When I told my (ex)coworkers I was going to Laos they were jumping with excitement telling me I HAVE to do the Gibbon Experience. Phrases such as “it was sooooo awesome” and “it is probably one of the greatest things I ever did in my life!” were uttered, so of course we were extremely curious to go on this experience ourselves.
The Gibbon What?
Going on a tour with the Gibbon Experience means you’ll be hiking and ziplining through the Laotian jungle, and as if that isn’t enough you get to spend one or two nights in a treehouse in the middle of the jungle. We chose the Express tour: 2 days, 1 night. If you go on the Gibbon Experience you have to show your face at their head office in Huayxay (at the border with Thailand) a day before departure. It is therefore quite a time consuming event, but it’s all more than worth it in the end.
Day 1: Janes of the Jungle
We drove off from the GE office at 09:00 and arrived at a little hut where we received our ziplining harnas. After we put them on we started hiking. Soon our first zipline was in sight: a short zip line across the river. After arriving at the other side of the river we instantly knew: this tastes like more!
After two hours of hiking (I always thought I was in great shape – turned out not so much) we got to the first long zipline. And it was AWESOME! You feel so free and fantastic while flying over the jungle. We did 6 or so more ziplines before we ziplined into the place we would spend the night: the treehouse.
The treehouse was huge! It had 4 stories, a kitchen, a bathroom (with an amazing view!) a dining area and a lot of beds. We slept at the top floor (convincing ourselves the tree rats wouldn’t bother coming there as there was no food to be found). Around 17:00 two lovely ladies zip lined into the treehouse bringing us food and started making our beds. After we had devoured our meals we played some card games with our hut-mates and then it was time for bed.
We shared a bed with the tree of us and it was so cosy! Mindy dibbed her spot in the middle so Desiree and I could keep her safe from the notorious tree rats. We slept under a big mosquito net which gave us the feeling of sleeping in a tent. At night you could hear the jungle wasn’t asleep, and with the sound of a million crickets and other undefinable noises we dozed off to dreamland.
Day 2: ziplining some more!
We started with some early birding and early ziplining. We left our bags at the treehut so we felt completely free while flying over the jungle! After four or five ziplines it was time for breakfast. We finished our rice and eggs and got on ‘the road’ again. We ended the day with the worlds longest zipline: 525 meter! The last one was probably one of the best ones with a great view over the river and the forest.
The travel towards Huayxay is long and the Gibbon Experience is quite expensive (around 200 dollars for the Express tour) but it’s completely worth it. This will probably be something we’ll even tell our grandchildren about.
For more info visit The Gibbon Experience