Paddle Your Way through Vietnam's Best Kayaking Spots

Kayaking in Vietnam is currently being developed as a type of tourism combined with active sports, often included in discovery tours. This service can often be found at destinations such as Ha Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay, Phong Nha - Ke Bang Cave, Phu Quoc Island,... These are all famous tourist attractions of the country, impressive not only because of their natural beauty, but also as suitable places to kayak in Vietnam.

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kayaking in vietnam
Source: Carl Turpie

Vietnam is a country of stunning natural beauty, with a diverse landscape that includes rugged mountains, tranquil lakes, and breathtaking coastlines. One of the best ways to experience this beauty is by kayaking, an activity that allows you to immerse yourself in nature and explore hidden corners of the country that are inaccessible by land. With diverse terrain and rich nature stretching across the country, it is not difficult to find attractive and ideal places for kayaking in Vietnam, with some suggestions below:

1 - Top spot for kayaking in Vietnam: Halong Bay

vietnam kayaking in lan ha bay
Source: Internet

Halong Bay (in Quang Ninh province) is a top tourist destination in the world, and one of the best places to take kayaking tours in Vietnam. It will definitely be a memorable experience for you when sailing in the secluded bay with clear and calm blue water, weaving between more than 1,900 large and small islands. You will be able to admire the towering limestone mountains at close range, or visit beautiful caves such as Sung Sot cave, Paradise cave, Luon cave,... More specifically, you also have the opportunity to see schools of fish swimming in the crevices or colorful coral reefs.
Kayaking in Vietnam is an interesting tourist activity but it is still risky, so the management of Halong Bay has regulations allowing certain areas. They are all belonging to 5 tourist routes from Tuan Chau port, each with different landscapes that bring new experiences, with separate service operators. For example, the kayak rental price at Luon Cave is 50,000 VND / 2 people ($2.14), while it’s 40,000 VND / person ($1.7) in Ba Cave. There are also other places such as Ba Hang, Cua Van and Vung Vieng fishing villages, Lom Bo island, Ban Chan island sand beach, etc.
Currently, most overnight cruises in Halong Bay offer exciting experiences of Kayaking in Vietnam, including Heritage Binh Chuan. Launched in the summer of 2019, this yacht features a unique blend of Vietnamese history, culture and cuisine, promising personalized services. It also departs from Tuan Chau port in the Ward of the same name, at no.14 Ngoc Chau Street in Ha Long City. You can book the tour with Heritage Binh Chuan according to the contact information below:
- Price: $186 - 321 / person
- Phone: 0886 03 66 68 - 024 3223 9988
- Website:
- Email:

2 - Top #2 spot for kayaking in Vietnam: Lan Ha Bay

kayaking tours in vietnam
Source: Jonas Brief

Adjacent to Halong Bay to the south, Lan Ha Bay surrounding Hai Phong's Cat Ba archipelago is a must-visit destination for kayaking tours in Vietnam. With an area of over 7,000ha, the arc-shaped bay has more than 400 large and small islands covered with green trees, creating a rare majestic yet dreamy landscape. Floating on the water and passing through the small islands, you can also see the coral reefs and seaweed below because the water here is very clean. The kayak takes you close to the foot of the rocky mountains with unique shapes, letting you enjoy the quiet space.
As one of the best places for kayaking in Vietnam, Lan Ha Bay is conveniently located for you to combine visiting the attractions of Halong Bay. You can rent a boat at Beo wharf to explore the bay at close range, otherwise in Cat Ba archipelago there are also 2 kayaking places for you to choose from: Monkey Island or Three Peaches island. A kayak is priced from 50,000 - 100,000 VND / person ($2.14 - 4.27), but if you go with a team of more than 15 people, you can rent for 1,000,000 - 4,000,000 VND / group ($42.72 - 170.9). The most suitable time for kayaking in Lan Ha Bay is from April to October, also when this place is in the most beautiful season.

