About Paddle Asia guided tours in Thailand
See our Trip
Advisor page. See some other guest comments here
Asia's small group guided tours have a mission to provide
discriminating travelers the opportunity to see the
less-visited areas in Thailand's national parks and
conservation areas with the most highly trained guides in
southern Thailand. Our philosophy/goal is to show the world
that we can have a very successful company with respectable
salaries for the local staff without resorting to any mass
We are the only major kayaking company in Southern Thailand
that hasn't sold out to the lucrative day trip market and
remains Southern Thailand's ONLY multi-day expedition tour
operator. We offer a day trip on request, but that is not the
focus of our company.
Paddle Asia is a Thai company. Paddle Asia is 100%
Thai owned. Dave Williams is not an owner
or shareholder. His role is marketing, destination
development, and training. Dave Williams is the only foreigner
in the company and Dave's role is training and marketing. Dave
does not go on most trip. By Thai law all guiding is done by
Thai nationals. Dave takes the minimum salary allowable by
Thai law... yes, there is a minimum allowable salary for
foreigners with work permits.
We are the only ones who
do what we do!
Dave Williams - Training and all things
Williams, a lifelong naturalist and animal lover, is an
American expat who has lived in Thailand in both Phuket and
Krabi since 1992. Dave is well-traveled having lived in New
Mexico (born is Roswell), Florida, Indiana, Hawaii, and
Virginia. He left Virginia in early 1992 and headed for the
tropics. Dave is the only kayak tour operator in southern
Thailand who was an expert level paddler before getting in the
paddling business! He's a paddler first and foremost and in
the business second.
He started paddling in 1978. He has a great deal of
experience in both very serious whitewater and sea kayaking.
Dave has paddled all of the most treacherous rivers in the
eastern half of the USA and most of the dangerous rivers of
Colorado. He also paddled 229 miles of the Grand Canyon in a
squirt boat in 1989. He has, of course, paddled extensively in
Thailand and in the rivers of Laos.
Dave is a BCU (British Canoe Union) Level 2 Coach and is
Level 3 trained (Level 3 Coach certificate to come shortly).
As important as the certification is the fact that Dave has
over 39 years of kayaking experience, including many hardcore
He is also a BCU Lifeguard. Click here for proof of
certification. Dave is an Emergency First Response instructor,
a Rescue 3 International rescue technician and is also ITC
(outdoor specific) First Aid and CPR certified.
Dave stays extremely fit so that he can offer expeditions to
hardcore cyclists, kayakers, jungle trekkers, and
mountaineers. Not many people over 62 years-old are in the
type of shape that Dave is in. In 2016, Dave rode just over
13,500 kilometers on his bicycles!
He is a lifelong student of natural history, ornithology,
biology, botany, paleontology, fitness and Eastern Philosophy.
Dave majored in Eastern Philosophy at Christopher Newport
University in Newport News, Virginia.
He has a very broad knowledge of the wild edible plants of
Thailand, as well as all of the flora and fauna of southern
"Dave Williams is a
sort of paddling encyclopaedia for Southern
Action Asia magazine May/June 2009
Dave was the jungle survival expert (consultant) on two
episodes of The Discovery Channel's "Dual Survival".
Note: by Thai law only Thai
nationals can be guides. Dave goes on some trips as
a safety instructor, but most trips are
conducted by the highly skilled Thai crew.
Walaporn "Moo" Jitprathep, Director and
was born and raised in Bangkok. She moved to Phuket over two
decade ago. She has a love for life that is beyond words. For
some strange reason, she's always happy...
Moo comes from a very poor family. She could only attend
formal school for six years... yet she is now fluent in
English and reads and writes it as well! She is a very special
Moo has been on hundreds of kayaking trips and has a very
keen safety sense.
Moo and Dave have been married since 1993. They live outside
of Phuket Town with daughter Mook ('Pearl' in Thai), and their
pack of very pampered rescued dogs and cats.
Moo is a trip logistics guru, planner, guide, tour leader,
and sometimes a cook. If Moo is on your trip, you'll be taken
very good care of.
Jamrat "Run" Rengsamut
Thai cycling guide Khun Run is both a superb kayaking guide
and our main Thai mountain biking guide. Run was born and
raised on Ko Yao Noi in Phang Nga Bay. Run runs a lot of our
cycling day trips and he joins almost all of the bigger
cycling group trips.
Run is licensed through the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
No guide can legally guide without this license.
Besides having a very charming personality, Run is completely
fluent in English and is first aid certified.Everyone who goes
riding with Khun Run has a great time.
