Flying and sleeping over a forest in Laos (aka the Gibbon Experience)


Trekking in a tropical forest is great, but one think is even better: seeing it from the top. No, I don’t mean from a plane or helicopter. I mean from a zip-line and a tree house, the highest ones you can imagine. You can do it in Northern Laos at the famous “Gibbon experience”.

Versione in italiano

tree houseWell the name is misleading I think. Unfortunately we didn’t see or hear gibbons (though some of us heard monkeys) but definetely it is a terrific adventure in the jungle. Ingredients are: treks in the woods, sleeping in the world highest tree houses, stunning views, a dip in a pool (for our tour option) and, as a main course, zip-lines. Many zip-lines. And they are just amazing. Up to 500 mt long, 50 to 150 meters high, they allow you to fly over the forest (check the video out). Not so scary as it might look like but very exciting. And you have plenty of time to try them (I think we did around 20 rides in about 2 and 1/2 days).

View over the forestStaying in the houses is lovely. I was in a group of seven and we got along just great. You have a 360 degrees view over the forest, get your freshly cooked meals from a zip line courier (our guides), you even have shower and toilet (it comes with a thrilling view at times) and drinking water. We stayed in two different houses and visited a third one. Sunrise is breathtaking there. You wake up at the sound of plenty of different bird singing (in the rest of Laos usually you are badly waken up by roosters!), a sea of fog below you, deep hights, noise of river flowing, and then… a zip line sound and breakfast arrives!
Zip-lining is not difficult. The basic problem is to control breaking to avoid stopping too early – and then have to reach the destination using your hands. But this is no big deal. It’s unbelievable how high you are in some points. And it’s amazing what our guides (locals from the villages around) are able to do on the zip-line…
This tour is more expensive than the average in South-East Asia (300€ for 3 days) but you have to consider that it took a huge engineering work to build it (visionary I would say) and it gives work to about 120 people in the villages nearby. It is worth the price, just be sure not to do it in the wet season, as this would be a bad choice (you walk six hours more on slippery treks at that time).
If you are in Laos definetely try to find some time to try the Gibbons experience.

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The Gibbon experience

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