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Flight of the Gibbon

Our rating:

This jungle zipline course is one of the area’s most popular activities and it was easy to see why once we got over our fear of "flying" and tried it for ourselves.

We’d been a bit reluctant to try this popular Chiang Mai attraction out since swinging through treetops didn’t really sit well with our vertigo. But as it came recommended by several mates and, apart from anything else, its ads are plastered over every other tuk tuk and outside every tour agent’s office in town, we thought we’d better give the Flight of the Gibbon a go.

See, it is easy. Photo taken in or around Flight of the Gibbon, Chiang Mai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

See, it is easy. Photo: Mark Ord

First mistake: we drove up there ourselves from Chiang Mai. The tiny village of Mae Kompong is not easy to find and we noticed later that their website specifically asks you not to drive yourself there to avoid parking problems and congestion in the village (and to avoid getting lost); their standard package includes pick up and return to your hotel. Having said that the drive through the scenic Mae Kompong valley and through the village itself is stunning if best appreciated from the comfort of their minibus. (It’s around an hour’s drive in all.)

In fact, at the risk of getting side-tracked, the valley was so spectacular we’d go up there anyway even without any ziplines at the end. The wooden houses clinging to the steep sides of the tiny and narrow valley made for one of the most picturesque villages we’ve seen in the area and the pristine, lush forest along the valley was simply beautiful.

Lush setting. Photo taken in or around Flight of the Gibbon, Chiang Mai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Lush setting. Photo: Mark Ord

So, having fingered the emergency Xanax secreted in our pocket and dallied as long as possible over choosing a helmet and harness (and starting to feel distinctly like Mr Bean in the judo class sketch), we realised it was now or never.

At this point we’d have to say the staff were awesome—professional, fun and reassuring (they didn’t even snigger too much)—so we went for it. After an initial outbreak of cold sweat and trembling knees we enjoyed every minute of the course. There are around five kilometres of ziplines and abseiling along a well-designed route in a truly stunning treetop setting. When they say it’s fun for any age or ability, it’s true—even for those with vertigo.

Easy to make a day of it. Photo taken in or around Flight of the Gibbon, Chiang Mai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Easy to make a day of it. Photo: Mark Ord

The current rate is 4,199 baht per person, which seems pricey, but remember it’s a whole day out and includes lunch, a waterfall trek and transfers, as well as the treetop course itself. It’s a great experience, and where safety is concerned, it’s probably best not to skimp on the price either—there have been fatal accidents at other zipline outfits around Chiang Mai.

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Flight of the Gibbon
Mae Kompong village, one hour from Chiang Mai city
T: (053) 010 660-3
Admission: 4,199 baht per person for full day

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Location map for Flight of the Gibbon

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