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Our Ultimate Guide to Bamboo Rafting in Chiang Mai

Our Ultimate Guide to Bamboo Rafting in Chiang Mai

Do you want to enjoy the outdoors but don’t want anything too extreme or adventurous? Then we think you’re the perfect candidate to enjoy a relaxing cruise down a Chiang Mai river through one popular tourist activity here– bamboo rafting!

“But what’s bamboo rafting?” you might ask. This is where you peacefully float down a river using a bamboo raft with family and friends in the beautiful province of Chiang Mai–but you’re reading our ultimate guide to know more, so let’s get down to it!

Time Zone

Indochina Time (GMT+7)

Best Time to Go

The best time to visit Chiang Mai for some bamboo rafting is from October to April. 

During this period, you get cool and pleasant weather which adds to the calming vibe of riding a bamboo raft downriver which means that these months are peak season for tourists as well.

You may also want to visit the province during festivities, specifically for the months of November and February. You’ll experience the Loi Krathong Festival in November while the Chiang Mai Flower Festival happens every February.

Things to Know

Currency: Thai Baht (Check the current exchange rate)
Language: Thai
Calling Code: +66

How to Get to the Bamboo Rafting Site (Mae Wang River)

Motorbike: If you’re not planning on drinking while bamboo rafting and if you’re experienced enough, you can try going to the bamboo rafting site (Mae Wang River) via motorbike. You can rent one for cheap (around 150 THB) and you’ll also get there fast!

Ride Sharing: You can also try ride-sharing (such as the Grab App) to get to the site. It’s convenient and you only need to pay around 800 THB each way.

Private Driver: You can have your hotel arrange a private driver for you or you can simply ask a taxi driver if he can be your private driver during your bamboo rafting adventure. 

With this option, you can enjoy drinking while cruising down the river as you’re guaranteed that your driver will wait for you and bring you back to your hotel.

Songthaew: Taking Songthaew to Mae Wang River is your most cost-effective option as it can reasonably accommodate four (4) people. Renting one for the day can also be negotiated and you’ll only have to pay around 1,000 to 1,500 THB for your entire group. 

What Tours to Book for Bamboo Rafting


Address(Tour Meeting Place):  Chiang Mai Gate Market
Contact Details: Airbnb website
Pricing: $$$
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Airbnb has one of the most highly-rated tours which not only offers bamboo rafting but also includes transportation, and a guided hike to some swimming pools and waterfalls around the area. Plus, this tour also includes lunch which serves delicious local cuisine.

It may be a bit pricey though at around 2,400 THB per person but the upside is that you’ll have everything planned out for you for that day. It’s a fantastic tour package if you ask us and one that you should seriously consider when in Chiang Mai.


Address(Tour Meeting Place):   Chiang Mai International Airport
Contact Details: Takemetour website
Pricing: $$
Book Now

This tour offers everything that Airbnb offers except for the other add-on hikes. This means that you also get the bamboo rafting experience, transportation, and lunch but only at half the price of around 1,200 THB – an excellent deal if you ask us!

Chiangmai Trekking with Piroon

Address: 12 Ratchapakinai Rd. Tambol Prasing Ampoe Muang 50200 Chiang Mai
Contact Details: +66 81-961-1015
Pricing: $$$
Book Now

Here’s another sought-after touring activity in Chiang Mai as it offers trekking experiences that can last multiple days or even as short as a day trip. Chiang Mai Trekking provides transportation, meals during the tour, and accommodation.

What’s more, Piroon and his team of tour guides offer not just bamboo rafting but also a chance to interact with elephants while in Chiang Mai. A day trip will cost around 2,500 THB for 2 to 3 persons while a 3-day trek will cost around 5,000 THB for 2 to 3 persons.

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai

We Briza Hotel Chiangmai

Address:  3, Tambon, 3 Wang Sing Kham Rd, Tambon Chang Moi, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand
Phone:  +66 53 876 249
Pricing: $
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Located in the heart of Chiang Mai’s cultural wonders, We Briza Hotel is a property you might want to check out if you’re looking for a hotel that is modern, comfortable, and easily accessible while going from one tourist spot to another.

They offer large rooms so you and your family can comfortably stay in your accommodations. Plus, their rooms come with breakfast which serves local cuisine – perfect if you want to start your day energised and ready for some temple touring!

U Nimman Chiang Mai

Address:  Nimmana Haeminda Road Lane 1, Suthep, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Phone:   +66 52 005 111
Pricing: $$$
Book Now

U Nimman Chiang Mai is a chic and modern five-star hotel that you should consider when in the area, especially if you love shopping or enjoying some nightlife. 

