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“Great Excursion - 2 Day Was Enough For Me”

The Gibbon Experience
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Huay Xai
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Vancouver
Level Contributor
45 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Great Excursion - 2 Day Was Enough For Me”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2013

I joined the two-day trip (not on the Gibbon Experience website). In a nutshell if you're looking for the possibility of a gibbon siting the two-day is not the excursion for you. However, if you want to spend the night in a treehouse and do some ziplines I felt two days was enough.

As a solo participant I managed to join the two-day trip by showing up the morning of. Once signed up be sure to get the suggested gloves to help protect your hands as you'll use your hands protected by dodgy bicycle tire sections to slow yourself down. Also bring enough water for the first day or both days if you don't trust the water they provide. I brought along about 2.5 litres and it lasted me about a day and a half.

The first day started with about a one hour drive to where we met the guide. After putting on our gear we spent the rest of the morning on a steady upward climb. If you're in reasonable shape you will have no problem but most on my trip struggled a bit on some sections. After the supplied lunch (bring your own food for lunch if you're a veggie) we started ziplining with the longest around 700 meters. We arrived at the treehouse at around 2PM where an afternoon snack was waiting (mainly fruit and some roasted nuts). We had two hours to do as we wished before heading back out for more ziplining (some of which we had already been on earlier in the day). When we arrived back around 6PM the beds had all been prepared and dinner was ready for us. We chose to delay dinner and it was all still hot at 730PM.

Day two the guide had us up to head out by 630AM to either do more ziplining or go on a nature walk. Since the ziplines are mostly lines you've already done on day one I recommend doing the hike. Having said that our group went ziplining and it was good fun. We arrived back for breakfast and about a two-hour break before heading out for more ziplines and to make the hike out. After lunch at someone's house there was a ride along a very rough 10KM road and then about 40 minutes on the highway back to Huay Xai. If you're prone to motion sickness take motion sickness pills when you arrive for lunch.

Aside from the lunch on day one there were lots of veggie options. For dinner there were three veggie dishes, one meat dish, and rice. For breakfast it was three dishes of veggies, a dish of eggs, baguettes, sticky rice, fruit, and some sweets. Lunch on day two we had fried rice.

The highlight for me was the treehouse. The first level contains the platform for zipping in and out along with a shower and toilet with amazing jungle views, the main level contains the eating area along with space for 3 beds and the loft has space for one more bed. Just listening to the sounds of the jungle at night made the trip for me.

If you've ziplined in a western country don't expect the same safety standards. It's pretty easy to glance the side of your head against the wire you're speeding along and I left with one small burn on my hand because my bicycle tire (used to slow me down) was pretty worn out.

All of that said it's totally worth the expense. If you're on the fence about whether to do it or not go for it!

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank Delilahs_Dad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Beijing, China
Level Contributor
50 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Great fun in the forrest”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2013

We did the classic 3 day, 2 night tour. It was fantastic. A few things to note:
-semi-private bedrooms is a bit of a strech. Each treehouse holds numerous people, depending on the size of your group. Our group was 19 people and split into 3 tree houses (8, 8 and 3). We stayed in the closest treehouse to the start of the hike and it was great. 3 floors. Two people slept on the first floor, 2 on the second and 4 on the 3rd. The 'room's were essentially dark sheets that covered the mattresses, sort of like a fort a kid would build in his parent's living room.
- most of our time was spent zip-lining. The guides gave us very basic instructions and then took us around for a while. In the afternoon, they left us to go zip-lining on our own. You need to be smart about your own safety and what you feel comfortable with. We also spent time hiking around and visiting the other treehouses.
- food is good but unlike the description, it does not come whenever you want it to. staff bring food to the tree house on a schedule and there were no left overs. We were glad we brought snacks with us.
- we saw gibbons, which I think is rare, but we also spent time being quiet in our gueshouse and looking for them.
- cost seemed steep for what we were getting, especially when the guides told us how little they made each day.
- bathrooms are open air. could be frightening for some.
Having said that, it was a highlight of our time in Laos. Manage your expectations and you should have an amazing time.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank liveinchina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Best view of the jungle you could ever hope for”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2013

Possibly the coolest adventure in Asia, this Is a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore the jungle canopy and get some spectacular views on the jungle from a zip line. Maybe the coolest part is sleeping in a tree house, 60 m above the jungle floor. Guides were amazing,and there was ample time to do whatever you want on your own terms, a good balance of leadership and freedom. Would highly highly recommend to anyone passing through huay xai.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Patrick B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Absolutely Amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2013 via mobile

We did the Gibbon Express - only 2 days and 1 night, and had an absolute blast! Zip lining and the treehouse was so cool, but none of the activities are for the faint hearted... Lots of trekking and a bit of 4 wheel drive off-roading. I think we are we're physically fit and still struggled a bit with the hiking (needed frequent breaks). Food was okay, had enough to not be hungry with meals and snacks. Bring water, bug spray and some playing cards maybe a book or a journal - there's a lot of down time in the tree house.

The safety of the entire experience was a little sketchy but nothing went wrong and we had an absolutely amazing time!!

Helpful?
1 Thank Strugglecityyy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Don't sign up to see gibbons!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2013

Honestly, this was an incredible experience if you appreciate what it was, a zip lining holiday, with treehouse accomidation. DO NOT expect to see a gibbon, as they are very rare.

Also, do not expect a high level of experienced guides. Although there are a few that speak minimal English, for the most part, the guides are there to make sure nothing catastrophic happens. Even if it does, they are not prepared to deal with it, they don't even carry first-aid kits.
Not much interpretive interaction.

The tree houses are basic, with eastern style toilets (BYOTP), cold showers, and mosquito nets, but the sound of the jungle below provides a true highlight of the entire experience.

I challenge the owners of the project, to do a better job of explaining the current conservation efforts and exactly where the money is going. Also, do a better job of welcoming the clients, aside from a minimal safety video, there was absolutely no formal introduction to the experience. Zero appreciation for supporting the effort.

Ultimately, it was great fun zip lining through the jungle canopy in Northern Laos and sleeping above it, but I felt the company fell short on the value of the experience. Market it as a adventure holiday, with the very little chance to see a gibbon.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank ktier77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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