The volunteer-run, not-for-profit Gibbon Rehabilitation Center in Phuket rescues gibbons (a type of ape) that have been poached and held in captivity (a serious problem in Phuket). The staff then rehabilitates them before safely reintroducing them to their natural habitats, when possible.
The center is not a petting zoo, so there is no touching of the animals, although visitors are free to watch them from a viewing platform and talk to the volunteers about what they do. While entrance to the center is free, donations fund the work that helps Phuket’s gibbon population. Visitors do have to pay the entrance fee for the surrounding Khao Pra National Park, where the center is located.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Gibbon Rehabilitation Center is a must-visit for animal lovers and families.
- The center is located within Khao Pra National Park, which charges an entrance fee.
- Bring rain gear and insect repellent.
How to Get There
The Gibbon Rehabilitation Center is located about 12 miles (20 kilometers) from Phuket International Airport, 6 miles (9 kilometers) east of the Heroines Monument. The easiest way to visit is by driving or taking a cabi. Turn onto Road 4027 toward Bang Pae Waterfall at the Heroines Monument.
When to Get There
The Gibbon Rehabilitation Center is open daily, with reduced hours on Saturdays. Since the viewing platforms are outdoors, it’s a good idea to visit on a day with minimal chance of rain.
How to Help Phuket’s Gibbons
You can help the Gibbon Rehabilitation Center’s mission by avoiding bars that house them around Thailand and ignoring the gibbon handlers that ask for money in exchange for photographs on city streets. By paying for these photos, tourists are contributing to the suffering of the animals—and, therefore, the reduction in their population.