2. The Gibbon Experience, Bokeo Nature Reserve, Laos
The Gibbon Experience is an eco tourism trip that reinvests your money into protecting the Bokeo Nature Reserve and it endangered gibbons. The idea is you live like a gibbon, swinging from tree to tree by day - replicated by zip lines - and then spend the night in the canopy of the rainforest.
We arrived at a river on the edge of the jungle and our first task was to zip line across it to enter the jungle. Every zip line was practical, not a cheesy tourist attraction.
Afterwards we trekked for about 2 hours deep into the jungle - our guides carried rifles to protect us from the Elephants, Tigers, Leopards and Bears that call this rainforest home.
We then arrived at 9 consecutive zip lines, differing in length and height to help us cover more ground through the jungle - one was about 700m long, 100m high and literally crossed the entire valley - such a thrill.
At the end we reached our treehouse, where we would be spending the night - of course the only way to enter was by zip line. This treehouse wasn't like the one your friend had in their back garden when you were little, this was 50m up the biggest tree in the jungle comprising of 3 stories. The views were breathtaking.
The treehouse was surprisingly luxurious. Full size mattresses were pre-made and covered with giant mosquito nets, food was made fresh and then zip lined into the treehouse from a nearby jungle village. The best part was the shower - rainwater was collected in a tank on the roof - there was a curtain to protect your privacy from others in the treehouse, but the other three sides were completely open giving you stunning views of the jungle canopy - showering naked 50 meters up a tree is a very liberating experience.
In the 2 days I spent there, we went on a few more treks and zip lines and had fun socialising in the treehouse. At night it was great, the guides would leave us and we would have a few drinks, then fall asleep listening to the sounds of the rainforest. When we left the jungle at the end of the trip we came to waterhole with a tyre swing and tubes for us to play and relax with.
I have never felt more at one with nature than when on this trip.
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