"Rapid on the Paro Chhu" by Zachary Collier via Flickr Creative CommonsFrom the frigid north of China to the blazing heat of the southeast, the enormous range of the Asian continent is not lacking in white water. First of all, Nepal is Asia’s Switzerland. Melting snow and glacier run off in the highest mountains in the world, the Himalayas, creates spectacular whitewater in literally hundreds of locations, which only a handful are fully explored. There is plenty of rafting elsewhere though. China, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, and many other countries make use of their mountain ties. Some are jungle runs. Some pass monasteries and nature reserves.

  1. Karnali River, Nepal The Karnali is the gnarliest river in Nepal. Besides being longer and larger than any other river in the country, it offers seven days and 110 raftable miles of pristine wilderness. It’s remote too. It can only be reached via a two-day hike.
  2. Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan Tien Shan Mountains are the setting and you’ll be glued to your seat for more than a week through this remote run of Class III-V rapids.
  3. The Marsyangdi River, Nepal Himalayan snowmelt adds to the rage of this high altitude raging whitewater river. The Class IV run was cut in half recently due to a hydroelectric project.Chatkal River.
  4. Yangtze River, China A dozen Class IV rapids snake their way through this 120 mile stretch of the Great Bend of Yangtze River. This is one of the most majestic pieces of one of the world’s greatest rivers.
  5. Ganges River, India The headwaters of the sacred Ganges break through the Himalayan peaks in India’s North near Haridwar.
  6. Seti River, Nepal The warm waters of this beginner river (intermediate for kayakers) can be paddled in just two days. The 38 mile stretch offers stunning views and up and close looks at Nepali life and wildlife.
  7. Pai River, Thailand You’ll venture more than 62 miles from the lush green village of Pai to the Myanmar border on this classic Class IV run. Hot springs, gorges, waterfalls, and wildlife are all on the itinerary.
  8. Ranoyapo River, Indonesia The Ranoyapo in North Sulawesi offers 60 Class II-IV rapids over 22 miles. It’s a two day trip through lush jungle and coconut and clove plantations.
  9. Alas River, Indonesia On the magical island of Sumatra, the lush Alas drops from the highlands and across 186 miles of Gunung Leuser National Park. Monkeys, lemurs, and orangutans are on hand to watch you attempt the Class III-IV rapids.
  10. Zanskar River, India The Grand Canyon of the Himalayas is one of the most spectacular navigable gorges in the world. You’ll begin at 14,000 feet above sea level and pass through some of the world’s most dazzling geological formations.

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