Flight of the Gibbon in Siem Reap is located within the Angkor Archeological Park, the home of 1000 year old ruins of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and many other famous temples. It is the only zip line experience in the world to be held in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site was engineered by zip lining experts and meets stringent world safety standards.
Flight of the Gibbon consists of 10 zip lines that crisscross the canopy of the Cambodian jungle with 21 platform stations and 4 bridges spanning different lengths. This adds up to at least 2 hours of zip lining adventure depending on your group size and level of fitness. We took a little bit longer as we had 5 children in our group, 3 were ours and the other 2 were with the family that was partnered with us for our zip lining experience.
The family we met was from America although they were currently living in Singapore, their kids were the same age as ours. The all very quickly made friends and it was great for them to have some other kids to play with. Alannah and their daughter Ellie have connected on Musical.ly and have been in contact since we have returned home. I love that they are able to make friends through our travels and encourage her to keep in touch.
Included in the price of the experience was a shuttle service from our hotel to the site in the Angkor Archaeological Park by mini bus. It took about 30 mins from Siem Reap. The tour operator will provide you with a pick up time and they will meet you in the foyer of your hotel. You may also pick up other people along the way from other hotels.
If you don’t already have them you’ll need to purchase your park tickets on the way, you’ll also need these when visiting the temples. I wasn’t aware of this but luckily for us I had purchased 3 day (over 1 week) passes on our first visit to the temples. I had expected to spend 3 days visiting temples but as it turned out we covered off what we wanted to see in 2 days. This was very lucky because we would have had to purchase more at $20USD per person just to attend the zip lining experience. This is not something I had budgeted for and interestingly, just researching on Wikitravel, it does state that the entrance cost should be included in the activity cost. The other family with us were required to purchase park tickets so double check that when booking, just to make sure you don’t get caught out.
We were in Cambodia in July and being the wet season it was better to do activities in the morning as there is less chance of rain and it’s cooler, they will tell you this when you are booking. So off we went at 7:45, I’m glad we went early as it was still very hot and the kids would have struggled if it was in the afternoon.
On arrival you have to complete the obligatory form regarding your current medical situation and level of fitness including your weight. This allows the team to ensure they are able to manage any needs you might have and keep you safe at all times.
First up is your bandana and helmet, everyone has to where a bandana under the helmet for obvious reasons. The kids even got to keep them at the end.
Next step is to size you up for your harness. The harnesses feel pretty snug but they need to be for your safety. I didn’t have an issue with it but the kids found it a bit uncomfortable. I think it was more the fact that it felt different to what they are used to and this was their first experience with zip lining. They soon forgot about it when they were out enjoying themselves.
Once we were all harnessed up, we gathered in a group and our guide told us all the rules. They were excellent with kids and are very effective at getting their point across. They also got the kids to repeat the safety rules to them which is a good way to know that they have listened! Especially when they are excited to get out and have fun.
We were lucky enough to see a couple of gibbons on our way out to the course which was wonderful, they looked right at home swinging in the top of the trees. Flight of the Gibbon funded some of the costs towards the successful reintroduction of gibbons into the Archeological Park through their work with the Wildlife Alliance of Cambodia.
Now it was time to head out to the first zip line, we jumped back in the shuttle bus to head out to the first platform. It’s a small hike up the steps to the platform which are built around. The steps are small and its not an overly difficult climb so it’s well worth the effort to get up there.
We arrived at the platform and the kids were starting to get a bit nervous. They were talking it up like kids do but I could tell the nerves had set in. Luckily enough the kids from the other family had zip lined before and were keen to get straight in there. Like all kids mine were not to be outdone so followed suit pretty quickly. That was the last of the nerves we saw for the day and they jumped straight in for the rest of the zip lines.
I have to admit, I haven’t zip lined before and I was a little nervous the first time I let go. I soon relaxed and took in more of my surroundings. Even though the zip lines are located in the Angkor Archeological Park, you wont be able to see the temples from any of the zip lines.
Our guides, Sophal and Tida, were amazing with the kids, they had them doing the ‘look mum no hands’, flapping like birds and pretending to be the Kungfu Panda all mid-flight! They were meticulous with checking their helmets, harnesses and checking and double checking when they were clipped on. They were double clipped to the line with a safety line as well which gave me more confidence that everything would be ok. They were very reassuring considering I was a little nervous about the kids participating.
The longest zip line was just over 300 metres long and at the highest point it was close to 80 metres off the ground. There are 10 zip lines, one of which is a tandem line that they call the honeymoon line. The kids were very excited and paired up quickly with their new friends. They went across first and very much enjoyed laughing at mum and dad coming across together! It was all good fun and we had a few laughs with the tour guides. Their english was very good and they were very knowledgable about the area and spoke a lot about history of the Angkor temples.
When we got to the final platform we had to rappel 50 metres to the ground, this is similar to abseiling but without the wall and with the guides controlling the ropes. That was the last of the excitement for the thrill seeking kids full of adrenaline by now. From here it was about a 10 minute walk back to the where we started from to take off our harnesses. We collected our things from the lockers provided at the beginning.
Our mini bus was waiting there to take us off to a local restaurant for a set lunch nearby. The food was fresh and superb, I highly recommend the salad (I have forgotten the name of it but it was similar to spring blossom salad). All the food was delicious and also included in the price. There was a sweet and sour soup, a chicken dish with nuts, a pork dish and finished off with fresh fruit platters, it really was a delightful meal.
Flight of the Gibbon is located in 4 spots in South East Asia including Siem Reap, Chiang Mai, Bangkok/Pattaya and Koh Prangan. Please click here for up to date prices. In July 2016 when went the cost was $99USD ($130AUD) per person, its a flat rate and no kids price applies. They do however have sales during wet season that when booking a family (2 adults, 2 kids) you will receive 1 child for free. Make sure you check to see if there are any specials on at the time of booking or contact them direct at email@example.com.
We loved zip lining, the video’s say it all. Its a great family friendly activity that people of all ages can enjoy. It was great to see the kids out of their comfort zones and watching them overcome their fears and then enjoying every minute of it. It was great to see them make new friends, embrace the experience with little encouragement from Craig and I. They listened carefully to the instructors and did as they were required. We all had a lovely experience and I highly recommend zip lining to all those that are considering it. I would now like to zip line at all 4 of the different Flight of the Gibbon locations.
Have you been zip lining? Did you take your kids? How was your experience? Let me know in the comments section below. If you have younger children but still want to participate, Tree House Nursery is a great option for childcare, they come highly recommended from one of my readers, click on the link for details.
Sal & Co.
Disclaimer: We had a mutually beneficial arrangement with Flight of the Gibbon, as always our opinion is our own.