Once a hidden spot, the Grand Canyon’s popularity is rapidly increasing between travellers and adventure seekers. Getting there might bit difficult if like us, you’re not comfortable riding a scooter without any prior experience or training – I’ve heard enough horror stories to put me off. Fortunately, we hired out a taxi/driver for the day from our hostel and split the cost (600 THB) between nine girls who we skilfully persuaded, heh. Once getting there, you’ll find it’s split into two areas where you pay an entrance fee of 50 THB per park. The second area driving in is the most popular, since this is where you are allowed to cliff jump. But with the lure of having the whole beach to ourselves, we made camp in the first section, intending to move on later in the day. As someone who’s not a terribly strong swimmer, it was terrifying first going into the water. Where the shoreline met the water, there was a small section of shallow water before suddenly dropping into watery darkness. Guess I now understood how people can be afraid of water. Along with this, the natural buoyancy of sea water was gone but the water itself was clean and refreshing enough that this was soon forgotten. Rafts, paddle boats and rubber rings were provided free of charge, which definitely helped in overcoming the initial terror and getting further out into the huge expanse of water! It was amazing having the whole area to ourselves (most people opted for the second spot) and just as we were getting ready to relocate, one of the girls got into a disagreement with the driver and we had to quickly collect our belongings or risk being stranded in the middle of nowhere. I’d like to imagine I would have taken the jump off a lower level, but probably would have been too scared so leaving early may have been for the best anyways.
Toilets are nearby, with a restaurant and bar in the second area, although I’m not too sure on the prices. If you’d like to get there on your own, this blog seems to have some great directions. Alternatively, make like us and ask your hostel/hotel to help you hire out a car and driver -invite more people to lower the costs and make new friends, win-win! As one of my favourite days in Chiang Mai, the Grand Canyon is spectacular in real life, making for a great place to get the adrenaline pumping and relax afterwards. Just don’t irritate the driver.