Awesome List Update
Yes, the rumours are true: I’m awesome. And a two-time bungee jumping champion. That’s right, I’ve crossed the first item off my Awesome List. Full report is coming soon. In the meantime, please enjoy this brief retrospective on another Chiang Mai Adventure.
Rafting on the Mae Taeng
Far and away my favourite adventure in Chiang Mai is rafting on the rapids of the Mae Taeng River. If you’re planning a trip here you should definitely include this on your itinerary. It’s got everything: excitement, speed, camaraderie, a hint of danger; but also moments of peaceful tranquility and communion with nature. It’s really tremendous fun for all.
They gave us the 101 on the rafting lingo and basic survival skills including the safety procedures and how we would all have to shift our collective weight in unison in order to negotiate some of the more demanding sections of the river or dislodge the raft after becoming grounded on the rocks.
The first few kilometres were relatively gentle which allowed the newbies among us (i.e. everyone in our boat) to get acclimated to the river. After that, the water began to quicken and things started to become more exciting. There’s several sections of the river where there are rocks and falls to negotiate. A few thrills and chills. All good hair raising fun but never any serious danger and there’s always plenty of time to catch your breath before the next plunge.
There are also several stretches where the river opens up and runs more smoothly; sometimes for hundreds of metres. In a few of these sections you can jump out of the raft and swim along side (or just float leisurely with the gentle current). Wonderfully refreshing and a great little interlude before things heat up for the next series of falls.
The river becomes more tumultuous again further downstream; there’s a few dicy encounters and a couple of times we even become lodged between narrowly spaced rocks. We have to use our newly acquired boat rocking skills to jostle ourselves free.
Eventually the river calms down again and takes on a completely different character. It’s no longer boisterous and quick tempered but tranquil and serene. We float peacefully for a while, by the wooded banks, the silence broken only by the gentle lapping of the paddle on the water. Finally there is a time to breath deep and soak up the majestic ambiance of the river. Just magic.
In total we covered a distance of about 10 kilometres.
If you’re thinking of taking a rafting trip on the Mae Taeng, the conditions are apparently best from July to March with the river being at its most tumultuous after the heavy rains of September. Under normal conditions there shouldn’t be any serious danger as long as you’re a strong swimmer. I’m not sure how violent the river gets during September though.
I loved my rafting experience and could really get a taste for this sport. I’d like to seek out some other top spots for white water rafting and kayaking. Let me know if you have any tips!
How to be an Adventurer
My good friend Jodi Sagorin just launched the revised edition of her brilliant eBook How to be an Adventurer. It’s jam-packed with fire-lighting awesomeness that will make your feet itch and your heart soar. Definitely go check it out.