26 Jan 2008
Gibbons sound something like a the slide whistle I had when I was a kid. I heard them the last two mornings from a treehouse above the canopy, 40 meters off the ground. The jungle is a noisy place in general in the morning, and sitting there listening to it was a humbling experience. If I had to put it in perspective, I’d say it was somewhere behind Christmas mornings as a child, but way ahead of the last episode of Dallas.
The place I went was called the Gibbon Experience, and it was a series of treehouses (which we slept in) with zip lines across the valleys. The zip lines were fun, but what was really great was that the jungle was pretty pristine, from what I could tell. The presence of farangs keeps the locals from poaching, cutting, and squatting on this land. The Gibbon Experience pays for law enforcement in the preserve borders. The trip was very expensive, but the money goes for a good cause. I lost a sandal, hit a tree on one of the lines, and had to go on a nighttime rescue mission, but I came away with a smile. (BTW, the rescue mission resulted in us finding our “lost” housemate in another treehouse, sipping Ovaltean and flirting with the guides. Our rescue felt more like an intrusion. Zipping in the pitch dark, though, was a kick).
I’m back in Huay Xai, and I will take the slow boat down the Mekong tomorrow for Luang Prabang. My trip is already getting short.
posted Saturday January 2008