Guests enjoying Bamboo rafting on the Wang River
Rafting on the Wang River

Bamboo and Whitewater Rafting

Bamboo rafting was a major means of transportation in former times. Those were the days that roads were of very poor quality and in many cases non-existent. In the late 1970s trekking became a popular activity for visitors to North Thailand. Local guides and guesthouses started to organize multiple days trekking that included overnights in tribal villages.

When rafting was introduced to become a traditional trekking activity is unknown. Only certain areas have suitable rivers to accommodate rafting trips. At the time we started organizing trekking in North Thailand a multiple day trekking usually included elephant riding and a trip on a bamboo raft.

In those days it was almost impossible to sell a trekking that didn’t include those two activities. About 15 years ago rubber rafts and kayaks started to arrive in Chiang Mai, to the detriment of the bamboo raft. There are now only a couple of rivers where they offer this activity. For example, the Mae Taeng and Mae Wang are the only two rivers where it still is possible. The Mae Chaem and Pai Rivers used to have organized bamboo rafting but that is not the case anymore.

If you really want to enjoy a very exciting and entertaining trip by bamboo raft we highly recommend to join one of our trekking tours to Huai Nam Dang National Park. The Mae Taeng River offers the best rafting, which can get very exciting in the rainy season.

Families on rafts on the Mae Taeng River
Huay Nam Dang rafting