Trip notes from our SUP Adventure down the Chao Phraya River, July 2019.
Paddle crew: Ali Wright, Marie Wright, Ian Wade, Tammy Wade
Day 1 – 20km from Ayutthaya to Bang Pa-in
- Date: 27 July 2019
- Start time: 6:30am
- Paddle distance: 20km
- Moving time: 3 hours 51 minutes (03:51:00)
- Average speed: 4.6km/h
- We started at Ban U-Thong, where we stayed for the first night in Ayutthaya. This hotel has a floating pontoon, which made it easy to access the river. The owners of the hotel were really helpful.
- After around 1-2 hours we stopped for our first break. Just sitting on our boards while we had some snacks and water. Everyone enjoyed the homemade banana bread that I’d brought all the way from Samui.
- We took a small side khlong, which proved to be very interesting (map link)
- We were very keen to see the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace and paddled through the water hyacinth into the small khlong. It was quite challenging, and probably not a good idea. For next time, we would recommend to stop on the other side of the small island (map link). We had quite a long rest at the Summer Palace, taking advantage of the shade, fresh coffee and food on offer from the small market stalls, and free access to very clean toilets at the entrance to the Summer Palace.
- We continued paddling down to our accommodation, the Ayutthaya Garden River Home (map link). We chose this hotel because of the good river access (floating barge/pontoon) and it also has a swimming pool. This hotel is a little bit out of town, so there’s nowhere to get a massage – and the nearest 7-11 is a short bike ride away (the security guard gave Ian a lift to get some drinking water for the next day)
- We had a relaxing afternoon.
Day 2 – 35km from Bang Pa-in to SUP Station (Phatum-thani)
- Date: 28 July 2019
- Start time: 6:00am
- Paddle distance: 35km
- Moving time: 7 hours 34 minutes (07:34:00)
- Average speed: 4.2km/h
- We had estimated it would be 30-35km to paddle on our second day, so were up early (before sunrise) and started paddling at 6:05am. Keen to get some distance under our belt, we paddled for around 2 hours (10km) before taking our first break. It was a short floating break near the Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Center (map here)
- We carried on paddling and stopped for lunch at a riverside Seafood restaurant. We chose this restaurant because it has a big pontoon which was good for mooring the paddle boards (map link). It was here that we calculated the full distance… it was going to be a 35km day.
- We were so happy to find the Pumpkin Art Cafe. We stopped for cake and coffee in aircon. This is a great place for a break because it also has a pontoon which was good for mooring the paddle boards (map link)
- The final leg was a slow 7km paddle taking us past some Dragon Boat races, and finally down to SUP Station (map link)
Packing light for the weekend, as we would be carrying everything with us on our paddle boards.
The old capital, Ayutthaya – sightseeing before we started the SUP Adventure.
Paddling down the River – Tammy Wade & Ian Wade
Ian and Tammy Wade – so happy to arrive at SUP Station (the end of day 2)
Marie and Ali Wright – look how excited they are to arrive at SUP Station (the end of day 2)
Yay – we made it! Paddle crew: Ian Wade, Marie Wright, Ali Wright, Tammy Wade
- Tide Chart for Bangkok – we used this tide chart. I had read that we should add 7 hours to the Bangkok time to determine the tide levels in Ayutthay (eg. if high tide was 2:00am in Bangkok, then high tide in Ayutthaya would probably be 9:00am) – https://tides.mobilegeographics.com/locations/362.html.
- The Ayutthaya Kayak Experience website was very helpful in planning our trip, although I’m not sure if they are still operating, http://aykaex.yolasite.com/
- Ayutthaya – Ban U-Thong
- Bang Pa-In – Ayutthaya River Garden Home
- Paddle Boards
- Tammy’s hydration pack: Velocity Hydration Reservoir, purchased online from Vital Thai
- Tammy’s electrolytes: GU Hydration Drink Tabs, purchased online from Vital Thai
- It’s very hot to be paddling during the day, a long sleeve sun protection top / rash guard would be useful
- Shoes – we took our Keens waterproof sandal/shoes with us.
- Sunscreen – we use and recommend ReReef Sunscreen, it’s meant to be good for the reef, so shouldn’t hurt anything living in the river.
- We didn’t need the torches – so I wouldn’t take them next time.
- And, lastly, don’t fight your way through the Water Hyacinth !! We mean it!