Whether you’re an avid kayaker or not, taking the journey around this picturesque jungle island with its white sandy beaches is sure to make you feel accomplished and impressed with all you have seen. We’re athletic for sure, but not regular kayakers. Parts of the journey were tiring but it was an amazing adventure!
If you’re interested in seeing the island from a different vantage point and stopping in and exploring places that would be difficult to get to by land, then kayaking around the island is for you! If you don’t want to go all the way around you can always rent a kayak for a couple of hours and paddle one or two coves over and return. From Long Beach, you can reach the “Blue Lagoon” which is one cove over (to the left as you face the water) and our favorite spot on the island. It’s home to the two windmills on the island and the 500+ stair pathway down to the bluest water.
Kayaking The Island – At A Glance
- Location: Perhentian Kecil Long Beach or Coral Beach
- Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult (depending on weather, tide, and type of boat)
- Cost: 60-80 Ringgit ($14-$19 USD) for a 2-pax all day
- Distance: 6-8 miles (depending on how far out you go and how many inlets you decide to stop in)
- Duration: 4 hrs + (a strong kayaker can do the journey in four hours, so plan at least that long and maybe some extra time to stop in on different beaches/inlets and to grab some lunch)
What To Bring On Your Kayak Excursion
- Long sleeve shirt (you’ll be in direct sunlight for hours)
- Hat and sunglasses
- Dry Bag
- Carribeaners to hook your valuables to the boat
- Money for the Kayak rental and for snacks or lunch along they way
Renting Your Kayak
First, you’ll need to decide if you want to Kayak around the whole island or just spend a few hours paddling to a couple of coves. If you’re doing a few coves the 60 Ringgit ($14) kayaks that look a bit more like bathtubs will be perfectly fine. If you’re skirting the entire island, however, you’ll want a thinner sea kayak that’ll set you back 80 Ringgit ($19) (trust us, it’s worth it!!). You can get the nice sea kayaks from Oh La La Dive Shop on Long Beach.
Once you’ve decided, it’s time to find your vessel for the day! On both Corral and Long Beach there are multiple kayak renters. You should have no problem renting kayaks the morning of your adventure. That said, during high season or during Hari Raya (the celebration at the end of Ramadan) you may want to reserve your kayak the day before and put a deposit down as kayaks may be unavailable or the locals may be off celebrating and not at their stands.
We rented on Hari Raya and ended up renting from Oh La La dive shop (Long Beach) as many of the local shops were closed for the holiday. Once you have your boat check it over!
Checking Your Kayak
Make sure your portholes are closed and there’s not too much water in them, ensure you have a plug (this is a must! You don’t want to sink!), check your paddles, and ask for life jackets.
I can swim, I don’t need one!
That may be true but it’s SOOOOOOO nice to put them in the bottom of the boat and use them as a cushion – remember you’ll be in the boat for a few hours. Plus, if you get tired of sitting up straight you can jerry-rig them into a makeshift chair using the clips so that it will hold your back up a bit 🙂
Setting Off On Your Adventure
Once you’ve got everything strapped onto your boat, lathered up with sunscreen, or put your sleeves on, then it’s time to head out! If you’re just going to paddle to a few coves feel free to go any direction. From Long Beach the Mosque will be to your right and the Blue Lagoon to your left. From Coral, on the opposite side of the island, it will be reversed.
If you’ve decided to adventure all the way around the island make sure you head in a counter clockwise direction! This will make the trip a bit easier as you’ll travel with the current. If you leave from Long Beach head to your left towards Blue Lagoon. If you leave from Coral Beach also go left and head towards the Rainforest Camp and the Mosque. **This was the case when we visited in June and we would recommend checking with a local dive shop to ensure you go with the current.
Enjoy your adventure! Stop in at as many beaches and boulders as you like, and enjoy yourself. We stopped in 5 or so beaches and took a break half way through the journey at Coral Beach for some delicious lunch at Senja.
If you’re an avid swimmer don’t forget to jump off the kayak in the middle of the ocean too. Just make sure someone’s holding onto your boat 🙂 Happy paddling.
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