A guide to SUP hotspots in Thailand
SUP, or stand-up paddling, is fast becoming popular among eco-friendly travellers because this sport requires nothing more than a board and beautiful, natural surroundings.
To meet this new craze, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has come up with a list of SUP hotspots that are worth checking out.
Kwai River, Kanchanaburi
Kwai River is an excellent site for SUP beginners and enthusiasts, with tour guides available for both morning and evening trips down the river. Paddlers will find themselves passing several tourist attractions and historical landmarks, including the World War II Bridge over the River Kwai. If your timing is right and you’re under the bridge when a train is running over it, you can capture a once-in-a-lifetime snap to make your friends jealous.
For more info, call TAT Kanchanaburi Office at (034) 511 200, (034) 512 500.
Rayong Provincial East Plant Centre
This 2,500-rai botanical garden in Rayong’s Klaeng district is home to diverse flora and fauna, especially hundreds of wild birds. The highlight is its “ancient swamp forest”, which boasts hundreds of Cajuput trees in a large swamp covered in a thick layer of grass dubbed locally as “Ya Nang Ma” or dog-skin. This grass on the swamp is strong enough to support the weight of a human.
Paddlers can navigate the pond under dappled sunlight breaking through the branches of the trees. Kayaks and bicycles are also available for those not keen on paddling.
Call the TAT Rayong Office at (038) 655 420 or the Rayong Provincial East Plant Centre Office at (038) 638 880 for more info.
Khao Rakam Reservoir, Trat
The Khao Rakam Reservoir with a 47.6 million cubic metre capacity in Trat’s Muang district was built to store water during the dry season. From September to March every year, the reservoir’s floodgates are closed to keep the water in, an action that floods nearby areas and almost “drowns” a 5-metre tall Buddha statue. Paddlers can move up close to the “Drowning Buddha” for photos and to make offerings.
Call TAT Trat Office at (039) 597 259 for further details.
Kok River, Chiang Rai
Kok River in Chiang Rai’s Chiang Saen district offers various challenges for SUP paddlers, as they can choose from courses ranging from 3km long to over 10km long, depending on how much people want to exercise. The forest views along both sides of the river are outstanding and can be even more beautiful during sunset.
Call TAT Chiang Rai Office (053) 717 433 for details.