The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Adventurous Journey

SUP Hire Thailand can provide Bronze, Silver or Gold level Adventurous Journeys by SUP, along with Bronze Level hikes and Bronze / Silver level Adventurous Journeys by bicycle in stunning rural Kanchanaburi.

Stand up paddleboarding you’ll be far up river in some breath-taking surroundings

We offer bespoke Bronze, Silver and Gold Award Trips to international students from Thailand and the rest of the world. Due to demand schools should try to contact us at least six months before to book a date. For all Duke of Edinburgh Award journeys, you will have a minimum of one SUP instructor for every seven participants ie 1:7, with a maximum group size of 8 (including an observing teacher). This meets International Award requirements. These ‘navigation groups’ work as a team and share responsibilities as required by The Award. We’ll be supplying each team with a maps and a compass, and a two way radio, along with training, so that you can navigate and explore the beautiful and peaceful River Kwai Yai and rural Kanchanaburi. It’s your journey. You’ll be making the majority of the decisions on the qualifying journeys.

We can set up both practice and actual qualifying adventurous journeys (AJs) at Bronze, Silver or Gold level for groups of size 4 – 7. Please contact us for further information and to discuss which option best suits you. The Adventurous Journey experiences include secure and safe accommodation and an instructor who will make you aware of potential hazards to avoid on the routes. Our DoE adventurous journeys offer a high quality experience and, due to our proximity to Bangkok and the airports, excellent value for money.


Our instructors are there to instruct on stand up paddling, cycling and follow hike groups to ensure safety. We help you to learn on the practice, but we expect you to lead us on the qualifying journey (though the instructor will be there with you on the water and on the hike/cycle routes). Our instructors are highly trained to international standards in all of the environments we operate.

Our Chief Instructor has UK Qualified Teacher Status and is D of E AJ Supervisor and Assessor trained so can act as AJ Supervisor on the trip if the school desires this. If schools require an Assessor, then this can be also be arranged.

Here is a taste of what you can expect – videos of one of our recent expeditions (this was a Gold Award):

Testimonials from some of the amazing International Schools we have worked with

Hugh Pollock (Bangkok Prep IA Coordinator). June 2021

“Bangkok Prep chose SUP Hire Thailand because of its outstanding reputation and it did not disappoint. Troy is a fantastic trip leader who is very knowledgeable and professional. All his instructors are well trained and very helpful.  Paddling down the river in beautiful surroundings in Kanchanaburi will take your breath away. The students found the experience extremely rewarding. They all successfully completed their bronze award. I would not hesitate in recommending SUP Hire Thailand.”

David Whitsed (St. Andrews, 107, Bangkok). January, 2020

“Troy and his team are very professional and worked closely with us right from the start. Their flexibility allowed us to create the programme we wanted while maintaining high quality. I would not hesitate in recommending SUP Hire (Thailand) to other schools.”

Tim Urwin (Head of Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Bromsgrove International School, Bangkok). January, 2019

“SUP Hire Thailand could not have been more flexible and accommodating. They tailored our needs in terms of where we camped and supplied us with extras to help us – eggs, bread, milk, ice and wood for camp-fires. Instructors gave students lots of encouragement and boards and equipment were in excellent condition. SUP Hire Thailand’s Support staff were on hand on the riverside at frequent checkpoints to ensure safety at all times, there was full vehicle support and qualified doctors were on hand also. Communication between staff on land and instructors on the river was excellent. SUP Hire Thailand were happy to develop the expedition from what was learned on the practice journey; they then provided necessary changes for example tents being available for students to change in upon exiting the river”

Kris Meadows (Head of Year Bangkok Patana). November 2018

“From start to finish the dealings with Troy and everyone at SUP Hire Thailand were outstanding. Taking a group of nearly 200 up to Kanchanaburi last November we had a number of very specific demands as to what we required. Troy was both flexible and knowledgeable in meeting our needs perfectly. The attention to detail was first class, as was the delivery of the range of activities (team building exercises, stand up paddleboarding, cycling and walking). Students were challenged and pushed in the right amount and this was thanks to Troy and his team. I recommend the team at SUP Hire Thailand without reservation.”

