Flight of the Gibbon: Zipline Through the Jungle in Thailand
If you have ever visited Chiang Mai, you’ve probably seen the brochures and banners promoting the zipline company Flight of the Gibbon around Old City, on tuk-tuks and in Cafes. We knew we needed to give this popular tourist activity a try, and we were not disappointed. We were pretty excited to fly through the jungle and spend a day eye-to-eye with the treetops of Thailand.
Flight of the Gibbon picked us up from our apartment and drove us in a van with other adventurers about 45 minutes to the zipline site. When we arrived at the main building, there was a little bit of confusion as we, the only English speakers, were lost in a sea of Thai, but they seem to have everything pretty well organized. After fitting everyone with harnesses and helmets, we took another five minute van ride to our starting point and walked out to the first platform.
The ziplines vary in length, but they are all great fun. The longest is 800 meters and is the longest in Asia, according to their website. The course includes 33 platforms, three hanging bridges and two rappel descents. Towards the end, they mix it up by sending you down a double line with a partner and hooking the line to your back for a superman-style flight ending in a giant rope net. You can hardly see the ground at most points because you are swallowed by the forest’s canopy.
As the name implies, you will in fact see gibbons, although there are not many left in the rainforests of Thailand. This provided a unique opportunity to see a precious animal indigenous to the region and, as you may not have guessed, it was a pretty educational tour.
We had some short waits on the platforms when people piled up, but this provides a nice moment to take in the view, look for animals or observe the different trees and plants. Our guide filled the gaps between ziplines by educating us about local culture and pointing out the tea and coffee plants they farm beside the paths. He also explained the many practical uses of bamboo and how to get at the juicy bamboo worm (although we left that treat for another time).
Watch our video of the experience: Flight of the Gibbon
Our morning ended with a 30 meter rappel back down to the ground where complimentary herbal tea awaited us and an amazing 150-year-old tree provided a great photo op.
Lunch was served at a restaurant across the street from the main building. Food is included in the trip, but you’ll need to pay for any drinks. We were seated right by the creek and enjoyed some traditional music while we ate.
After about 30 minutes for lunch, we got back in our vans and drove up the curviest, most narrow road we have seen in Thailand thus far to the Maekampang waterfall. With the 30 minutes we had there to explore, we made it up the steep stairs to the left of the falls a good ways, but never saw the top. It was a fun short hike, although sometimes slippery, and we would love to return to see where it leads.
We left straight from there to return to Chiang Mai. After a full day of experiencing the Thai wilderness we were tired and happy, and we can see why Flight of the Gibbon is such a popular attraction.
- Visit the Flight of the Gibbon website for more info and to book your trip
- Wear longer shorts or pants to avoid an uncomfortable harness situation
- Remember to wear tight fitting shoes or you might lose them!
- You won’t want to carry anything during your ride (and you won’t be allowed to carry much) so opt for a camera you can put in your pocket or bring a phone to take photos. They have GoPro cameras and helmet mounts available for rent.
- Don’t forget breakfast, there won’t be any food available once you leave Chiang Mai. The main building has some cold drinks including coffee you can grab when you get there.
Poplar Travels participated in this activity as a guest of Flight of the Gibbon. Our opinion is always our own.