Back to the Future – Segway in Chiang Mai

 |  November 30, 2011

Had Michael J. Fox been chased by a bunch of jocks all riding Segways in one of the Back to the Future films they wouldn’t have looked out of place at the side of a ‘hover board’. Ok, so you might stand out a bit, but buzzing around Chiang Mai on a Segway (model i2) is a pretty cool and novel experience. In fact, the first thing you’ll say after you’ve given up your machine is, ‘I want one’. At half a million baht you might have to save up a bit first.

Segway, in conjunction with Flight of the Gibbon, is new to Chiang Mai but has been giving tours in Bangkok for some time. It may look a tad crazy driving around on a Segway in busy Thai cities, but actually once you’ve gotten used to the machine it’s fairly easy to control. At the beginning of each tour you’ll learn how to handle your Segway and how it actually works. If, for some reason (and you’ll be ok, it’s not difficult), you can’t ride, then you don’t go. Don’t worry, you won’t be charged.

Initial city tours are 2 hours and cost 2,999 baht inclusive of 15 minutes training. The tour starts at Tha Pae Gate for training and free riding (flying around in circles) and then on to Wat Phra Singh for a temple tour and a drink stop. You will then go to Three Kings Monument for some more free riding and on to Wat Chedi Luang for another temple tour. Then you’ll make your way back to Tha Pae, stop for some more drinks and photos, and that’s your lot.

The reason you can ride around temples on Segways is because they are so quiet, and so unobtrusive. A world of Segways, or even just a few replacing tuk tuk, would be a more pleasant one. If there ever was a ‘green’ machine invented, the Segway ‘zero=emission’ machine is one. A city of Segways is a nice thought, though that won’t happen for a while. We can only hope that the steep hills of Chiang Mai zoo will soon get Segways (they have expressed interest) as it would be a great way to zip around the vast zoo grounds while being kind to the animals and environment. Chiang Mai also has plenty of other ideal Segway locations.

Tour times: 10 a.m.-12, 12 p.m.- 2 p.m., 2 p.m.- 4 p.m., and 4 p.m.- 6 p.m.

Contact their call centre 053 010 660-3 or take a look at their website

Restrictions are: Anyone under 40 kilo or over 113. Pregnant women and ladies with high heels. No drunk – or drinking – drivers.

Future plans include tours of Ratchaphruek, Chiang Mai Zoo and Wiang Khum Kham.