Attracting balloons and balloon crew from all over the world, the Thailand International Hot Air Balloon Festival is one of the more unusual events in the ballooning calendar. Kerry Coate Bond who trained with Adventure Balloons as a commercial balloon pilot back in 2004 has been invited to fly for the organisers for the past 5 years and really enjoys this winter ballooning break. This year he was flying a balloon promoting the Ford Explorer.

The 2013 event was held in the city of Chiang Mai to the north of the country and attracted pilots and balloons from Spain, Malaysia, Belgium, Germany, UK, Croatia & Russia. A long weekend of ballooning over the 7th and 8th of December mixed with a music concert featuring two of Thailand’s biggest pop stars, Palmy and Hugo.

Flying is a mix of tethering and night glows in the evening to entertain the massive crowds and free flying over the local area in the mornings. "Landing opportunities are minimal which makes things interesting at times," says Kerry. "There was the additional issue of ground conditions this December because they had just had their wet season".

From here Kerry will be meeting up with company boss and chief pilot Kim Hull after Christmas in the somewhat colder air of the Tannheim Balloon event in Austria's Tyrol. We will keep you posted.


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