White Water Rafting in Thailand
Chiang Mai is not just about temples, bars and restaurants. Chiang Mai is home to many adrenalin pumping adventure activities – White Water Rafting, Kayaking, Repelling the Waterfalls, Hot Air Balloon, Bungy Jumping, Zip lining, Rock Climbing etc. All you need is an adventure freak in you. For White Water Rafting in Thailand, there is no better place than Mae Taeng river in Chiang Mai.
The best part of White Water Rafting is anyone can do it. Knowing swimming is not a pre-requisite. However, you should not be afraid of water. I saw the kids doing it and also the older lot. Of course you have to be moderately fit, which is a requirement of any adventure sport. If there is an adventure bug in you than Welcome to White Water Rafting in Thailand.
What is the best time?
This adventure activity is available daily and is closed only during rainy season when the water is in the river is high and not safe for rafting. This closed period is from August to October, and rest of the time you can enjoy rafting. So if you want to do this activity keep the timing in mind.
How to book?
There are many tour companies, which are conducting daily tours. After going through lot of reviews and comments, I zeroed in on Siam River Adventures. Contacting them on phone and by email is easy. The booking was done without any fuss.
They will arrange the pick-up from your hotel/guest house. The guy who came to pick me up was 45 mins. late and just when I was about to give up I saw this man running into the hotel lobby and I knew that finally I am going to make it. Apart from this hiccup at the start rest of the day was going to be smooth and memorable.
The minibus ride is about two hours, but you will enjoy the scenery on the way.
In our bus there were people from various nationalities Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Canada. I had a good time chatting with these guys. At places the ride got bumpy, but the green jungle was the sight to behold. We also saw lot of elephants on the way.
When we reached the starting point we were served with delicious lunch. The view of the Mae Taeng river was just amazing.
Mae Taeng River
They started with the full-fledged safety talk in good english. I was told that they could deliver the safety talk in Russian and German also if the situation demands. Anyway, they conducted the talk and safety drill in a very professional manner and also explained that in case the raft flips over we don’t have to worry as the guides are trained to handle the situation and will pull as back onto the raft in no time. That was reassuring and full marks to them. The life jackets and helmets were provided. They demonstrated the correct way of using the paddle.
We were divided into groups of 3-4 persons in each group. Since I was alone, I was grouped with a couple from Singapore. The guide was very friendly and funny.
Inside the raft, once again the guide demonstrated the safety guidelines.
The guide was excellent and was manoeuvring the raft very well and also giving us the instructions on how to use the paddles.
Whitewater Excitement begins….
Just when I was thinking that this is going to be an was going activity we encountered the first rapid and adrenalin went rushing.
There was one guide in a kayak, moving with the rafts, in case the raft flips and his help is needed. And, indeed his help was required when one raft flipped but these guys are so expert that within no time the raft was flipped back and all the rafters were pulled back onto the raft. All thos happened within few seconds.
You can also spot the safety marshals at various points all along the river…just in case….
After first rapid there was lull again, and the raft was moving smooth and easy and we started enjoying the scenery on both the banks of the river. The guides kept us enthralled with their cheeky comments and cocky water fights.
The huge rocks are intimidating
All of a sudden, from no where, there was another rapid…..
I don’t know how the guide managed to manoeuvre the raft from the narrow space between the two huge rocks. There was a scare, but we were having fun.
There were some stretches where the water was very calm and some of us decided to swim. The water was too cold and within a minute I was back on the raft.
White Water Rafting gets the juices flowing…
And yet another rapid…and our raft landed on the rock.
After much jumping and bumping we were back into the waters…..
……but it was scary.
All good things come to end, and so was our White Water rafting after few more rapids.
We were in water for about two hours for 10 ams long course.
In the end we were treated with some snacks and fruits. The clean showers and toilets were available which, indeed was a good arrangement and much appreciated.
Did I tell you, I fell into the water but before anybody could react the guide pulled me up.
It was truly a fabulous day out.
Will I do it again?
Of course, the Zanskar river in Ladakh and Zambezi river below the mighty Victoria falls in Zambia are next on the bucket list. Let’s see when…
Or, may be I will come back again to Chiang Mai and do it on Full Moon night….exciting…yeah…
By the way all the photos featuring in this post are taken by a staff photographers of Siam River Adventures, and they have done a fantastic job. The CD of the pictures is on sale immediately after the activity is over. So don’t forget this CD when the adventure is over.
Have you been to White Water Rafting in Chiang Mai or for that matter anywhere else. Do share your experience in the comments box below. For any query, you can again write the same in the comment box and I would try to answer at the earliest.
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