3 - Nho Que River Vietnam kayaking

kayak in vietnam
Source: Internet

Ha Giang has mountains, forests and many beautiful landscapes, including the Nho Que river which is a famous spot for kayaking in Vietnam. This is one of the must-visit destinations when coming to this region, highlighted by the poetic and majestic Tu San Canyon with 2 steep cliffs. Located between Dong Van and Meo Vac, the canyon stretches for 1.7km with cliffs as high as 700 - 800m. This masterpiece of nature further adorns the Nho Que river flowing like a silk strip across the hills, especially impressive in the blooming season of red rice flowers in February - March.
To reach this one of the most beautiful places for kayaking tours in Vietnam, you will have to cross a rather winding and challenging road, but the experience you can get is well worth it. The road to the river is difficult to go and the travel time is about 40 - 60 minutes, so you should go early to avoid getting dark, quite dangerous because there are no street lights. The locals here at Meo Vac District rent out a kayak for 100,000 - 150,000 VND ($4.27 - 6.4), and it is best for you to contact in advance, for example:
- Boat dock at Xin Cai Commune: Mr. Vang - 038 232 5973
- Boat dock at Ta Lang Village, Pai Lung Commune:
+ Mr. Long: 096 442 6017
+ Mr. Diep: 086 504 0992

4 - Ba Be Lake - one of the most ideal spots for kayaking in Vietnam

best kayaking spots in vietnam
Source: Bin Tùng

About 200km north of Hanoi, Ba Be National Park is one of the most prominent destinations of Bac Kan province, possessing a large natural freshwater lake that is an interesting place for kayaking tours in Vietnam. Located at an altitude of 150m above sea level, Ba Be Lake possesses a calm beauty with clear water, adorned by mossy rocks, ancient forests and mountains dating back 450 million years. Weaving with a kayak through the ravines, you can not only admire the calm water surface, but also visit the Widow island or Puong cave with large stacks of rocks.
More unique than kayaking in Vietnam at other places, this journey will give you the chance to discover the culture of the highland villages of the Tay and Dao people such as Pac Ngoi, Coc Toc, Po Lu,… There are 4 boat wharfs here, namely Choc Thep wharf, Keo Sluu wharf, the ferry wharf opposite it, and Buoc Luom wharf, in which, the first 2 are the most crowded places for renting out kayaks. The amount you have to pay will include the entrance fee of 45,000 VND / person ($1.92) and rental price from 50,000 VND - 100,000 VND / kayak ($2.14 - 4.27). You can contact:
- Kayak Ba Be: 0868 474 805
- Mr. Huynh James: 0966 056 819

5 - Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park

kayaking places in vietnam
Top kayaking tours in Vietnam - Source: Mia

If you are looking for some stunning places for sightseeing and kayaking in Vietnam, Phong Nha - Ke Bang national park is truly an amazing option. Inside the cave - River Dark Cave is a beautiful kayaking spot in Vietnam, located in the sunny and windy Central region, specifically in Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park of Quang Binh province. With a system of nearly 400 caves, including Son Doong cave - the longest cave in the world, this national park is home to thousands of species of flora and fauna, famous for its majestic and magical beauty. Originating from Chay stream is the river of the same name, possessing many impressive rapids and emerald green water, nestled next to the magnificent limestone mountains.
The beauty of this place has made it the prime location for kayaking in Vietnam, taking you through dense ancient forests and golden corn fields of the locals. Going downstream, you can also visit Chay riverside villages such as Ha Loi, Phong Nha, Na, Tram, Me or Chay Lap, which are all the places that preserve the cultural beauty of Quang Binh. In particular, you will also have the opportunity to play the zipline, swim in Thuy Tien Lake or visit the pristine Dark Cave with thousands of stalactites, take a natural mud bath and learn about cave animals such as swallows, bats, etc.
Ticket price for the package tour is about 450,000 - 1,100,000 VND / adult ($19.23 - 47) with full games, kayaking and mud bath. To explore Chay River - Dark Cave, you have 2 departing options: from Phong Nha wharf or Tro Mong wharf.
Phong Nha Tourist
- Phone: 0987 50 3456
- Email:

6 - Tuyen Lam Lake

where to take kayak in vietnam
Source: Tai Pham

Surrounded by lush green pine forests, Tuyen Lam Lake National Tourist Area possesses many oases, convenient to become an interesting spot for kayaking in Vietnam. This is a new experience in Dalat that is loved by many youngsters, making everyone fall in love by letting them freely immerse in the peaceful atmosphere, green scenery and breathe in the fresh air. Around October - December, when the maple leaves turn yellow and red, is the best time to visit the lake, also giving you a chance to experience picking strawberries, persimmons and exploring Tuyen Lam forest.
Currently, Dalat travel companies often sell kayaking tours on Tuyen Lam Lake, with 2 time frames to choose from: morning (8:30am - 12pm) and afternoon (1:30pm - 5pm). They usually cost about 250,000 - 400,000 VND / person ($10.68 - 17.1), with the service already including the cost of guides, coaches, tourist area entrance ticket, food and drinks. To take a kayaking tours in Vietnam, you can refer to some suggestions as given below:
- Price: 390,000 VND / person ($16.66)
- Phone: 1900 636 732
Viet Challenge
- Price: 400,000 VND / person ($17.1)
- Phone: 0777 829 668 - 0349 226 339
Amazing Tour Dalat
- Price: 200,000 - 220,000 VND / person ($8.54 - 9.4)
- Phone: 0913 202 338

