Phang Nga White Water Rafting
There is a more recent trip report here
I did the Phang Nga Bay White Water Rafting tour last Friday. I’ve lived in Phuket for 14 years but didn’t know much about this tour until recently, it’s a bit of a secret. It takes two hours to get from Phuket to the start of the rapids. The tour stops at Wat Suwan Kuha (Monkey cave temple) on the way to split the journey, on the way back most people slept.
Once at the rafting camp you are put into groups, given some instruction on the rafting and given a life vest and helmet. Groups are assigned based on whether you are doing the short 5km ride or the longer 9km ride. The 5km ride takes about 30 minutes and the longer ride takes about 70 minutes. As I had just spent 2 hours in a minibus I was definitely going to do the longer route, especially as the grade of rapids increases further down stream. The first 5km is grade 1-3 and the last 4km is grade 2-4. During the dry season (November to April) it is only possible to do the short 5km ride as the river is too low to navigate the final 4km. This tour is best from May to October when there is plenty of water.
Anyone opting for the 5km ride has some other options to fill the time including elephant trekking and ATV riding. There is also a zip line at the camp and a herbal sauna, neither of which I tried. There is also a brief excursion to Tonpariwat waterfall nearby which is only small but would be very nice if it wasn’t for all the other people there. Anyway it’s nice for a quick swim to cool off.
Each raft is assigned two guides, one at the back and one at the front. The front guide shouts orders like forward, back, bounce, balance etc as you head down stream. Team work is important to stop the raft from tipping. There are plenty of rest points along the way to take a break if necessary, these are also good places to take photos. You will need a waterproof camera or camera case because everything gets soaked. (There are lockers at the camp for dry clothes and valuables).
The ride is certainly an adrenaline rush with lots of laughing and screaming and falling on top of each other all the way down.
The 5km ride only is 1,800 baht (1,300 baht for kids up to 11 years). 9km is 2,500 baht
Add 400 baht for a 30 minute elephant trek and 1,500 baht for an atv ride.
Prices include transfers from Phuket and an lunch. You should take a dry change of clothes and a towel.