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Reader Story: Canoeing in Thailand

by Lee Fung

During the rainy season it is not so hot, much better for canoeing. I prefer to start my canoe camping trips in the rain unlike most people. However, there are a hearty number of folks who choose to head out canoeing despite downpours of rain.

We went to Huay Tueng Tao Lake near Chiang Mai to enjoy paddling in the rain and swimming fully clothed which we like a lot.

By the time we unloaded the boat and carried it to the lake, clouds began to cover the sky. We pushed the boat into the lake, waded in knee deep and climbed on board.

My friend climbed in too fast and promptly fell into the water on the other side. Big laughter all round. He was the first to get soaking wet. Nevermind, canoeing is a watersport after all. We knew that sooner or later we would get wet one way or another. That's where the fun comes in.

We finally got going and paddled along the shore as it began to rain a lot. Soon we were both soaked to the skin, all our clothes were dripping wet. Only then did I remember that we had some rain clothes. They were in a puddle on the bottom of the canoe.

Paddling in the rain is beautiful, especially if there aren't any waves or lightning. It is mesmerizing to watch the rain drop onto the surface of the water and beautiful to see the trees drip with water. The smell is fresh and everything looks greener after a bath.

Poncho Swim in the Rain

Soon we reached a small beach on the far side of the lake, with trees all around the shore. We jumped out of the canoe and pushed it ashore. Then we put on our ponchos and sat down in shallow water to enjoy the rain.

After a while of laughing and having fun we went for a swim along the shore. You'd be surprised how easy it is to swim in ponchos. They just glide along.

Whenever we saw something interesting, we left the water and checked it out. Then we went back in and swam a bit more. At one point we could go no further, so we got out and walked back to the canoe in the pouring rain. We locked our ponchos in the cubby hole so we could enjoy the rain soaking our clothes.

A lot of water had collected in the canoe which made it a bit unstable as we pushed it back into the lake. We climbed back in and moments later fell back into the water as we capsized. That was huge fun.

After we've emptied the canoe we paddled on in the rain along the shore line, exploring every little beach. It rained a lot harder now. Our clothes were heavy from the water running through, but we really enjoyed this.

Because capsizing is so much exciting fun, we exited the canoe that way at every beach. We stood up and leaned the canoe over until we fell in. We love swimming fully clothed, but falling in adds a lot to the thrill.

We put the ponchos back on and splashed around for a while until the rain stopped, just to relax. Ponchos are great fun for that. They feel so cosy in the water.

Finally we put the canoe back on top of the car, spread the ponchos out to dry and changed into dry clothes, polo shirts and jeans. On sunny days the ponchos give good sun protection when we go swimming.

One More Time

Relaxing in the sun we talked about our wet adventures and what we wanted to do next time. Maybe we would go up the mountain and get soaked under a waterfall. This got us quite excited again. We got a bit hot under the sun in our dry clothes, thinking about our wet adventures.

You probably guessed by now that there was only one solution, another swim. We had already changed into our dry clothes for the way home, but the urge to go into the water again was intense. We looked at each other, nodded with a knowing smile and ran back into the lake soaking our jeans and polo shirts.

Swimming in wet polo shirt
Swimming in wet polo shirt

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