Flying with the Gibbons

Another excursion we did on our trip to Thailand was the Flight of the Gibbons! It’s a ziplining tour of the jungle an hour and a half outside Bangkok. And it was a blast!

They have 2 meeting points in Bangkok. It’s a good idea to book in advance, quite easy through their website. You don’t need to pay in advance. Actually, they don’t take credit or debit cards so you should plan to have cash enough to pay for your tour (and a tip if you’re inclined). It costs 3299 baht per person (approx $100US). That includes the transport to Chonburi, several hours of ziplining through the jungle, lunch (which was pretty good), and time to tour the zoo and feed some animals at the base of the jungle.

This was our group. Us, a couple from Australia (yes, that guy is as huge in person as he looks in the photo.) and several Russian girls. We also had two guides to clip us in and shout instructions. (“Feet up!”) The other is taking the photo. They spoke enough English to get by and also a little Russian. I was impressed.

See that girl in the purple?

The poor thing was petrified of heights. She spent the whole 3 hours physically shaking. And glued to the side of the tree.

And she screamed. A lot.

I felt kind of bad for her, but I’m not going to lie, it was entertaining. I’m not sure what convinced her to pay to go on a tour where you fly several hundred feet above the ground hanging from a little pulley if she was that afraid of heights, but she must have really liked her friends. Or been very susceptible to peer pressure.

Normally, when doing this sort of thing in Asia I’d be a little leery about safety (Especially if it were in China) but I have to say, this place was top notch. The guides were very conscious of the guidelines and EVERYONE had a safety line at all times, even the guides themselves. And I was thankful. We were VERY high. (They did make a joke at one point about the pulleys being made in China. I thought the poor girl was going to cry. literally. It was only a joke though, they’re really made in France.)

My only disappointment was that I kind of expected to see some gibbons or monkeys during the ziplining. You know, since it’s called flying “with” the gibbons. Turns out that’s not really the case. You do see gibbons and monkeys (in the zoo) and you do go flying through the jungle. Just not at the same time.

Although now that I think about it, is probably a good thing. I hear gibbons are mean.

By the way, have you ever seen a gibbon? Looks like a monkey. BUT Monkey – tail. Gibbon – no tail. I’m sure there are other differences, but that’s the easiest way to tell them apart.

These are gibbons.

After ziplining, you head back down the mountain to have lunch, and to check out the zoo!

That’s our driver feeding a monkey part of his slushy.

Guess he missed the memo. Or maybe that one isn’t classified as a “wild” monkey.

Just don’t miss this memo. You will fall in. And that rhino looks angry.

And yes, that’s a baby. feeding an elephant. Can you get any cuter?

Here’s a little clip from the last repel down from the treetops.

Yes, I did admit to bumping into that tree. No, it’s not the same as a moped. Thank you very much.


Our guide took this with our camera and a leaf! He pinched a little heart in it and then shot through the hole. So cool!

Check out Flight of the Gibbons if you make it to Thailand. Definitely a cool experience you won’t forget!

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Thai Boxing

One of the last stops on our bike tour in Bangkok was to a local open-air Muay Thai school. Also known as kick boxing!

Even though we were all pretty exhausted after 3.5 hours of biking at this point. LB decided he probably wouldn’t get another chance in this lifetime to train with a real Thai boxing master.

This guy has trained several city champions. The walls were covered in photos of his winners. And Thai boxing in Bangkok… ain’t no joke.

So he put on the silky little shorts (who knows whose they were, or how many other people had worn them, but we’ll try not to think about that) strapped on the boxing gloves and went to work.

This little half hour session cost us 100 THB. About $3.50. (The guide suggested 50 baht, but we were feeling generous.)

Ready?

“Kick!”

“Elbow!”

“Uh… Choo!”

(At least that’s what it sounded like to me. I think it was supposed to be “Punch!”

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Colors of Bangkok Bike Tour

When we decided to take our next vacation to Thailand, we started by asking for advice from friends who’d been there already. Thailand is a very popular vacation spot for Asian tourists and nearly all expats who are on this side of the world make a point to visit at some point. I totally understand why.

The people smile a lot. And the place is just so green. And lush. And BEAUTIFUL! From the beaches to the mountains.

Most of the advice we got said that Bangkok was a place you should visit, but no one was overly excited about it. It’s big. And busy. And crowded. (Unless you’re coming from big city China like us. After that, no where else in the world seems crowded.) Since we’ve done the big city thing in several countries already (after a while, they all seem to look alike to me) we decided to just skim Bangkok thinking we wouldn’t like it that much.

But since we had to fly through there to get to Phuket anyway, we decided to spend a day and a half and try out the bike tour recommended by Officially Foreign. Just enough to catch a glimpse and then head on to our beachy paradise.

As it turned out, Colours of Bangkok Bike Tour was the perfect way to see lots of Bangkok in a short amount of time and was honestly one of my favorite city tours we’ve been on so far. Continue reading

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Why CFER’s real name is not Grace

So we are having an awesome time in Thailand. We’ve seen amazing sights, met cool people, and had unique experiences to write home about. Part of my wife’s goal with this trip was to make memories… apparently in any way possible.

During the bike tour of Bangkok she clearly decided that pretending we were playing bumper bikes was a good idea. With everything. She was running into walls, into benches, and nearly over cats and dogs at an astounding rate. Seriously. (CFER here… Unfortunately, I can’t deny any of those. It all happened. I’m just glad he forgot about the fence.) One of the German guys on the tour actually wished me luck after one particular goofy run-in with a bench. Which as you can guess was stationary – as benches normally are.

In her defense, some of the areas we rode through were incredibly narrow (literally 2.5 feet wide) so it wasn’t all her fault. However, the most memorable and painful part of the ride was not running into the metal wall in the narrow alleyway. Nope. It was when she wrecked. On the highway. A 6 lane highway. With no cars in sight in either direction. Into a parked moped.

The details went something like this…

She was riding in front of me at the time (which we had incorrectly decided was a safer formation) and I was the last in our group of 7. We were turning right through an intersection. Nobody around except our group. And she says that she heard something behind her (she claims it was me but I’m pretty sure I’d have remembered something like that). We’re not sure what it was but she decided that she should turn around and stare at me and ask if I’m all right. I answer yes but what I’m really thinking about is how she keeps drifting left toward the moped sitting on the side of the road.

It takes her about two seconds to look at me and then turn back around and by the time she does I’m already slamming on my brakes as I was only about 7 feet behind her. She’s about a foot away from the moped by the time she sees it and doesn’t even bother with the brakes. She just cuts out toward the middle of the road to try to avoid it. Unfortunately, not only did she not avoid it, she plows straight into it and bounces off.

As I mentioned, I already had my brakes fully locked and am about at a 45 degree angle with the pavement looming over my wife who is completely sprawled out on the highway. I barely get my momentum stopped and wound up planting myself onto the handlebars and (very unfortunately as I’m a guy) the top tube.

I first thought we were going to die by getting run over by some car turning onto the road behind us. Then I started wishing I was dead as all the pain hit me. Then I checked on CFER only to find out that she only wound up with a small scratch on her leg from her tire. That’s it. She was wearing her knee brace which actually took most of the fall. So I’m really the only one in pain. Oh, and the guy whose moped it was standing on the side of the road with his arms crossed, shaking his head. I think he was probably cursing the stupid foreigners and wondering what he did to deserve his luck.

Leave it to CFER to wait until the safest 5 seconds of the entire trip to completely wipe out both of us. Thanks goodness we have a good health insurance plan. We’ve got 7 more days here!

For photos and more info on the Bike Tour, check out: Colors of Bangkok Bike Tour

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