First off, exciting news! I’m so honoured to have had some of my travel tips featured on GoEuro! Check out tips for planning your Europe trip here (including tips on booking flights, planning itineraries, budgeting tips and transport hacks). You can also see my tips in How to Plan a Europe Trip in 10 Easy Steps, and How to Find Cheap Flights to Europe. Many of the tips are applicable not just to Europe but other trips in general, and I always enjoy reading other people’s travel tips :).
Back to ziplining in Chiang Mai – there’s an abundance of outdoor adventures to be had in Chiang Mai. We went on a 2-day trek in Doi Inthanon (including a village homestay), and we also considered white water rafting and rock climbing, but eventually settled on ziplining.
Just enjoy the ride
It wasn’t my first time ziplining, so I more or less knew what to expect, but I was impressed by how well-organised everything was. It practically ran like clockwork. Some members of our group were, understandably, quite nervous at the start and the rangers were incredibly patient with them. They did all the work for us – clipping and unclipping the carabiners and catching us at the end of each zipline.
After a while, they started spicing up the rides. After all, ziplining does get repetitive and (dare I say it?) somewhat boring after the first few ziplines. So they came up with creative ways to keep it interesting for us. I won’t reveal their secrets, but suffice it to say that I was kept sufficiently entertained!
My favourite one was the “Superman Jump” – there’s no rope tension at the beginning, so it’s quite literally a leap of faith. You jump off the platform and launch yourself (Superman-style) at a big net, and then once you hit the net, you have to climb to the platform where a ranger is waiting. Fun stuff!
The final station was in a banyan tree, where they lowered us to the ground.
Did you know that banyan trees are eventually killed by their own roots? Their aerial prop roots surround the main trunk, eventually killing it from the considerable pressure they apply on it. In such a dead tree, the trunk rots away and it eventually ends up with a hollow core. In this particular tree, you can still see the main trunk – it’s not completely enveloped by the roots yet. What a strange species, right?! A tree that slowly kills itself is just totally bizarre to me.
What about the gibbons?
It’s called Flight of the Gibbon for a reason – there are actually gibbons living in this forest, and you can hear them calling at times. They’ve learned to keep their distance from these weird ziplining creatures though, I think. The rangers are very knowledgeable about them and can identify individual gibbons.
A hungry man is an angry man
The tour includes lunch, although you can’t choose the food you get. It was a simple Thai meal with rice and a couple of meat and vegetable dishes, including stir-fried morning glory (known as kang kong in Singapore) and papaya salad. I love both dishes, so no complaints from me!
There was also a live band playing traditional music while we ate. They weren’t bad, but I felt sorry for them because nobody was paying them any attention.
Yet another waterfall?
The tour includes a visit to a nearby waterfall. By this time, however, we had practically lost count of the number of waterfalls we’d seen in the last few days (during our Doi Inthanon trek), so we focused on trying to find the most Instagram-worthy shot.
I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of waterfalls, but they definitely lose some magic when you see so many in such a short period.
Was it worth it?
The tour costs THB3,999 (SGD160) per person. The ziplining part is about two hours, and you’re back in your hotel by mid-afternoon.
Personally, I think it was good fun, but I wouldn’t do it again at that price. Ziplining gets progressively less thrilling for me the more I do it. It’s the same with roller coasters, which is why I no longer actively seek out theme parks when I travel. This is in stark contrast to diving, for example, or even obstacle courses like the UK’s Aerial Extreme. Perhaps it’s because you actually have to do quite a bit of work when diving or doing obstacle courses, instead of being passively taken along for the ride.
This gives a whole new meaning to the old saying “no pain, no gain”!
- Wear zip pockets if you want to bring a camera.
- You can also rent a GoPro from them.
- Put on some bug spray.
Have you ever gone ziplining? How did you like it?