Malaysia's waterways are ideal for kayaking adventures. Explore them freely with an open sea kayak, make your way through narrow streams to reach lush jungles and waterfalls, or simply go for a calm paddle. If you're keen to get started with this exciting outdoor activity, here are the top ten kayaking places in Malaysia you must check out!

Read more: The Ultimate Travel Bucket List

    where to kayak in Malaysia
    Best Places to Kayak in Malaysia

    Best Places to Kayak in Malaysia

    Kilim Geoforest Park, Langkawi

    Get into a kayak and paddle your way to Langkawi's rough coastline that are inaccessible by vehicles. This way of travelling boosts your chances of discovering tropical flora and fauna in the jungle without disturbing the tranquillity of nature. The warm golden light at sunset will make you appreciate the natural beauty of Tanjung Rhu and deliver a wonderful kayaking experience. It is suitable for beginners while providing a refreshing experience for seasoned kayakers.

    Kilim Geoforest Park Langkawi
    Kayaking at Tanjung Rhu at the Kilim Geoforest Park, Langkawi

    Sungai Berang, Terengganu

    Kayaking is the most convenient way to see Sungai Berang's crystal-clear waters and plethora of wildlife. You might spot monkeys, buffalo, eagles, hornbills, kingfishers, and cows as you unwind and take in the mesmerising scenery. Sungai Berang is about 2.5 hours' drive from the Kuala Besut Jetty, where the ferry from Perhentian Island is docked.

    Kubang Badak Mangrove River, Langkawi

    Paddling down the Kubang Badak River, you'll uncover the hidden wonders of its unique wildlife species and natural surroundings. Among the animals you'll see along the river are white-bellied sea eagles, monitor lizards, monkeys, and Brahminy kites. If you're lucky, you'll witness a slew of adorable otter families frolicking near the river. The kayak trip continues to a nearby village, where you can watch fishermen getting ready to sail out to sea.

    Kubang Badak Mangrove River, Langkawi
    Kayaking at Kubang Badak Mangrove River, Langkawi

    Sungai Tanum, Kuala Lipis, Pahang

    Not many are aware of Sungai Tanum, which has become an increasingly popular kayaking destination in Malaysia and an ideal stopover between Gua Musang, Kuala Lipis, and Taman Negara Pahang. It takes around 5 hours to go about 12 kilometres over the river between two jetties. The rock formations along the way are interesting to observe, making the journey enjoyable.

    Kelly Bay, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

    Kelly Bay is surrounded by a mangrove forest that leads to the beach. As one of Malaysia's most popular kayaking destinations, it gives you a peek of how the locals live alongside the river. You can see monkeys swinging from tree to tree and fireflies twinkling. Many kayakers prefer to paddle both down the tranquil river and out into the sea on the same trip. It provides both ocean and river kayaking experiences throughout the course of a several-mile trip.

    Cherating Mangrove River, Pahang

    The Cherating River is well known for the variety of creatures that live along its banks. Eagles, kingfishers, monkeys, and snakes are some of the wildlife that can be seen around the stream. It's quite soothing to kayak along the calm and tranquil surrounding. Expect to pay RM75 for two people to go on a 2-hour river kayak tour.

    Cherating Mangrove River, Pahang
    Kayaking at Cherating Mangrove River, Pahang

    Semadang River, Kuching, Sarawak

    Kayaking down the Semadang River will allow you to see the region's lovely thick forests and fantastic landscapes. You'll be paddling through miles within the jungle, which makes a fantastic family adventure. There is no better way to explore the great outdoors than than rafting through the breathtaking landscape. This place is located only an hour's drive from Kuching.

    Tanjung Resang, Johor

    Tanjung Resang is situated in Johor's Mersing district. The beach and tranquil surroundings are its key draws, despite not being as crowded as other nearby seaside towns such as Desaru. The area is protected from the winds by the jutting capes during the milder Southwest monsoon between May to October, making the waters calmer, clearer and more suitable for recreational sailing, kayaking, snorkelling, freediving, scuba diving, and stand up paddling.

    Tanjung Resang, Johor
    Kayaking at Tanjung Resang, Johor

    Kelab Tasik Putrajaya

    Putrajaya Lake Club is known for the ship-themed décor and has an upscale ambiance. It is a great choice for kayakers looking for a tranquil and easily accessible place to kayak without having to travel further away from the city. As you kayak, you can take in the breathtaking view of Putrajaya's iconic structures, including the Perdana Putra skyscraper, Putra Mosque, Botanical Garden, and Melawati Palace. Single kayak rental rates begin at RM15 per hour.

    Bagan Lalang, Sepang

    Set out on an exhilarating 6-kilometer kayaking journey through Bagan Lalang's winding streams. Have a big breakfast before getting in your kayak and paddling down the coastal river to explore the magical mangrove habitat. Unique plant and animal species will ensure that you never forget the splendour of nature. If you're fortunate, you might observe some unusual creatures like fiddler crabs, monitor lizards, and mudskippers. Price starts at RM148 per adult and RM80 per child.

    Kayaking Tips for Beginners

    So where do you start and what do you need? Before getting all charged to get into the kayak, you should definitely read up on it first. Familiarise yourself with the basic paddling strokes, namely:
    1. Forward strokes;
    2. Reverse strokes;
    3. Sweep strokes (to turn), and if needed;
    4. How to get back onto your kayak if your boat overturns (very important if you're kayaking in deep water alone)

    Nature-based adventures, in our opinion, are one of the most exciting and engaging types of activities. This includes jungle trekking, rock climbing, rafting, mountain biking, kayaking, and cave exploration. We cannot decide which we love the best, though kayaking is a much more probable and convenient choice in view of the fact that we are living in the city.

    Kayaking is not exactly the most appreciated water sport by the people in our country, and the prices of kayaks are normally above RM2,000. This should not be a concern because most places do offer rental services, which include a kayak, a paddle, and a life vest, which is pretty much everything that you'd need.

    Kayaking is a very pleasurable recreation because not only do you get to feast your eyes on the splendours of Mother Earth, but it is also regarded as a form of exercise to keep you healthy and fit!