7 - Kayaking in Vietnam at Trang An landscape complex

Has long been famous for many river activities, but Trang An eco-tourism area is one of a few new places for having some kayaking tours in Vietnam, with service starting from August 17, 2020. Immersing in the natural scenery, touching the cool water and breathing in the fresh air, you can most clearly feel the soul of this world heritage complex, ensuring a complete experience. You are also given careful technical instructions as well as the necessary protective tools, to ensure your safety throughout the journey. There are two separate routes for you to choose from to explore Trang An mountains and rivers.

Guide To Visit Ninh Binh Vietnam

The first route has a total round-trip length of about 8km, starting from the Marina, passing Trinh Temple, to Dark cave and Quy Hau cave, Gem Mountain, etc. Joining this route, you can experience check-in while kayaking in Vietnam, or at an Indian almond tree under Tam Quan gate, and burn incense in Trinh temple. The second route has a total length of 5km, departing from the Marina to Kong Island Wharf, passing Water Hall, Vu Lam Palace. You can check out the ancient architecture of Water Hall and learn about the history of Vu Lam Palace, or visit Kong Island, which was once selected as the filming location for the Hollywood movie Kong: Skull Island.
- Single kayaking:
+ 2 hours: 250,000 VND / boat ($10.68)
+ 3 hours: 300,000 VND / boat ($12.82)
- Double kayaking:
+ 2 hours: 350,000 VND / boat ($14.95)
+ 3 hours: 400,000 VND / boat ($17.1)

8 - Kayaking in Vietnam at Con Dao Islands

vietnam kayaking tours
Source: Internet

As one of two rare transparent kayaking spots in Vietnam, Con Dao has long been famous as a beach tourism paradise of the Central region, in Ba Ria - Vung Tau province. This activity takes place in the Hon Trac area, organized within the framework of a tour to visit 5 islands in this area, including Bay Canh, Small and Big Tai, Big and Small Trac islands. The water in Con Dao is blue and very clear, so when kayaking with transparent boats, you can clearly see the scenery below and the beautiful coral reefs, which before could only be seen when scuba diving.
Before having some kayaking tours in Vietnam in general and in Con Dao Island in particular, the members of the group will be prepared with life jackets and lifeguards accompanied, ensuring your safety and experience.

The price of a tour to visit 4 islands combined with transparent kayaking is 890,000 VND / person ($38.02), departing in the afternoon every day. With the tour to visit 5 islands in Con Dao, the cost is 1,090,000 VND / person ($46.57), departing every morning from Monday to Sunday. You can refer to the tours of Con Dao Explorer, via contact: 0283 6020 351 - 0907 434 345.

9 - Phu Quoc Island

Phu Quoc island is one of the most famous spots for kayaking in Vietnam, especially popular at Sao beach located in the south of the island, belonging to An Thoi town. With smooth white sand shore stretching over 7km, this is known as the most beautiful beach in this pearl island, calming all year round even in summer when other places have big waves. You can kayak out in the warm sunshine, listen to the sound of the waves lapping, watch the sunset and the colorful coral reefs stand out in the clear blue sea, taking shimmering and fanciful pictures in the process.
Phu Quoc is also one of the rare places where you can experience transparent kayaking in Vietnam, specifically when you sign up for one of the tours to visit 4 islands or 3 islands here. The price of each tour for one person is 1,200,000 VND ($51.27) and 800,000 VND ($34.18) respectively, including shuttle service, lunch, Hon Thom cable car, and free photography support. In addition, you can experience kayaking at Long Beach in Phu Quoc Island, with rental prices ranging from 100,000 - 150,000 VND / boat ($4.27 - 6.4).

Top most stunning islands in Vietnam

Kayaking is a unique discovery activity that is thriving in Vietnam, offering you various exciting experiences and options. The ingenious combination of unique caves, clear rivers and majestic seas has made this country an ideal eco-tourism destination. Kayaking in Vietnam will give you the opportunity to best feel the charming scenery that nature has bestowed on this land.

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Being born and living here in Vietnam, I got a chance to see lots of beautiful places, try countless great dishes, & experience many interesting things in places I visited. And It's so great to share all things I know about Vietnam to you.

Giang Pham — Giang Pham



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