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canoeing kayaking bamboo rafting
Adventures in Thailand > Canoeing, Kayaking and Bamboo rafting

Canoeing, Kayaking and Bamboo rafting


About Canoeing, Kayaking & bamboo

Rafting in Thailand

Ever wish you could explore mysterious caves and mangroves the likes of Robinson Crusoe? Well, sea canoeing/kayaking and bamboo rafts are one way you can achieve this goal. Close your eyes and imagine you're paddling past strange and wonderful creatures in dark, damp, haunting caves. Next you discover the sound of crickets and the gibbon song as you paddle past mangroves. These are the very special reasons why canoeing/kayaking and bamboo rafting are another MUST DO when you're in Thailand.

Canoeing, kayaking and bamboo rafts are all great experiences for the adventurous. Canoeing and kayaking can be done in both the open sea and rivers, and are available for rent at most beach destinations. Sea canoeing is an incredibly relaxing activity and is not necessarily difficult. All operators offer a short introductory course for novices before the start of a trip. Why such brief lessons? Because it really is that easy and, not at as exhausting as you may think.

For those who are unsure of their skills and stamina and maybe a little worried about being left behind, there is always the option for you to ask for an expert staff paddler to be your partner as kayaks/canoes usually seat 2 persons.

  canoeing kayaking bamboo rafting
canoeing kayaking bamboo rafting

How to get started?

Great canoeing/kayaking and bamboo rafting trips should be well researched. Always be sure to sign-up with a travel operator that has experience in conducting such trips. A good indicator of an experienced operator is their knowledge of the various rivers and streams within the country. The best operators for these trips are usually ecotourism or adventure travel companies. To start your research, consult the Tourism Authority of Thailand's website at The Thailand Ecotourism & Adventure Travel Association (TEATA) website at is also a great body to consult as it includes listings of reliable member service providers and trip ideas.

Sea Canoeing Destinations

South Thailand

Canoeing/kayaking is one way where sea caves can be explored and are typically conducted in southern Thailand, namely in Krabi which is 45 minutes away from Phuket and, Phang-nga bay - well known for spectacular rock formations and sea out-crops. In Koh Samui, most sea canoeing is conducted at the Angthong Marine National Park. Similar to Phuket, the rock formations and caves here are fascinating.

Northern Thailand

Interesting bamboo rafting experiences can also be found in northern Thailand where the rivers banks are a bit more scenic as the vegetation and forest is not as dense. Local life can be viewed as these rafts quietly meander past local villages. Bamboo rafting is best experienced during the cool season where temperatures are milder and can even cause chills however, don't expect a drastic drop in temperatures. You can also travel to Chiang Mai from Chiang Rai (or vice versa) by bamboo rafts.

canoeing kayaking bamboo rafting

Western Thailand

Canoeing is quite popular in western Thailand in Kanchanaburi where visitors are given the option of travelling to the River Floatels by bamboo rafts or by canoes. Canoeing or bamboo rafting in a river is admittedly much more relaxing as one gets to experience the lush tropical forest where tree canopies shade you from the beating sun. At the end of the trip, be sure to spend at least one night at the many river floatels that are available in Kanchanaburi.

What are floatels? Well, it's short for floating hotels of course. That's right, spend a couple of nights in a bamboo hut that is placed atop a bamboo raft on the River Kwai, in the lush tropical forests of Kanchanaburi. Definitely a life-changing experience! Caution: The River Kwai that runs through Kanchanaburi has strong undercurrents therefore jumping off a float into the river is not a good idea. Be sure to consult your tour guide as to which locations are safe for swimming.

canoeing kayaking bamboo rafting
sea canoeing

Best time for Sea Canoeing

Sea canoeing/kayaking is possible all year round however, it is best to avoid the rainy season from June to October. The best time to sea canoe is probably at year's end during the cool season between November to January when are generally milder. Although April is a good time to sea canoe, this is when temperatures in Thailand are highest and is therefore one of the least recommended periods for this activity. The more adventurous kind of canoeing/rafting, white water rafting, will be covered in the next section.


Best time for River Kayaking & Bamboo Rafting

Rivet Kayaking and Bamboo Rafting is only possible during the rainy seasons when water levels are high. The rainy season runs from June to October.

References/Service Provider

A good reference for canoeing, kayaking and bamboo rafting are, and

See table at end of booklet for full listing of reference websites for further research.




Source :

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