It is a bit on the pricey side but it offers a lot of luxurious features that you can’t get from other cheaper options. These include facilities like a swimming pool, amazing window views from your room, an all-day restaurant, and a terrace bar for your enjoyment.

Isty Hotel – SHA Extra Plus

Address: 41 Changphuak soi 4 Chang phreak road, Sri Phum, Muang, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Phone:    +66 53 230 662
Pricing: $$
Book Now

ISTY Hotel is yet another modern hotel in Chiang Mai that gives off a youthful feel thanks to its minimalist approach to design and room decor. In fact, we tried out its rooftop deck cum lounge and it feels more like a coworking space than a hotel rooftop!

The hotel also has a pool where you can relax and enjoy after a long day of trekking around Chiang Mai. What’s more, their bar offers alcoholic drinks at reasonable prices which is ideal if you want to just hang out and chill with your friends and loved ones.

THEE Vijit Lanna

Address: 82, 1 ซอย 2, Chang Moi Sub-district, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand
Phone: +66 53 233 717    
Pricing: $$
Book Now

As its name implies, the THEE Vijit Lanna draws inspiration from the elegance of the ancient kingdom of the Lanna. You’ll see many different references to the said civilization in the decors adorning the facility– from bells, birds, fishes, and tigers.

These Lanna designs can also be seen in the intricate designs found in the rooms being offered by the hotel itself. 

Staying here while in Chiang Mai is surely a treat since you get to enjoy this classical yet sleek facility and at the same time you get to enjoy their amazing amenities which include a relaxing spa and even a plunge pool (for some of their suite rooms).

Hotel Loy Chiang Mai 

Address: 10 Loi Kroh Rd Lane 2, Tambon Chang Khlan, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Phone: +66 52 087 887
Pricing: $$
Book Now

If you want a more traditional feeling hotel, check out the Hotel Loy Chiang Mai. We’re not saying that the hotel looks old– it just feels more rustic and minimalist while using more traditional materials for their hotel such as wooden pillars and blinds.

What most guests (both locals and foreigners) rave about is how delicious and varied their breakfast here is. They serve Thai cuisine but they also mix it up so you get the different flavours Thailand has to offer during your stay in this hotel.

Where to Eat in Chiang Mai

Phutawan Café

Address:  202 Mae Win, Mae Wang District, Chiang Mai 50360, Thailand
Phone:  +66 85 740 8600
Pricing: $

After bamboo rafting with your family or friends, drop by Phutawan Cafe in the Mae Wang District so you can sample a taste of their local cuisine. We highly recommend that you order their curry (it’s a bit sweet but flavourful) and their Tom Kha Gai.

Most of the guests here, though, visit the cafe not just for the delicious and affordable local cuisine but also because of the view. Here, you can enjoy your meal or coffee while looking directly at a stream where elephants can be seen strolling or bathing.

If you’re bringing young kids with you, this is definitely an experience you shouldn’t miss as it’s really priceless to observe these majestic creatures while enjoying a warm meal with your loved ones!

BaanMae at Mae Wang  

Address:  ร้านBaanMae at Mae Wang Ban Kad, Mae Wang District, Chiang Mai 50360, Thailand
Phone:  +66 81 882 7908  
Pricing: $

This restaurant is perfect if you want to grab a traditional Thai meal in a clean and not-so-crowded garden set-up. Also, you can order some of their specialties to enjoy in the restaurant or you can have it to go.

We suggest that you check out the different food items on their menu, but you really can’t go wrong if you go for their seafood soup and their traditional Thai salad. The ingredients are fresh, the flavour is just awesome, and they’re sold at affordable prices!

ไข่ลวกกาแฟ-แยกแม่วาง ม่อนมาลี (Soft-boiled eggs with coffee – Mae Wang Intersection Mon Malee)

Address: 94250 ถนนเลี่ยงเมืองสันป่าตองหางดง Ban Kad, Mae Wang District, Chiang Mai 50360, Thailand
Pricing: $

“ไข่ลวกกาแฟ-แยกแม่วาง ม่อนมาลี” literally translates to soft-boiled eggs and coffee – and that’s what this food stall is “literally” all about! 

You can drop by this establishment before you proceed to your scheduled bamboo rafting activity for the day for some quick pick-me-up and energising breakfast.

Right beside this stall, you’ll find shops where you can purchase various goods which range from clothes, shoes, souvenirs, and towels. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet new people here as this establishment is usually the meeting place for cyclists.

