A friend and I were planning on doing the Gibbon experience in early May, which appears to be the start of the wet season...
Has anybody done Gibbons in the wet season and what was your experience? Rain doesnt bother me but I have heard some horror stories about the hike in/out (10+ hours each way in tough conditions), and wanted to get a second opinion?
Thanks for your time,
#1 beachfunguy has been a member since 21/4/2009. Posts: 9
I've not been there in wet season either, but I've also heard a number of horror stories about the walk in during the wet. On the upside, May is just the very start of the wet, so shouldn't be toooo bad.
Report back on how you go.
Thanks for the response! Fingers crossed and will keep everyone posted on how it goes!
#3 beachfunguy has been a member since 21/4/2009. Posts: 9
I've just returned to Australia after a month in SEA. 3 weeks ago I 'did' the Gibbon Experience.
Just to 'explain'...
From Huay Xai, a 4WD travels about 2 1/2 hours up the highway to the village of Ban Ta Fa (its on the LP Laos Northern section map).
From there, the 4wd has to cross a river before heading north into the Bokeo Province.
If the river is too high, the 4Wd can't cross: full stop, start walking!
The road (if you can call it that) is a red clay bench that was cut about 15 years ago for logging trucks. Generally, the surface is OK, and the topography reasonable. However, if there's been too much rain and the surface becomes too slippery, then shank's pony becomes the 'solution'.
Even though the wet season has begun, it's now more a case of heavy afternoon/night downpours than rain settled in for days (that is more typical of June onwards).
As SomTam has indicated, it's unlikely that either the river will be too high or road surface will have been compromised.
That the 'experience' is just SO SO fantastic - go for it!!
ps. Make sure you take plenty of DEET repellant, have long socks that can go well above your trousers (for avoinding leeches), and you're prepared to have very dirty boots/ shoes at the end of a wonderful journey.
not even a slight chance to jump in the bus to LP?? :(
#7 manotone has been a member since 17/11/2009. Posts: 4
based on this February's bus schedule:
if you get out & wait along HWY 3 by early aftn, you might be able to catch & squeeze onto the daily Huay Xai > LPB bus that's supposed to depart Huay Xai at 1:00PM. you'll reach LPB some time after midnight.
if it's a Mon, Wed or Fri, & you can get to HWY 3 by noon, you might be able to squeeze onto the thrice weekly Huay Xai > Vientiane bus that's supposed to depart Huay Xai at 11:30AM...& reach LPB about midnight if all goes well.
time is elastic in Laos. be prepared to wait, to be delayed (incl getting out to HWY 3), to not have a seat on the bus, for schedules to be changed, for things to just 'not happen', etc. to some of us, it's the country's way of making us pause to notice more things about her, stuff that we'd have missed if we'd just hurried by :)
thank for these informations, I really couldn't make up my mind about how getting to LPB by either boat or bus
I might just wait for next morning to get the boat to LPB then and chill out along the Mekong
anyway kop tchai for the wise advise again
#9 manotone has been a member since 17/11/2009. Posts: 4