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Treetop adventure in Chiang Mai
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  1. #1
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    Treetop adventure in Chiang Mai

    This sounds like a very exciting daytrip in Chiang Mai!




    Bangkok Post
    14th March 2008

    Thrills in the treetops

    Treetop Adventure Ecotours is offering an exhilarating opportunity to soar through a rainforest in Chiang Mai in the most exciting way possible. The company will take you high into the canopy using an ingenious series of treehouses, platforms, cables and "sky bridges" to cover a distance of some two kilometres and view life from a perspective previously reserved for a select group of researchers.
    Mimic the way gibbons negotiate their way through the forest by taking a tour called the Flight of the Gibbon. It's a one-day excursion including about two hours in the canopy, one hour trekking along Mae Kompong waterfall plus about one hour for lunch and a visit to the village of Mae Kompong. Add 45 to 60 minutes' travelling time each way.
    The concept of canopy tours originated in the lush rainforests of Costa Rica where adventurous biologists devised a system of cables and platforms that allowed them to study this previously inaccessible ecosystem. It wasn't long before this developed into a breathtaking eco-tourism activity that not only allowed people to enter and experience the upper realm of a rainforest, but raised awareness to the plight and beauty of the world's endangered indigenous forests.
    The Chiang Mai tour has been designed to be easy for all. Participants descend along a downhill network, taking time to linger and relax at special places along the way and share their impressions with each other. Old-growth rainforest has several layers, all of which can be seen on this excursion.
    For those more conservative in their thrill-seeking, Treetop Adventure Ecotours offers a shorter canopy tour, using the final four platforms in the network which are linked by a series of sky bridges.

    The firm donates 10 per cent of its profits to the preservation of gibbons.
    For more details, visit www.treetopasia.com or phone 089-970-5511.



    Nation
    9th February 2008

    How's the air up there? Gliding through the towering forests of Chiang Mai
    on a sling and a prayer


    According to biologists, we share 99 per cent of our DNA with chimpanzees. Yet, by some cruel twist of fate, the genetic material that gives them the power to fly from branch to branch didn't make it to us.
    What lousy luck. Then again, if we could while days away doing something as fun as that, civilisation would probably never have arrived.
    Fortunately, we terrestrial primates still have the chance to swing from tree to tree without a care.
    More than a decade ago, scientists in Central America developed a cable-and-pulley system that allows them to glide through the upper canopy of rainforests inaccessible from the ground. There they can investigate what goes on in the highest branches.
    Of course, this proved far too much fun to keep to themselves, and the tourism industry quickly cottoned on to its potential.
    Though still rare in Asia, an outfit in Laos called The Gibbon Experience set up shop about two years ago. But, getting to their site in the remote north of the country remains challenging for the casual tourist.
    In the meantime, friendly, convenient, and richly forested Northern Thailand has forged ahead. Long famous for its wide array of outdoor adventure sports, Chiang Mai now boasts a thrilling jungle-canopy adventure, and it's an easy, inexpensive day trip - only 45 minutes by road from the centre of town. An outfit called Tree Top Asia operates out of Mae Kompong, offering canopy adventures through old-growth forest, and cheap home stays and trekking through the lush jungle and forest.
    Though Tree Top Asia has named its ride Flight of the Gibbon, there are no actual gibbons in the area. The company chose the name because gibbons are uniquely evolved for travelling through the forest by swinging from branch to branch, and because the owners are involved in gibbon rehabilitation and donate 10 per cent of their profit to centres around the country.
    It's easier than you imagine. After donning a body harness, tour leader Brian from Sacramento gives our group of six "junglenauts" a brief set of pointers. Then, before you can say "me Tarzan", we take turns flying across a ravine to a sturdy platform attached to a massive old tree.
    To slow down we have been taught to use an angular piece of bamboo, pulling down on the cable above us as we approach the platform.
    This can prove a little tricky for the beginner - press down too hard with the bamboo and you might not even make it to the platform.
    The situation is easily remedied by the cheerful staff who haul you in.
    As we progress through the course of 15 stations, it seems as if we're climbing higher and higher into the trees.
    Several times we're obliged to rappel down enormous trees with the aid of friction ropes - this is exhilarating. Gliding above the ravines you get an idea of the immense scale of the vegetation, and then there are the unprecedented views.
    When all is said and swung, the thing that stays with you is your surroundings. Though the excitement of swinging from platform to platform gets the adrenaline pumping, it's the beauty of this high-altitude jungle that has one swooning in appreciation.
    The last couple of stations are among the most impressive - a walk across a swaying wooden bridge, then a dramatic soar along the second-longest cable in the series to the highest tree platform of all, and finally, a long rappel back down.
    Everyone giggles with glee as they remove their helmets and harnesses, but perhaps feel a little melancholy, too. We have literally come down to earth from a very natural high.
    The Gibbon Experience in Laos provides visitors with bed and board in tree houses and the chance to cruise around the canopy all day.
    Aside from my jungle adventure it was interesting to discover the cute village of Mae Kompong. Next time I'll stay a few days to take advantage of the place before it too gets "discovered" and the inevitable elephant camps and five-star hotels put up stakes.
    Furthermore, nothing cool in Thailand ever remains "un-cloned" for long. Before you know it, jungle-canopy adventures will be sprouting up everywhere. For now though, Flight of the Gibbon is truly one of a kind, and one guests and their prime mates won't be able to stop whooping about.
    Oliver Benjamin
    Special to The Nation
    CHIANG MAI

