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5 exciting Malaysian whitewater adventures you need to try soon

Malaysia is mostly famous for its surrounding waters, and beckons scuba and snorkelling enthusiasts from all over the world. However, those who discount Malaysia's rivers are missing opportunities for some of the best whitewater in the region. Here is Skyscanner's list of favourite whitewater experiences throughout the country. While some river experiences are sedate floats, these have the volume and the rapids to make for a wild, wet time.

1. Sungai Selangor (Kuala Lumpur, Selangor)

The selangor is one of Malaysia’s most popular whitewater trips for two reasons. First, it’s a long river with lots of challenging rapids that aren’t quite as dangerous. Second, it’s the closest whitewater option to Kuala Lumpur and makes for a suitable day trip. You can choose between the Upper Selangor, which is more sedate but still has some good riffles and runs, or the 7-kilometre roller coaster of grade III and IV rapids that is the Lower Selangor.

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Rafting the Lower Selangor

Rafting the Lower Selangor, Image copyright: myadventurehost

2. Sungai Kampar (Ipoh, Perak)

The Kampar run is the gentlest rafting option that still has some thrills and spills. They take rafters as young as five, but also has plenty of class II and III bumps to keep things interesting. Guide groups that run Kampar trips will also tack on additional adventures, like jungle treks and caving. Book an overnight expedition to get the most out of this river journey, and take advantage of side treks and adventures while you’re out.

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Gentle but not boring:The Kampar River

_Gentle but not boring:The Kampar River, Image copyright: Golden Holidays_

3. Sungai Tembeling (Kuantan, Pahang)

The Tembeling can be a mad rush of high-difficulty rapids, or it can be a flat stretch of water where you only get wet if the driver tips the boat. Don’t let that deter you — the trip is still on a river through parts of Malaysia’s oldest and justifiably best-known national park. Just contact a tour operator early to get the news on the state of the rapids, and be sure to book night jungle trekking, canopy tours and Orang Asli visits while you’re in the area.

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White water in Taman Negara

An easy but fun riffle on the Tembeling. Image copyright: HolidayGoGoGo

4. Sungai Padas (Sabah)

Considered the best rafting in Malaysia, and by many in Asia as a whole, the Padas is not for the inexperienced, young, or faint of heart. This collection of class III and IV rapids offers a day of bumps and thumps. Its 7 rapids include the infamous Lambada and Head Hunter, and are guaranteed to get you wet. While only accessible by train, don’t worry about the ride: the trip there and back on an antique rail car is a feature, not a bug, of this rafting adventure.

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The mighty Padas river

The mighty Padas river, Image copyright: Sticky Rice Travel

5. Sungai Singor (Ipoh, Perak)

This is considered the wildest river in Malaysia, and a full 3-day run includes grades III through the heart-stopping VI, plus two waterfalls you have to port because they’re impassable. Shorter runs are available, but for the best experience, book the entire tour to experience the side treks, climbing, scrambling and soaking that this reliably near-perfect water has to offer. This is helmet-and-paddle work, and for veteran "river rats" only.

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A minor rapid on the Singor

A warm-up run on the wild Singor River. Image copyright: WhoaAdventure

Planning a rafting trip is just a matter of contacting your guide group, then booking your flight to the nearest regional airport. If your tour doesn’t include lodging, book your hotel with us to get the best discounts possible.

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