Thailand: How My Friend Broke His Back Cliff Diving

Cliff Divers at the Quarry in Chiang Mai Thailand

I pulled up on my moped to the grand canyon proclaimed to be called “The Quarry” in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

I removed my helmet and observed as my friends slowly came to a halt next to me.

The Quarry had giant rock formations surrounding a body of water. I could see why this canyon would attract travelers and locals. It was perfect for cliff diving.


My eye veered off and I admired the enormous cliffs. There were varied heights. If I had to guess, the cliffs ranged from as low as 5 feet to as high as 32 feet…

Thailand’s heat and humidity can be unforgiving so the being in the water was absolutely refreshing. My friends and I all jumped off the smaller sides of the cliff and enjoyed playing in the water.

One of my friends signaled for me to come with him to check out the highest cliff in the Quarry. I nodded my head and eagerly swam to land. I climbed up the side and followed my friend as he trotted to the top of the highest cliff.

We both arrived at the top of the highest cliff. I nervously walked to the edge. My knees began to wobble as I caught a glimpse of the body of water far below my feet.

“Are you going to jump off the cliff?”, my friend whispered behind my head.

I anxiously turned around, smiled, and replied, “I’ll jump off the cliff if you jump.”

At that moment, my friend strolled to the edge of the cliff and jumped…My heart sunk as I stood there in disbelief. It had to be 32 feet my friend had jumped from…

I watched my friend land into the water with a giant splash. My heart raced as I knew it was my turn.

Was I going to jump?

What would my friends think if I didn’t jump?

What would my parents think if I got hurt?

My legs were as tense as a silent room. I took multiple short breathes as I uneasily walked closer to the edge.

Don’t do everything other people do. If your friend jumped off a cliff, would you jump too??

All I could hear is my mother’s words in my head as I peered over the edge of the cliff.

I silenced my automatic thoughts and restlessly counted to three in my head.


My feet pushed off the edge of the cliff and I started my free fall down the canyon. My legs kicked in the air as I fell from the cliff.

I have never experienced anything like this before. I felt so alive!

As my body approached the body of water, I knew immediately to point my toes to break the water tension.

The Quarry in Chiang Mai Thailand

My body was like a pencil as I submerged into the water at an immense speed. My head popped out of the water and gasped for air. I had done it! I swam back to shore to the welcoming of warm applause. My friends all congratulated me for jumping. Another friend even captured a picture of my jump.

I proudly grabbed my things, hopped on my moped and headed back to town.

The Next Day

The following day, I went to a cafe to do some reading. My friend who had jumped off the same cliff as I walked in a couple of hours later wearing a back brace.

“What happened??” I exclaimed.

My friend muttered that he could not sleep the night before because of backache and he went to get it checked out in the emergency room. The doctor told him he had seriously injured his back from cliff jumping. My friend had not pointed his toes and a shock wave of force jolted up his back and received a minor spinal injury upon the impact with the water. He had to wear the back brace for a couple of months.

“It could have been a lot worse.” my friend said with relief.

I was grateful nothing had happened to me. This experience really made me think twice about my decisions going forward.

I do not condone cliff jumping, however, if you or your friends ever go cliff jumping, be sure to point your toes when you fall into the water!

Writer Brandon Leuangpaseuth. A contributor for aTRAVELthing.comContributor: Brandon Leuangpaseuth

Brandon Leuangpaseuth is a writer from San Diego, CA that helps various law firms such as Orent Law Offices, PLC across the country with their public relations. You can connect with him on LinkedIn @bleuangpaseuth.


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