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Page updated: 2017-10-29

Sawadee kha, Sawadee khrap

Disco rafts

Home - Travel stories - Kanchanaburi - Disco rafts


Kanchanaburi has a new attraction for some years: disco rafts. On Friday night starting at five o'clock, it is getting crowded along the river in Kanchanaburi. Pickups are arriving, full of people, food and drink. Every group will board one of the dozens of rafts, which consist of a large covered platform, and a sleeping area. And all with a power generator and giant speakers. A tugboat connects to the raft, someone who works for the owner of the raft start the generator, step into a box and turn on the music on. And then on the way, upstream, dozens of rafts, on every raft the music ear smashing loud, and different music on every raft.
On board people are cooking, eating, drinking, playing cards, and whet it gets later, sometimes dancing. At eleven o'clock, the raft is moored along the river, at a place where there are showers. The music is turned off, and the tow boat sails away. Everyone takes a shower, eats and drinks some more, keeps talking. By four o'clock everyone sleeps.
And at half past five deafening music again, the second group of rafts arrives. These are the rafts that departed around midnight from Kanchanaburi. In Thailand they call this sanuk. Sabai is hardly possible.
It's fun to experience this, together with a large Thai family, but it is very, very tiring. Kanchanaburi currently limits the noise of the raft a bit. The music may only be turned on when the rafts are out of town. Then at least the residents can sleep in the weekends.


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