Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Gibbon Experience

Ever dream of trekking through the jungle of a foreign country?  Zip lining 60 meters over the canopy?  Sleeping in tree houses?  Experiencing nature and the wild like never before?  Yes, you say?  Well, The Gibbon Experience just may be your cup of tea.  It's an eco tourism Project as well as one of the greatest travel experiences I've had in my life.  The concept emerged in hopes to find an innovative method to help protect part of the glorious forests in Southeast Asia from being destroyed through poaching, logging and slash and burn farming.  

They had an idea:  have the locals of the Bokeo Nature Reserve build tree houses.  These aren't your classic childhood back yard tree houses either.  We're talking luxury tree houses.  Better plumbing than your average Southeast Asia guest house, rain shower heads, drinkable water straight from the springs.  They also built a network of zip lines through the reserve, which you need to access the tree houses. You go with a small group of travelers, spend two days and nights trekking and zip lining the jungle, sleeping in the coolest tree houses anyone has dreamed of (as a child or adult) and looking out for the majestic Gibbons.  Each group is accompanied by friendly local guides and fed delicious fire cooked meals and snacks, made by the locals.  If you're really lucky (like my group was) you just may sight a Gibbon or two, or a whole family.  They're fairly small, acrobatic apes that have the most unique song.  We heard them singing one morning and spotted them from across the canopy the next. 

You pay for the adventure of a lifetime,  they reinvest the funds back into protecting the forest, the Gibbons and all the other little (or big) monsters of the jungle. :-)

One of the tree houses:

The bathroom is on the bottom floor.  Just you, nature, a rain shower (head) and water running off over the jungle canopy.

Zip lining up above the canopy so high:

Ready for take-off?

Stunning fields just outside the forest:

One of the locals:

Transport.  Before the road turns into dirt and bumps:

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