It was quite unexpected to be hurled through the twists and turns on a variation of a roller coaster ride through the mountains of Chiang Mai – and it was awesome! This was just one of eight different activities found at the wonderful Pongyang Jungle Coaster and Adventure Park.
I was staying in the region of Mae Rim and as usual, I was using Google Maps on my smartphone to see what attractions existed within my vicinity. If you have not used this functionality on Google Maps yet then I urge you to check it out – you can search by all manner of categories that include ‘restaurants’ too. You can even read other users reviews of the venues.
Pongywan jungle coaster and zip line came up in one such search. We visited the park on a Saturday and it was fairly busy. There are numerous rides and we were initially quoted 300 baht per ride – until I heard a Thai being quoted 150 baht per ride spoken in Thai language. I showed them my Thai driving licence and pricing parity was fortunately applied. OK, so I can kind of accept some two-tier pricing but not at double the price!
The Jungle Coaster ride was lots of fun and you could adjust the speed from the individual cart you were on – it was just a shame it bottlenecked halfway down the ride from those wishing to go slow. By contrast, my son and I wanted to go as fast as we could!
Visiting this park really added to my families visit of Chiang Mai, we may have stayed just three days but we squeezed so much into this time. There is so much to do in this region that we barely scaped the surface. From botanical gardens, waterfalls, swimming in old quarries to jungle coasters – we packed it in and loved every moment.
Chiang Mai in every sense is different to regions like Bangkok, Pattaya and the islands. In some ways, it felt like a hybrid of Thailand and Australia. The area was so clean and the natural vegetation was breathtaking. It is a side to Thailand that everyone should discover at least once.
The biggest observation from our trip – in January – was just how cold it was in the early morning and evenings. It was common to reach chills of 14 degrees, so do bring your jumper and coat!
I can’t wait until my next trip to Chiang Mai.
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