The Gibbon Experience

The Gibbon Experience, Huay Xai: Address, Phone Number, The Gibbon Experience Reviews: 4.5/5

The Gibbon Experience
4.5
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Peter J
Toronto, Canada9 contributions
The good, the bad, the marvelous but expensive
Mar 2020
We stayed in the Honeymoon tree house (#2) for the privacy. That part was good for us as we like privacy but if you want a better chance of spotting the Gibbons, don't choose the Honeymoon. Caveat - we were there in the dry season so it was hazy/smokey and there wasn't a lot of wildlife.
The bad - we were disappointed with the cleanliness of #2, we had flies swarming over the sink and kitchen area and eventually they moved up to our living area so we got plenty of bites. It was not addressed for the 3 days we were there and it was obvious the flies were there before we arrived. Our tree house was the only one with this problem. That was really disappointing given the cost.
The Honeymoon tree house is closest to the edge of the park and in my opinion the least likely to have Gibbons nearby. We were lucky to see them but only because we visited the other tree houses and they were moving past one of them.
The good - the zip lining was lots of fun and plenty of it and we enjoyed hiking through the jungle. The guides were good, spoke okay English and food was good and plentiful. Sleeping in silence of the jungle was a unique experience, the tree rats not withstanding.
The bad - the flies or whatever they were, were a real irritant that could have mostly been eliminated with proper cleaning.
Written March 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Emily G
3 contributions
Unless you just want ziplining, don't bother.
Mar 2020 • Couples
If you consider your entrance fee a donation to conservation and want nothing more than to sleep in a cool tree house and do some crazy zip-lining, then you'll probably be fine. Personally, it felt like a waste of time and money. Considering what you can get for $700 in the region, it was definitely not worth it. $700 is our budget for two weeks, but they wouldn't even cover $2 drinks at lunch there and back. We were really excited to do this. It was a lot of money we didn't really have, but it seemed like such a unique experience that we couldn't pass it by. It's a brilliant concept but poorly executed, overpriced, and they're so lackadaisical about safety that I'm honestly surprised more people haven't been seriously hurt.

Regarding safety, there was a video and then a quick 30 second demonstration and that was it. They didn't even check to make sure we were doing it correctly. I had to request a guide check me. The first guide did and was nice but the second guide I asked just glanced over and didn't really care. They were on their cell phones or talking to each other, not paying attention to us. After the first few, there wouldn't be anyone there at all. We'd only have one guide with us and he'd go first, leaving us to do it completely by ourselves. Others were happy with the lack of oversight but if you were at all nervous or scared, you were just screwed. It would be really easy to give people free reign who want it and help the people who need or want more help. The very first zipline you do is hundreds of feet long and high. How hard would it be to set up a small zipline ten feet off the ground so people can practice to make sure they're comfortable before risking their lives? The fact that in fifteen years of operation they never considered this demonstrates to me how little they care about our feeling safe.

Our first day, we had a guide named A-thich who had gotten married a few days earlier and had some family in town who joined us on the tour. They all spoke English very well and we had an amazing time talking and learning about their lives. But they left the morning of day two. The other guides made no effort at all to interact with us. They just showed up to drop off our food and shepherd us from place to place. They acted more like servants than guides, just there to serve a purpose and otherwise wanting nothing to do with us. It made me really uncomfortable to feel shoved into the position of colonialist while they waited on us and then disappeared again. We tried to talk to them but they were much more interested in talking to each other than us. The girls who dropped off our food and made our beds made no effort to interact with us at all and even averted their eyes when we greeted them. The whole thing was incredibly uncomfortable.

The treehouses were very cool and the ziplines were fun but there was too much focus on Gibbons that never materialized. They could have put more effort into making it an experience that was great regardless of if there were Gibbons. They could have taught us more about the jungle, given more opportunities to interact with nature in a purposeful way or learn about local cultures. We could've done a cooking class or learned how to make traditional tools or clothing or shown us how they built the treehouses. Hell even a rope/obstacle course. Anything other than just ziplining. Instead, there was so little to do that we were instructed to take a two hour nap. We asked how often people saw Gibbons and were told people never see them from our treehouse (#4) but #1, where they do often see them, was completely empty. Why not have us stay there? Or at least rotate us so we have a chance? The people we met who had fun were there for the ziplines and didn't expect or want much else. Sadly, for us, it was a big disappointment.
Written March 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Thomas W
12 contributions
Mind-blowing
Mar 2020 • Couples
This experience was everything we were hoping for and more.

Amazing ziplines, the views are unreal and so many different ones.

The guides were brilliant and went beyond the call of duty to help us. Really good English and just so helpful and kind!

