenses are also super duper good at catching stray UV rays that other sunglasses might let slip.

The options

LiP’s floating sunglasses are available in a few different variations, with polarized/non-polarized options both on offer. Keep reading to get to our tips on how to decide if you need polarized floating sunglasses or not!

You can also take your pick between frame/lens colour, too (see their website for more details on colours and lens options).

Pros
  • Polarized and non polarized versions
  • Decentered injected Polycarbonate and Nylon lenses (crazy high quality, won’t peel since they’ve been injected- not coated)
  • Super wide peripheral vision
  • Comfortable (even when worn for long periods)
  • 100% UVA/UVB protection
  • Hydrophobic and oleophobic coating
  • Seriously durable T90 frames
  • Versatile design; can be worn on/off the water and still look cool
  • Bright yellow interior for extra visibility
  • Good value for money
Cons
  • Not suitable for high impact watersports
  • Doesn’t come with a retainer system
FAQs Why choose floating sunglasses?

Not all watersports sunglasses need to float, as LiP’s signature Typhoon model proves (TL;DR version: if they can’t fall off your head, they don’t need to float). But when you’re doing low-impact activities that don’t require a full-on retainer system, often a regular pair of sunglasses will do the trick; and in that case, it’s always good to have the comfort of knowing that your shades won’t sink down to the murky depths if they happen to jump off your head.

Floating sunglasses are versatile enough to use for a range of water activities; they’re comfortable to wear without a retainer, and are easy to retrieve if they fall off.

Are floating sunglasses right for me?

This largely depends on what activities you plan on doing. Since these particular floating sunglasses don’t have a retainer leash system, they’re not really suitable for high impact/high speed sports like kitesurfing, surfing, or wakeboarding. But if you’re more geared towards low-impact sports like sailing, paddling, or kayaking, the Flo’s are perfect for you.

Do I need polarized floating sunglasses?

For those of you that don’t know, polarized glasses filter out extra glare that you find around highly reflective surfaces– like water. While some people have particular reasons for not wanting polarized glasses, personally I think it’s a must for those of us who spend lots of hours on the water.

Wearing floating polarized sunglasses is super beneficial when it comes to reducing eye strain, which makes your overall experience on the water a lot more comfortable.

But that said, polarized sunglasses also have their drawbacks (such as making it near impossible to see what’s on an LCD screen, for example). If you’re unsure about whether or not you want to go for the polarized model, check out this helpful article explaining (and myth busting) some of the key features of polarized lenses.

Wrapping it up

We’re big fans of the Flo model of floating sunglasses by LiP for a couple of simple- but very important- reasons:

They’re durable, comfortable, and built to last. There’s no planned obsolescence with these bad boys; and you bet your left one that you won’t be replacing them in a hurry.

Considering their versatility, we wholeheartedly recommend them for fishing, sailing, kayaking, and SUPing; but moreover, we also totally stand behind them as an everyday off-the-water pair of shades as well.

Best of all, LiP have a stellar customer service set up, so if you do find yourself in need of their help or guidance, you can absolutely trust that they’ll have your back. Scout’s honour! Just kidding, I was never in scouts.

Meanwhile, if you have any questions about LiP’s floating sunglasses, drop us a comment down there and we’ll get back to you in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

The post Best Floating Sunglasses for Sailing, Fishing, SUPing & Kayaking (2019 Review) appeared first on Extreme Nomads.

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