Flight of the Gibbon and my time in Chiang Mai
I try not to let out a scream as I shoot over the Thai jungle, the wind rushing through the ends of my hair as I focus on when I need to raise my feet for landing.
Flight of the Gibbon is a ziplining course you can take whilst visiting the city, consisting of a trail of ziplines and hanging ropes you must follow. The first thing that struck me was how safe it actually was. Guides followed all the way, instructing us and sorting out our harnesses, ensuring we were attached to the course the entire time so we couldn’t fall.
Ziplining is a fun experience, and this one is about as safe as it could possibly be. Hike gentle dirt tracks, weave around trees and glide from platform to platform – all while taking in your tropical surroundings.
Thoroughly exhausted, the rest of the day was spent back round the pool area, before we got together as a group for our final night together before eight of us (me included) ended our experience. Goodbyes were slightly emotional, but that is always the case.
This morning I laid in, the first time in a week I’ve not had anything to get up for. I started my day with a thai massage, just because I hadn’t tried one yet and figured it was a Thai experience I should have. I changed my shoes for slippers and followed a Thai lady up winding stairs and through small curtained rooms, until she gestured for me to change and lie back on the bed.
I closed my eyes, distracting my mind by listening to the calming music and trying to ignore the sensual atmosphere. I let myself relax as she worked, wincing and gritting my teeth only occasionally as she dug into my very soul. If you opt for a gentler treatment, the pain is minimal and it actually does feel good – you don’t always have to endure great distress…
This left me just enough to time to pop out and briefly explore the Old City of Chiang Mai, with it’s labyrinth of narrow dirt roads, local cafes and scatterings of temples, all within four walls surrounded by a pretty river that separates it from the rest of the town.
If you want temples, massages, thai food and a good base to get out into nature, but you can’t bear the thought of the crazy hustle and bustle of Bangkok, Chiang Mai would be a good one to choose.
Although I am currently on my way to the airport, signalling that my introductory Asian adventure has come to an end, I am grateful for all I’ve done, learned and seen in the short time I’ve been here, and for the great people I’ve met along the way.