Thailand’s Flight Of The Gibbon Zip Line is amazing
Last year, a Thai friend persuaded me to take the Flight of the Gibbon zip line tour near Chonburi, Thailand. I’d heard about the same tour in Chiang Mai and seen it on Amazing Race Asia, so had thought about going but, as it’s not cheap and I am not hugely happy with heights and didn’t know what to expect, had given it a miss.
However, Thais are persuasive (they nag a lot) and my friend eventually got me to go. We took the Chonburi Flight of the Gibbon Tour as it is just over an hour from Bangkok, where I live, so convenient , Let me tell you, it was also one of the best experiences I have ever had, and so well worth the money.
Cost of the Flight of the Gibbon Tour – At 2,300 baht (approximately $70), it’s not a cheap tour. But, for what’s included and the sheer fun of the tour, it is worth every baht.
How to Book the Flight of the Gibbon Tour – The Flight of the Gibbons company (Tree Top Adventures) has an excellent website (see link below). Not only do they have all the information you could possibly want about the tour and what to expect, you can also book the tour online, then just pay on the day of the tour.
My friend though is a little nervous and sent a motorcycle taxi driver to Tree Top Adventures offices with our payment, so we had booked and paid by the time we set off to meet the van the day of the tour.
Pick Up For the Flight of the Gibbon Tour – Like most tours in Thailand, pick up by van is included in the price of the tour.
For the Chonburi tour, pick up was easy with a choice of two locations. We could meet the van at 6am in Khao San Road, or have a later pick up on Sukhumvit at 6:30 am. As my friend lives close to the Sukhumvit pick up point, we chose the latter.
What To Expect on the Tour – If you have never done a zip line tour, like I hadn’t, you don’t know what to expect. I had an advantage in that I’d seen the Flight of the Gibbon tour featured on The Amazing Race Asia TV show, so had a vague idea what we would be doing. But, even seeing it on TV didn’t prepare me for the actual event.
On arrival at the tour start, we were given drinks and snacks and told a little bit about what the day would entail. An instructor explained about the equipment we would be wearing, mentioned different safety issues and gave us time to ask any questions we might have. Then we were off.
At the beginning of the zip line, all our equipment was handed out (helmets, harnesses etc) and then, a couple of people at a time, we went up to the first high platform to be connected to the zip line. (And don’t worry, before you start, you need to know they’ve been doing this for more than 20 years and have never had an accident).
The first person was hooked up to the zip line, given a little push, and she was off. It is hard to even explain the height that you are at (the wooden platform is very high up and you are completely surrounded by trees and rain forest) and the speed she was zipping off at looked like the scariest thing ever.
But….not much time to prepare as I was person number three.
Onto the zip line, a quick hesitation and I too went zipping down the zip line with what felt like all my breath left behind on the platform. But, within just a few seconds, you calm down and it is absolutely magical.
The peace and quiet with just the sound of the line, the bird calls, the fresh air and the speed you’re traveling – it’s simply amazing.
For me, the first platform came up far too fast and I couldn’t wait for the next one. At each platform, there’s an instructor who is ready to catch you, steady you and pull you in, then make sure you are completely ready for the next go.
All in all, on the Chonburi Flight of the Gibbon, there are 24 platforms. What I thought was a quick zip line tour took almost three hours but, I could have spent double the time and not been unhappy.
Once everyone is finished and back to the group, a delicious Thai lunch is served at their restaurant next to a pretty lake.
After lunch, there is a trek into the jungle to see some of the conservation work they are doing and to experience what it is really like that far away from everywhere.
At 2 pm, we were back on the van and heading back to Bangkok, with final drop off back at a sky train stop at around 3:45pm.
What To Take – You really don’t need much as everything is included. Just make sure you are wearing comfortable clothing (nothing too thick as the Thai jungle is a steaming, excessively hot place) and shoes that are fastened securely to your feet (ie: no flip flops, as you don’t want to lose them half way down the zip line).
I would also highly recommend mosquito repellent as, even during the day, you can get bitten. We also took moist towelettes just to wipe off our hands and faces now and again as, like I said, it’s sticky.
Flight of the Gibbon not only has a Chonburi tour, you can also take a similar tour in Chiang Mai and Pattaya.
And don’t miss watching a quick video from a couple of British guys that went on Flight of the Gibbon below. That way you will know what to expect.