Nakhon Nayok – Kayaking-Fun in the Nature

Written by Frank on March 6th, 2010

© 2010 Frank P. Schneidewind



Whilst only being a short 1 hour drive away from Bangkok (just over 100 km), Nakhon Nayok province is located east of our home turf in Pathum Thani and surprises the visitor with many options to spend a day outdoors. Plenty of waterfalls, nature trails and the possibility to rent mountain-bikes, bicycles or kayak-style boats are being offered. Prairie and rice fields meet the rain forest here.

Some of those waterfalls belong to the prettiest in the kingdom, and best of all – they are free of the foreigner rip-off charges, like so many other ones in Thailand. We will discuss and prove this in a later report, dealing with our favorite waterfalls. Today, we want to get wet and have fun inside a canoe on a stretch of water, which is called a white-water river here. To a former Tennessee resident, this creek hardly meets minimum challenges for a boat handler, but it’s the fun that counts and the contact with the water.

Anyone following the Road number 305 eastbound will discover the well signposted routes to the venues. One should keep an eye open for stacked up canoes. on the sides of the roads. Chances are, you can’t read the signage here – but the presence of heaps of colorful boats on-site, should ring your bell! These Kayaks are fairly safe to operate and the same brands Kayak fans are familiar with can be found.

Jam-packed stalls with rental gear are right on the roadside, just park your car and inquire inside. Business is booming with a young Thai crowd, but up to half of the rental fellows can also communicate in English with you.

You need to rent a kayak, a helmet, a floatation vest and a paddle. Total cost is depending on the traffic, these businesses have; the day of the week (expect surcharges on the weekends) and of course your very own negotiation skills ;)

I have paid as little as 350 Baht for the gear and a 3 hour trip, but some pay much more than that. Trips exceeding 3 hours are not recommended, as  the scenery really doesn’t change a lot and bloodsucking insects attack you like mad, if the sun gets too low. Excursion guides are booked for first-timers or ladies with limited physical strength. They offer double-seater kayaks for those traveling with a guide and single seaters for the more ambitioned or experienced paddlers. I found these waters very suitable, even for beginners!

Kayaks, gear and paddlers are then taken to the starting point in a pickup truck for a short ride.

Instructions are given on the rivers edge, here is also the starting point  for the ride in the wet and the excursion guides await those passengers, which booked one.

The creek or river is rich of fish, dragonflies in every color thinkable and cranes plus storks in season can be viewed.

The water has a moderate temperature, but it originates in the mountains of Khao Yai and is significantly cooler, than in the lowlands east of here. It is pretty clean, as there are no sizeable communities further upstream.

Within minutes, the ride and fun begins. Nakhon Nayok river has a true beginners level in terms of rapids, the smooth flowing waters seen to offer little or no hazards to the paddlers.

Only a few spots show a little white water, it’s a bit tricky to shoot pictures with a digital camera that has to stay completely dry. The whole trip is downstream, but at the “rapids”, these guys make sure to loop a few times and get at least some spray of water onto their passengers

I always preferred the single kayaks for their extra maneuverability and fun. Guides are good for rookies and twin seaters a great challenge in real white water for a good team, here you can test both options.

Once the kayaking team has passed the “rapids”, the current disappears gradually to the smoothly flowing stage. Here it is also deep enough to swim and have some fun. The rainy season will bring much more water and the situation here will change accordingly.

The mountains in the backdrop here do unfortunately not offer streams big enough for year-round kayaking. Trouts are so tame here, you think that you could catch one bare handed.

Trouts in Thai are called Pla Chon. The grill-stalls offering grilled trout or chicken roam the sidewalks as the day passes and provide a tasty meal. A trail head for the Khao Yai nature trail can easily be found near the Nang Rong waterfall. Hiking is a valid option in Nakhon Nayok and the Khao Yai National Park itself offers a variety of hiking trails.


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Parker says:

    Very cool!  Never heard of this place before and I would like to check it out!

  2. chaidi says:

    Nice!! everytime you find some  new special places which one you diden't find in any guidebooks.