Thailand Ecotourism, a Division of Paddle Asia, is a small, intimate tour company that specializes in unique tours with emphasis on being low impact both environmentally and culturally. Too often traveling is a venture into an industrial business with the focus on profits. Our focus is on showing you the best natural settings and allow you to interact with the locals who want both your help and your friendship.
Making money has never been the driving force behind Thailand Ecotourism. It has always taken the back burner.
Our philosophy has always been to simply run great trips and let the cards fall as they may. So far, so good... but we want to do more now. We want to give back to the communities where we operate and involve more educational experiences to our guests and our friends.
Dave Williams - Founder, Instructor, Safety guy, and Chief Lifestyle Engineer
Dave Williams, a lifelong naturalist, was born in Roswell, New Mexico in 1955. He lived in Florida, Indiana, and Hawaii before moving to Virginia. Feeling the life being drained out of him by the daily grind of a typical 9 to 5 job, Dave volunteered to be laid-off from his lucrative middle management job at a major US corporation and headed for the tropics in 1993. Since then he has lived in Thailand in both Phuket and Krabi.
In his youth, Dave dreamed of living a simple healthy life and spending a maximum amount of time in nature. He took up paddling in 1978 and has since paddled more than half his life. Dave lives to paddle. Thailand Ecotourism (Paddle Asia) is a labor of love for him. Being a nature lover, ecotourism fulfills his desire to work without harming the environment. He also loves teaching fellow nature lovers about nature, environmental concerns and paddling.
He’s paddled some of the most challenging rivers in North America and has a great deal of kayaking experience. He has, of course, paddled extensively throughout Southern Thailand.
Certification in CPR & First Aid
Dave is an Emergency First Response Instructor and a certified rescue technician through the Rescue 3 International organization. View certifications. All of our professional guides are certified in CPR and First Aid through Emergency First Response.
Dave is a lifelong student of natural history, paleontology, ornithology, biology and botany. He has a very broad knowledge of the birds of South East Asia and a good working knowledge of the mangroves and other plants of SE Asia. He’s also interested in all facets of wilderness survival skills, seamanship, and oceanography. Personal fitness and nutrition are a very important part of Dave's life.
Dave is also an avid mountain biker and a huge fan of finding out-of-the-way single tracks in Phang Nga Province. See our sister site, Thai Cycle for more information.
Dave is also the only foreigner in the company. Paddle Asia is the parent 100% Thai owned company and our profits go towards our staff and in supporting the local communities where we operate our programs.
"Dave Williams is a sort of paddling encyclopaedia for Southern Thailand." Action Asia magazine May/June 2009
Walaporn "Moo" Jitprathep - Owner, Director, Tour Guide, cook and fixer-upper
Moo was born and raised in Bangkok. She moved to Phuket over a decade ago. She has a love for life that is beyond words. For some strange reason, she's always happy...Moo, Mook and Dave
Moo and Dave have been married since 1993. They live outside of Phuket Town with daughter Mook ('Pearl' in Thai), granny and their four very pampered dogs.
Moo is a guide, tour leader, cooks at times and helps with trip planning and coordinating. If Moo is on your trip, you'll be taken very good care of. Moo is always smiling for some strange reason.
Moo make our trips run smoothly. She makes friends with everyone everywhere we go. Her philosphy is: making friends is the best way to get things done.
On her days off, Moo likes to go fishing for catfish. She's a country girl at heart.
Run is also our mountain biking guide. Run has been in the paddling and biking industry for over a decade. He has a wonderful personality with a strong desire to make sure that your valuable vaction time is both safe and extremely fun.
Run was born and raised on Ko Yao Noi in Phang Nga Bay.
Run is completely fluent in English and is first aid certified.
Bao runs our guided Khao Sok wildlife trips, kayaking trips, and jungle survival trips. He also runs trips in the bay. Bao is also from Koh Yao Noi and has been in the adventure business as a guide for more than 20 years.
Guest comment from Susan Blake:
"I also want to stress what a "gem" Moo is for the company. She anticipated any need and was always cheerful and willing to help. I really appreciated her energy and sense of humor-made the trip!"
Just wanted to send a short note to say that Jane and I had a fabulous day of kayaking yesterday with our guide, "Tom." 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,
Another guest Comment:
Our guide, Tom, 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 on land.
Jackie Spragg - Khao Sok National Park
Another guest's comment:
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 Tom (Nipon) 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
Guest's comments about Phang Nga Bay from Kathleen Elder:
"I spend the day kayaking with [PaddleAsia] around Phang Nga Bay, north of Phuket. I just wanted someone at Paddle Asia to know what a wonderful day we had, due... [our guide] was fantastic: patient, informative, and very conscience. We enjoyed hearing about how "hong" rooms are made, about the birds and flora or the area, and we mostly appreciated his serene way. He did not make me feel uncomfortable as a beginner paddler and even offered techniques to ease my paddling method. We can't say enough about [our guide] and what a splendid person he is."
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 food. Please pass on our thanks to JJ who was an excellent guide and helped us spot tonnes of wildlife.