– One of the best and the most beautiful adventure of my life –
The first time I heard about the Gibbon Experience was – as many travelers – in the Lonely Planet. And when I read the little box that was devoted to it, I immediately had an irresistible urge to be lost deep in the jungle as if I were 10 years old. Three days and two nights of trekking through beautiful lao jungle, zip-lining through the canopies and the waterfalls seemed just perfect !
But I had to wait two whole months for it … and I definitely don’t regret the wait. It was so worth it ! I’ve had one of the most and beautiful adventure of my life ! As cliche as it sounds, it’s still something I can’t put into words and the photos don’t really do it justice. Anyway, here are 15 reasons why you should do the Gibbon Experience in Laos.
1. You see incredible landscapes through the canopies, the waterfalls and the wilderness
Walking up and down 2-3 hours a day give you 100% sure a hard work but also incites you to push back your limits to see viewpoints you don’t even know they exist. See the main photo of the article ? This is what I’m talking about!
2. You do zip-lining on 400m … with no guides
– Flying at 100m above the ground for400m. Yes once there, you’re going so fast you feel like superman.
– Doing it how many times you want until the sunset,
– And doing it alone or with your friends !
That makes you dream, doesn’t it ? I bet it does ! But don’t worry ! The guides explain you how to find the zip-lines around your treehouse of the day and the signs all over the jungle are here to help you not to get lost (even though, this is what I call adventure) ! 🙂
3. You sleep on tree houses over 100m plus meters off the ground
Little monkeys. That’s how you can call yourself ! Everyday you experience a new treehouse, a new atmosphere, a new view over the jungle ! This is simply freedom !
4. You can hear gibbons
If you’re lucky and quite, you can hear gibbons from the tree houses. Unfortunately (or not), my friends and I made too much noise (try giggles) while playing a hundred times the “Wolf” or the “Asshole” card games ! 🙂
5. You explore the beautiful flora of the jungle
Nature lovers, this is for you ! The Gibbon Experience takes place in the Bokeo Nature Reserve, in Northern Laos. It spreads on 23,000 hectares in a mountainous terrain from 500m to 1500m high. It’s time to look everywhere ! If you pay attention around you, you can see the beauty of mother earth, like this incredible tree trunk! Welcome to your new playground ! 😉
6. You look at the stars
Under a clear sky, the tree houses are so high that stars appear at hand. At the dead of night, you let your imagination carry away by the beauty of the darkness.
7. No electricity, No technology
If you are sick of sending text messages to your colleagues because they aren’t able to do without you, or if you want to cut yourself off from the world, you will love this adventure ! No cellphones, no laptops ! And of course, that means also take your shower outdoors with a breathtaking view over the jungle. Just another normal day.
8. You meet 9 great people, from all over the world
7 people and 2 guides. Sharing your joy and your fears, walking through the jungle, jumping into the waterfall, playing cards for hours at night and laughing like children. The people you met 2 days ago become your friends and the time you spent with them become unforgettable.
9. No tourists
If like me, you hate being on adventures cluttered by 30 people or more, this is the perfect place. There are NO tourists at all in the jungle! During the trek, you only share the adventure with your new friends and the guides.
10. You appreciate good food cooked with love
Every morning and evening, the local population cook for you in the kitchen situated near your treehouse. The guides bring you so breakfast and dinner by the zip-lines. Funny huh ?
11. Because drinking beers offered by the guides can’t be compared to anything else
At the Gibbon Experience, after a long day of walk and zip-lines, the guides make your day even cooler than it already was ! Tiger, Beerlao … the choice is yours ! 😉
12. The two days boat trip to get/go from there are amazing
As I told you before, the Gibbon Experience takes place in the Bokeo Nature Reserve, 1 hour away from Huay Xai, a small village where the office is. Basically, if you decide to do the trek, you have to stop off here. Lucky you ! Coz the boat trip to get/go from there is absolutely amazing ! The boat is completely open without windows, you feel the wind, the sun on your back and it’s a way to discover two small villages. But now, I see you coming ! “When it’s cold it’s not amazing”. Well, I’m happy to say you’re wrong ! If you’re freezing, you can ask for some blankets and watch “Into the wild” to feel more free than ever!
13. The profits go to the conservation of the forest and the local villages
Not only you spend one of the coolest adventure of your travel but also you help the environment in Northern Laos. Indeed, it was started as a way to preserve the forest, the wildlife and the local villages.
14. You will forget about the price once the experience is done
It’s no secret to anyone the Gibbon Experience is quite expensive, especially for backpackers who have a low-budget. But I guess when I decided to do it, I knew that it would be a once in a lifetime experience. So if you’re planning to travel or actually traveling in Northern Laos, I definitely recommend you to do it because you may not go there any time soon. In fact, what’s money when you can do a matchless 2 days trek in a spectacular place ?
15. Because you will never forget this adventure
Happiness, Love, Peace, Freedom and Wisdom. This is what the Gibbon Experience brought me.
So when are you planning your next trip in Laos ?
Find out more informations about the Gibbon Experience on their website.
My rainbow travel recommendation in Huay Xai :
Daauw Home Guesthouse and Restaurant. A simple and meaningful way to get involved in the local economy and
the well being of the Lao mountain people.
Grab a book, order a drink and enjoy the campfire !
I want to dedicate this post to all my friends I met during this trek. Thank you so much for having done this adventure something out of the movies ! Much love to all of you !