Collision of worlds: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Discover a Thai town abuzz with culture, history and eccentricity.

HOME to 250,000 people, Chiang Mai has more life than a city with 10 times that number of inhabitants.

No longer treated by travellers as a sleepy backwater en route to the hills, the town steeped in local Lanna culture is booming. Travel and leisure has helped Chiang Mai climb up the ranks as one of the world’s top cities.

At the heart of the north-western town ringed by highways and hills stands the old, moat-lined walled city. One ex-rodeo rider resident I know, who roves the area’s maze-like streetscape by bike, says Chiang Mai is so rich that you never exhaust its potential. Read more at the Star..

http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2012/4/28/lifetravel/11146048&sec=lifetravel

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Top gear, no fear: Chiang Mai mountain biking

Perched as close as possible to the peak of the mile-high mountain, we stand on the pedals, lean back, ease off the brakes and whoosh! Reaching speeds of 50 kilometres an hour – that’s 13 metres a second – we hurtle over the rocks, ruts and roots of Doi Pui, the Chiang Mai national park.

All the dirt-bike routes up here are advanced. Some, I’m told, may even be among the world’s hardest. Even veterans sometimes find themselves walking the strenuous bits.

In theory, nobody gets hurt. Our bikes boast spacehopper-suspension and we all wear helmets, body armour and in some cases goggles. Nonetheless, I don’t relish the prospect of tangling with a tree, which could easily happen if I daydream or dither. Read more at Thailand’s Nation newspaper…

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2008/04/19/travel/travel_30071081.php


Rumble in the jungle — whitewater Thailand

It’s hard to have a conversation as we bounce up and down on the red track towards the cabin that looms above the Maetang River, the site of northern Thailand’s fastest, most famous white-water stretch.

But that’s not important, as I have already got to know my rafting companions, a true-blue Aussie couple called Mike and Kath.

While we rattle around, Kath, who has one arm around her husband, apologises for being squeezed so tight against me. The intimacy is nothing compared with what will unfold under pressure, crammed in a dinghy shooting cascades. I have seen strangers lurch from their perches and land with their heads in each other’s laps. And I’ve heard about a girl who was catapulted from an inflatable on this very river downstream to her death. Read more at Thailand’s Nation newspaper…

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2008/03/08/travel/travel_30067546.php


Water war

The world’s wildest water fights can be witnessed in Thailand during Songkran Festival. Everyone’s fair game when the water starts splashing.

Chiang Mai, Songkran festival: This is war. From the shadows of downtown Loi Kroh Street, two bar girls emerge and gleefully empty buckets of icy water over my head.

In a sense, this comes as no surprise. After all, today is the first day of Thailand’s Songkran water festival that officially lasts from April 13-15. In fact, three days before, makeshift stalls had suddenly mushroomed here in Chiang Mai, Songkran’s quasi-spiritual heart, prompting itchy, trigger-happy types to snap up gaily coloured pump-action water rifles. Read more here at the Malaysia Star…

http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2011/4/30/lifetravel/8507260&sec=lifetravel


No paint, no gain – Chiang Mai

A plucky paintballer faces his moment of truth in a Wild North duel.

I just got shot four times. Twice in the back, once in the ribs, once in the shoulder: a big day out by any standards.

No, I am not a victim in a Bangkok drive-by attack. I have just been playing paintball at an extreme sports centre at Mae Rim, on the fringes of Chiang Mai where much of “Rambo IV” was filmed. Read more at The National…

Published on June 7, 2008

www.nationmultimedia.com/2008/06/07/travel/travel_30074945.php


Top gear, no fear

Rocketing down the slopes at Doi Pui in Chiang Mai is fun just know that everyone crashes

In theory, nobody gets hurt. Mountain Biking Chiang Mai

Perched as close as possible to the peak of the mile-high mountain, we stand on the pedals, lean back, ease off the brakes and � whoosh! Reaching speeds of 50 kilometres an hour – that’s 13 metres a second – we hurtle over the rocks, ruts and roots of Doi Pui, the Chiang Mai national park.

All the dirt-bike routes up here are advanced. Some, I’m told, may even be among the world’s hardest. Even veterans sometimes find themselves walking the strenuous bits.

In theory, nobody gets hurt. Our bikes boast spacehopper-suspension and we all wear helmets, body armour and in some cases goggles. Nonetheless, I don’t relish the prospect of tangling with a tree, which could easily happen if I daydream or dither. Read more at The Nation…

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2008/04/19/travel/travel_30071081.php