chiang mai


A trip to Thailand is packed with opportunities for high-adrenaline fun, and there’s no need to miss out on the white-knuckle adventures just because you’ve got the kids in tow. Some extreme activities in Thailand are suitable for all ages, while others are only for adults, teens and older kids, but younger travelers are sure to get a rush from seeing their parents braving these challenging experiences. So get ready to embrace the fear factor and have some extreme fun in Thailand.

 Fly Like A Gibbon Through the Jungle

Ever seen a gibbon fly? Me neither, but they do swing impressively through the jungle, and you will too on Southeast Asia’s longest zipline, known as The Flight of the Gibbon. This all-ages activity takes place in rainforest around one hour’s drive from Chiang Mai involves a total of 28 zip-lines, totaling 800 meters, with 53 treetop platforms. The experience also includes four abseils, the highest of which is 50 meters, and you can challenge your head for heights on four dizzying sky bridges, and the vertigo-inducing spiral staircases of the ‘Zigzag Way’.

You Got This: The Flight of the Gibbon might be terrifying for anybody with a fear of heights, but it’s a safe activity that’s suitable for kids aged five and up.  Do you really want to wimp out in  front of the kids? Family packages with Treetop Asia offer a four-for-the-price-of-three deal (approximately $125 USD per person before discount), and the eco-tourism company works with jungle conservation projects. 

 Be a Human Slingshot in Pattaya

Wheeeeeee! Being catapulted through the air at 150 kilometers per hour is a thing in Thailand or, more specifically, at the adventure-sports haven that is Pattaya (more about Pattaya bungee jumping later). Flying along like a human Angry Bird is both exhilarating and, let’s face it, freakin’ terrifying, as you experience 4G forces and go from 0-150 kilometers/hour in less than a second. Bigger travelers take note, though: there’s a maximum weight limit of 100 kilograms. Prices from around $35 USD, with discounts for second flights, should you care to repeat the experience.

Mind the Fear Factor: Although there’s no stated minimum age, this one is a bit too hair-raising for younger kids and is best suited to those aged 16 and over. Younger members of the party can look on and laugh as their parents are willingly flung through the air at great speed.

 Learn to Skydive in Style

Thrill-seeking families in Thailand can check into an “extreme aviation” resort: Birds Paradise in the northeastern region of Isan. The center is cultivating new skydivers, but guests can also learn to fly ultralights, scramble over obstacle courses, and take on some pretty tricky mountain biking courses. This is one of very few United States Parachute Association schools in Thailand, and with jumps at a minimum of 12,000 feet, the views are incredible. The temperate climate here is in divers’ favor too, and jumps take place pretty much every day of the year.

Need More Convincing? With a spa, restaurants and comfy lodgings, this is the comfortable way to learn to dive. And for those who just want a one-off experience, tandem dives (no experience necessary) are the way to go.

 Extreme Bungee Jumping in Pattaya

The east-coast beach town of Pattaya is as famous for its extreme sports as it is for its gorgeous beaches, and no adventurous traveler worth their salt will want to come here without taking the highest bungee jump in Thailand. This is one for older teens and parents, but younger kids can admire their parents’ and siblings’ bravery. After going through the necessary safety procedures, daredevils will be lifted to a cage at nearly 60 meters (try to enjoy the view if you can) before leaping into the abyss. Once it’s over, bungee-ers can sip a drink at the bar and watch the whole thing back on a big screen.

Safety First: Before jumping, you’ll have to sign a waiver to state that you don’t have any medical conditions, and that you’re not intoxicated (pre-loading and jumping do not mix). Bigger brave souls will also need to step on the scales (there’s a max limit of 150 kilograms). Prices start around $30 USD with Pattaya Bungy.

 Roll Along the World’s Largest Water Zorbing Course

Get ready to channel your inner hamster! The Rollerball experience in Patong, Phuket, involves two people clambering inside a giant water-filled ball, before they are pushed off the top of a hill to go rolling along a 200-meter custom-built course.  Kids aged six and up can join in with this one, and it’s dizzyingly-good fun. The hilltop location makes for some terrific views, and a bar serving cocktails and soft drinks is a perfect place to admire the vista once you’ve done your rolling for the day (don’t drink and roll, it’s unlikely to end well). The experience costs around $20 USD per person, including local area hotel pickup.

