Balloon Adventure Thailand, a company offering hot air balloon experiences throughout the country, invited me to experience their Chiang Mai balloon experience on a recent clear and warm morning. An early pick-up at my hotel had me awake by 4:30 am – a time that I never usually see unless I’ve awoken abruptly from a bad dream. But, I was promised that this would all be worth it. It was.
I was picked-up by a representative from the company and taken to a nearby hotel, on the outskirts of Chiang Mai. As I saw the hot air balloon being prepared for my adventure, I was offered coffee, tea and snacks to get a little energy before take off. After roughly 20 minutes of snacking, it was time to hop into the basket that would transport me across the area so I could get a birds-eye view of Chiang Mai and the surrounding area.
Just as the sun began to rise, I lifted off with two colleagues, a representative of the company whose name was Peach – a character in her own right – and the balloon captain. The company trains and hires only certified pilots and takes their customers safety very seriously.
This was obvious. The captain guided us to an elevation of 2000 feet. This made me nervous at first as there was nothing between my body and possibility of plummeting towards the ground but a wicker basket – yikes.