Sunday, 4 November 2012
For many people the place at the start of the long concrete stretch of road that winds down the big hill on the road from Thong Nai Pan to Bantai was thought of as the ‘bird and monkey’ place.
I know the chap living there. Chai is friendly and always spots me when I go past on my motorbike. His is the type of business that I really want to see succeed on the island. He has built it up a business from nothing without a massive cash inflow from an outside investor.
I think he has gone one step closer to making his small tourist business viable. He has rebranded for a start. It is no longer ‘bird and monkey’ rather it is ‘Jungle Flight’.
Tourists, especially those staying at Thong Nai Pan, have plenty of disposable income to spend on activities while on holiday. Chai has aligned himself with this trend by building two long ziplines in the jungle.
In total there are 400 meters of line. He has done a good job. He uses heavy duty steel lines and has built concrete towers to attach the lines. I gave it a go the other day. The ziplines are on the side of the hill. You feel really high off the ground and in the forest canopy. It is quite exciting going down the ziplines. It also provides a great view of the area.
To try the lines costs 400 Thai Baht per person. If you go in a group then discounts are possible. You can also combine a go on the ziplines with a jungle safari. For a 3 hour jungle safari and zipline experience it is 800 Thai Baht. Again group discounts are available.
Koh Phangan is 90% untouched rainforest. This is the great asset of the island that has not been properly exploited for tourism. It is something that people would want to see. It is part of the new eco-movement in tourism. The fact that it is a local lad doing it makes Jungle Flight also a responsible tourism spot.
For more about Jungle Flight visit http://kohphanganjungleflight.com/