Chiang Mai has a wide variety of adventure sports and activities on offer to suit all tastes, ages and physical abilities. You can find anything from zip lining across the tree tops to rock climbing, mountain trekking, extreme caving, riding across the jungle in a microlight, balloon flights, mountain biking, X-centre biking, white water rafting, kayaking, bungee jumping, karting, swimming, kickboxing, and more. For those of you who are ready to take the adventure plunge, here are some details of the more popular adventure sports available. Trekking Probably the most popular adventure sport for tourists in Chiang Mai and you will find dozens of companies who can arrange a broad range of treks. Organised trekking can usually be booked from your hotel or guesthouse. There are so many mountain landscapes that the choice is endless. Join a multi-day trek to remote Hill Tribe villages at elevations of over 2000m, spending 3-4 days overnighting at different villages; or you can take single day treks to high mountain passes and enjoy the breath-taking views. Apart from your guesthouse, another good place to enquire about treks is at the Thapae Gate and Night Market area of the old city, where many agents and guides are located. Mountain Biking If you are planning to take a ride into Doi Suthep National Park, west of the old city, you will need to rent a bike with gears to tackle the steep slopes. These are often available for rent from your guesthouse, and if not they will tell you where to rent. For the more adventurous, there are a number of tour companies which organise mountain biking adventures in Chiang Mai's nearby National Parks, to suit all ages and abilities. A day's adventure with "Chiang Mai Mountain Biking" will cost you around 1250B, rising to 5350B for a 3-day adventure, which can also include rafting and rock climbing. Details at: www.chiangmaimountainbiking.com White-water rafting and kayaking Chiang Mai has the best facilities for rafting and kayaking in Thailand. The Mae Taeng River offers grade three and four rapids, but take care, as some sections of the river can be very steep and dangerous in the rainy season and are not suitable for beginners. Kayaking on the Mae Taeng River is strictly for experts, but beginners can enjoy a leisurely day in the upper reaches of the Ping River. See separate highlight for more info. There are a number of companies who arrange rafting and kayaking, and the better ones include Siam Rivers, The Peak Chiang Mai Adventures and Chiang Mai Kayaking with further details at www.chiangmaikayaking.com Rock Climbing With its mountainous landscape, and rugged hills, this province is a rock climber's paradise, but unless you are a very experienced climber, it is better that you always go out with trained guides or as part of an organised rock climbing activity tour. If you venture out alone, be aware that in all the national parks - you will need to obtain permission from the park rangers prior to setting out. Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures is a well-established company that cater for beginners through to experts, on an individual, or group basis. Details at: www.thailandclimbing.com Extreme Caving Another activity offered by Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures. They will take you through untouched caves in the heart of the rain forest. An alternative cave tour company is Viator, who organise one-day caving tours, which includes instructions for novices on single rope technique (SRT). Details at www.viator.com Enduro-biking and dirt biking Tour companies cater for beginners who can ride the ATV's or 4-wheeled buggies, while the more experienced can go on an enduro-biking trip. Thai Enduro Tours at www.endurotours.com are one of the better-known outfits. If you want to take off by yourself, you can rent motorbikes at places such as Joe's Bikes, (on Chiang Moi Road Soi/lane 2) and Pop Rentals (just south of Thapae Gate on Kotchasarn Road). Zip Lining and Abseiling Fly across the tree tops with the "Flight of The Gibbon." It takes about three hours, costs 3000B and you also get to see Gibbons in the forest. See separate highlight. If you’d prefer just zip-lining at a lower price but without the Gibbons, Dragon Flight has a zip-line experience in the forest which takes under 2 hours and costs 1,700B. Details at http://dragonflightchiangmai.com/ Another reputable outfit is Peak Adventure Tours which offers abseiling on adventure trips which may include other activities, such as rock climbing and trekking. Details at www.thepeakadventure.com Micro-lighting Take a ride in a microlight, which is half aircraft and half hang glider. Feel the rush of the wind on your face and see the breath-taking scenery way down below. 15 minutes will cost you 1900B and 30 minutes 2900B. Details at www.skyadventures.info Hot air ballooning Located just outside the city, the same Sky Adventures company that offer micro-lighting, also offers trips in hot air balloons. Details on the same website. X-Centring The X-Centre in Chiang Mai is a purpose-built facility that offers Bungy Jumping, Go Karts, Paintball, Motor Cross, off road buggies and xorb (rolling down a hill inside a huge ball). Located near the city, it also offers adventure activities for kids. Details at: www.chiangmai-xcentre.com Muay Thai - kick boxing There are a number of boxing camps scattered around Chiang Mai Province where you learn and improve your kickboxing skills. One reputable school is Lanna Muay Thai, run by a Canadian and several local teachers, and another is Muay Thai Sangha, which has an impressive lineage of teachers and use traditional teaching methods. Both of these offer accommodation.