The food was ok, they could pay more attention to food allergies and dietary requirements though.

The treehouses are unreal. You have to keep reminding yourself you are in a tree, in a jungle, so high up. It is mind-blowing.

We did see gibbons on both mornings we were here. We were in tree house number 7.

I know it's a lot of money but for the experience it is so worth it!

For people leaving poor reviews. It is a jungle. You are going to have to trek. You are not going to get amazing food. It is not about comfort, it is about the experience. Please bear this is mind...

Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

boitiet
Berlin, Germany5 contributions
Once in a lifetime experience
Feb 2020
We had a great time ziplining in the jungle and observing gibbons and other animals. The view from the tree house was just amazing and the food was excellent. Our guides were very helpful and friendly. I couldn't have asked for more. Big thanks to the Gibbon Experience team for making this possible!
Written March 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Joshua Elkin
Surrey, UK19 contributions
Experience of a lifetime!
Feb 2020 • Couples
Biggest highlight of Laos so far, this is a MUST do! For someone who’s barely trekked before this was an extreme workout! If you’re unfit like myself this will no doubt be a test but be assured it will be one of the most amazing experiences in the world. The scenery is fantastic and once you’re on those zip-lines you’ll feel like Tarzan. We chose the classic experience that gives you a two night stay. It was amazing waking up to the sounds of the jungle. All the tree houses are fantastic but if you get the option choose tree house one, it’s the biggest & was built by our tour guide D-one, he was awesome and made the experience with all of the information he could provide!

Did we see gibbons? Yup, twice, two separate families in tree house 1 & 7 (Classic Tour). Always keep an eye out!
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mark0545
Melbourne, Australia27 contributions
Amazing experience!
Jan 2020 • Friends
Amazing experience of a lifetime. If you don’t do this you are missing out. The zip-lining was so much fun and the treehouse was sublime. We had the best guides ever! I only hope the company isn’t over-working them and they get adequate time off.
Written February 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Merian M
5 contributions
Amazing experience but all got foodpoisoning
Feb 2020 • Couples
For the ones thinking about doing the Gibbon Experience; do it, it's amazing. BUT watch out for foodpoisoning, in our group 6 out of 8 got it and we know other groups who had the same problem. We went back to the office and they seemed uninterested and there was no apology at all, same for the other group. Really disappointing if you look at the price you pay for it, just a warning so it wont ruin your experience!! So just avoid the meat and stay in treehouse 7 (best chance of seeing and hearing the gibbons) :)
Written February 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Holly
Surrey, UK4 contributions
Best thing you will ever do
Feb 2020 • Friends
This is a once in a lifetime experience and is absolutely incredible! Amazing zip wire views, it was so peaceful waking up to the sounds of the jungle and then having a fresh shower overlooking the jungle! The guides were so friendly and passionate.
Everywhere was clean and the beds were comfy ,
We also met a really lovely group of people :)
100% would recommend
Written February 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

gpont1
Leeds, UK53 contributions
Overall fantastic experience.
Feb 2020 • Couples
Whether you see gibbons or not (we didn't unfortunately), the gibbon experience is worth visiting as the zip lines and treehouses are both wonderful. We did the classic experience and we heard gibbons on one of the mornings singing loudly for about an hour. It's hard to explain until you hear it but it is quite the concert! The trekking isn't too difficult in the classic, there's a lot of up and down but never for too long until you reach another zip line or tree house. It's very well organised and the guides work hard to ensure everyone is looked after. My only negative would be that we took advice from the website which said if you are coming from Luang Namtha you can stay in a charming homestay the night before. I would advise against this, as we were expecting an authentic homestay where we could get to know the family and eat together but this was not the case. It is simply a mattress on a floor in someone's home with basic amenities and food. This also meant we were picked up half way on the morning of the Gibbon experience and we missed the brief and safety talk, which no body caught us up on. We were left feeling as though we didn't know what was happening and had paid quite a bit of money for the homestay but I would personally have preferred to stay in the town by the gibbon experience office for a cheaper price. Overall, a really great experience and worth the money if you are in Laos!!
Written February 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kim M
12 contributions
Gibbon Express trip: simply brilliant!
Jan 2020 • Couples
Did 2 day express trip. It was amazing! The staff were are great! Our guides were both friendly, knowledgeable and very safety conscious. Zip-lines are extremely fun and the views from the treehouse was stunning! As to be expected with the short trip we didn't see any wild life. It was very expensive, but I know that my money is going to a good cause so I don't mind spending that much.
I would definitely recommend to anyone who likes a little adventure!
Written February 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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