Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, we take pride in building so high, 30 – 40 metres (100+ ft),  that you can observe the forest canopy from your bed. Only Irian Jaya Papoo natives build that high up in the trees. However, our construction techniques are quite different.

The price for each trek is around 100 usd per day, with seasonal variations. You will know the exact fare for the period when you enquire for a booking.

Yes, kids under 12 pay half price only.

Classic: most relaxed overall schedule with maximum gibbon and wildlife sightings.

Waterfall: more trekking and zip lining in a stricter schedule, you swap tree houses overnight, and have slightly less gibbon encounters.

Express: one night only, steeper initial walk, maximum zip lines, the biggest Lao tree, and no gibbon.

No. Environment is jungle and service is local. You will get exceptional canopy setups, friendly escort and natural outdoor conditions. No five-star hotel... but sometimes a thousand stars at night with open roof!

You will be sleeping in canopy level tree house only accessible by ziplines and share your tree house with other guests from your group. Each mosquito net provides semi-private room for 2 people. When a tree house is at full capacity, solo travelers may end up sharing a mosquito net canopy.

Yes, tap water comes from a nearby spring and is drinkable.

-       - Exclusive access to the Nam Kan National Park
-       - Your local escort will show you the way
-      -  Accommodation in a canopy-level tree house complete with running water; access only by zipline
-     - Beds under a mosquito net canopy (2 mattresses in 1 mosquito net), pillows, sheets, blankets, towels and your personal harness and pulley (“roller”)
-      - 7 fire-cooked meals for the 3-day program, 4 meals only for the 2-day program, local fruits and snacks
-       - Clean drinkable running water, as well as tea and coffee
-       - Unlimited access to an extensive canopy cable-gliding network for exploring the treetops escorted by a guide or solo
-       - Transportation to and from Houayxay or Baan Donchai
Required
-       - Outdoor footwear and a small rucksack: you can leave your excess luggage in Houayxay (or in Bann Donchai if you choose to continue on to Luang Namtha)
-       - A bottle of water (at least 1L): Keep your bottle of water with you during your entire journey in the forest. You can refill it in each tree house. If possible, bring a plastic bag with you to take back your garbage to Houayxay: the more you take back to the city, the less we process in the forest.
-      -  A Flaslight/ Headtorch
 
Optional
-       - Mosquito repellent
-       - A camera: remember to charge the batteries ahead of time, as there is no electric plug in the tree house
-       - Binoculars for bird watchers
-       - Toilet paper, if you need, as we only use water spray
-       - Playing cards: cards can be useful during relaxing time
-       - Earplugs for the light sleepers (because of unusual jungle noises)
-      -  A small first aid kit
 
* Please let us know if you are vegetarian or have any special dietary requirements. 
 

Gibbons are free in the National Park; we are visitors in their environment. It is not guaranteed that you will see gibbons. Gibbons are relatively easy to spot in the morning at any season because they sing. Heavy rain or severe cold will discourage them from singing even though they remain in the same area. To maximize gibbon sightings, you should choose the Classic option as the pace is quiet and you have more time to be on the lookout for wildlife in general.

Sambar deer, barking deer, leopards, tigers, wild pigs, over 100 species of birds, civets, giant squirrels, Asian Black bears, langurs, macaques, loris, snakes, lizards, etc. Our inventory keeps expanding...

However, it is difficult to observe them due to low density and shyness of the species, as a result of human hunting throughout South-East Asia. Still, the Classic Gibbon Experience program is the best option to spot wildlife in Lao. 

Depending on the option you choose, in the dry season, you should be able to walk uphill at least one hour per day (200 - 300m denivelation). We welcome guests aged 8 to 80 in the Classic Option. If you know you have a certain allergy or weakness, please bring your medication and further enquire with our office.
In the rainy season, treks are more slippery and our guests are usually younger and in good physical condition.

When we started operation, we used to discourage people with strong vertigo to join our treks. However and surprisingly, most of our guests suffering vertigo who actually joined confessed their vertigo had lessened while living in the treetops. Usually each year, one of our guests has to sleep at ground level.

