I’ve been wanting to try zip-lining for a long time now. Unfortunately, I’m a bit of a chicken when it comes to heights. Well, actually not heights specifically. It’s more the hurtling down to my death from heights that I’m a bit of a chicken about. Still, zip-lining seemed like great fun and something I should try at least once.
With the help and encouragement of the staff members at Cool Asia Travel, I signed up for a day of flying through the Thai jungles with Jungle Flight Chiang Mai. The adventure company boasts the longest and highest zip lines in Thailand! I’m not going to lie and say that I wasn’t anxious and terrified because I was, but the excitement was more than enough to push my fears aside, however temporarily. Besides, go big or go home, right?
I was picked up in Chiang Mai at 8:30 in the morning and driven deeper into the jungle with a group of other adventure-seekers. We were quickly equipped with harnesses, helmets, and other safety equipment once we arrived at the Jungle Flight headquarters an hour later. It helped allay my fears a bit to see all the safety measures that Jungle Flight used (everyone is clipped to trees when waiting on the platforms and only the guides take care of all the harnesses and clips), but I was still a little nervous. We quickly walked further into the jungle to the first platform, and knowing there was no turning back now, I forced myself to give into the adrenaline and forget my fears as I leaped off the platform and swung myself into the air and quite possibly, my own death.
Oh my goodness, INCREDIBLE FUN! After overcoming whatever hesitations I had about zip-lining with that first platform, I was good to go on all the other ones. The aerial views were also stunning, distracting me from the incredible heights in which I found myself swinging across. The Jungle Flight guides were an absolute laugh! You could tell that they all enjoyed their jobs, which made the day all the more fun with their joking, insane aerobatics on the zip-lines, and overall jovial attitude.
Things were going great until we got to the first straight-drop zip-line out of the three. Um, WHAT??? I thought all zip-lines were horizontal! Oh boy, there was truly no turning back at this point and I knew I couldn’t just live up on a tree platform for the rest of my life. I nervously allowed myself to be clipped on and then free fall about 25 meters (about 82 feet) to the platform below, kicking and screaming the whole way down. Just when I thought I was going to crash into the ground, I came to an abrupt and startling stop. Whew! Escaped death, though I was still at a minor risk of suffering from a heart attack from the fright.
For the last straight-drop at the end of the day, where we plunged from a suicidal 40 meters (about 131 feet), I nearly fainted from a self-induced panic attack, much to the horror of the group watching from below. Oh, did I mention that my guide could see how clearly terrified I was and lowered me ever so slowly to the safety of the ground, yet I was still screaming bloody murder? What a sight that must have been!
As scary as the day was, it was also exhilarating and extremely fun. I may not have completely conquered my fears of plummeting to my death from heights (I will NEVER try bungee jumping or sky-diving), but at least I challenged myself to face up to it. Even for just one day. To me, that’s what life is about: facing challenges and overcoming them, one step, on in this case, one swing at a time.
Thank you to my excellent guides at Jungle Flight Chiang Mai for helping me face my fears and giving me a great experience!
Word of advice to those looking for information about the beautiful scenery all around us, you won’t get it. People are here zip-lining through the treetops for the thrills and although you won’t learn much about nature, you can be sure that you will have a heart-pounding adventure!
*Disclaimer: My adventure at Jungle Flight Chiang Mai was sponsored by the company and Cool Asia Travel, but all opinions are an accurate and honest view on my experience there.
A special thanks to Alana Morgan from Paper Planes for providing the in-flight photos from Jungle Flight as I arrived for the day with a dead camera battery. Another lesson learned: Always make sure to charge your camera battery!