Our first stop in Laos was a three-day adventure in the Bolaven Plateau in the southern part of the country. After an all day bus trip from Phnom Penh (Cambodia), we crossed the border and arrived in Pakse, a sleepy riverside town in southern Laos, from where the trip would start.
We spent the next three days with a friendly Australian-Vietnamese family of five and our three guides, hiking through the jungle and ziplining between huge trees through deep river valleys. The three kids' excitement and hyperaciveness entertained us and got us even more pumped for each zipline as we whizzed past gorgeous waterfalls, over rivers far below us, and through dense jungle. The longest zipline we did was 450 m and took close to a minute from start to finish!
In the afternoons, we hung out at the main treehouse, overlooking one of the most beautiful waterfalls I've ever seen. The pools below the falls were perfect for swimming and playing around.
We slept in a private treehouse that was only accessible by a short zipline, which really made us feel like we were in the tree canopy.
On the last day, we abseiled from the top of the big waterfall down to the bottom, and then started hiking back to the village where we left from two days before, using a via ferrata (a system of iron cables, ladders, or steps built into a rock face or mountain that can be used to ascend or descend) along the way. It went much better than that time on the Ampitheatre hike in South Africa: we had harnesses and ropes and there were no crazy wind gusts!
Tree Top Explorer was a really fun way to get deep into the jungle-- which illegal loggers thankfully have not ravaged yet-- and see the area from a different perspective. We wore harnesses and there were plenty of safety measures, so it wasn't scary at all (well, unless you're scared of heights and then you should probably not sign up for this!).