Off-Road Buggies & X-treme Activities!
If you want to see parts of the beautiful scenery and landscapes outside of Chiang Mai city, then this is the way to do it. You will get to see and enjoy some spectacular scenery and views and experience parts of the rainforest inaccessible by most other means of transport.
You can drive or ride as a passenger in one of the all-terrain buggies, lead by an experienced guide who will take you high into the jungle-covered mountains of Chiang Mai province. Driving or riding these off-road buggies through the jungle in itself is great fun, but the bonus for many people is that you get to see scenery that few others get to enjoy.
As well as the side-by-side-buggies for two, there are ATV's ranging from 70cc up to 500cc, with single and double-seat options, you will receive the necessary instruction before you set off with your guide.
There are two Treks, the 'advanced' buggy trek which takes around two hours and the 'shorter' buggy tour, which is around one and a half hours. This shorter tour takes you through jungle trails and banana plantations along with the lower parts of the densely forested hills.
This tour goes through junge trails into the mountains where the hill-tribe people live. The terrain can be challenging in places and includes some steep inclines, water crossings and narrow hill-side tracks.
This was the tour that we took. After much research and 'trying out' of the various places that offer this experience we opted for the professionally run X-Centre, a New Zealand managed venue that is also fully insured, to include in our list of 'Things-To-Do.
We drove along the Samoeng Mae Rim Loop, which is around 40km / 25 miles drive, stopping along the way to enjoy some of the most spectacular views, including the well-known Samoeng Forest viewpoint which is almost at the half-way point of around 18km / 11 miles from the resort, to reach out destination, which was the X-Centre, on the Mae Rim Loop itself. The journey took us around 40 minutes which included some stops along the way to take photos.
Upon arrival, we were given jumpsuits to wear over our own clothes and helmet. The instructions were very easy to grasp as the buggies have automatic gears and we were both 'drivers'.
We set off, following our guide, who led us along the road for about 15 minutes, before turning off to a small concrete road leading to up to a Hmong village. This gave us time to get used to the Buggy.
Then the real off road began, climbing up rutted tracks through the forest to the top of a mountain with breathtaking views, where we stopped for a break and change of driver.
The driving downhill was more testing and exciting, making the most of the capabilities of the wide soft tires and independent suspension. It was fantastic fun!
The drive was about 26km/16miles long, ascending 2,050 feet
A fairly short drive atthe end of the tour led us through a small village on a tarmac type road took us back to the X-Centre where we were given shower facilities and a towel.
We then relaxed with a good meal in the restaurant.
The driving was exciting, and really good fun and was of a level that we found was not too testing. Would we do it again? Absolutely!
There was a real feeling of being off the beaten track, experiencing the forest, and wonderful views. We would recommend that you also take along sunglasses (the buggy has no 'wind-screen') as we found that wearing sunglasses were ideal. Don't forget to take your camera and if you need it, hat and sunscreen.
Cost :- 7,000 THB/ Buggy for the Advanced Tour.
They also offer;
Indoor Drift karts (ideal for younger families
Mini-Extreme for small adventures
and for the more adventurous, brave sould they also offer Bungee jumping!