Bali Payung Rafting Adventure

Bali Payung Rafting Adventure

Melinggih Kelod, Indonesia

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Bali Payung Rafting Adventure
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

148 reviews
Very good

Niamh C
Busselton, Australia15 contributions
Dec 2016 • Family
The !!!best!!! experience my family and I had on our holiday to Bali. The rapids were quite tame and safe but still super fun which for us kids was probably good as it was our first time rafting. But the best thing about it was the guides! We had Griya, he was absolutely hilarious and made us laugh all the way through, purposely crashing into walls to make us fall down which we thought was hilarious, pretended there were crocodiles and anacondas in the river and smacked them with his paddle, and he made loud 'chainsaw' sounds when we splashed other boats or just did something cheeky - he made the experience 10000x better! Everyone who says their experience was ruined by the guides, really needs to lighten up. They were hilarious and were what made the experience so memorable. I will admit I struggled with the stairs as I have knee problems and the showers weren't the best but people sound like prissy little princesses when they complain about them that's what travelling is all about. We'll definitely be coming back to payung again for another super fun experience!!
Written December 24, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Perth, Australia30 contributions
May 2014 • Couples
Travelling with a group of friends in the age bracket of 50-60. All quite fit and active. We decided to do Rafting while we stayed in Ubud. Our driver, from Bali Rich Villas recommended Payung Rafting. He said he would be able to get us a group discount costing us only 50 US dollars each all inclusive including lunch.
Our pick up from the Villa was a tad later than arranged. Once we got to the Rafting start point, we were given helmets that didnt fit that well, life jackets and a paddle that also doubled as a walking stick to help you down the so called steps to the river. If you are not fit do not attempt to go down these steps. They are steep, slippery and there are no hand rails. Very dangerous. We got down to the river and into our raft. Our guide though it was funny deliberately smashing us into rocks on the side of the steep cliffs, throwing us all on top of each other numerous times. we managed to get our way down stream to a stop off point for drinks. Conveniently their was a little shed with Balinese people handing out cold drinks to us all. This is not included in the price, As we discovered when we got back and were handed a bill. Bintang (small can) $4, coke $2 and water $2. Absolute rip off. Our journey ended with a 150 step climb back to the top and a 1km walk down the side of a busy road back to their office/restaurant We were invited to help ourselves to a small buffet lunch that while tasty, was cold and had been sitting there for a while. Oh we did get a free cup of water with it and a towel. Spend the extra $10 and go with Bali Adventures. It is owned by Australians and a lot more proffesional. To finish on a more positive note, the scenery was beautiful, we did enjoy that and the rafting wasnt too hard
Written June 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates98 contributions
Apr 2019 • Family
We are a family of four, they are very friendly staff, they make the adventure very amusing, they make sure that all the boats interact together and have fun together, the rafting itself is not very tough or challenging but the sight seeing is amazing, the water falls are breath taking, they stopped us there and we had nice pictures, the carvings in the walls are just magical !
One drawback is, I got asked by all other guides – not my guide he was nice – to give him a tip, big tip! There was like a guidance session in the beginning where the guard told us they appreciate out tips, which is acceptable but every one after that was not nice!!!
The lunch was nice the rest rooms were basic but were also nice and functoinal.

Over all, great experience amazing site seeing , even saw monkeys swimming 😊
Written May 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Anup K
singapore10 contributions
Dec 2012 • Family
If you are reading this, you are probably a friend who saw this appear on a Facebook page or someone who wants to read an opinion on the adventure quotient of a seemingly harmless activity. The former, will sympathise with the situation we endured but it is the latter who we sincerely wish to have a rethink.

White-water rafting is not the primary objective of tourists in Bali - a romantic getaway in the midst of fantastic hospitality that comes from the heart, loads of massages and de-stressing is what brings us here. It is my favourite holiday destination, to which I've been returned over 10 times since 1998.

But like all others, I thought a little adventure doesn't harm and I have been on the Ayung river in Ubud twice. Once alone in 1998 and the next with my kids in April 2010,. The second time, I was with my daughters aged 4 and 7 then, and it seemed pretty harmless. So we decided to do it this time again - on the first day after the end of the world that didn't happen, the 22nd of Dec, 2012.

