Top-5 canoeing destinations in Southeast Asia

Canoeing in Southeast Asia is irresistible. The soft splash of the paddle hitting the water as you propel yourself slowly through paradise. You lean back or bend over, to see stalactites, to fit into tiny cave openings, or to touch and dive into nature’s magnificence.

 

Here are the top 5 canoeing adventures you can’t miss in this region of lush jungle and blue skies.

 

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1. The Khao Sok National Park, Thailand

Lots of canoe happiness in Thailand. An alternate to the famous Phang Nga Bay, the Khao Sok National Park canoeing rewards you with several viewpoints: seaviews, a monkey cave temple, and quiet virgin forest, in addition to the Sok river’s majestic limestone rocks and waterfalls.  

 

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2. Lake Toba, Indonesia

Nature and history unite here in the largest lake of Southeast Asia. Lake Toba is a little ocean surrounded by volcanic craters of greenery, hot springs, and little villages untouched by time. The ancient stone chairs in Samosi Island of Toba Lake “give chills!”

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3. The Mekong River, Laos

Paddle along this river and you paddle along most of Southeast Asia. Paddlers love it for the challenge, the floating markets, the temples and tigers, palms and palaces, and even the rare sighting of an Irrawaddy dolphin!

 

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4. Ba Be Lakes, Vietnam

Composed of three connected lakes, Vietnam’s 8th National Park is your canoeing alternative to the famous Halong Bay. See the centuries-old Duom Temple, and perhaps even paddle your way into the Puong Cave. Ditch your usual gear and try bamboo rafting. Sit back and stare in awe at the Ban Gioc Waterfalls.

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5. The Bacuit Archipelago, Philippines

Bacuit Bay, connected to the gorgeous El Nido, is distracting while you assemble your canoe or kayak gear. This archipelago has it all: karst formations, hidden white beaches, multi-hued clear waters teeming with corals-- you can’t decide whether to island hop or hop off the boat to scuba or snorkel.

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