Chiang Mai: South East Asia’s Adventure Capitol
Chiang Mai is one of the most popular destinations in Thailand for good reason, beautiful scenery, historic temples and a vibrant city are just some reasons why millions of tourists visit every year. What makes Chiang Mai really stand out from the crowd however is the amazing range of adventure activities on offer and however you like to get your adrenaline kick, Chiang Mai has something to get the blood pumping. Below are 5 of the best adventure sports in Chiang Mai.
With Doi Pui Suthep looming over the city, Chiang Mai is a mountain bikers paradise. Whether you want to ride solo or go on a guided MTB tour in Chiang Mai there are plenty of trails to keep you occupied. Check out the myriad of downhill trails on Soi Suthep, or ride along narrow mountain peaks with breathtaking views on one of the popular XC trails. For those looking for something a little more gentle, Huay Tung Tao is a serene lake in the foothills of Doi Pui and has a network of easy to navigate trails, great for circuit training!
White Water Rafting
There are several rivers flowing in and around Chiang Mai, the most popular of which for white water rafting is the Mae Taeng river located an hour North of the city. Be prepared for grade2-3+ rapids on a 10km stretch of river that flows down a stunning valley. Numerous operators provide expert guides, first class equipment and guarantee a memorable experience for white water rafting in Chiang Mai.
Ziplining in Chiang Mai first appeared in 2007 and has since become one of the most popular adventure sports in Chiang Mai with at least half a dozen ziplining companies in the area. Guests can experience stunning rainforest, wildlife and the thrills and spills of zipping from platform to platform high among the treetops. Ziplining operators can be found in the Mae Taeang area in the North and Mae Kampong, East of the city on the border with Lampang.
Chiang Mai is blessed with an abundance of mountains and rock climbing is a popular activity for those with a head for heights. Chiang Mai Rock Climbing is the leading operator in the region, offering rock climbing tours an hour East of the city. Whatever your experience, you can enjoy a number of bolted routes and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area knowing you are in safe hands.
There has been an explosion of elephant trekking companies in Chiang Mai over the last few years, some raising concerns about questionable conditions for the animals. Whilst no elephant camp is ideal, the unfortunate circumstances of the world we live in means that having elephants in camps is the only option. There are a number of ethical camps that do not allow rides, shows or anything that will cause stress to these majestic animals, and aim to provide a comfortable home for the elephants to see out the remainder of their lives. We recommend doing a lot of research to find out the most ethical options.