Postcards & Passports

Whitewater Rafting in Chiang Mai, Thailand: Unique Family Holiday

This post was most recently updated on July 9th, 2019

Are you excitedly planning for your next family trip destination? Do you want to do something new that your children will surely enjoy? Do you want to make it an extraordinary travel adventure? Then you should experience whitewater rafting in Chiang Mai, Thailand!

Whitewater rafting is a fun and exciting adventure sport. It involves riding in an inflatable raft and paddling across the rapids of a river. And the Mae Taeng River in Chiang Mai is the perfect spot for this thrilling activity.

Not only will you experience gorgeous tropical weather, which is great for rafting, you can also marvel at the picturesque beauty of Thailand. The Mae Taeng river is surrounded by a lush rainforest, so you can stare in awe at the attractions of nature as you enjoy conquering the river rapids.

What to Expect and Safety Reminders

This activity might be considered as an extreme sport, but is generally safe for everyone in the family, even children as young as five years old. Whitewater rapids are classified based on the scale of difficulty to navigate them, so you can easily choose which one suits your family based on individual ages and preferences.

If you have younger children in your group, you can go for the simpler Class I and II type. These classes only have small rough areas and will only require slight maneuvering. For older family members, you can go for a more heart-pumping time with the Class III and IV rapids. These classes include some waves, a few drops, and may require significant to sharp maneuvers.

There are many rafting companies in the area that can provide you with expert staff and high-quality equipment to ensure your safety during the rafting. Choose a company in which the guides are very well trained and seasoned, such as  8Adventures where they take safety very seriously. Their guides are also trained to international level by the International Rafting Federation. You may also ask about a company’s equipment quality assurance certificates as proof of their competence before signing up for your rafting trip.

How to Get There

The whitewater rafting site is around 90 minutes to 120 minutes travel from the center of Chiang Mai. You may book your transportation with the rafting company of your choice as, more often than not, these companies will provide you with an air-conditioned vehicle for your comfort. The travel itself is also entertaining, as you get to see more of Chiang Mai’s outskirts.

You can also hire a car or a taxi if you wish to go to the site on your own. The site is pretty popular, so most of the drivers know how to find the place.

What to Bring for Whitewater Rafting

You need to prepare and bring the following essentials for a more enjoyable trip:

  • Drinking water, to keep you hydrated during the trip.
  • Sunscreen, to protect your skin from harmful sun exposure.
  • Sunglasses are another must-have.
  • Expect to get wet, so bring extra sets of clothes and towels so you can change after your rafting activity.
  • Athletic shoes or strap-on sandals are the ideal footwear.
  • Passports, because some of the rafting companies include insurance in their packages and will need your passport details for filling up the insurance policy. You can store them in the lockers which they provide.
Whitewater Rafting and More

Whitewater rafting is one of the main attractions in Chiang Mai. If you love the adrenaline rush brought by extreme sports, you will definitely enjoy this activity. It is a great experience for family bonding as well.

Want to know more about what Chiang Mai offers for all kinds of travelers? Get to know this northern region of Thailand by clicking here to read more information.

Author Bio

Bryan Schwartz
Bryan works in digital marketing for 8Adventures, the leading provider of whitewater rafting, ATV, trekking and kayaking tours in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  When he’s not working from his computer, you can find him doing adventurous activities, road trips or playing with his dog, Rocky.

whitewater rafting


6 thoughts on “Whitewater Rafting in Chiang Mai, Thailand: Unique Family Holiday

  1. Nicole

    I didn’t know you could go white water rafting in Chiang Mai! Why do we always forget to drink water and put on sunscreen when we are around water? Definitely a unique thing to do.

  2. Christina

    I didn’t realise you could go white water rafting in Chiang Mai either. It looks like you had a ball! It’s a fun activity, even though it can be daunting at first.

  3. Anda

    Great guide for whitewater rafting in Chiang Mai, but I am too scared to do that. I would love going to Chiang Mai for other reasons though. I didn’t realize that whitewater rafting is so popular in Thailand.

  4. Francesca Murray

    I’ve read so many blog posts about visiting Chiang Mai, but I’ve never seen anyone mention whitewater rafting. That’s such a unique activity! I haven’t tried it yet except at theme parks lol. It looks really fun

  5. Medha

    Great to know that this activity can also be attempted by younger children, by choosing a class 1 or 2 levels of adventure. I am planning a second trip to Thailand that will cover Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai and I love adrenaline-pumping activities like this one. I’d be more than happy to travel an hour and a half away from the city to experience it!

  6. Archana Singh

    I love both Chiang Mai as well as white water rafting. However, I couldn’t do it when I was there. Looks fun. Will try next time. I agree that during white water rafting, we should keep ourselves hydrated and apply a lot of sunscreen.

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