|AYUTTHAYA KAYAK TRACK 4 - AYUTTHAYA CITY LOOP
|This kayak track is designed to bring you around Ayutthaya's city island. Ayutthaya was typically a Siamese water-based settlement; one of the
characteristics which gave the city its UNESCO World Heritage status. Unfortunately, Ayutthaya's waterways - the ancient transport and travel facilities -
are fast disappearing. Many canals became stagnant, choked with urban trash or ran dry due to silting and lack of maintenance. Many more were claimed to
make way for embankments such as concrete roads. Ayutthaya, "The Venice of the East" became a far cry. Notwithstanding, a tour around the island is still
a wonderful event.
In the Ayutthayan era, it was the Lopburi River which encircled the city. The Chao Phraya River was deviated to Ayutthaya in 1857, while the Pa Sak River
or Teak Forest River finding its source in Loei Province, changed its course in the beginning of last century, when the river course was straighten.
The Chao Phraya in Ayutthaya is a tidal river and influences the Pa Sak and Lopburi Rivers. The current shifts daily, depending on the tide in the Gulf of
Thailand, with an exception at the end of the rainy season, when the floodwaters overrun the tide.
The tour (clockwise) takes you north along the Chao Phraya River, which was until the mid-19th century still the river bed of the Lopburi River; turns at Hua
Laem into Khlong Mueang also called the City Canal and a former stretch of the Lopburi River; curving south at Hua Ro on a waterway which was once a
part of the front city moat, dug for defensive purposes and leaping into the Pa Sak River; arriving at Hua Sarapha in front of Wat Phanan Choeng and the
major confluence of the Chao Phraya and Pa Sak Rivers near Phet Fortress, steer up north to the arrival point opposite Wat Phutthai Sawan.
The tour will take 2 to 3 hours depending on your kayaking ability and the tide. A few sites have been listed for the sake of smoother navigation. Paddlers
can choose where to stop according to their own tastes and time constraints.
If you are interested in viewing photographs of the temples in advance or would like additional historic information about these ruins, visit this website.
Tips and Warnings
Ayutthaya, although located far away from the Gulf of Thailand, is still under tidal influence. The Chao Phraya River and Pa Sak River at Ayutthaya are thus
tidal rivers, causing the waterways to shift direction once a day. It may be useful to adjust your itinerary in function of these shifting currents and do some of
the kayaking routes in reverse if missing stamina.
Be aware for the whirlpools and heavy current between Ko Loi - Ayutthaya Boat Building School and the eastern Pa Sak River bank and at the confluence
of the Pa Sak and Chao Phraya River in front of Phet Fortress, especially during the second part of the rainy season (September - November). In normal
months, stick close to eastern Pa Sak River bank; From September to November stick to the western bank. Wear a life jacket and hook up your equipment!
Protect you from sunshine. Wear a hat, sun-glasses and loose-fitting clothing that covers arms and legs. Use sun blocker on exposed parts of the body. It is
important to bring a large bottle of water aboard.
On the water, exercise caution!
More kayaking information at Ayutthaya Kayaking Experience.