And we survived the Gibbon Experience!
We had an amazing 3 days in the Bokeo jungle; trekking, zooming along zip lines high up in the trees and sleeping in a treehouse 200ft in the air, in the canopy of the trees. Although, unfortunately, we didn’t actually see in Gibbons, we could hear them from our treehouse in the mornings and evenings. I can’t recommend the Gibbon Experience enough. The guides were fantastic, very eager to take us out and explore the jungle. The zip lines were a tad dangerous, but so much fun! I am now covered in bruises, with some swelling in my arm that’s only just going down over a week later – I wasn’t overly skilled at using the brakes! But it was brilliant fun and so worth the bruising!
On the first day, after watching a brief safety video on how to use the harnesses and zip lines, we all (12 of us) jumped in to the back of a couple of utes, and headed off towards the jungle. A couple of hours later, we arrived at a small village were our trekking was going to begin. As we started walking, we met the rest of our group – a good bunch – and at the second rest stop, we were split in to 3 groups – a group of 6 who were doing the “spa” experience – basically more expensive, but the same apart from an evening massage and some free wine – a group of 4 (us) and a group of 2 (an aussie couple). We were paired with a well travelled aussie guy (Aaron) who was about our age, and a young guy from London who was on his first big trip. We trekked for maybe an hour before arriving to at our first zip line. It was VERY scary getting on to the first one, they zoom sooooo fast through the air and you have to be very careful not to get your fingers or hair in the way. But it was also absolutely amazing, we were flying so high in the air, over valleys with the tree tops far below us. A fter another couple of hours of trekking and zipping, we arrived at our new temporary home – our tree house. We zip lined in and made ourselves at home, spending our first night relaxing, eating and talking. Aaron was making his way home to Australia from a year and half of travelling, mostly through South America – so we spent hours picking his brain for tips for our trip.
The next morning we were up with sun, ready to start some trekking. With a few stops for breakfast, lunch and rests, we spent from 6 am until about 3 pm trekking and zip lining through the forest, looking for wildlife and checking out the other tree houses. By 3 we were given the option to spend longer playing on the zip lines, or head back to the tree to chill. We were wrecked and ready for some relaxing! After showering and eating, the four of us spent the rest of the night playing shit head (the card game), before turning in around 8.30.
The last morning was an even earlier start and we started our trek before the sun came up. Zip lining in the dark was pretty scary, but luckily the only one we had to do was exiting the tree house. After around 20 minutes of trekking, the sun had come up, so zipping felt a bit safer again. After finishing our trek we were taken to a shop/restaurant for some food before arriving back in Huay Xia around 3pm.
We had decided to head for Thailand instead of spending another night in the expensive border town, so we headed down to the river, went through the most informal passport control possible, before jumping on a little boat to cross to the other side. The thai passport control was just as chilled!