He is very safety conscious as well as being a very talented
Graham Wardle (British) - Our Safety Guru and
Educator Par Excellence
Graham doesn't work for Paddle Asia, but we feel he is an
integral part of our team as he teaches us so much about
safety and BCU standards.
For close to three decades he has worked in the field of
Outdoor Education, as a coach, manager, senior BCU development
officer and teacher.
Graham has paddled, rafted, dived, trekked and climbed in 35
countries. He is a British Canoe Union Level 5 Coach Raft
Guide and Rescue 3 Swift Water Rescue Instructor. He holds
British Mountaineering Council, rock climbing and
mountaineering awards as well as been a keen and avid PADI
Graham has been instrumental in the development of White
Water Safety & Rescue techniques in the UK and Europe,
along with the development of coach education schemes. His
teaching skills and methodology work with both foreigners and
Thais equally. Graham has a lot to offer and we try to soak as
much of his vast knowledge up as possible.
Some of our Guest
Just wanted to send a short note to say that Jane and I had
a fabulous day of kayaking yesterday with our guide. He was
friendly, professional, and knowledgeable about the area,
flora and fauna. His English was good and he had a good
attitude. Our vegetarian meal was delicious and abundant.
I'll be sure to spread the word about the excellent service
and extraordinary experience your company offers!
Thanks for all,
Penny Cousins and Jane Mennie (2 satisfied customers) Phang
Nga Bay day trip.
Our guide was brilliant. He was very attentive but not
pushy and just always seemed to say and do the right thing.
Moo was also fantastic and lots of fun, but she also showed
us by example how to be very still and quiet. The bungalows
were just awesome and so was the time we spent on water and
Jackie Spragg - Khao Sok National Park
Just a quick note to let you know how impressed I was with
the recent trip..........I could not get over how well
everything was organised and I felt very privileged to have
one on one with our guide for the kayaking he was very
knowledgeable and entertaining to say the least. The
accommodation, food and friendly people all added up to a
very memorable time & I'll be back.
Thanks Dave for such a great experience. John Hiscock -
Phang Nga Bay
Daniel Loiterton - Khao Sok
Just wanted to drop you a quick email to tell how much we
enjoyed our week in Khao Sok. Everything was really smooth,
organised well, but flexible enough to tweak the schedule
whenever we liked. The family at the floating bungalows were
lovely, made us feel very welcome, and cooked us some great
Click on the links to view some of Daniel's wonderful gibbon
photos and other impressive animal photos
in a photo gallery.
Writen by Kelly Audette (Canadian), Trang trip
"Let me tell you how amazing my kayak trip was this past
week. It was absolutely the highlight of my month spent in
this amazing country. The weather was not always in our
favour, but truly that could not have taken away from my
overall experience. I think I almost enjoyed the rain and the
storms as much as I did the sunshine. It was a perfect
combination of all the elements.
As you well know, it is such a beautiful area, and being so
close to it all in a kayak... I do not have words in my
vocabulary that would do it enough justice.
I need to mention, however, that honestly the trip was
nothing short of the best experience of my life entirely
because of my two wonderful guides.
I have fallen in love with the Thai people during my short
time here. As a woman traveling alone, I have had the pleasure
of relying on the locals to help me along the way. But these
two have surpassed all the others. I have never felt safer,
and more cared for than with their hospitality. I have made
two friends for life, thanks to you. I was never alone, in
fact on many occasions I was lucky enough to have my own
personal guide. I was encouraged to try new things and with
every question I asked, the reply was always "whatever you
want to do, we will do" I over indulged in their kindness, and
they took it to the next level.
I have spent the last two days enjoying their company, on
their own time. I have met their friends, seen where they
live, how they spend their pastimes. They welcomed me into
their worlds with open arms, and when they could not look out
for me they arranged for their friends to do so.
Being the first time I have traveled outside of Canada
everyone back home warned me to be so careful as a woman
traveling alone. Do not trust anyone, they told me. But I knew
I could trust these two, and I have never felt so safe. I will
remember them for the angels that they are. Not only did they
make my kayak adventure more than I could have dreamed it
would be, they made my entire trip into something I will
I can not say enough to express my gratitude towards them. I
only wish I could bring them home with me to return the favour
and show them my country.
It would be such a pleasure to see their reaction to my
world. When I win the lottery this will be at the top of my
Please extend my appreciation and gratitude to them. Without
them I would never have experienced Thailand is such a way.
I cannot say enough good things about PaddleAsia. Thank
you so much!"