Day 0131st Jan 2020
- Arrival at Luang Nam Tha / Drive to Houayxay
Important note: each member of the group should arrive with flight QV601 from Vientiane (departure 12:40, arrival 13:35) (flight is not included).
Upon your arrival at LuangNam Tha in Laos, you will be welcomed by a Rahhalahrepresentative and, all together, you will drive to Houayxay: a town by the Chiang Khong borders with Thailand (a 4-hour drive).
Overnight in Houayxay.
Day 021st Feb 2020
- Starting the Gibbon Experience (B,L,D)
After a very early breakfast, you will check out and proceed to theGibbon Office, where you should arrive by 8:00am at the latest. However, the actual starting point of your Gibbon Experience (a unique adventure, like no other in the world) is still many kilometers away.
You will drive from Houayxayto Baan Toup (83 km, around 2.5 hours), on a road that can be quite rough depending on the weather. At the village, local guides will welcome you, leading you through an uphill hiking trail (1 hour) to the canopy infrastructure. There, you will split up in small groups, put on a harness, and glide across the first cable. You will continue gliding and trekking until you reach your treehouse (1 to 3 hours depending on your treehouse).
In the afternoon, the guides will take you on a two-hour hike to familiarize yourselves with the cable network.
Overnight stay in a canopy-level treehouse.
Although the landscape is of 5-star quality, the accommodation is rather basic. For three days, you will be surrounded by the jungle, protected by an exceptional canopy, and, at night, by millions of stars, but your treehouse (accessible only by ziplines) must be shared with other guests. Each mosquito net provides a semi-private room for two people, and when a treehouse is at full capacity, solo travelers may end up sharing a mosquito net canopy.
Day 032nd Feb 2020
- Gibbon Experience continued (B,L,D)
Today, you will spend the full day in the jungle, using the cable system to soar through the rich canopy, surrounded by peace, mountains and the dense jungle. You may also choose to relax in your treehouse or go for short hikes on your own to observe the wildlife of the area. Dawn is the best time for wildlife encounters, and you may even get lucky to spot the famous black gibbons (Nomascusconcolorlu) in their natural environment. On most days, you can hear their territorial hooting. However, sightings of the endangered black gibbon cannot be guaranteed.
Important notes to best enjoy the Classic Gibbon Experience:
- For safety reasons, people weighing over 110 kg / 243 lbs will not be allowed on the cable system.
- The Classic Gibbon Experience is relaxing and peaceful, with only an hour of necessary walking. There is no strict schedule, and it is up to you to decide how to use your time so that you get the best out of this opportunity. Food will be served when you are hungry, and the guides will escort you to your treehouse and around. This option usually enables gibbon encounters with little effort.
- The Gibbon Office makes sure that the area does not get overpopulated by tourists, which would disturb the wildlife and the quality of the overall experience. As such, up to three groups of eight people depart on alternate days at 8 am for three days and two nights, accommodated in treehouses scattered within the Nam Kan National Park.
- Duringthe Gibbon Experience, you will be asked to keep your personal items to a minimum as you will have to carry them throughout your trip in the jungle. Bedsheets and towels are provided in your treehouse. You will need a daypack, gloves or old socks, a waterbottle, mosquito repellent (and long-sleeved shirt and pants to avoid bites and stings), a camera and a headtorch.
Overnight in a canopy-level treehouse.
Day 043rd Feb 2020
- The end of the Gibbon Experience / Houayxay exploration (B)
You will spend the morning enjoying the last hours of the Gibbon Experience before being transferred back to Houayxaybybus (leaving at around 03.00pm).
In the afternoon, you can explore the city of Houayxay. Stroll in its streets, visit the local market and the ruins of the French colonial-era Fort Carnot and make sure you enjoy the sunset overlooking the Mekong River.
Overnight in Houayxay.
Day 054th Feb 2020
- Houayxay– Sailing to Pakbengon a Shompoo Cruise (B,L)
In the morning, you will be transferred to the pier to embark the Shompoo Cruise for a tripalong the Mekong River.
During the cruise, there will be a stop at Pak Tha to signthe boat documents and then at Kamu Village for a guided tour. Lunch will be served onthe boat. Estimated arrival time at Pakbengat around 4:00pm.
Overnight in Pakbeng.
Day 065th Feb 2020
- Pakbeng – Luang Prabang (B, L)
In the morning, you will continue cruising towards LuangPrabang. On the way, you will stop to visit the Pak Ou Cave and have lunch. You are expected to arrive at LuangPrabang at around 16:30 and, from there, you will be transferred to your hotel.
Overnight in LuangPrabang.
Day 076th Feb 2020
- Luang Prabang City tour – Flight to Siem Reap – Dinner Show (B, D)
In the morning, you will wake up before dawn to witness an awe-inspiring sight as the whole city comes to life to engage in an ancient ritual based on which people offer almost a large group of saffron-robed monks. Please tell your guide a day in advance if you wish to make an offering so he/she can prepare some food for you to hand over to the monks.If you do not want to make an offering, please keep an appropriate distance and observe the ritual in silence. Dress appropriately: shoulders, chest and legs should be covered.
You will then return to the hotel for breakfast or join the locals for a bowl of delicious noodle soup after the alms-giving ritual.
After breakfast, you will visit the Morning Market where you will observe the diversity of mountain and river products sold by the locals, before continuing with a short, guided tour around the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong (a sample of classical Laotian architecture).
Finally, you will visit Wat Mai (the holy temple) and The National Museum at the former Royal Palace where you will enjoy a lovely collection of artifacts reflecting the richness of the Lao culture from the first kings to the last sovereign.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap.
Upon your arrival at the Siem Reap International Airport, you will be welcomed by your new guide who will transfer you to the hotel.
Tonight’s dinner at the Kanell Restaurant will be unique as you will be entertained by traditional Apsara dancers who will be depicting scenes from the Khmer mythology. A cold towel, a glass of the Kanell signature drink and snacks will welcome you to the restaurant.
Day 087th Feb 2020
- Full-Day Angkor Temple Tour (B)
After breakfast, you will head to Angkor Wat: one of the most impressive religious monuments in the world and a symbol of the Khmer heritage. Its stunning base relief, massive towers and huge entrance will take your breath away.
Today is meant to be a meditative day as you will explore on foot some of Angkor’s most beautiful temples. Soon, as your eyes get accustomed to the shapes and patterns, you will catch yourself “discovering” new structures around every corner of the jungle.
Among other things, you will visit the former capital Angkor Thom (Bayon, Terrace of the Elephants) and Ta Prohm, which is famous for its massive, overgrown trees. It may look familiar to you, as it was used for the setting of the movie Tomb Raider.
Trekking distance: approx. 20 km.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 098th Feb 2020
- Siem Reap - Horse Riding - Departure (B)
Although this is the last day of this trip, it is not meant to be an idle one. After breakfast, you will go for a fun and exciting horse ride (approx. 2 hours), during which you will visit places that are otherwise unreachable, passing through local countryside villages, scenic rice fields and tourist-free temple ruins. This experience will offer you an authentic taste of the Khmer lifestyle, and a welcomed break from the tourist hoards.
Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure, till the moment you should be transferred to the airport for your departure flight.
Recommended departure time of the international flight: 14:30 at the earliest.