White Water Rafting Malaysia : A Complete Guide [With Photos]
When you google white water rafting Malaysia, you get tons of information floating on the internet. It’s really a daunting task to go through all these information separately.
Well, what I plan to do is to put all the important information about water rafting in Malaysia in one place so you can refer here anytime you need to.
Now as you know
Malaysia is a country blessed with a climate with abundance of rain and sunshine. It’s a country with hills and mountains – both on Peninsula Malaysia and Borneo.
You can say that it is also a land of attractive extremes, where towering skyscrapers contrast with serene rural villages.
Sanctified with natural wonders galore, it is perfect for a remarkable holiday mixed with some extreme adventure. With some of the finest beaches and diving spots in the world, it is ideal for island getaways.
And the best part:
Due to the topography of the country, Malaysia has many white water rafting rivers. Its tropical climate makes whitewater rafting available the whole year round.
Today, I am going to share with you all about white water rafting in Malaysia.
Let’s not waste anymore time and dive in:
Malaysia’s rivers for commercial white water rafting trips
These are the rivers in Malaysia that you can do white water rafting. There is always one only a few minutes to a few hours from where you may be staying including big towns like Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and others.
Here I list them according to States and the river that are available in those states for your river adventure.
- Selangor : Sungai Selangor
- Perak: Sungai Slim / Sungai Sungkai / Sungai Kampar / Sungai Singor
- Kedah: Sungai Sedim
- Pahang: Jeram Besu / Benta
- Sabah: Sungai Padas / Sungai Kiulu
In Malaysia, most rafting rivers we have are available for white water rafting throughout the year.
The only difference is if you came during the dry season, the water level may be lower than normal and you will be required to paddle more than usual.
Rafting during the rainy season on the other hand will make for a faster trip run and you may not experience as many rapids when most of them have been submerged under the higher water level.
So that being said, anytime is a good time – the only difference will be your experience on the river.
How are rivers graded and what do those numbers mean
Rapids are the result of the vertical descent of a body of water over a given horizontal distance.
Water travels downhill. As obvious as that sounds, you’d be amazed at how many truly clueless people – not yourself, of course – live under the misconception that water travels from north to south, regardless of geography or topography, until it meets an ocean.
Rapids are generally classified on a scale of 1-6.
The idea is to find a happy medium. Grade 1 rapids are just a bit more exciting than a calm river (think water themepark tameness), while Grade 5 rapids are likely to give you heart palpitations. Here is an explanation of the river grades:
Grade 1 – EASY
Fast water with ripples or waves all dangers are obvious, negligible risk to swimmers, easy self-rescue.
Grade 2 – NOVICE
Straightforward rapids with regular waves easy to medium drop-offs (chutes, ledges, falls) eddies and shear zones are easily negotiated best passage evident without scouting.
Grade 3 – INTERMEDIATE
Rapids with moderate, irregular waves, breakers, rollers and back eddies. Scouting in advance is advised for inexperienced parties and will be done by the river guides even on familiar rivers.
Grade 4 – ADVANCE
High, irregular waves, breakers, powerful back eddies, whirlpools and sharp bends. Powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise handling in difficult water. Moderate to high risk to swimmers, group rescue is often required. Advance scouting is required.
Grade 5 – EXPERT
Extremely long and/or violent rapids, often containing large, unavoidable obstacles, holes, steep banks, and turbulent water very fast currents with powerful whirlpools and boiling back eddies rescue is often difficult for experts. Advance scouting may be difficult.
Grade 6 – EXTREME
Upper limit of present-day skills and equipment and only for teams of experts, taking all safety precautions unexplored or uncharted rapids where navigation may be very difficult to impossible. Luck often considered an important part of a successful negotiation.
What is normally included in a white water rafting package
When you book your white water rafting trip, all good outfitters will provide you with the standard rafting equipment consisting of a helmet, a paddle and a personal flotation device (life vest in layman terms).
The rafts used will be the self-bailing inflatable rafts.
All companies will require you to put on footwear for added safety.
So please wear shoes or sandals.
Depending on the price you will be paying, some will include a lunch as your meal at the end of the trip.
Others may also include additional snacks and drinks at the rest point during your rafting trip.
depending on companies, toilets and showers can either be at their basecamp or the use of public facility.
Can special meals be arranged?
Check with your rafting outfitter prior to your trip.
For us, making a special arrangement for special meals such as vegetarian or vegan is easily done. Let us know earlier so these can be prepared for you.
By the way..all meals we provide are halal.
What is the best starting age for white water rafting.
We see parents today wanting to introduce white water rafting to their children very early.
Though this attitude is good, the white water rafting as extreme sport may not be suitable for young children.
The best age to start would be around 12 years old when they are more confident especially should they fall into a strong rapid or current.
It is fine to start them earlier say 10-11 years old but do make sure that the safety equipment can fit them and they are mentally and physically ready for the sport.
Most rafting outfitters only carry equipment in adult sizes.
Talk to the rafting outfitter so they can suggest to most suitable river for your kids.
As we enjoy warm weather throughout the year, you do not need any special attire for whitewater rafting.
A bit of history: White water rafting rivers in Malaysia
Rivers have long been the means of connecting the native people of the land. They were until now a source of food, a means of transport, and now, an avenue for adventure tourism.
The indigenous people in the country has been using sampans and rafts for centuries, but whitewater rafting has only been a popular recreational and tourist activity in Malaysia since the early 1980s.
In Malaysia, you can experience a variety from the high adrenaline Grade 5 rapids to the more tranquil family rides. Some of the rivers are very remote and long, traversing through kampongs and Orang Asli settlements.
There are opportunities to traverse through virgin rainforests full of birds and animal life, while others even flow past limestone caves and prehistoric archaeological sites.
For those looking for an extended program, those are available too. In addition, it is also an excellent corporate team building activity.
Parents wanting to introduce their children to outdoor adventure can even start with whitewater rafting on some lower grade rivers.
Do you want to come on a whitewater rafting adventure? The details of one of the most popular rafting program in the country is whitewater rafting on Sungai Selangor.
Is white water rafting in Malaysia safe?
Of course it is. All rafting operators impose self regulation as there is no regulatory body.
Safety briefing is always conducted on land before the participants go into the water.
This covers the paddling commands, capsize drills, paddling skills, actions when overboard or river rescue and then further instruction is conducted in the water before setting off for the adventure trip itself.
Keep in mind, all equipment meet US Coast Guard safety standards for whitewater rafting.
Can non-swimmers join a rafting trip?
Yes, non-swimmers can join our rafting trips.
Being a swimmer will give you and added advantage but even that, you may not be able to fight the current if you fell into strong rapids. Confidence to remain calm and rescue yourself out of situations would be helpful.
Just keep your safety equipment on and look out for rescue crew and guide as they are always on the look out for your safety.
What are the best shoes for white water rafting
As you know, you need protection for your feet. There are some white water rafting operators especially in other countries that do not require wearing shoes, but it’s safe to say that all Malaysian white water rafting companies require you to wear shoes.
To protect your feet, the best is to have a pair that does not come off easily, covers your toes and is not slippery. You can go for the an old pair of sneakers, or a velcro strapped sandals. Now there are aqua shoes that are quick drying, light, and come in a variety of colours.
So wear a pair you are comfortable with –
addidas kampung, aqua shoes, old sneakers – whatever suits you.
Just don’t go barefooted.
There you go..
I hope the information is has been beneficial for you.
Don’t forget to leave your comments below so that I know.
If there are information which are not available here, just leave the questions in the comments section and I will try to answer them the best I can. If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to like and share it okay!
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