One of my all time favorite movies would have to be â€œRiver Wildâ€.Â Watching this movie back in 1994 and seeing Meryl Streepâ€™s character brave the strong rapids stirred within me great interest in the extreme sport of white water rafting.Â I wondered as to when I can get the chance to try this for myself and where in the world will I get to do this for the very first time.
It is actually not that hard to look for a place in Asia where one can brave the raging waters while riding on an inflatable rubber raft with armed with paddles.Â Asia is a treasure trove when it comes to the most exciting white water course routes and the best river adventures.Â Furthermore, the white water rafting escapades are usually combined with other thrilling activities like mountain climbing, trekking, or any environment-related trip. The bonus here is that you will get to visit virgin forests, wonder at majestic mountains and experience being surrounded by nature.
Here is a list of some of the famous white water rafting adventures that you can try in Asia:
PAI RIVER (THAILAND)
White water rafting at the Pai River will allow everyone to explore the Mae Hong Son province and visit the Wildlife Sanctuary.Â Those who would like to try the intensive tour must allot a total of three days to be able to complete the entire course that guarantees mind-blowing rapids and a memorable camping trip in the middle of the jungle.
The first day of the trip would start in a Chiang Mai Hotel like the Yaang Come Village Chiang Mai, where participants are met by the tour group then engage in a scenic road trip to Pai Valley.Â It would be an early start the following day when those who are included in the tour undergo basic briefing and training on paddling techniques.Â The tour will be brimming with a great sense of anticipation once rafts are boarded and paddles are put to work.Â By mid afternoon, there will be chance to swim at the Suza Waterfall.Â Camp will again be set up for the night.Â The third day will be the highlight of the trip when one can get to try bigger rapids that seem to greet the floating rafts one after the other.Â The tour ends almost close to evening on the third day after a satisfying picnic meal by the river.
It is best to try this Pai River tour anytime between the first week of July until the middle of January.
UBOD, BALI (INDONESIA)
Aside from being a surfing destination in Asia, Bali is now starting to become popular because of unusual options for thrill-seekers.Â This time around, why not try Bali for white water rafting?
The Ubod Experience is usually completed in four or five days.Â From the hotel, one would have to travel for around an hour and a half to Ubod and stay in a local hotel.Â Action immediately starts on the second day when participants paddle over the Ayung River and overcome a total of twenty five rapids that are combined with tricky gorges and raging waterfalls.Â In the middle of it all, one can take notice of the lush rainforest that surrounds the river.
For the third day, the tour will bring everyone to a fourteen kilometer stretch of the Mount Batur caldera on board mountain bikes.Â This cycling route is more popularly called the â€œBatur Trail.â€Â The following day will be spent trekking the mountains of Ubod plus exploring the amazing ecosystem and wildlife of the dense forests.
CAGAYAN DE ORO (PHILIPPINES)
As for me, I had my chance to experience white water rafting closer to home when I visited Cagayan De Oro with loved ones late last year.Â Cagayan De Oro or CDO in the Philippines is home to the mighty Cagayan De Oro River, the ultimate place to experience riding the rapids in the Philippines.
The plane ride to CDO lasted for around an hour and fifteen minutes.Â After checking in our hotel, the tour group that we joined met us at the lobby.Â From the hotel, we traveled for about an hour before we reached the starting point of the tour.Â After briefing us on the basics of rafting and safety, we were immediately given our blue life vests, bright pink helmets and sturdy paddle.Â We boarded our raft and started to float along the river towards the rapids.
If you decide to try white water rafting, you have the option to take either the Beginnersâ€™ Course or the Advance Course.Â The Beginnerâ€™s Course only includes fourteen rapids while the Advance Course includes twenty rapids.Â I would highly recommend the Advance Course even if itâ€™s a little bit more expensive because when you start riding those rapids, it would seem that you cannot get enough of the thrilling experience.
Another highlight of the tour was having the chance to drink sweet fresh spring water from a small waterfall.Â Before we reached the end of the course, our guide also informed everyone that we can jump off the rafts and try floating along the river.Â Without hesitation, we jumped and shrieked in delight as our bodies got submerged in the cool water.Â It was an action-packed adventure and it is something that I would suggest everyone to try at least once in their lifetime.
It would be wise to prepare yourself for your river rafting trip.Â Remember to pack footwear with straps that you can use even in the water.Â If you will be trekking at one point then you must include trekking pants.Â The standard packing list should also consist of extra clothes, insect repellant and water proof containers for your valuables like money, cameras, jewelry among others.
The only thing left to do once you are seated in the raft is to brace yourself and prepare to paddle like thereâ€™s no tomorrow.Â This adrenaline-pumping experience would surely give you the ride of your life.Â High five!