Hundreds go kayaking to boost canal tourism

People paddle kayaks along a 10.34-km route near the Chao Phraya River on Sunday as part of an activity organised by the Bangkok Yai district office and community groups to promote eco-tourism. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)

Some 200 people on Sunday gathered on the Thon Buri side of Bangkok, west of the Chao Phraya River, to go kayaking along canals and promote eco-tourism in the country.

The event, organised by the Bangkok Yai District Office, included participation by public groups such as Niyom Phai, Rak Khlong Fang Thon, Thiao Khlong Tong Long Thiao, Joy Sports company and Bangkok Rowing Club.

Tipanan Sirichana, an official with the secretariat of the Prime Minister who joined the event, said it was one of the largest gatherings since the beginning of the pandemic. Kayakers braved the heat to soak in the sights and get some exercise.

She said the event was aimed at restoring kayaking activities and boosting tourism along Bangkok's canals on the Thon Buri side, which is in line with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's policy.

Participants rowed a 10.34-km route starting from a pier at Wat Kalayanamit to Klong Bangkok Yai, Khlong Bang Luang, Bang Luang Market and Klong Mon, before returning to Wat Kalayanamit.

Ms Tipanan said the activity was conducted under public health safety measures, including water safety rules.

Since the pandemic began, canal tourism on the Thon Buri side has been quiet, especially around the Bangkok Yai canal connecting to the Chao Phraya River.

Prior to the pandemic, the area was teeming with long-tailed boats carrying foreign and domestic tourists.

"This [kayaking] activity is fun and it marks a success in the revival of tourism along Bangkok's waterways," she said.

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