This part of the Kayaking Around The World series is all about kayaking Asia. This time travel bloggers share their favourite kayaking spots & experiences all across Asia.
Asia is a paradise for kayak fans and lovers of the great outdoors. Whether you’re looking for an urban escape to keep you cool, a fun day out or you simply want to observe some of the fascinating marine wildlife, Asia has it all.
Putrajaya, Malaysia by Jub from Tiki Touring Kiwi
Less than 35km from downtown Kuala Lumpur is the satellite city of Putrajaya. A planned city based around a large lake. The lake has a bunch of water activities available and is a quiet dose of serenity on the water. I chose to kayak from the Putrajaya Lake Recreational Centre and found the kayaking very affordable (hourly prices).
There is a large area to kayak around and you can have fun navigating the small islands on the lake and stop off at the various jetties for a break. The lake is designed to help keep the city cool, so if you find yourself overwhelmed by the heat of Kuala Lumpur and can’t get to the beaches yet, kayaking in Putrajaya is a perfect escape.
Khao Sok National Park, Thailand by Steffi from Beach Bum Adventure
For me it’s always incredibly exciting when I have visitors who want to come and see me in Thailand, and even better when those people are your family! My Dad had done his research and wanted us to visit Khao Sok National Park.
It’s a huge area of mountains and jungle about 2 hours north of Krabi. We stayed in a treehouse in the park for a few nights and then on floating bungalows on the Cheow Lan Lake. The stars were some of the best I’ve seen and the next day my Dad and I set off on a kayak nearest to our bungalows on this immense lake. The views were stunning and we saw monkeys, fish eagles and went in search of gibbons – my favourites! We could hear them for ages and eventually managed to see them! However, our kayak started taking in water – I’m not sure where the heaviest person is meant to sit but we weren’t doing something right! In the end we had to swap places which was not an easy feat while floating in the middle of a huge lake!
Maldives by Meghna & Pushkaraj from Trailing Abroad
While we were vacationing in the idyllic setting of one of the many islands in Maldives, we decided to give kayaking a shot. With infinite blues of the ocean, transparent waters and the backdrop of rocky islands, kayaking in the Hembadhu island of Maldives was a visual delight.
We chose a bright sunny afternoon for our adventure and kept exploring the waters for a couple of hours. Though the sea looked pretty calm initially, soon the currents started playing games with us and we happily swayed on, enjoying the views while keeping our balance. We have kayaked in many island locations, yet this experience is our favourite till date.
Besides the panoramic views that Maldives offers, we felt a strange combination of solitude and togetherness at the same time which made the kayaking experience so worthwhile. You feel as if you’re alone in the middle of the expansive ocean, yet so connected to the world with all those islands and civilisation in the distant. So dreamy and so peaceful that we can’t wait to schedule another trip to the Maldives soon!
Koh Tao Island, Thailand by Dave Weatherall from That Travel Blog
Almost 1 year after I quit my job to become an online entrepreneur and travel the world, I touched down on Koh Tao Island. Before I had even unpacked, I hired a kayak and set sail in turquoise waters on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand.
If you’re travelling in the dry season (March to May), jump on a Lomprayah night boat from Chumphon and get yourself over to Koh Tao Island for a few days. You can enjoy snorkelling, diving, kayaking, and climbing. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a family-run bungalow and dive resort, Laem Klong Resort, where I enjoyed two nights in a cute bungalow, a coconut’s throw from the beach.
Fritz (the friendly Swiss co-owner of the resort) will help you rent a kayak for the day! If you’re feeling brave, ask him where to find reef sharks around ‘Shark Island’. Or go and Find Nemo in the local corals.
Koh Phi Phi Island, Thailand by Perri & Martin from Prince and the Pear
Koh Phi Phi offers aquamarine waters so clear and tepid you’ll feel like you just started warm bath water. The insane jungle landscapes jump out at you all while you paddle in the semi-calm seas.
Kayaking from Koh Phi Phi Island, Thailand could be as tame or as extreme as you want to make it! That’s what we enjoyed the most. We soaked in everything during this calm ride, with the sun blazing on our backs and the waves giving our hearts a rush.
From Koh Phi Phi we ended up at Monkey Beach. Once we arrived we had the entire white-sand beach to ourselves. Nothing but one another, the gorgeous lapping waves and of course.. the rambunctious monkeys!
Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay, Vietnam by Taylor from Travel Outlandish
Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay are filled with limestone karsts some 20 million years in the making. They’re bizarre and extraordinarily beautiful. But anyone who has ever hiked, biked, or kayaked rather than taking a motorized vehicle can tell you how much a little physical exertion makes any experience better.
On a Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay cruise, take the time to hop off the boat for a kayaking excursion. Escape the crowds of Halong and get a new perspective on the waterscape. On perfectly still waters, you’ll navigate hidden caves, narrow channels, and even oyster farms. The experience is totally awesome.
Perhentian Island, Malaysia by Gabor from Surfing Planet
Perhentian Island in Malaysia is one of the most beautiful tropical islands in Southeast Asia. The island is famous for its great backpacker atmosphere and the variety of beaches you can find there.
There are also many activities to do in Perhentian, one of them is kayaking around the island. You can rent a kayak on either Long Beach or in Coral Bay and can do a trip on your own around the island. The water is usually calm near the island shore, so you will not have to fight with waves. When your arms get tired, you can stop in many of the secluded beaches around the island. The greatest places to have a stop are Romantic Beach and Adam&Eve Beach. If sea gets rough during your route and you get stuck on one of the beaches, there are always local boats coming and going, and they will take you back to your accommodation without any problem.
Kayaking in Vang Vieng, Laos by Sarah from Not Another Travel Blog
When we arrived in Vang Vieng we were completely unprepared for its beauty. Imagine Halong Bay in Vietnam minus the ocean for some idea of the wide open landscapes, towering limestone karst mountains and networks of caves. The Namsong river winds its way through the countryside and offers the perfect place to spend a day kayaking and taking in the scenery. Whilst the area used to have a reputation for partying and wild days and nights of tubing on the river, it’s been transformed in recent years into a relaxed, hippy resort where outdoor and nature enthusiasts can enjoy adventure sports.
Departing from the centre of Vang Vieng, kayaking groups drive several miles upstream, usually taking in some of the incredible caves along the way, before disembarking ready to kayak down the Namsong back into town. The river is amazingly clear and the landscapes are some of the most beautiful you’ll see in South East Asia. Best of all, it’s a budget friendly day out, with day trips costing less than USD15 per person and even include lunch.
Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam by Elise from Travel, Work & Play
I love kayaking and my favourite place so far has been around Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam. We always prefer to get single kayaks rather than doubles (so we don’t have to coordinate ourselves!) This trip was particularly enjoyable because we just rented some kayaks from the shore and paddled off up the shore to explore some lesser-known spots.
We went with some good friends and rowed, splashed and swam in the warm waters. This area is pretty over-fished so my fish phobia didn’t have to worry about things nibbling at my toes either! The water is shallow along the shore and there are few currents that pull you out to sea, so safe to row off to find a secret spot.
To take our trip, head to Sao Beach and arrange a deal with one of the local rentals along the sand. Most will also throw in snorkel equipment if you ask nicely!
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