Bamboo Rafting in Northern Thailand

Chiang Mai, Thailand

I ride on a raft made of bamboo trunks


July 5, 2015

After our class stopped to ride elephants, we drove a little way in our vans to go bamboo rafting.

We split up into groups of three or four, depending on weight, and carefully stepped onto rafts.

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The rafts consisted of trunks of bamboo tied together with rope. Water was constantly splashing in and out through the cracks, and the coolness felt amazing.

Each raft had a guide who steered the raft with a large paddle.

Bamboo raft captain

Bamboo raft captain

The guides would sometimes step off the rafts to push them over particularly shallow areas.

The ride was relaxing and exhilarating at the same time. We watched as vividly colored dragonflies zipped from exotic plant to exotic plant. Every once in a while we would spot a turtle.

At one point, we passed a local restaurant with riverside seating, and we waved at the Thai people there as they took videos of us. One of the classmates on my raft was not only very tall, but also a ginger. He must have looked quite shocking to the Thai families eating their meals, and we humored their intrigue.

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I know that some of the other rafts were not too thrilled with being filmed without consent, but we thought it was amusing.

Tip: if you plan on going bamboo rafting, make sure to bring something to cover yourself up. We were not given the option, and I know that some girls on our trip were uncomfortable being gawked at without anything to cover themselves with.

Personally, I didn’t care, I had a blast. I inspected each insect that landed on my with curiosity, and enjoyed taking a turn steering the raft as our captain laughed.

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Bamboo Rafting in Thailand

Bamboo Rafting in Thailand

Each turn in the river brought a new beautiful view.

We even saw some elephants in the water, carrying passengers bareback and spraying water with their trunks.

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