The Far East is a term used to describe all the countries of East Asia. The Far East includes countries like China, Japan, and Thailand. There are many places to explore and many cultures to experience. What better way to explore all that the Far East has to offer than kayaking through the Asian waters. The breathtaking waterways are one of the many things that make the Far East such an ideal place for kayaking.
The Far East features some of the biggest lakes in the world. You can journey through the islands and jungle filled estuaries. Kayaking in the Far East will allow you to see things that no car or aeroplane can provide. The rivers and streams will lead you to remarkable places. Here are some of the best lakes and rivers to explore with your kayak in the Far East.
Ha Long Bay in Vietnam
The emerald waters and limestone islands make this UNESCO World Heritage Site one to see. The beauty of the bay is topped off with rainforests. The bay takes you through many islands with unique names such as Teapot and Stone Dog. There are many activities you can enjoy besides taking in the natural beauty of the bay.
Activities such as scuba diving are a speciality in the area. There is also a nearby park called the Cat Ba National Park where you can enjoy hiking and rock climbing. There are also various beautiful beaches to choose from in Vietnam, as the bay is not an ideal place for swimming and soaking in the sun.
Lake Baikal in Russia
The lake located in the mountainous area of Siberia is known to be one of the deepest lakes in the world. It is also the oldest freshwater lake to exist. The lake is a sight to behold with its crystal clear waters. The Great Baikal Trail, which is various hiking trails, surrounds the deep lake.
The unique wildlife is also something to look out for. On the western shoreline, there is a village known as the village of Listvyanka. The town offers excellent wildlife viewing with activities such as dog sledding and ice-skating in the winter. The lake is also safe for people to swim in.
Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia
Kayaking on the Tonle Sap waters is an experience like no other. The floating village on the freshwater lake is definitely worth a visit. It is the largest freshwater lake in SouthEast Asia. The vibrant ecosystem contains various species of wildlife that surround the lake, as well as in the lake.
You can also book a tour to visit the many floating villages that depend on the lake for their natural resources. All the villages have different elements to them, making each one unique. The ideal time to visit the lake would be in the months of June to October, as this is the rainy season.
Khuvsgul Lake in Mongolia
The lake is located at the eastern Sayan mountains near the Russian border. It is the largest lake in Mongolia and makes up 2 percent of the world’s freshwater reserves. The clear water of the lake contributes to the name the lake is known as the blue pearl of Mongolia. Kayaking on the river is a great way to experience Mongolia.
There are camps along the river for kayakers to rest along and continue paddling along the beautiful river. The thick forests and mountain views provide stunning scenery along the river. There are also ethnic reindeer herders, known as Tsaatan. You can also participate in activities such as fishing, hiking, and horseback riding.
Phang Nga Bay in Thailand
The bay is located between Phuket Island and southern Thailand’s mainland. One of the defining features of the bay is the limestone cliffs that spring from the emerald green waters. There are small islands and forests surrounding the bay. One of the islands made an appearance in a James Bond film.
The multiple caves and archaeological sites have drawn tourists to the bay for many years. The natural wonders and various activities make this a perfect destination for kayakers. You can explore the shallow watered coral gardens or relax on the beach. If you are a more adventurous person, you can do a jungle safari in Phang Nga.
Lake Kenyir in Malaysia
What makes Lake Kenyir so unique is that it is man-made. The artificial lake is the largest man-made lake in all of SouthEast Asia and was created in 1985. The lake has 340 islands, as well as various bird species and caves.
If you are a lover of fishing, you will certainly enjoy the waters of Lake Kenyir. There are over 300 fish species to be found in the water, but you will need a permit to fish. There are also amazing waterfalls called Soak and Lasir. The beautiful scenery is a sight you will want to capture.
Trisuli River in Nepal
This river is perfect for beginner kayaks as it is not for wilderness rafting. The river is easily accessible from Kathmandu. The beautiful scenery will take you away to another world. The river has scenic surroundings of gorges and valleys.
There are many adventure sports activities for kayakers to enjoy. It is a perfect one day trip or overnight trip for kayakers who are looking to relax. There are nearby river resorts with beaches and swimming pools.
Special Sites To Visit While Kayaking in the Far East
The Far East not only has beautiful lakes and rivers to explore, but there are also sites that you can visit on your kayaking journey. The Far East is home to some interesting and beautiful places. Here are some sites to take note of on your trip to the Far East.
The iconic temple is full of detail and is a source of pride for Cambodia. It is a sacred place for native Khmer people. Tourists must adhere to a certain dress code due to the religious value of the site. The huge temple is a must-see for all visitors. Kayakers can visit the site and take a break from paddling in the Tonle Sap Lake.
Old Phuket Town
Explore the culture of Thailand by visiting the capital of the province of Phuket. The old townhouses are brightly painted, and the busy street markets are bound to give you the ultimate Thailand experience. There is also a museum showcasing the culture of Chinese immigrants.
Thanh Chuong Viet Palace
While kayaking on Halong Bay, you can stop and explore Thanh Chuong Viet Palace. The historic cultural palace of Vietnam is located on Soc Son Mountain. The traditional architecture and folk heritage artwork and pieces are wonderful to see. This is one of the most culturally rich places to see in Vietnam.
This is the largest island in Lake Baikal. The wonderful island offers a place of serenity to relax and enjoy the view of the lake. There is also a museum on the island where you can view cultural artefacts. The Shaman Rocks has also become a popular tourist attraction in Siberia.
Cultural Advice for the Far East
The Far East contains many different countries with cultural norms that are different from other places around the world. When travelling and exploring special sites, it is very important to be aware of the culture of the people around you.
In Asian countries, it is mandatory for you to cover your head when you are visiting temples and mosques. You also shouldn’t wear shoes inside the temples. Countries like Vietnam and Malaysia consider public displays of affection a taboo in their culture. Touching any part of a lady’s body is also a ‘no’ in their culture.
In Indonesia, it is important to keep your mouth closed. Yawning and gum chewing is considered rude to the people there. Patting someone on the back, as well as long periods of eye contact, is also considered rude.
In Vietnam, it is important to use both hands when you are paying for something and never stretch over someone’s head. If you have any tattoos, you should try your best to cover them up when you visit a pagoda.
Safety Precautions for Kayaking in the Far East
When kayaking in places like Halong Bay, the weather is relatively warm in this country, and, therefore, you should wear appropriate outfits such as shorts and T-shirts, hats, sunglasses, and waterproof shoes.
Try not to paddle too close to the karsts and caves. If you are a beginner kayaker, try to avoid low caves. The Far East does not fall in the malaria zone, but it is still important to carry mosquito repellent with you on your trip.
Another precaution you can take is not to swim alone. Make sure to wear a life jacket in deep waters when you are doing water sport activities. Avoid drinking tap water in the Far East countries. Rather buy bottled water or carry a water purifier with you.
Kayaking in the Far East is sure to be a journey that you will enjoy. The beautiful lakes, bays, and beaches, as well as the scenery and cultural elements, make this trip one not to miss.
Paddle through some of the best lakes and rivers that the world has to offer in the Far East.