Bamboo Rafting – Tang River
Again waking early we ate a breakfast of boiled eggs bread and pineapple. Today was rafting day! Overnight the locals had built us rafts out of bamboo sticks with tripods in the middle to support our bags.
The river was pretty murky and brown and the current fairly strong. We climbed aboard, 5 people per raft with a local at the front to do the real hard graft. We balanced in the centre of the rafts in a line and held our sticks whilst our feet sank in the water. When we set off along. It was exhausting and I was only slightly prepped as I’d had a quick go at punting in Oxford a few weeks before I left for Thailand – the skill and muscles involved were almost identical.
We rafted for 4 hours and rode down rapids. Most people ended up in the river! It was fantastic, exhilarating and the lush green plants and trees around us made the setting beautiful. Giant butterflies and dragonflies landed on our rafts and took off again and the birds each with their unique sounds created a jungle chorus for our whole trip down the river.
I’d relive this experience in a heartbeat and although the comfort level was clearly not as good as an inflatable dinghy (which you can choose to use) I’d choose the bamboo makeshift rafts any day.