Some of you may remember the Gibbon Experience from previous posts on the blog. The Gibbon Experience is a conservation project in northwestern Laos based on eco-tourism. Apparently the local people were hunting the gibbons to extinction before a conservation group helped them to transform that lifestyle into sustainable project. Tourists who pay for a chance to visit the Bokeo Nature Preserve also get to sleep in tree houses connected by a remarkable zip line network. We went for three days and had a fantastic time. The project is set up to employ as many locals as possible so as to spread the relative wealth. Although some of the trekking was a bit arduous in the humid jungle, the whole experience was fantastic. Check it out if you’re heading to Laos. The music in this is by Canadian singer-songwriter Dan Mangan. The video was edited together quickly using…Continue Reading
Laura and I actually debated whether we should spend the $500 to do the Gibbon Experience. Two-hundred and fifty bucks a piece. That’s a lot of money, and this close to the end of our trip, we’ve been very aware just how much our supply of it is dwindling. As far as I know, the project is unique. Twenty years ago, the Hmong people of the region were hunting the Gibbon to extinction and using slash and burn forestry to clear land. But through some innovation and a lot of hard work an organization called Animo stepped in, working with the local people to create something sustainable to replace their short-sighted ways. By constructing a series of treehouses connected by walking trails and zip lines, the Hmong now accommodate hundreds of visitors each year, sharing with these strangers the forest and wildlife that was previously in danger. In fact, they…Continue Reading
We’re just chilling for a couple hours in the Laos border town of Huay Xai, before catching an overnight bus to Luang Prabang. We arrived here a few days ago in order to do something called the Gibbon Experience in the nearby Bokeo Nature Preserve. It was amazing (and will be up on the blog tomorrow), but a little grueling as well. We spent three days mired in mud and drenched completely through with sweat. We had planned to leave for Luang Prabang last night after getting back from the jungle, but were feeling pretty dirty and beat up so we managed to change our bus tickets to today. Our plans after Luang Prabang are still up in the air. We want to visit Vietnam and Cambodia before heading back to Bangkok for our flight home on September 4, but the border crossing from Luang Prabang into Vietnam towards Hanoi…Continue Reading