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
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 tourism marketing.
We are the only major kayaking company in Southern Thailand
that hasn't sold out to the lucrative day trip mass tourism
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. 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!
Walaporn "Moo" Jitprathep, Director and
Moo 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 is certified in first aid and CPR through Emergency First
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.
Dave Williams - Training and all things
Dave Williams, a lifelong naturalist and animal
lover, is an American expat who has lived in Thailand since
1993. Dave is semi-retired now and handles the marketing,
training, and destination development for the company.
He started paddling in 1978. He has a great deal of
experience in both very serious whitewater and sea kayaking.
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.
Dave is an Emergency First Response instructor, a Rescue 3
International rescue technician and is also ITC (outdoor
specific) First Aid and CPR certified.
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" and was
featured on a the BBC episode of "The Travel Show" with Henry
Note: by Thai law only Thai
nationals can be guides.
goes on some trips as a safety instructor, but most
trips are conducted by the highly skilled
Thai guides: Jamrat "Run"
Rengsamut and Teerayut "Sak" Mankun
Our two main Thai kayaking guides are Mr. Run and Mr.
Both are licensed through the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Mr. Run was both born and raised on Ko Yao Noi in Phang Nga
Sak is from a village called Laem Sak up in the far north of
the bay. Mr. Sak speaks several languages.
Run runs most Phang Nga Bay trips and our cycling
trips. Run also leads a lot of the school group trips.
Sak runs our Khao Sok, survival trips, and Phang Nga Bay
Besides having a very charming personalities, Run and Sak are
completely fluent in English and are first aid certified