Extreme Planking: Rolling around in a giant ball not extreme enough? Try Rollerball planking: essentially lying on the ground, flat out, while two people roll over you in a ball. Just think of it as a rather unusual massage.

Maybe you will also enjoy our special route for nature-loving families traveling to Thailand.

Spice up your trip with some of Chiang Mai’s hidden secrets!

One of the most popular cities in the north of Thailand, Chiang Mai hosts visitors from all over the globe enjoying the main attractions on the daily. It’s also considered to be one of the popular destinations for families traveling in Thailand. But what hidden treasures does the city have to offer? Here are 4 must-have experiences below!


Baan Kang Wat Artist Village

Relatively new, Baan Kang Wat Artist Village is still largely uncharted by the millions of tourists that pass through Chiang Mai, which makes it the perfect excursion for a break from the outside world. The village is home to local artists and their respective stores, homey pop-up shops, food stands, and of course coffeeshops galore. You’ll find more than just your average market purchases in the village. Quality, handmade items are for sale, and lovers of all things vintage will have a field day here!

You’ll definitely find your share of ex-pats fond of the remote-working life in Baan Kang Wat, as they’re certain to be taking advantage of the village’s many cafés and free WiFi. Consequently, if you’ve come abroad with your own work to do, this is certainly the place! Many of the coffeeshops are themed and catered to specific tastes. For example, the Library Café is littered with floor mats and bookshelves, encouraging a relaxing afternoon curled up with Thai tea and a good book.

If you want to do more than simply relax on your vacation, there are also many a workshop you can enjoy. For instance, you can head to the amazing Pa Cha Na Ceramics Studio, where you can get hands-on experience creating your own pottery. You can also sit back and watch other artists create.


2-Day Traditional Karen Weaving Class

If you’re in Chiang Mai with kids, this is a fabulous opportunity for them to learn a new skill! This experience takes a slightly larger commitment of 2 days. You’ll learn about traditional Karen tribal culture through a unique medium, exploring the local customs and general lifestyle of the people. Weaving is the first thing you’ll notice that distinguishes the Karens from other tribes. The magnificent patterns and colors they use are ones you will learn how to create on this trip. You’ll be picked up from your residence in Chiang Mai and embark on a tour that you can personalize if you choose. The standard 2 day Traditional Karen Weaving Class includes: meals and accommodations, two weaving lessons, a northern Thai cooking class, treks to the jungle waterfalls, and of course, a survey of the local markets. The tour runs at $110 USD per person. It’s suitable for all ages, and the guides there are very attentive.


Monk Chats

Some of the Chiang Mai temples, or wats, have a “Monk Chat” program, which allows your family to sit with a monk one-on-one and ask them anything you want, from their general lifestyle to specific questions about their beliefs and practices. Your family will have the exclusive opportunity of learning from Thai monks personally, and you can incorporate it into the inevitable temple hops your family will find itself on. All you have to do in return is provide them with conversation, so they can work on their English! Some Chiang Mai temples of note which offer this program include Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Suan Dok, and Wat Sisuphan, with some available only in evenings and some going on all day. Wherever you decide to go, make sure to do your research beforehand so you get there at optimal Monk Chat time, and get ready for an incredibly enriching experience.


Warorot Evening Market

The one market you can’t miss, Warorot provides you with endless delectable options! Sadly, our human bodies aren’t capable of consuming the amount you would need to sample everything in one sitting, but you and your family can definitely make a dent in the various stands and stalls. Meat lovers will enjoy the sai ua (Chiang Mai sausage) and nam prik ong (chili-tomato pork dip) while vegetarians might want to go for some kaeng khanun (jackfruit curry). If you visit the market during the daytime, it may mimic the other various markets situated around Chiang Mai, what with its streets full of dried fruit, vegetables, jewelry, silks, handicrafts, goods and wares that could occupy you for hours. However, the prices you’ll encounter here are better than those of other local markets, and the goods are of a higher quality. Give yourself ample time to explore all the corridors and roads, so you can satisfy your pockets as well as your stomachs!

You can also take a look at the lesser-known and hidden spots for families traveling in Bangkok.

Need more ideas regarding how to travel on a budget with your family in Asia? Check out my eBook available for download on Amazon here!