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Whitewater Rafting with  Pop

In 1999, Mr. Pop was working in the production team of Tourism Authority of Thailand’s travel magazine.  A well known European rubber raft producer loaned two rubber rafts to the travel magazine. The producer wanted the journalist team to try out the rafts on rivers in Thailand and write up their experiences.

Pop was the only member of the production team to have grown up on a river and it was the River Kek in Phitsanuloke Province. Though Pop had played on the river as a child, he had never tried white water rafting. Pop brought the team to his home town to try their hand and untested skills for a great adventure.

After those few weeks or testing, Pop convinced himself working and living in the great outdoors sure was better than continuing the daily grind the grueling city. Ten years later, Pop,remains the leader in white water rafting tours he pioneered a decade ago.

His team are very professional with safety equipment and procedures to ensure a safe ride along with the river for great fun.

Pop used a colorful large map to explain the layout of the Keg River - near perfect for exciting rafting trips to our group. The water source of the Kek river is in the Phetchaboon Mountain Range in Khao Kho county. The river flows past the Thung Salaeng Luang National Park and forms the famous Sri Dit and Kaeng Sopha waterfalls in Phitsanuloko province. Due to the speed of the water in the rainy season and the very natural surroundings along the U shape of the river, it’s an exciting route to ride. Each person was urged to listen carefully and follow closely.

The night before our rafting trip the rain fell very heavy. All the water increased the size of the swells and speed of the water. The speed of the current adds to the difficulty navigating the current as a result of the water flow.  In the rainy season, the river becomes very swift. The distance was of our adventure would be nine kilometers but the time passed by very quickly.

The water speed varied at levels 1-2 and gradually increased intensity up to level 4-5 near the end. The adrenaline churned and screams were heard on several bends in the river.  The city folks had plenty of time to practice their rafting skills in between.

By the end of the trip, the rubber canoe had filled with water about 10 inches deep. We all were exhilarated and wanted to take the trip one more time.

In my many years living in northern Thailand, I have rafted in Doi Inthanon, Mae Taeng, Pai, and Mae Wang. Each time is a thrill to be.

Rates vary from Bt 750 per person (4 minimum) for rafting equipment and transport; to Bt 5,500 for an 8 person boat (maximum). Contact Pop Tour, 081 6803939, 086 200 8778, 086 675 2999. Thanks to Tourism Authoriity of Thailand Region One office from Chiangmai and Pop Tour for the arrangements.

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