By: Jas Mitch
The Gibbon Experience
For my 30th birthday this year, my parents were awesome enough to gift me the Gibbon Experience in Laos! Something I had been really wanting to do since I first heard about it many many months ago! I was super excited! and also really nervous. Especially with it being the wet season, I’d heard it can be a bit rough!
So we rocked up ready to go on the morning of my birthday, pretty nervous but super excited all the same and waited for the rest of our group to arrive (I think it was about 16 in total). We watched a quick safety video, jumped into the back of some ute/sharetaxi things and hit the road!
After about an hour we arrived at the start of the trek. We got ourselves into our harnesses (that we wore for the rest of the days trek!) and began! Our first zipline was only a few minutes away, it was just a quick short zip across the river!
As we walked through the jungle, the rain bagan to fall pretty heavily and we all kind of reached a point where we couldnt possibly get any wetter! It was actually pretty good, and kept the jungle pretty cool. It had the added effect of coating everything in a mist which just made the view from the zipline even more incredible.
I’m not sure how long we hiked for…but the zip lines were absolutely worth it. The views above the canopy and out into the valleys were amazing, some of the best I’ve ever seen!
And it really didn’t feel like long at all before we came to our resting spot for the night, our awesome treehouse!
I have never seen anything like it… it was so cool! The treehouse had four floors (the entrance and bathroom on the bottom, then the kitchen, general hanging out area and most of the sleeping, then two more sleeping areas above!).
The treehouse even had a tree cat to keep away the tree rats, which thankfully we didn’t have a problem with! Thanks no-name cat!
The groups split early in the days walking and the group in our treehouse was made up of an Austrian, a Belgian, an English guy, a Canadian couple, and three Germans. We had plenty of free time in the afternoon and hung out getting to know each other, having dinner and playing cards for most of the night (“SPOONS!").
The beds were comfortable and it was seriously cool to be staying outside in the middle of the jungle, however we didn’t sleep to well mostly because of the crazy loud insects! but also due to fears the treehouse would fall down (looking at you Mitch)…
The next morning we were woken up by our guide zipping into the treehouse at about 6am and we began our day with a few ziplines before coming back for breakfast and to pack up.
The rest of the day was spent zipping through the forest again. This included the largest of the ziplines at 570m long! And we finished with lunch by the river.
After a pretty crazy ride back to Huay Xai we all departed feeling much dirtier and incredible exhausted! Thankfully we were about to spend the next two days on a slow boat coasting down the Mekong River…