We stay a place called KajaNe Mua, which is a little gem, reviewed ad nauseam and surely at the top of the hospitality pyramid in Ubud. Ubud has some very fine dining with palate rejuvenating restaurants and a traffic where fresh air is still not addled too much with gasoline fumes and retains the quintessential Bali spirit

Our hotel guided us to use a company called Payung River Rating, who supposedly had been in business for eight years and had an impeccable safety record.

The trip started as we got to the aggregation spot where groups were made and paddles, life vests and helmets handed over. The photo op over, we climbed down 350 steps to the river. The steps cut away from the mountain are steep and slippery. We made it down and the guide got into the raft – yello in color,, which looked as if it had gone thru' at least a few cuts. Once in the raft, but still safely moored, our guide a gangly Mas (brother in Inonesian) Soulee, gave us a two minute brief on how to paddle and then proceeded to close asking for tips, if all went right and we were happy with him.

We were - my wife Niti, our daughters, Gauri aged 10 and Anvi, aged 6 and a mother -daughter pair from China, the mother around 60 and daughter in her 30s and I.

Once in water, the first rapid was close at hand - a drop of around 3 ft. which pumped the adrenaline as we floated into the next series of rapids, the guide prepared us with a warning that this was a double drop where the boat gets stuck. And it did get stuck between two rocks. The way to get out is to jump so that the boat slides thru'. But while that happened the water came into the boat and covered it fully but we managed to get it out in time. By this time, another raft from the same company overtook us, as they chose to take a safer way out.

At the next rapid, our guide in his playfulness, decided to go over a rapid and bang the boat into his colleagues raft which by this time was stuck between rocks downstream.

As we struck this raft, red in colour, and with 5 grownups and two kids, our boat being the lighter of the two, rode up the sides of the red raft and overturned. And that's when the nightmare started.

I was in the front with Anvi and managed to pull her from under our raft only to be caught under the red raft. I struggled and pulled her out and managed to push her into the eager hands of tourists in red raft. While holding the raft I thought I saw four others including my wife and daughter being swept away. I let go of the red raft and move towards them. Swimming in pools and sea is not same as being swept in a river swollen by incessant rains. I made it to my wife only to realize that Gauri was not with her. And then I saw Gauri's life vest float past me. I chased after the life vest hoping to get downstream to catch her. Niti in the meanwhile got into a shallower part of the river around 5 meters away from the red raft and started to shout for Gauri. After what seemed an eternity, she spotted Gauri floating past, eyes overturned and the body limp. At this time the guide, who was the only person on dry land, standing and staring at the goings on shell struck, jumped into the water to get hold of her. What got him to action was the near hysterical screams of Niti. He caught her and brought her to me about 10m downstream where I was near a rock. I put Gauri on the stone to get water out of her, constantly shouting her name. Gauri eventually came around, totally shaken up, traumatized and badly bruised.

At this time I'd totally lost my cool on the guide for his foolhardiness and hit him a few times and told him to move away, lest I kill him or injure him.

The mother daughter pair had after the toppling had managed to stay together and also moved to shallow side of the river.

This entire incident played out in an area around 50 m long and 10 m wide, with depths varying from over 2 m to less than 2cm. The water was muddy and it was difficult to make out if the next step would be a rock or a deep pool. The current was very strong as this is the traditional wet period and we were between two rapids around 100m apart. From the time the boat overturned to the time we were all together was an epoch spanning 10-15 minutes.

We decided that we didn't want to proceed and as there were steps nearby, climb up and go back to the hotel. Th steps led to the base of Ayung River company, uphill. During this whole episode, it is impossible that the people there didn’t hear our screams or see what was going on. But none appeared to help.

Our guide and his colleague told us that there would be a car and people coming to pick us up, so we should wait. No one came to help us get uphill.

We were told there are over 20 operators in this sport, but an accident with one, doesn't trigger a response from the other. We climbed on our own, another 200 stairs this time, two kids, totally shaken up and Niti emotionally destroyed. In all this movement in the water, we all were badly bruised and had cuts on our hands, knees and shoulder.

