Thailand via Paddleboard: exploration of magical caves, pristine lagoons and hidden oasis’

Global Partner

Damjan Petreski takes us through the magical world of Thailand via kayak and stand up paddling in this lush video featuring cave exploration, lagoon diving, a magical beach oasis and so much more.  Take a moment and start your Monday right with a dream, a wish … and then get to work to make things happen 😉

Our stand up paddling trip took us from one side of the Kingdom to the other, exchanging the busy life for a quiet one on the small islands in the south.  We began our trip with a short stay in Bangkok before moving on to the coastal area in the province of Krabi.

Cave Exploration

We began by paddling down and exploring the stalagmite ceilings throughout the mini islands around Railay Beach, an area filled with gorgeous caves. This region was filled with wonderful scenery and was a perfect place to shoot some beautiful pictures with the camera.

Next was the Bor Thor Cave ‘river path’.  These strange water canals through the jungle connect a huge range of caves.  What greeted us there was exactly like out of an animated fairy tale! Jungle kayaking between the mango tree’s, entering huge tunnel cave systems through the jungle itself and coming out the other end was mesmerizing, Perfect before moving to the island of Phi Phi.

Phi Phi:  Monkey Beach

On Don, Phi Phi became very accessible. Our accommodations were only a 500m paddle to Monkey Beach where we were able to feed the monkeys and spending time with them to witness their behavior is priceless.

Pileh Lagoon:  pristine waters

The next stage on our Thailand stand up paddle trip was on Maya Bay and we had the opportunity to paddle within the magnificent blue Pileh Lagoon where we also snorkeled to see both Nemo and Dory. To paddle in this lagoon was a dream of ours even before we ever planned on going to Thailand. What we saw there exceeded our expectations and left us speechless. Breathtaking views were all around.  Everywhere you turned was like a new wallpaper.  The Pileh Lagoon was definitely one of the biggest highlights of our paddle tour around this beautiful Kingdom.

Following this, we took a short kayaking trip to the back entrance of Maya Bay and climbed a rope wall to enter the well known Koh Phi Phi Leh.  This spot is most famous from the 2000 American-British movie classic ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Koh Muk:  a magical oasis

Leaving a place like this can only be worth it if there was a better one to find.  Our next location was a perfect candidate. Moving from the busy Phi Phi Islands to the very small isle f Koh Muk was a perfect getaway place for a true vacation. This small island has only two resorts and a couple of bungalows for rent.  In order to get from one side of the island to the other is only a five-minute bike ride.  This was super fun with a backpack filled with inflatable paddle boards! First, we spend some time stand up paddle surfing in the windy, open waters on the island’s southwest side, before we paddled on to see the famous Emerald Cave.  When we arrived there, the Cave was inaccessible due to the tide. But after some patient waiting, a couple of hours later we got the chance to enter the majestic cave and see the world’s most private place. This ‘private beach’ is only accessible by water and we had to paddle down thirty minutes from the nearest beach, then came upon and entered a very small opening in a 100-meter vertical rock wall which spans half of the island. After paddling for about 80 meters in the pitch black inside this cave hole, we came out on a private oasis surrounded again by a 360-degree rock wall.  In the middle, there is a small jungle with a private beach and, depending on the time on the day, the water level can rise making this place even more special.  This wonderful and magical spot is in the middle of the island and is only accessible by water, so with its private beach and jungle, it is still only 150m x 150m in size. Once again, it can leave anyone speechless.

Koh Lipe:  crystalline waters and perfect sunsets

The next place we went to visit was the small island of Koh Lipe. This offered a wide range of activities to do. Having so many small islands all around Koh Lipe, makes the waters shallow and perfect for paddling.  Paddling through the coral reef felt like flying through the air on account of those crystal clear waters!  Taking an occasional swim with the colorful fish in the beautiful ocean was a must. Koh Lipe offers perfect sunsets, uninterrupted horizon along the water to make each day’s end even more special. Paddle boarding here was the perfect decision. We packed our two inflatable paddleboards in one bag with our two paddles and one sup pump.  Its total weight was 20kg, perfect for flying.

So pack your boards and see you on the next one.

Submitted by:   Damjan Petreski


Previous articleGlobal sup community: Help bring Tanvi – India’s 1st Female of SUP – to Carolina Cup
Next articleWND&WVS podcast with Zane Schweitzer on the STOKE of stand up foiling!
Evelyn O'Doherty, editor & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0 is a former school teacher gone rogue. She left her career as a teacher in order to spend more time near or on the water after learning to surf turned her life around (upsidedown?). She is a year-round surfer and paddler living on the eastern tip of Long Island in NY who is a certified SUP instructor, seasoned SUP racer and avid longboard surfer. Evelyn was hired as Online Editor to Standup Journal in 2016. Her passion for the project quickly led to her success and eventually taking over the mag herself in Oct. 2018. Today, as editor, publisher and chief bottle washer at Standup Journal, Evelyn keeps her toes wet writing, traveling, paddling, surfing, and learning to foil. You can find her most days paddling out on Gardiner's Bay or surfing Ditch Plains in Montauk, NY.