|Ayutthaya Kayaking Experience [AKE] will hold the kayaking event "In the Wake of the Suphannahongsa: From Tha Rua to Ayutthaya,
the return from the Phra Phutthabat" on [DATE LATER]. We will descend the Pa Sak River from Tha Rua down to Ayutthaya in 2 days, a route
from 45 Km.
The Pa Sak River originates in Dan Sai District, Loei Province. The river flows through Phetchabun province, through the eastern part of Lopburi
Province and Saraburi Province and meets the Chao Phraya in Ayutthaya in front of Wat Phanang Choeng and Phet Fortress at Bang Kaja area. The
river is 513 km long and drains a watershed of 16,291 Sq Km. As the watershed of the river is rather narrow, the amount of water in the river
changes a lot seasonally.
The Tha Rua - Ayutthaya route was an annual ritual boat-outing from the Ayutthayan Kings, since in the reign of King Songtham the Footstep of the
Buddha was discovered by a hunter on the Satchaphantkakiri Hill. These royal boat trips were usually accompanied by a large number of vessels as
described here under by Theodorus Jacobus van den Heuvel, a "VOC koopman", in 1737.
"Shortly thereafter we spotted the King and his entire suite, consisting of 120 large rowing vessels of various makes, the smallest one
manned by forty oarsmen, among which vessels nine carried the King and the regalia. They we're beautifully carved in the shape of
dragons and other creatures, and adorned with little houses to hold and accommodate the jewels, and they were heavily gilded all down to
the water-line, and were rowed with likewise gilded paddles. Seventy of these boats sailed ahead in rows of two or three in very good order.
Then came the regalia in a gilded vessel as described above, which was followed by two empty ones, as well as the Crown's seal, and finally
the King, before whom as well as before the said ornaments we bent down and raised our hands three times above our according to the
custom of the country- And the parade ended the remaining forty vessels, all of which, as well as those had been rowed in the van, were in
the charge of mandarins, and two empty gilded ones and as many as five hundred ordinary barges." [Extract out of the dagregister of
Theodorus Jacobus van den Heuvel written on his journey to the Phra Phutthabat in 1737]
The Ayutthayan Kings made a stopover at Nakhon Luang (present Wat Nakhon Luang on the east bank of the Pa Sak River) and at Tha Rua (Tha
Chao Sanuk - Wat Tamnak Phrachao Songtham). From Tha Rua to the Phra Phutthabat a road ran over 20 Km straight to the Phra Phutthabat
linking the landing with the religious site. The construction of this road, called "Thanon Farang Song Klong" or "The Road of the Foreigner with the
telescope" was ordered by King Songtham and - following Prince Damrong Rajanubhab - constructed by a Dutchman. A mondop covering the
Buddha's footprint and a number of monastic structures creating a monastery were finalized in 1624.
This kayak event has a triple function. It is an uncommon sport event by paddling the Pa Sak River stretch from Tha Rua in Saraburi till its
confluence with the Chao Phraya River in Ayutthaya by kayak; It is at the same time a cultural event in which the participants can experience the
importance of the waterways in the Ayutthayan era - the veins of life of the former Kingdom; Finally it will bear the roots of an ecological event by
making the people aware that the river - a heaven for birds, animals and fish and a source of sweet water - should not be polluted by using it as an
open sewer and garbage collector.
The track of the kayak trip on Google map can be found here under:
Disclaimer: Ayutthaya Kayaking Experience [AKE] will not be reliable for any accidents or incidents occurred during the event. It is the
responsibility of the participants to take the necessary precautions to avoid any physical injury, traffic incident, animal attack, theft, and damage to
equipment. Participants are advised to take an accident or sport insurance (if not covered by the health insurance).