This Dipterocarpus Alatus is probably the most massive tree alive in the Lao P.D.R. today. Diameter at ground level is over 3 metres and it is still over 2 metres if you climb 25 metres up. The tree is 55 metres high and colonized each year by more than a hundred bee-hives. For some time it was unclear why bees would all dwell the same "Tree King" and neglect others of the same species nearly as big and tall and in the same nearby surroundings. Some claimed it's a magic tree but it felt that explanation was not quite enough.
As we observed claws prints scattered around the area, we realized that bears had tried their best to climb the King Tree, as well as smaller ones surrounding it, in a desperate attempt to reach a branch leading to the honey jackpot. However, the Tree King is so big that bears just cannot get a grip around. And it is so high that other trees in its shade do not reach its branches. Bees have adapted and adopted the Tree King as their home.
- The Tree King is revered through both bouddhist and animist rituals.
- Regularly worshiped, the Tree King is the flagship for the flora of the Nam Kan National Park.
- One of our tree houses is built on a fellow Dipterocarpus Alatus just nearby and offers the best view on the now sacred tree.