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Flight at Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ring

A great way to get a view of Chiangmai Province from the air is to take a hot air balloon ride in the early morning. Imagine it: The balloon lifts from the ground, gracefully and slowly, with the first rays of sunlight. Moving along at wind speed, you become part of the climate of the day. The view of things earthbound is surprisingly detailed. Flying over the wide plains of the Ping River Valley, enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view of mountains and terraced rice paddies, and the many beautiful temples typical to the Chiangmai area.

There could be no better way to see the beauty of Thailand than by a gentle, free-floating balloon flight over the mysterious countryside. It's somewhat of an adventure too! For those who have never flown in a hot air balloon, here's a list of answers to your most common questions:

How do balloons fly ?

Hot air rises. It's that simple. A large, propane fueled burner heats the air inside the envelope hotter than the air outside the envelope. The pilot controls the altitude and rate of ascent by controlling the temperature of the balloon.

What are balloons made of ?

The envelope is made of fabric called rip stop nylon (very lightweight and very strong) with load bearing webbing tapes and stainless steel flying wires that attach the envelope to the basket. The basket is made of rattan/wicker and each one is individually made by hand.

Why do balloon flights take place in the early morning ?

Balloons need cool and stable conditions in order operate safely and the period at sunrise is the most suitable. Thermal activity begins approximately 2 hours after sunrise, when the sun is heating up the earth. The air becomes unstable then.

What kind of clothing should I wear ?

Casual clothes are the most comfortable. A warm sweater or jacket may be needed for early morning, but these can be taken off as the day warms up. Wear comfortable shoes you can stand in for more than one hour. A cap or hat is also recommended.

What should I bring on a balloon trip ?

Snap-shot and video cameras are definitely required if you want to record your special occasion. Binoculars are also recommended. Remember to bring additional film and batteries.

How is a balloon steered ?

Balloons cannot be steered! However, wind directions vary at different altitudes and a pilot has a limited ability to change the flight path by changing altitudes.

If you can't steer a balloon, how do you get back ?

Here we come to the indispensable, real heroes of ballooning the dedicated retrieve team. After assisting in the launch, the retrieve team follows the balloon in the retrieve vehicle, which is often not an easy task. They try to stay in visual and radio contact at all times. Whenever possible, they also seek permission from landowners to use their land as potential landing sites.

Can anyone fly in a balloon ?

People of all ages can fly, but if there are any questions about physical suitability or health limitations, they should be discussed with the balloon operator before booking. It is generally considered unsafe for pregnant women.

Oriental Balloon Flights Co., Ltd.

This full service hot air balloon company is a subsidiary of Netherlands based Rien Jurg Promotions BV. Rien Jurg has more than 15 years experience in ballooning all over the world and employs experienced hot-air balloon pilots of the highest standard.

The Northern Thailand branch offers daily flights during the dry season from 12 October to the beginning of March 2003. Flights take place in the very early morning before the earth heats up. Meeting times vary according to the time of year, but are usually about one hour before sunrise. It is essential to be punctual. In windy or otherwise marginal conditions, the pilot will postpone or cancel the flight. Safety is always the prime consideration, but generally Thailand can boast ideal ballooning weather and flights seldom need to be cancelled.

Passengers can enjoy a cup of coffee while the balloon is being inflated, and if they like, are welcome to help the crew with the inflation under the pilot's supervision. After a one hour flight, the balloon will land wherever the wind happens to take it, and a champagne breakfast will be served at the landing site. The entire adventure takes about four hours, and the pilot rewards passengers with a flight certificate as a remembrance of the trip.

Contact Information

The Oriental Balloon Flights office is a 15 minute drive from the Chiangmai city to the balloon center inside Floraville Housing Estate, Km. 9, Chiangmai-Doisaket Highway (9 Moo 4 Taladkuan, Doi Saket District). Tel: 053-398609. E-mail: info@orientalballoonflights.com. Website: www.orientalballoonflights.com

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