Higher End of Budget, But Definitely Worth It!
One of the more costly activities we’ve been doing in Chiang Mai, has been going to the Grand Canyon Waterpark, along with a couple of other worldschooling families we’ve met here. It’s not expensive as such, when you compare to European standard prices for the same, but when there’s four of you traveling on a limited budget, obviously it’s in the higher end of expenses. Totally worth it though, as you can easily spend the entire day there. Entrance is 550THB/adult and 400THB/kids u. 120cm – which in total for our family of four amounted to 2050THB plus a minor fee for paying by credit card, which you can avoid by paying in cash then. So approx. 56EUR/62USD which really isn’t bad at all for a day of swimming and playing on a huge, inflatable playground on water! And in a gorgeous setting at that 🙂
A side from the slides and giant seesaws, there are also small walls you can climb on, a Ninja Warrior type of obstacle where you have to run on three giant balls (which I didn’t see anyone succeed in doing!) and finally a lot of different inflatable structures to walk around on and jump from….AAAAND then of course, there’s the famous ‘blob-thingy’ – the one where you sit on a launch pad and have people jump down from above, to send you up in the air before you splash down in the water again, more or less elegantly. Mr. Artist did it twice, and on the second one actually hurt himself, because he wasn’t following instructions to keep his arms crossed – he flew up there and was literally wiggling like a squid or something the entire way down, with the result that his arms hit the water flat, which of course must have been anything but pleasant. He was quickly fine again, but was cured of any more adrenaline-hunting for the day.
The park also has two ziplines. Nothing spectacular, but a nice ride for kids or those who aren’t used to bigger ones.
As you can see from the picture above, you are required to wear lifejackets at all times, which on arrival we found a bit strange and worried that it would be annoying and feel limiting in terms of moving around freely. You quickly get used to it though, and after a couple of hours it was actually nice to be able to just lie back and float around, not needing to use any energy on staying above the water! I assure you, climbing up and down those slippery pathways and slides for hours on end is exhausting, so the floating device ends up being a welcome accessory. The park has several life guards on duty as well, all of whom we found to be very attentive and super friendly, helping the kids (and adults for that matter) up and down, jumping on the blob endless times for the visitors’ flying fun and just overall being a nice, reassuring presence.
The Practical Info.
The park has two ‘sides’ two it, infact. A cheaper one, where you can do just swimming and cliff jumping (100THB/pp) and the waterpark-side, where the ziplining also is. Up in a corner, there’s a less wild, smaller area for younger kids only (under 90cm don’t pay for entrance). There’s a restaurant on site that serves reasonably priced thai food or western style food, a bit more pricey. Only draw-back is you’re required to leave all food/drink items at the entrance, you can’t bring anything into the park, not even your own water! They go through your bags at the entrance, and ‘confiscate’ whatever water bottles, biscuits or other you might have taken with you (you get it back when leaving the park). While it’s understandable that they want to encourage consumption at their own facility, I honestly find it over the top to prevent people from bringing even drinking water. We actually had a couple of bottles they didn’t see and I certainly didn’t draw their attention to this. Ha! What a bandit I am.
The park is about half an hour south of Chiang Mai and our transportation was a shared red truck, as so many other times. It’s easy, convenient and affordable. You negotiate the rate when you hire the truck and even if you don’t have a large enough group to fill it up (10-12 persons, depending on the driver) the cost will generally be completely reasonable, considering that you have a private taxi-service for the day, or half-day. I wasn’t the one handling the payment this time, but the cost was around 800THB total, which equals a little over 21EUR/24USD.