Alistair Marshall (Head of Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award at Harrow International School Bangkok). September, 2018

“We could not have been happier with Troy and Hojeong at SUP Hire (Thailand), who organised our Gold DoE International Award adventurous journey in September 2018. The attention to detail that was given to every part of the expedition was second to none; from the route planning and accommodation through to quality of instruction of our students on the water. Troy and Hojeong are meticulous about safety and this was evident from the first stages of planning right through to the last meal of the expedition. Our students loved their Gold Expedition and we will most certainly continue to use this excellent service provider.”

Richard Noble (Teacher at Harrow International School Bangkok). July, 2018
“I know the Director of the business through his work at our school, 2016 through 2018, on school expeditions and his teaching of sailing. He had significant involvement with the Year 9 expeditions at our school and I would say that he has a thorough understanding of how to conduct a challenging, fun, worthwhile and above all safe experience for international school students with regard to the Duke of Edinburgh International Award. I would unhesitatingly recommend schools use SUP Hire (Thailand) for this type of adventurous journey.”

Matthew Farthing  (Principal Nord Anglia International School Dubai). June, 2018

“I have known the Director of the business since 2005 when he joined Harrow International School Beijing when I was Head Master there. At Harrow Beijing Troy served as Head of Mathematics achieving great academic results throughout, but in addition to this, Troy led the charge for outdoor pursuits at the School. After taking a first end of year expedition into the mountains outside Beijing he helped to plan the systematic scheduling of outdoor activities for all year groups. As well as leading trekking and camping, Troy developed a significant relationship with a sailing centre to include kayaking, windsurfing, kitesurfing and sailing. In all that he does Troy ensures a positive experience for students and staff alike always putting health and safety in first place and modelling a meticulous approach to planning. His follow up is equally impressive as he uses reflection and review to continually upgrade and to improve.”

FAQs ?

What is the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Adventurous Journey?

Here is a link to a site with a lot of detail

I have never done SUP. Will this cause me a problem?

Our Duke of Edinburgh International Award adventurous journeys are designed to challenge you and provide you with a huge sense of achievement. From your bronze D of E practice journey all the way through to your gold D of E qualifier, we offer you thorough preparation to help you achieve your goals. Never paddled, no problem – learning safely is a part of the journey !

What if something goes wrong with the board or someone falls ill?

An instructor will be along with you, so although you’ll be making all the navigation and rest decisions, the instructor is there to advise you on technique, ensuring absolute safety and dealing with the logistics of getting someone to a Doctor if there is a problem.

Can I do another activity as well as SUP?

For the Gold and Silver Awards, we can arrange AJs which are 50% hike and 50% SUP. This MUST be pre-arranged though – you are not allowed to switch modes of transport at will.

What will I need to carry with me on the board?

Your team will need to carry sufficient (non-perishable) food for the duration of the trip (we supply you with water and other agreed perishables at each overnight stop). You will also need a stove and cooking equipment, plate and utensils. You’ll need to carry your personal stuff and sufficient clothing for the trip (we’ll send you a comprehensive kit list in advance).

How do I carry stuff on a Stand Up Paddleboard?

You need to bring with you two ‘Dry Bags’, one 15L for things you might need when on the river and the other, 30-40L for everything else. 55 Litres is ample space. These bags then bungee to the front part of the board.

Where will I be staying on the trip?

Your accommodation will vary. Some nights you might be in dormitories , others in tents or even glamping. We might even ask you to construct your own overnight accommodation. It depends on the time of year and the level of the journey.

What about bedding?

You can bring everything to Kanchanaburi in one rucksack or drybags for taking on the water (we have dry bags for hire if you need). You may also need your own blanket / light duvet / sleeping bag for the night-time and a pillow. Let us know if you’d like to hire mats, bags, tents or stoves.

We are really not sure about the ‘aim’ of our journey?

Stuck for aims for your adventurous journey? We can also advise you on this. Teachers can contact us for ideas.

What can I hope to achieve from an Adventurous Journey by SUP?

  • problem solve and make decisions together
  • make new friends
  • paddle at your own pace and stop when you need to
  • challenge yourself physically to the level you want
  • take responsibility for yourself and at times your team through rotation of leadership
  • overcome the challenge of the journey through determination
  • get organised and communicate effectively

How will I navigate?

We will issue you with a map and a compass, along with training. If you are hiking with our company, we will give you access to a GPS enabled device as a back up & and train you how to use a 2 way radio to report in your position. 

What kind of environment can I expect?

Here is a taste of what you can expect for a journey by SUP

Below is a snapshot from the air of our Bronze Hike practice route: