Visiting Phuket, Thailand in November 2021 was a bit disappointing. The island and people were as beautiful as ever but not much was happening. Restaurants, bars, movie theaters, shopping malls were closed along with many other public venues. A friend suggested trying Hanuman World, a zipline experience. A fear of heights had until then prevented me from trying ziplining. I decided to give it a go in part because it seemed there wasn’t much else to do.
As a single, I was able to arrive without a reservation. Groups should contact the office to reserve a spot and arrive 30 minutes prior. There are three zipline experiences ranging from three to 16 ziplines. I selected the middle package. It consisted of nine ziplines, 18 platforms, three abseils (rope descents), one spiral staircase, one honeymoon sling, and two skybridges. Ziplines on this course ranged in length from 30m (98 ft) to 300m (984 ft). Ziplines were strung between giant trees at about 30-50 ft (9-15m) above the ground.
The experience starts with being outfitted with a harness and helmet and a safety briefing from the staff. The only thing I remember from the safety briefing is being warned several times not to touch the zipline. Wallets and other valuables are stored in lockers.
Several staff members accompanied me as we hiked up a hill to the beginning of the course. To get to some platforms you have to climb stairs affixed to the tree. One staircase on this course spiraled around the tree and wobbled too much for my liking as the group ascended. All harnesses are locked onto safety ropes for the entire course.
The first few ziplines on this course are only 50m or so in length. The honeymoon sling is one of the first ziplines. It is intended for couples.
On all of the ziplines, staff kept encouraging me to smile and layout in the harness. They want customers to look like they are having a good time whether they are or not. I gave my point-and-shoot camera to a staff member who recorded the action.
To get to the next zipline it was sometimes necessary to climb stairs or to descend on a rope. I had to abseil three times on this course. Abseiling was scarier than ziplining.
It is okay to be terrified. Just be sure to remember Rule No. 1.
Stopping was my biggest concern on the ziplines. They use a passive braking system so riders stop automatically but have no control over their speed.
The harness seemingly swiveled and turned on its own volition. The hardest part of ziplining was learning how to control the direction I was facing with subtle muscle movements and weight shifts. On one zipline I came in backwards.
Two platforms were accessed via skybridges. Harnesses are locked in even on the skybridges. I had no complaints about that while strolling through the treetops on wobbly wooden bridges suspended by wires.
Staff recorded most of the trip on the 300m zipline. I was concerned about coming in backwards but managed to pull off a decent landing. Here’s the previously shared video of that run.
Hanuman World is a fitting name for this attraction. The name Hanuman was unknown to me. I later learned that Hanuman is the famous Hindu monkey god many readers probably know well. He was the hero of the Hindu Ramayana, an epic tale of Prince Rama’s quest to rescue his beloved wife, Sita. Hanuman is also very popular in Thailand, and played a similar role in the Ramakien, a Thai Buddhist version of the Hindu Ramayana.
Hanuman’s tale inspires believers to face ordeals and conquer obstructions in their lives. Hanuman World allowed me to conquer my fear of heights, at least for one day, and have a great time while doing so. Ziplining is one of those quintessential adventures every thrill-seeking traveler should experience at least once. I had a great time at Hanuman World and would try ziplining again, there or someplace else.
Have you experienced ziplining or plan to when you have the opportunity?