Kayaking along the Ping river is an attractive, yet challenging activity to do, which will give you a different perspective of the city. It can be done by yourself, with friends, or you can follow a local Canoe professionals on their daily trip.
Get a duck’s eye view of Chiang Mai city! Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle your way along the Ping river. You will see temples, shops, bridges and more. For more than 700 years, life in Chiang Mai has been organized around this famous river.
There is one club on the bank of the river that rents canoes cheaply to visitors (about 100 Thai Baht): Canoe Club Nakornping, it is located in Fa Ham Temple. They will provide you with helmets and lifejackets, plus they also have skull boats if you want to paddle as team. To avoid the midday heat, go two hours before sunset. You will only need to put on a T-shirt, shorts and some sunblock. Boating enthusiasts are seen on the river every evening from about 4 pm onwards.
When you rent your equipment from Canoe Club Nakornping and paddle southwards, the first thing you will see is Rattanakosin Bridge then, before arriving to the next bridge, you will see a beautiful old teak wood manor believed to be owned by royals of Chiang Mai. A few meters passing it is the Wat Kaet neighborhood, both very historic parts of Chiang Mai. It also passes beautiful homes, hotels and restaurants facing the river. In the old times, business in Chiang Mai was done by the river: silk, spices and imported products from China were transported by boat and delivered to this Wat Kaet area. The neighborhood also features the newly re-built small brigde which links Warorot market (on your right side) to Wat Kaet.
Next things you will see are Chiang Mai’s famous restaurants: The Old Place, Good View, Riverside and Deck 1. Over the years, each of them have redesigned their garden and their view from the waterside is very beautiful.
Continue a few meters up and you will pass the Nawarat Bridge, then the white church on your left hand side which dates back to 1868. It was the first church build in Chiang Mai. The bridge that you can see from there is the Iron Bridge, a very colorful bridge where fishermen like to come in the evening (watch out for fishing spears!). At night, this bridge is very colorful. The River Market Restaurant, right before it, is a delicious place to enjoy Thai cuisine and drinks.
Your trip will then end with Chaimongkol temple and the shade of its enormous raintree. This temple is located along the river and has stairs descending into the water. Devotees come to this place to release fishs and birds to make merit. Aside this temple there are also many boats as it it the starting point of Scorpion-Tail Boat Tours.
CHIANG MAI CANOE CLUB NAKORNPING:
Faham Road (inside Fa Ham Temple). Open Mon-Sun. 04.00 to 07.00 PM