Best Kayaking Destinations in Asia - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!
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Friday, April 24, 2020

Best Kayaking Destinations in Asia

Best Kayaking Destinations in Asia

Even if you choose to kayak through a portion of the river near your home that you have traveled through on regular ferries multiple times, it will feel like a whole new experience altogether. Unbelievable as it may seem to those who do not have much experience with kayaking, that’s exactly how it feels.

The difference between kayaking and being on a regular motorized boat or ferry is the distance between you and the water. To be so low and close to the water in a manual boat presents kayakers with a thrilling perspective that’s unique only to kayaking. If you truly want to enjoy that surreal perspective from the most adventurous and beautiful lakes or rivers across Asia, here’s the list you need to follow.

Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia

Raja Ampat is a conservation area for marine life and it’s a gorgeous one at that. Each time you visit Raja Ampat and decide to go on a kayaking tour with the local guides, you are helping the local population and the conservation efforts simultaneously, in addition to enjoying a grand kayaking experience.

The trips themselves can last for days, taking you through some amazing sceneries and backdrops which are hard to describe but are meant to be seen first hand. There’s the blue sky up above and blue-green water below, which is almost astonishingly clear. As you kayak along those clear waters on a bright day, you can see the marine wildlife clearly, swimming below and close to your kayak!

Inle Lake in Myanmar



If fishing is on your mind, then the Inle Lake in Myanmar should be at the top of your kayaking list. Those that do not know about the fishing or how beautiful the place looks, will skip a visit to Inle and head straight over to Bagan, but they have no idea how gorgeous and untouched the lake feels on a kayak.

A fishing kayak would be ideal for the trip since it will let you take advantage of the local fishing opportunities, which are among the best in Myanmar. Entire villages depend on fishing for their livelihoods near Lake Inle, so, if fishing while kayaking seems like an awesome idea to you, bring your own fishing kayak to the Inle Lake and you will have a blast.

Phang Nga Bay in Thailand

The famous James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand

Right in between Phuket Island and the Southern Thai mainland lies the stunning Phang Nga Bay. Kayaking feels quite different from what you might be acquainted with while visiting any of the many lakes in Southeast Asia, simply because it’s not a lake, but an actual part of the bay, nestled in natural cliffs of limestone. As one carefully paddles past the karst structures jutting out of the waters, they will inevitably come across the mighty karst and limestone island of Ko Khao Phing Kan, aka, the James Bond Island.

A major thrill and adventure await those that venture through the hongs, which are collapsed caves that allow entry inside the islands on the bay via cave openings which are still accessible to kayaks. It’s an indescribable experience to paddle through limestone caves that do not have a roof anymore, but the walls still stand. The kind of plants and small animals you will be seeing here are only seen in these hongs only, so respect their privacy and move on as silently as possible.

Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia

Floating village at Chong Khneas, Tonle Sap, Cambodia

The Tonle Sap Lake is another place where bringing a fishing kayak would be ideal for fishing enthusiasts. Not only is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia a beautiful spot to row low and near the water’s surface, but the calm lake is also teeming with fish. The water isn’t clear here, but the reflections shimmer on the water with amazing perfection. The reflections of a starlit sky on a calm, full-moon night almost feel magical while paddling on the Tonle Sap Lake.

It’s important to note that although the lake is good for beginners due to the reliable calmness it is famous for, the mangrove forests and the sheer size of the freshwater lake can get you lost if you are not careful or don’t have a guide with you, especially during the night. Practice caution while kayaking in any place around the world, and don’t go out unguided into the night if you are a beginner.

There are plenty of other destinations in Asia of course, but this is a well-curated list that won’t let you down. Kayaking is also considered an extreme sport if you take on the rougher rivers and seas which are also present in Asia, but as long as you are just blissfully kayaking and doing a bit of fishing, each of the places mentioned here has a unique flavor to them for exactly that, making them stand out from each other in beautiful, calm contrast.



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