all of Asia

Wow, I am finally beginning my travels to India and Southeast Asia. One thing I want to do is paddle as much of those coast lines as possible. Any advice, info, tips or pointers from anyone who has done any paddling down there would be much appreciated. Ideally I’d have the next few years to explore every inch of coastline from The Baltic Sea to the Indian Ocean, but I won’t hold my breath. Anyway I’d love to hear tips and stories from people who have paddled in this part of the world.


I lived in India for three years.
I did a couple of raft trips on the Ganges north of Rishikesh. Went with my daughters had a great time. The interesting thing was that the campsites where covered with marijuana plants that were planted years ago in the sixties by hippies.

I worked at the embassy in New Delhi and everyday you’d see a parade of people going to work carrying a paper bag. It wasn’t lunch but a stool sample. We use to joke that every conversation in India turns to s—.

Any rivers not in the mountains will be too polluted to try paddling in though. Off the coast will be the same problem because of the sewage dumped into the rivers. Not saying there isn’t great paddling but you have to check it out first.

Been all over Southeast Asia but didn’t do any paddling just touring with a backpack. You have the same problem with pollution so you have to generally stay away from big cities. Thailand has a lot of areas for paddling and diving. Pipi Islands for one. Koi sumoi used to be nice until it got too developed. The beaches are full of Ski-dos and para sails.

The last time I was in Thailand I got Dengue fever. My wife got it when we were in India. I got Hepatitis in Pakistan and Malaria in Africa. I spent many nights laying on the floor of the bathroom worshipping at the porcelain altar. I lived in Africa, England, India, Japan, Pakistan and the Philippines. That doesn’t include my service days in which I spent two years in the Far East and Viet Nam. Happy traveling.

kayaking asia
wow, sounds like you’ve seen some interesting parts of the world (and paid your dues too).

What I am really intersted in is coastal kayaking. I’ve heard there’s some awesome paddling down there and I will have access to almost all of Asia at one point or another. SO…

know of anyone who’s done some big miles out on the ocean?



I did a lot of paddling
in Okinawa and paddled to many of the smaller islands that were between 5-30 miles from the main island. Great coral reefs and temperate waters.

I spend a lot of time in Okinawa
when in the service in the sixties. Back then it was still a US possession and we used Military Payment Certificates (MPC) instead of dollars and had ration cards. Agree that Okinawa has great beaches and would be a choice place to paddle. When I first went to Japan we got 360 yen to a dollar and it was a bargain, but the last time I left in the nineties the exchange rate was about 100 yen to a dollar and expensive. The per Diem rate was well over a hundred dollars a day. Japan is one of the safest countries to tour. I was posted for four years in Tokyo and my daughters, young teens, would wander around the city with no fear. The embassy is by Roppongi, a bar district that all the Westerners go to, so they would meet all the celebrities travelling through. They also loved that there were beer machines on the streets like we have soda machines in the US. My wife and I hitchhiked around Japan in the seventies. It was easier than taking public transportation. We even had police officers help us get rides. We stayed in Youth Hostels when traveling back then. Perhaps you can find one in Okinawa to save money?

Try to minimize the amount of rolling
you do in the Ganges! :wink:

Any kind of lodging in Japan
is going to be expensive. Camping is cheap and is permitted on almost any beach. I was still hitching rides 1999-2001 on Okinawa’s outlying islands. I do not know of a friendlier place in the world. On Zamami Island, a woman gave June the use of her moped for a few hours. On Iheya Island, a woman stopped and took me into town. She introduced me to her husband and then gave me the keys to her van for my use for 2 days. Okinawa waters are losing some clarity. Amami Island was awesome in 2001. I hope to go back this summer. Here is a road sign

in the Ganges?

BTW, does it seem that no one has done much paddling in this part of the world?


Ganges and rolling
It is said that the Ganges is so contaminated that bacteria cannot live there. On my visits to the Ganges I have seen floating corpses, and parts of corpses, as well as all sorts of floating dead animals. Cremation sites along the banks discard ashes and unburnt body parts into the river. Those who cannot afford cremation discard their loved ones directly into this sacred river. Take the advice: don’t roll.

Are you bringing your own boat?
And if so, what?

Just curious.