Last year I did a lovely rafting trip on the Ayung River near Ubud. More recently I did the Telaga Waja River tour with a friend from Australia and it was just as good if not better.
The differences are as follows:
Ayung River Ubud
- Easy 15 minute drive from town
- More expensive (R600,000 per person)
- Very relaxed and pleasant trip with a few fun bits of 'white water'
- A hard climb down and then back up again at the beginning and end
- Pretty and lush jungle and ravine plus rock carvings
Telaga Waja River Sideman
- About an hour from Ubud
- Slightly cheaper at R300,000 per person
- Hardly any stairs at the beginning and end
- A fun, more adrenalin-filled adventure with lots of white water
- A gorgeous landscape of forest, valley and rice fields
The white water part of things is around levels 2-4. It was a lot of fun, plus a bit of adrenaline but I didn't feel in danger at any time. There were quite a few places where you had to sort of throw yourself backwards. The dip shown on he image here was probably the most intense. Since the water moves quite swiftly there isn't much in the way of paddling required. In wet season the water is more rapid and the tour is likely a bit faster.
Like in Ubud there are a number of rafting companies - just check google maps. We used Bukit Cili Rafting and they were excellent. You are on the river for 2.5 hours including a stop for a drink (take cash for this) and one place where you have to walk over some rocks. Lunch is included in the price, and if you want photos taken of you and your group you need to pay an extra R200,000 at the start.
Bring: Your swimmers, flip-flops or water shoes, a rash vest or t-shirt, lots of sunscreen, something to change into at the end, and a plastic bag for your wet swimmers. This time I needed my sunglasses as this tour is more open. Phones can be kept in your guide's waterproof bag, but I recommend taking just one phone per group.
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