Restaurant Huay Kiang

Address: Restaurant Huay Kiang ร้านอาหาร ห้วยเกี๋ยง, Mae Win, Mae Wang District, Chiang Mai 50360, Thailand   
Pricing: $

A location with a fantastic view and a restaurant with classic but delicious Thai offerings describe this restaurant located in Mae Wang. You can just sit here and enjoy your meal while taking in the beauty of the scenery right in front of the restaurant’s dining area.

And while this establishment doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of its more urban counterparts (such as modern interiors and luxurious decors) it has a killer food item that we recommend you order and that is their Chicken Rice.

The best part about all of this–they offer their menu at very affordable prices and they come in generous portions!


Address:  Ban Kad, Mae Wang District, Chiang Mai 50360, Thailand
Phone: +66 94 757 7856
Pricing: $

A whole day of bamboo rafting can make you and your loved ones extremely hungry. If you want local comfort food that won’t break the bank after your Mae Wang River cruise, then head down to Sala Lab Him Doi (ร้านสล่าลาบฮิมดอย) for some exquisite larb.

We guarantee that you’ll fall in love with this humble restaurant located in Mae Wang, thanks to its delicious food, simple interiors, and highly affordable price! Don’t forget to order their larb (as mentioned earlier) as it is to die for!

What to Do in Chiang Mai

Be amazed by the Mae Wang Waterfall

Address: Mae Win, Mae Wang District, Chiang Mai 50360, Thailand 

While bamboo rafting, keep an eye out for the Mae Wang Waterfall. You’ll know you’ve reached this area once you see rapids downriver once you reach the three-quarters mark of your cruise.

You can ask your guide to bring you close to the side so you can safely ride your raft back after the guide navigates the rapid by himself. Or if you’re feeling courageous, you can choose to join your guide down the rapids—a more exciting option if you ask us.

Stroll through Mae Wang National Park

Address: Santi Suk, Doi Lo District, Chiang Mai 50160, Thailand
Phone:  +6653106759

After bamboo rafting, you can bring the family along to the park nearby– the Mae Wang National Park. Here, you can enjoy great views of the Pha Chor Canyon, a site made up of impressive rock formations that are just perfect for taking photos and selfies.

If you have young children, we suggest that you visit this park first as it will require a lot of hiking and walking. Also, visiting this site in the morning with kids is much more convenient and comfortable for them as it’s not going to be as hot as in the afternoon.

Interact with the elephants of the Chai Lai Orchid Elephant Park

Address: 172 m 5 T. Mae Sapok A, Mae Wang District, Chiang Mai 50360, Thailand  
Phone: +66826602213  

There’s also an elephant camp near the bamboo rafting site of the Mae Wang River called the Chai Lai Orchid Elephant Park. Here, you and your family can ethically interact with elephants by observing them and by also giving them treats. 

You’ll be given bananas by the people looking after these elephants and you can give a small donation in return (although it’s not required). If you’re already in the area and you still have time, this place is a must-visit for sure.

What to Expect from Chiang Mai Weather

Cool Season – Chiang Mai’s cool season covers the months of November to February. During this time, the weather is just perfect for tourists as it is cool and comfortable enough for you and your family to tour the area.

However, the months of December and January of the cool season can bring in large throngs of crowds due to the New Year’s celebration. Expect heavy traffic and prepare to do some itinerary planning to make the most of your time during these months.

Hot Season – The hot season in Chiang Mai runs from March to May. The air can be especially dry during these months and this is also the hottest season here.

If you visit during April, you’ll notice a very festive vibe across Thailand as locals will be celebrating their Thai New Year or Songkran. To cool down, you can engage with the locals in some good old-fashioned Songkran water splashing!

Rainy Season – The months of June to October are mostly rainy here in Chiang Mai. August and September are the worst in terms of rain as heavy downpours can happen all throughout the day during this period.

You can still enjoy your time here despite the rain as the temperature is definitely much more comfortable compared to the summer season. Also, expect the greenery to be much more lush–perfect if you want that vibrant green background in your selfie!

Apps to download for your Bamboo Rafting Adventure in Chiang Mai

Grab: Ride-hailing, food, grocery, and delivery services
iOS| Android

Line: Call and messaging, file sharing
iOS| Android

Klook: Book tours, attractions, tickets, restaurants, hotels, and other activities
iOS| Android

Agoda:  Book hotels, flights, and other activities
iOS| Android

Google Translate: Translate various languages
iOS| Android

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