The long awaited Gibbon Experience
07.11.2011 - 10.11.2011
The Gibbon Experience... possibly the best thing I've done and will do on this trip!!
The boarder crossing into Laos was a bit weird with the boat ride but made it across in one piece and without getting wet and then followed the signs to 'check in' aka Laos passport control.
looking across at Laos
I hadn't been able to book a hotel for the night before hand but had the names of a couple of places where I wanted to stay, had no idea how far they were from the boat drop off point... after mixed reports from the locals that it was about a 2k walk and i needed a tuk tuk, turned out to be a 2 minute walk down the road (possibly a language barrier issue?)
Dumped my bags at the hotel and then walked down to the Gibbon Experience office to check in and bumped into an english couple - Adam and Jenny who were also setting off the next day but unfortunately on the one night trip. Spent the evening having a few beers with them (they had recently been in Dubai!) and wondering what the next few days would have in store for us.
The next morning after a quick introduction and safety video at the Gibbon Expereince office our group of 8 jumped in the truck and headed out for the jungle. After a very bumpy 2 hour journey we arrived at the local village and set out on the trek which involved numerous leech encounters and river crossings where shoes and socks came off and you had to hop around to make sure a leech didnt attach to your toe! We stopped after around 2 hours at the most amazing pool and waterfall in the middle of the jungle, we all got in and cooled off and there was a zip line / swing where you could jump into the pool from.... definitely worth a go as long your bikini top doesn't fall off
It wasn't until the sun went down that I spotted the first spider.... massive!!! The best tactic I decided was not to look around and to try not to use the bathroom (spider central!). Bunked down pretty early for the night and woke up to a massive thunder and lightening storm, think we all stayed dry though. Next day it was still piddling with rain but we set out anyway on the zip line and walked back to the waterfall where we had breakfast (rice and not sure what the other stuff was). Another few hours of hard, wet, muddy trekking (today was bad for leeches) to our 2nd tree house for night 2, luckily today we had a second guide to help us (apparently he missed the bus the day before!) We got left alone by the guides for the afternoon so zip lined solo (of course now thinking we're all total pros!)
Had 7 different zip lines to cross and then a 2 hour hike that day before sadly reaching the village where we set out 2 days before. I think we were all quite sad to say goodbye when we reached Huay Xai after our truck journey back to civilization but so many amazing memories and would recommend this to anyone (as long as you don't mind leeches and spiders).
our group at the end of an amazing 3 days
Next stop 2 day slow boat along the Mekong to Luang Prabang