7 A.M. What Morning Blues?
I woke up to the buzzing of my alarm, and even before I opened my eyes, pure excitement washed over me. It’s going to be an adventurous day; I was going white river rafting and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) riding!
It’s my first time trying these activities, and having read rave reviews online, I was super pumped. What would my experience be like? I couldn’t wait!
Was I ready for the busy day ahead?
Wifi router, check!
Power bank, check!
Adventurous spirit, check!
8.40 A.M. En Route to Phang Nga Bay
Wow! The scenic beaches of Ao Nang en route to Phang Nga Bay are simply stunning! It seems that this area is also a prime tourist spot brimming with flea markets, restaurants, funky bars and happening nightclubs. I didn’t have time to stop by, but maybe I’ll go back on my next visit.
Are we there yet? The drive to Song Preak Rafting base camp took forever (ok no, it took two hours), but the picturesque views and natural landscapes along the way did make up for the lengthy drive. That said, by the time I got there I wanted to just dive into the cool, refreshing waters–the weather is so hot!
10.30 A.M. Falling in at Song Preak Rafting Base Camp
First up was the five-km white river rafting! The rafting gear (including helmets, paddles, and life jackets) and guides were assigned to us. My raft got a pretty charming guide indeed: Wearing a constant smile, he cracked jokes to lighten the mood, and employed the help of the men on board to do the more strenuous tasks (collect paddles, inflate raft, and hoist raft to riverbank).
The ladies were very well taken care of! But still, I could feel my patience wearing thin as I excitedly waited another 30 minutes for the dam to be opened. Apparently, this is the best time to rush with the rapids. I hopped into our dinghy and mingled with the other rafters to pass time.
12.10 P.M. Rafting Down The Song Preak Rapids
The raft was surprisingly easy to operate as the guides were the main paddlers. All I had to do was hang onto the ropes on the sides or middle of the raft. My feet were strapped onto the raft to provide extra hold and reduce the chance of capsizing.
Whew! It was a real wild ride!
For 45 minutes, the ferocious currents took us between boulders, around precipitous corners, and even tried to toss us sideways. Being a complete amateur, I was absolutely thrilled and screaming my lungs out the whole time!
Making the ride even more fun was the water fights! The other paddlers cheekily splashed water at us, and there were countless times when we almost toppled. As a bonus, we got to enjoy the picturesque views of the rainforests around the Song Preak River. There were towering limestone pillars on the riverbanks, and our guide pointed out two red-crowned barbets (think colourful, vibrant birds) perched on the rocks.
After the whole rafting experience, I was famished. It’s a good thing there was a delectable spread of authentic Thai food waiting for me back at the base camp.
1.48 P.M. ATV Off The Beaten Track
Now that lunch was over it’s time for the ATV ride! As I trekked down a steep path leading to the ATV rides, I heard the distinct revving of engines. Yup, I was definitely on the right track. This beast can take on any road surface and trek some of the most uneven surfaces with a mere push of a button. Led by a guide, we started off slowly warming up around a circular track before taking it up a notch and going turbo. Being able to control and gauge the ATV’s position was pretty challenging but I was definitely game!
After about 55 minutes of pure adrenaline, we rode back to the base camp. At the 58th minute, the ATV I rode on took an unfortunate turn for the worse and I crashed right into a banana tree. Next thing I knew, the ATV was on top of me. Talk about maintaining an adventurous spirit, check out the video below!
6 P.M. // Paint The Skies Gold
After a whole afternoon basking under the sun and engaging in all the fun, it was time to return to Tub Kaek. I was too tired to keep awake all through the ride, but I woke up just in time to end my day witness one of the most stunning sunsets ever.
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