This is part of my series where I kart across all of Thailand, publishing them in the order I visited them. For more about deciding to do this and how I went out and about and got from place A to B you can read my intro article to the series, I Kart Raced Across the Entire Country of Thailand. Also worth checking for some general safety comments for karting if you’re new to it, as safety is not always priority #1 out there…
Name: Chiang Mai X-Centre aka ‘the place you can bungee jump’
Facebook: X Centre Chiang Mai
Cost to get there: These guys send a shuttle into town to pick people up – I was the first person picked up and the first person dropped off – I guess that explains why my ride felt long there but very short back. There was a cute Korean girl, traveling alone after her friends went home, that I was chatting with on the way back and had I more time I would have tried to go for her number but got taken by surprise at how quickly the return took and yeah just messed all that up. In any case, dear readers, call these guys and arrange a time to hop on one of their shuttle vans. Primarily people bungee jump here, and per my ride and their facebook page, there seems to be no shortage of cute girls visiting Chiang Mai who would like to bungee.
Cost: They take credit. 800 baht for 10 minutes. These guys are pretty casual and my video is pretty long though, so you definitely may get more time!
Track: The track is outdoors but is covered, so no GPS data here. The website mentions the karts are ‘ specifically designed to run on the high tech coated surface of our race track.’ but after visiting and chatting I think it’s more of a ‘we built the track and these things are slippery buggers on it!’ The track with these karts is definitely an exercise in control.
Popularity: Most people are coming here to bungee. There are other activities as are shown on their website, and I think karting probably ends up as a “while we’re here” or “while others bungee and we wait for the shuttle to take us back” kind of thing. I would have been karting alone, except one of the guys that picked us up and one of the mechanics would come out and show me how it was done. I did one session with a group of guys there as well, the last one which is on video. Employees are mixed in as well, probably part of what helped it being a pretty long session.
Karts: I’m not sure what to say about these other than that they are gas karts and this really isn’t a grip track so you won’t be doing anything near top speed, and if you are, you’re probably totally blowing a turn or going into a wall soon after.
Timing: No timing, I’m impressed by anyone who can maintain consistent lap times here though!
Overall: I did 3 races here, and it was pretty fun mixing it up with the last group that came in as well as the employees. Those guys are good, it would take a lot of practice for me to get the control they were able to exhibit running this track. They would all visit the drift track at Ferrari World and be thinking wow, so much grip!! As I’m writing this, I actually did those karts at Ferrari World again, just yesterday. The karts at the X-Centre are much more of a challenge to control. For some people these may be too frustrating to enjoy. In the end I prefer a grip track most; I enjoy the Ferrari World drift track because it is a bit more controllable, plus the torque of the electric motors there helps out more when mistakes are made and rpms are low. This track obviously can be mastered and made fast – although outside of the employees I wonder how many people have done it. It is a challenge to be sure and if you’re in town probably one to try out.
Video: If you click the title on the embedded video, it will open up in youtube and you’ll be able to full screen it.
Other tracks in Thailand:
1. Patong Go-Kart Speedway
2. Phuket Kart Speedway (100cc and 125cc 2-strokes)
3. Go Kart Hua Hin
4. Chiang Mai X-Centre Drift Karts
5. Chiangmai Speedkart
6. Samui Go-Kart
7. EasyKart Samui
8. Krabi Kart (420cc and 560cc 4-strokes)
9. EasyKart Pattaya
10. Bira International Circuit (no arrive and drive; rotax rental)
11. Pattaya Kart Speedway
12. MSL Motorsports Land
13. EasyKart Bangkok (RCA)