The Tree King

This Dipterocarpus Alatus is probably the most massive (biggest?) tree alive in the Lao P.D.R. today. Diameter at ground level is over 3 meters and still over 2 metres if you climb 25 metres up. This giant is 55 metres high and colonized each year by more than a hundred bee hives.

For some time we didn’t quite understand why bees would all dwell on the same “Tree King” and weren’t interested in others of the same species in the surrounding area that were nearly as big and tall. Some claimed it was a magic tree but we felt that explanation was not quite enough.

As we observed claws marks on tree trunks in the area, we realized that bears had tried their best to climb the Tree King, 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 can’t reach around it to get a grip. And it is so high that other trees in its shade do not reach its branches. This must have dawned on the bees, and they adopted the Tree King as their home.

  • The Tree King is revered through both bouddhist and animist rituals.
  • Regularly worshipped, 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.