Kayaking in Northern Thailand

Kayaking and paddling, whether on rivers or lakes, allows participants to venture deeper into remote areas and the natural environment of Northern Thailand. Most regular trips are organized on lakes, and therefore suitable for beginners.

River paddling is becoming increasingly popular. As the leading operator of Active and Sport Travel in Northern Thailand, ActiveThailand.com proposes also a range of river paddling expeditions, during the dry season (January to end of May), on the Maekok river, and the Pai river, paddling from Pai to Mae Hong Son.

Lake and River Kayaking Trips from Chiang Mai

There are two dams which are forming great lakes within Chiangmai city’s reasonable travel distances. Our favorite is the Mae Ngat Dam, which is part of the Sri Lanna National Park where we operate a floating bungalows.
We also provide touring kayaks for the more experienced paddlers, which allows to paddle deeper into the lake, looking at the scenery or simply for the sport. A great nature trip: enjoy lush green jungle during the “raining season” from May to November!

The Ping river, flowing through Chiang Mai city offers a few peaceful stretches of river, further north of Chiang Mai, suitable for beginners. Period: dry season only from November to June.

Paddle the Maekok River, Chiang Mai

The Maekok River, flowing from Ban Thaton down to Chiang Rai City is well known for the “long-tail” boat trips. We propose a trip leaving from Chiang Mai that caters to outdoor enthusiasts and offers pristine nature and rural life the active way, paddling your own kayak! This 3 days trip is organized for groups only, and can be customized.
The river is easy to paddle with sit-on-top, which gives a chance for beginners to practice on a river “expedition style” with full support. This river paddling trip is usually operated only from December to May, during low water levels. Please inquiry by e-mail for details.

Paddle the Pai River, from Pai to Mae Hong Son

The Pai River is flowing through the popular valley and town of Pai, where our ActiveThailand/Thai Adventure office is located. Trips are operated for small groups of 4 participants minimum, with advance booking.
During the raining season, we usually do not accept kayaks, as we are running the white water rafting trips, which are safer. During the dry season (low water level) we can offer the Pai river descents on sit-on-top kayaks. We use single person sit-on-top kayaks, which are very stable and easy to handle. Our experienced river rafting captains will be your guides so first timers will be in good hands with our experienced team.
Please contact us for more details.

Paddle the Nam Wah River, in the remote Nan province

The Nam Wah river is a wild river during the raining season, but is open for beginner’s kayakers, during the dry season.
Our team of experienced captains will be with you, to assist and set up the camp, prepare the food, over a two or three day paddling expedition. A great experience, mix of Thai style manners and fun nature trip. Unfortunately, due to the high costs of logistic and operations, we can only run this trip for private groups of 6 participants minimum. Our programs can depart Chiangmai or Bangkok. Please e-mail us for sample programs.

White water kayaking logistic and support can be organized by our local team, for visitors wanting to do the river on their own, bringing their own kayaks. We also can provide the raft for the food and supply during the 3 days expedition.

Sit-on-top kayaks

We use a fleet of double and single “ocean-kayak” sit-on-top, as well as the locally made “feelfree” kayaks.
Theses kayaks are molded with air-chambers inside. This makes them strong and sturdy, but also nearly unsinkable. Sit-on-tops are perfect for lake paddling, and because we can sit two persons they are great for families. Very easy to maneuver and paddle after a short briefing by our staff. The lakes offers sheltered areas with no waves nor strong currents, therefore are perfect place to have a first try at paddle-sport.

ActiveThailand’s kayaking and rafting team are trained under the BCU British Canoe Union standards.

Enjoy your paddling! Regular tour program selection below:

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