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Travel Guide > Asia > Thailand > Sports & Activities

Bamboo Rafting in Thailand

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Outside its cities, Thailand has dozens of beautiful waterways. Drifting down one on a bamboo raft gives you views of forests and settlements you'd otherwise miss. It's also a great way of cooling off!

Most operators will have the rafts - which are little more than long bamboo poles lashed together with vines - ready for you. However, if you join a multi-day trek in Thailand's north, you may well have an opportunity to construct your own raft under the guidance of hill-tribe guides.

The rafts float a centimeter or two beneath the surface of the water, so flip-flops or sandals should be worn. Tour operators will bring along watertight containers in which you can put your hiking boots, cameras and other gear; there's a good chance you'll get pretty wet, even if the river looks placid. On tours aimed at older, less adventurous travelers the rafts will have benches on which you can sit. On others, you'll be expected to stand (or squat) and help keep the raft away from obstacles by using a long pole.

Operators should provide lifejackets and help you adjust them properly. If they don't, refuse to board the raft.

Type: Tip
Location: Thailand

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