The Mekong and Luang Prabang Gibbon Experience tour is a wonderful and totally authentic travel adventure.
You will need to be reasonably fit, and certainly able to walk distances in sometimes difficult terrain. All well worth it!
The Mekong and Luang Prabang Gibbon Experience in Laos is a fantastic and totally authentic experience that will enthral any truly adventurous traveller. The luxury here will mainly come in the unique style of excitement, sampling something very different and memory worthy.
Your tour will commence from departure Chiang Rai, where we particularly suggest staying at the Anantara Resort.
The Gibbon Experience
The below tour includes experiencing the Gibbon Experience in Northern Laos in the Bokeo Nature Reserve. You stay in tree houses and use the zip line cable gliding network to scour the primary forest in search of the elusive Black Gibbon. We recommend spending a two to three days so that you can enjoy your jungle tree house, using the zip wire cable and taking your own trek.
Whilst it cannot be guaranteed you will see Gibbons, this is one of their major inhabitants. It should be stressed that we are visitors in their territory, and this is not a wildlife park but a totally authentic opportunity for you to share their world.
Sailing Down The Mekong River
After the Gibbon Experience, sail down the Mekong River to Luang Prabang, passing and stopping to explore the numerous villages and places of and overnighting in local accommodation. Again this is a tremendous authentic experience. Both the boat and the accommodation are simple but adequate.
Just before reaching the wonderfully mysterious and spiritual Luang Prabang, you will have the opportunity to visit the Pak Ou Caves where you see literally hundreds of miniature statues of Buddha.
Luang Prabang – Breakfast with the Monks!
One of the many highlights in Luang Prabang is to rise early and make your way into the crossroads. Here you will see literally hundreds of saffron-robed Buddhist monks walking in silent procession, an incredible sight as they emerge through the mist.
We also include a tour of the city visiting the Royal Palace National Museum, Mount Phousi to get a spectacular view of the city below, a journey outside on country roads for 70km to reach the waterfall at Khuang Sy, one of the most spectacular in the region with opportunity for swimming.
Time with the Elephants – Shangri-la Explorer Camp
Just 15 km outside Luang Prabang is an Elephant Camp where you experience the camp’s work with the local elephants and have a real up close and personal experience. Ride an elephant through the jungle before reaching a waterfall where you have lunch. If water levels allow, you can swim in one of the rock pools. Continue your trek on foot for approximately 90 minutes, passing over bamboo bridges over fast-flowing rivers. Pack horses supplied by the local village will assist with your luggage.
Arrive at the Nam Khan River where a bamboo raft will transport you back to camp where you will overnight in a tent at Shangri-la Explorer camp. The next day you will have time to reacquaint yourself with the elephants, and actively assist the Mahout’s instructors with bathing these wonderful mammals.
Returning to Thailand or on to Siem Reap
Spend additional time in Luang Prabang (we recommend you stay at least 3 – 4 nights to really enjoy and appreciate Luang Prabang) and then either fly back to Bangkok to continue your holiday with a few days either in Bangkok city or the beach areas of Phuket, Krabi or Koh Samui or continue on to Siem Reap, home to the magnificent temples of Angkor.
Note – The Mekong and Luang Prabang Gibbon Experience tour is wonderful, but totally authentic travel adventure. You will need to be reasonably fit, and certainly able to walk distances in sometimes difficult terrain. All well worth it!
With the exception of the accommodation in Luang Prabang, which is both elegant and luxurious, the remainder is extremely simple, with the emphasis on a truly remarkable and genuine travel event. You will need to be comfortable with the realities of jungle life and find the sight of insects and reptiles fascinating, rather than life-threatening!
Mekong and Luang Prabang Gibbon Experience, Laos
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For the curious traveller, the journey into Laos is a rewarding and fantastic experience. Part of what was known as Indo-China, the collective name for the former French Territories in the region. Whilst Vietnam and Cambodia were prized possessions, Laos was seen more as “buffer” value against invasion. It remains one of the less developed (and least populated) countries in south-east Asia. Laos is a hidden gem, with a less frantic pace than all of its neighbours.
Of all the countries in the region, it is the least openly commercial and interested in western-style consumerism. It has a delightful serene, totally laid back style, with Buddhism dominating every aspect of day to day life.
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COVID-19 - Updated Information – March 2023.
Virtually all countries worldwide have relaxed their protocols on Covid and there are very few restrictions. However, most countries review this on a month-by-month basis and will take immediate action should cases return or increase.
As a general statement, we would say travel is back to about 90% of its 2019 pre-covid levels – although with maybe less staff than before. This can particularly apply to airports with check-in teams and baggage handlers, and also in hotels. If you are a long-time repeat visitor to a specific hotel it is quite possible you might know your way around the property better than the newly appointed staff – smile and maybe even try to assist!
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