  2. #2
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    Re: Treetop adventure in Chiang Mai

    Yup it is certainly impressive.
    Myself and 2 mates went tree swinging in January but if heights worry you (like me) be prepared to do some tree hugging. But once up there, there is only one way down!

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    Re: Treetop adventure in Chiang Mai

    Hi Betti,
    Just want to express my (and the other forum member's, I'm sure) thanks and gratitude for all your posts and info. especially regarding the Northern Thailand. Keep up the good work.

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    Re: Treetop adventure in Chiang Mai

    we went on this trip today - a Christmas special. I'll try to write a blog soon about it, in the meantime, I can answer questions or give directions (we drove up and got lost!)

    it was pretty amazing though I was very scared and screaming most of the time!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Re: Treetop adventure in Chiang Mai

    Hi Betti
    I went on this trip last September with my brother-in-law we are both in our early 60's, I was verry impressed with the safety side of it.
    As I have been through a working at heights course and my job is T V and Satellite instilation in Wales U K.
    I am going back to Chiang Mai at the end of march and I hope to go on the Flight Of The Gibbon again, they picked us up at the hotel and we had a small luntch then on to the adventure and they took us back to hotel.
    I cannot remember what we paid we had been given some discount vouchers on the night market, it was a verry good day .

    Keith

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    Re: Treetop adventure in Chiang Mai

    Keith, they were offering discount prices earlier this year, now it is up to 2300 baht unless you ask to be picked up at some ungodly early hour (2080 baht then). they still do hotel pickup, but there is NO WAY I sit in a van for 75 minutes - it's like being locked into a box. not to mention carsickness. we hadn't been sure my 105 cc could deal with the uphill section from Huay Kaew so we went all the way there (45 kms), but now we see it is possible to ride all the way up to Mae Kampong for one person on a 100 cc, or 2 people on a 125 cc (about 12 or 15 more kms). the views and the mountains and the blue skies are just amazing. the minute we were dropped off on the way back we sat on the motorbike and went halfway back the mountain to take in the view.

    today it is raining in Chiang Mai. can hardly believe the weather's been nice and warm and absolutely amazing in the past 2 weeks.
    Last edited by Betti; 17-01-10 at 01:54 PM.

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    Re: Treetop adventure in Chiang Mai

    We have one of those tree-adventure parks here too, though I think it must be much cooler to swing around tropical trees than sitting in pines and firs I'd love to go there one day, so thank you for directions and information!
    life is wonderful!

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    Re: Treetop adventure in Chiang Mai

    I think it should be a similar experience to 'bungy jump'. If so, sure, it is so exciting.

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    Re: Treetop adventure in Chiang Mai

    Could any one advise on is this programme conducted daily and how many days in advance I have to booked for it ???

    I will be in Chiang Mai on the 6th-11th June and planning to go on this programme on a weekday.

  10. #10
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    Re: Treetop adventure in Chiang Mai

    they have a group every 15 minutes. it is low season so it should be ok sometime during that week. drop an email and ask them. they are helpful.
    my main concern would be rain. you just never know when it is going to start. and I wouldn't want to be on the top of a tree in the monsoon rain.

    it is also worth checking out their rivals if treetop is full for your selected day:
    http://www.jungle-flight.com/about%20us.html
    they have more and longer wires now, just finished the extension of the course last week or so.

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