The helmet and life vests were dislodged and parted long ago. Gauri later mentioned, she had to take off her life vest, while underwater in muddy water, as it was dragging her down. Her helmet had long come undone just around the time she went underwater.

Once at the top, we had to wait a further half hour before a vehicle turned up. Our sight was bad for business, so during this period, we were told by the Ayung River Company – Mr. John, to wait away from the reception area. Apart from asking us to sit inside, John did take the opportunity to tell us that his company would not have let that happen. But since some other operator had done it, he couldn’t ask any of his cars to take us to medical aid.

We got back to the hotel around 1 30 pm. During this time, no one from the rafting company called to inquire about us or to apologise for the guide's sense of misadventure or offer a word of solace.

At around 6 pm, I went to report to the local police station and file a complaint. They refused to lodge it, saying that I should instead go to the office of the operator. My Indonesian is lot rusty, but I managed to communicate that this was not going to happen and that I will pull enough strings to highlight this. In the end they called the operator who came around 8 pm.

Pak Gubag, whose name adorns, the Payung Rafting Company brochures as the owner, apologised for the mishap and that he was delayed because he was held up at a function at the temple at a ceremony for his year old daughter.

He also said, that he rose from humble beginnings, son of a farmer, had run this company with people of similar background, who lived near the river and has had no incident in last 8 years.

So what do we do now?

Niti and I told him, that we sincerely hope that he never goes thru' what happened to us and that he should do the following

- Refuse to run a group with kids under 13 years of age and put that on the website.
- Have at least two guides to manage the raft.
- Sack Soulee and ensure that the word is spread about what happened to other operators, so that none offer him employment.
- Train his other staff in basic CPR and rescue skills
- Give us a written apology for what happened.

But why should I bother you with this read.

1. Mainly because, we refuse to accept our child becoming a statistic and we are sure neither would you.
2. We were foolish and our bravery, which crossed into sheer stupidity, is to be blamed too. It is an adventure sport for adults. Kids, definitely as young as 10 are not ready for it. Please don't take them.
3. Ask your operator some questions. Does he know how to administer CPR? How will he handle if the raft overturn. How many crews handle the boat? Insist on at least two. This may up the fees, but your limb and life are precious - aren't they?
4. Check language skills of your guides. Both Niti and I were very proficient in Indonesian as we'd stayed in Jakarta till 2006. We could talk to them in the language. Does your guide understand basic english words? All brochures and websites mention english speaking guides, a short chat will bring out their proficiency.
As a follow up, I would be posting this on as many websites or forums, as will allow me to, so you may end up reading this more than once.
Are we bad for business? No. On the contrary, white water rafting is a reasonably safe adventure sport in Ubud. But it needs US to question the operators more to ensure that they up their game. A sense of insouciance which has crept up needs to be shaken off. And not much is needed for that. Some basic training, better equipment including rafts and life vests and most importantly, better co-ordination between operators.

Hopefully, the social media will spread the word and small changes will bring about great shifts.

We look forward to constructive suggestion. However if you believe that we've overstated or caused unnecessary trouble in paradise, please keep your comments to yourself.

We would also like to acknowledge the help of the staff of KajaNe Mua in seeing us thru' the ordeal since yesterday.
Written December 22, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tallinn, Estonia16 contributions
Feb 2016 • Family
This company seemed poorly managed from the first glance, but that's what you get if you choose the cheap thing. At first we were given life vests and helmets (rather filthy and stinky, to be honest) and then we had to wait about 30 min in a dirty jungle gazebo with local guys staring at us. Then finally another couple arrived with whom we had to share a raft. We went down extremely long and steep stairs (you need to be really strong and fit for that, but the breathtaking view is totally worth it all!) to the river. At first I noticed, that raft was dirty and there was no security rope around the boat to hold on. But oh well...
The raft guide introduced himself as KingKong. This guy seemed to suffer with some kind of hyperactivity disorder, he yelled and shouted constantly, splashing water and trying to scare us with sudden loud noises with his paddle. He tried to be funny, but was offensive and rude. After 15 minutes in the raft with him, I wanted to jump overboard just get away from his cheap lowbrow jokes. I mean, if someone screams "look, monkey peed" just to splash water into your face, it may be entertaining for first couple of times. But on 10th and 20th time not any more… So what should have been exiting experience in breathtaking scenery, turned to endless seeming suffering of hyperactive "monkey" amusing himself with bullying us.
After the ride was finished, we had to climb those steep stairs again, but that was definitely more fun than rafting with KingKong. And then we had to march another kilometer through the village, with our wet swimming clothes on, to take a shower in some extremely dirty and insect-filled rooms on a back of some local warung. I choose not to shower there.
So, rafting on Ayung river is cool, the nature of this place is elating, I highly recommend this activity! But please, choose another company!!!
Written March 6, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Manila, Philippines28 contributions
Jun 2018 • Couples
Ayung River Rafting was one of the highlights of our trip in Bali. We really did enjoy it! However, DO NOT BOOK WITH PAYUNG RAFTING directly. We were charged 1million rupiah per person as compared to the other people in our group who booked from an agent at only 300k Rupiah. We didn’t have much rupiah when we got there and even asked US Dollars from us which makes it more expensive. Regular rafting only costs around $30.
Written June 20, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

38 contributions
May 2018 • Solo
I was rafting with the company. I must say I was very unhappy. There were no. Explanations what so ever. Just... Hop in the bus... We had to walk a very long and steep flight of stairs down which is fine but at least mention it... Then I would have taken my Flip-flops. They said I didn't need to bring them.

My helmet opened when I pulled only a little When I told the guide that the helmet is broken. He just said... No no it's fine.

At least one of the oars broke... So terrible quality there, too.

When we made a stop they sold us beer... Even though it is really an easy river to raft, you should not drink alcohol! I just don't get it!

The guides also don't have any first aid equipment on them. Very easily someone can get a scratch from one of the low Hanging branches (very dangerous by the way) or by stepping onto something in the river.

One guide also pulled one passenger backwards from the boat into the river. And almost kind of flipped him. This is where the water is 20 cm deep. Poor guy had a shock. Could have easily hit his head on something.

I have been riverrafting in many other places. Never have a felt so unsafe.

Also they told us at the end that someone had died the day before on the only steep drop there is... Why would you tell that?

Seriously.. Spend your money on other things!
Written May 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Angel S
28 contributions
Feb 2018
very nice Rafting trips and also cheaper than the other Rafting company.
the Tour guide also friendly. include pick up service.
Written February 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Singapore, Singapore10 contributions
Dec 2017 • Couples
Payung is the cheapest river rafting company for Ayung River. We paid USD25 per person for the tour inclusive of pick up and drop off at Seminyak, lunch and a 2 hour rafting activity. They do sell through many different platforms so you may be paying up to USD10 more depending on where.

I was apprehensive seeing some of the comments about bad lunch, dirty changing rooms and pushy guides but all my fears were unfounded! Our guide was great, not pushy at all about buying drinks, made lots of jokes to keep our spirits and energy level high during the rafting and was helpful enough to volunteer to take photos for my Boyfriend and I. Lunch was also much tastier than expected - rice, chicken, mixed veggies, Mee goreng, crackers, bananas and water. Definitely worth the price we paid!

The river itself was exciting but not thrilling. Definitely suitable for beginners, we honestly didn't do that much work but let Ayung river and the guide do the rest. It was still great fun!

One drawback for older folks or people who get out of breath easily - the route taken by this river rafting company includes massive numbers of steps going down and coming aback up from the river. Should be manageable for most other people but tedious nonetheless.
Written December 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Hakim E
1 contribution
Sep 2017 • Couples
If you go alone to Rayong rafting Bali, they will charge you a sum of 950 000 Roupies = $75
But if you go through one of the adventure agencies that is located all over the center of Ubud it will cost you 350 000 Rp maximum = $25
So be careful if you Go alone. All knowing you're going to have the same services, supplies.
Written September 29, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Bali Payung Rafting Adventure (Melinggih Kelod) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go