Vientiane, Vang Vieng and the Gibbon Experience

The past 2 weeks have been a pretty great mix of relaxing and adventure. Laos has a lot to offer when it comes to the great outdoors. In 2 weeks, I’ve trekked, kayaked, zip lined, swam and tubed. It’s like a standard Iron Man competition!

Once we had completed the Tha Khaek loop in central Laos, we immediately caught a local bus north to the capital city of Laos- Vientiane. Local buses in Laos are quite an experience- of the 2 I’ve now been on, both have had to stop on the side of the road for essential repairs. This particular occasion was brought on by the air conditioning unit (conveniently located above my head) which decided to pack up. The driver fixed this problem with a twig from a tree. I shit you not. 

Vientiane…  It’s a dust bowl to be honest. It’s very different to the capital cities of its peers- Phnom Penh and Hanoi. For starters, there is very little to do there and I can’t help but feel that the attractions they do punt aren’t worthy of the hype. Maybe I was spoilt down south and had unrealistic expectations here. 

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The Mekong River is the perfect place to catch a cracking sunset in Vientiane.

The highlight of Vientiane was one of my good friends from back home came to Laos and we have been exploring the north together. So great to see a friendly face from back home!

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After a day of putting a plan together we eventually succeeded and sourced 2 spaces on the Gibbon Experience which operates out of Huay Xai. If you’re interested in this, book in advance! We had to hustle to get spots and were lucky to find available flights for the trip.

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Sunset from the treehouse on the Gibbon Experience.

 In a nutshell, the Gibbon Experience is an eco-adventure operation that runs a series of zip lines and tree houses in the jungle. Although there are Gibbons in the jungle, it’s pretty rare to see them. For me, being in the jungle, trekking through it and zipping along some of the worlds highest, longest zip lines in possibly some of the most spectacular landscape was what I was after. And to top it all off, you spend the night in the worlds largest tree house- a triple storey one, in the middle of a jungle. It is truly spectacular! 

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Another shot from the treehouse on the Gibbon Experience.

After saying cheers to Huay Xai and departing from one of the smallest airports I’ve ever been to, we returned to Vientiane and began making our way to Vang Vieng. The town exists solely for tourism- pretty much every shop is either a ticket and tour booking office, or a restaurant/guesthouse. 

I see Vang Vieng as an adventure hotspot. The town is located along a river, flowing between jagged karst mountains. You couldn’t ask for a more beautiful setting. We spent 3 nights there and tubed through a cave, kayaked down the river and ate a lot of good food. 

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I’m a pro at kayaking, obviously. We only had 2 near misses with a sand bank 🙂

If you’re looking for a party, Vang Vieng is the place to be. We found a spot called Sakura and although I only had a few drinks, hated my life for the next 24 hours! Can alcohol go off? If so, my drinks were off 🙂

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Another super sunset in Vang Vieng.

We got to Luang Prabang today and head off to do a trek for a couple days tomorrow. I still need to pack and get ready!

Cheers for now!

 

2 thoughts on “Vientiane, Vang Vieng and the Gibbon Experience

  1. I can’t believe you did the Gibbon Experience! I’m so jealous…and happy for you…but mostly jealous.
    Keep creating great memories, they’ll last forever, and you’ll enjoy them over and over again!

  2. Sounds like a great time! Thanks for the scoop on Vientiane.

    Question, how did you get from the gibbon experience to Vientiane? I’m having a hard time finding much info online.

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