Yes
Classic and Waterfall options: 8 years old.
Express (2 days 1 night): 12 years old.

Your guides were generally born in the village nearby. Most of them have helped building the Gibbon Experience project. Some have a good English level while others don't and should rather be referred as escort. We strive to bring the level up and value your feedback forms on that aspect.

Gibbon Experience staff all have proper working contract, a work insurance, regular holidays, flexibility to choose to work 10 to 30 days a month depending on farm work, gets a mix of monthly salary, daily allowances, efficiency bonus and annual bonus. This adds up to 180 – 330 USD on a monthly basis and is much higher than average Lao or even Thai rural salaries. Tip is always welcome but please don't reward someone pretending he's exploited!

Classic: 23 cables or  4, 53 km

Waterfall: 23 + 7 = 30 cables or 6,3 km

Express: 21 cables or 6,73 km 

Shortest : 50 m - Average : 235 m – Longest : 570 m

Classic 4 – Waterfall 2 – Express 2

Our team is dedicated to wildlife conservation, we therefore accept your pet for free as long as it has no hunting behavior.

Yes, in 10 years, 3 broken legs.
However, the most common accident is a twisted ankle during trekking,. A few people did not respect gliding rules and ended up bumping into each other fortunately with no serious consequences with th notable exception of a broken clavicule.
There are inherent risks to any outdoor activities. However, this can be reduced by a cautious and risk-adverse attitude.
THE USE OF VIDEO CAMERA WHILE ZIPLINING CAN BE DANGEROUS : PREFER ONE CLICK GOPRO-LIKE EQUIPMENT AS YOU WILL STAY MORE AWARE.
For Classic and Waterfall options (which are located in the same area of the National Park), the car travel time from the office to the village is about 2 ½ hours. It is a difficult 83km trip that is either dusty or muddy depending on the time of the year. Where the car stops, you will meet your guide who will show you the way. On the last day, you should arrive at the office at around 3 pm (an additional 1 or 2 hours during the rainy season).
 
For the Express option (which is closer to Houayxay), the car travel time from the office is about 1 hour. Road access is easy and initial walk takes 1 ½ to 2 hours. On the second day, you should arrive at the office at around 3 pm (an additional 1 hour walk out is likely to occur during the rainy season).
 
You will be driven to the National Park in a “songtaew-style” pick-up with open-air seating in the back. The road condition in certain areas is not the best and may result in a bumpy ride, sometimes shared with other villagers. Additional walking time may be added during the rainy season if the car cannot make it to the end of the road. 

There are plenty of acceptable guesthouses with prices ranging from 70 000 – 100 000 (Friendship, BAP, Oudomphone, Sabaidee, Thaveesinh...) to 200 000 kips (Boat landing, Houayxay Riverside) per night.

From LP, you may only fly via Vientiane. Instead, you may either join Houayxay by bus or by boat. The bus leaves LP bus station at 7pm and also sometimes at 5pm. Travel time to Houayxay is about 12 hours and the fare is around 150 000 kips. As the bus goes through Louang Namtha, you may refer to the next paragraph if you plan to stop in Ban Donchai and spend less time in the bus.

If you cruise up the Mekong River with slow boat (about 200 000 kips), travel time is two days with overnight stay in Pak Beng where there are plenty of guesthouses to choose from. The speedboat option takes only 6 hours and the fare per passenger is 280 000 kips; it leaves with a minimum of 6 paying passengers. Make sure you join the pier (located 10 minutes upstream LP) at 8 am to maximize your chances to share the boat with enough fellow passengers.

Daily flight to Houayxay takes 55 minutes and costs 400 000 (early birds) to 900 000 kips. Check exact flight schedule with Lao Airlines (daily flight usually) or Lao Skyways (on Fridays and Mondays) as departure time often varies.

Daily buses leave at 5 pm from Vientiane Northern bus station; it takes about 24 hours and costs 260 000 kips.

P.O. box 400
Ban Houayxay, Bokeo Province, Lao P.D.R.
Tel : +856 84 21 20 21 / +856 30 57 45 866
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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