There I was, minding my own business, when the man said “ok, now you fly”. That was the start of one of the most wonderful experiences I’ve had to date in Siem Reap.
Flight of the Gibbon. A truly amazing way to see the forests of Angkor, from a place humans aren’t supposed to be. It’s at Ta Keo temple (not that it really matters, as they pick you up from any town location).
We were taken out in their minibus, to the site, deep in the jungle. Immediately you arrive you get two feelings. The remoteness and jungleness of the place, and the thrill and excitement, yet the reassurance seeing all the safety gear arranged in front of you.
Harnesses on, safety gear checked and we were off for a very short drive in the van to the start. A comprehensive safety talk, and we were off. Climbing stairs to our first short zip line. Words don’t describe the experience. Our sky rangers, Baz and Ben, filled us with confidence, and soon it was time. “Sit down, step forward and fly …”
WHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. The 20m disappeared in a heartbeat and Baz called “Feet up” and I landed. My heart was still pounding and the adrenaline rushing as I climbed the spiral stair around the teak tree to the next platform. The whole caboodle has been assembled with two things equally in mind – safety and eco-conservation. No nails were used to fix the platforms or cables. The whole being assembled with tree bands, lovingly kept away from the trunk with wooden blocks. Ben told me they could remove the whole assembly and leave barely a mark. Certainly no holes. The gear is all new and state of the art with safety in mind. At no time were we unclipped from a safety line. It was always doubly safe.
But I won’t bore you with details. You want action, and we got it. From a platform over 30m above the canopy floor, a 70m zip took my breath away. Really flying. Admiring the views of the Kulens from above the forest canopy. Then up again and this time the longest line on this interim course – 120m. WHOO HOOOOOOO. The “HOOO” Lasted a long time. The pulley heated from the friction. I was told to keep my legs down as an air brake. “Feet up” and I landed. Then a double line where two friends could go side by side. “Thump Thump” as they landed. Screams of delight.
Two bridges left and an abseil down. And we were back on earth. My heart slowed. I was on firm ground. We were introduced to a local guide and during the short walk back to the van, shown some of the local trees, used for medicine, flavouring and other purposes. A “glue tree” where the ants take the gum and make man-made-looking plastic tubes to protect their homes. This added a promise of more.
And with the promise of the introduction of gibbons in an environmentally friendly enclosure in a couple of weeks, there will be more to see. The van took us to a restaurant on the banks of Srah Srang, for a really tasty meal (included as part of the tour), and then home again. New friends, a new experience and I WANT MORE!
BUT WAIT … This is only the interim course. From the start of August they unveil the full course … more zip lines, a tree house, higher platforms and a grand super-long line – almost 400m through the trees. CAN’T WAIT!!!!
Short on words this article. High on action. Book now through us There’s a special interim price until the full course is unveiled.
Fly like a gibbon. To use their tag line “Reverse evolution”. WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE