At 7pm we will meet at ‘Terre Rouge’ hotel for a trek briefing. It is the first opportunity for
everyone to meet the people on their trek and to run over the final details so everyone knows
what to expect. All participants then sign the consent form and are free to enjoy their last night
before the adventure begins.
You will be picked up from your hotel at 8am and depart by car from Ban Lung at 8:30am and
travel 35 km north to Kachon village approximately 45 minutes away. In Kachon, a boat will be
waiting to take you 12 km, again approximately 45 minutes downstream on the Sesan River
to Veun Sai town. On this journey you can observe the nature on the riverbank and the daily
activities of the people who live along the river.
In Veun Sai town we will take bicycle to travel about 30 minutes to I Tub village, a Laotian
community approximately halfway to the Veun Sai-Siem Pang Conservation Area station.
Once in I Tub, we will take a short break for lunch and meet with a member of the Community-
based Ecotourism Team. After lunch we continue to the station by bike along a forest path, we
might see tracks and signs of some of the local wildlife such as the claw marks of the sun bear
on the tree trunks, or footprints of deer and other species as well as local birds. We will cycle
the majority of the way but in order to get a good look at our surroundings we will hike in some
At around 3pm we will arrive at the gibbon research station where you will be introduced to the
station chief, scientists and researchers, your gibbon guide and shown around the camp. You
then have time to relax and make yourself comfortable before walking to the nearby savannah
for a spot of bird watching; alternatively you can take out the mountain bikes and cycle around
the forest paths before sit down to an early dinner at 6:45pm
The night hike
At around 8pm we go for an hour night jungle hike, equipped with torches. The canopy
is home to many nocturnal animals such as the pygmy-loris (a small arboreal primate) and the
civet (a small jungle cat). Close to the ground, it is much harder to spot other night animals;
however with the torches the reflection of their eyes often reveals their location. You will then
head to bed at about 10:00pm before rising early as you will need to be awake well before
sunrise the next day.
their territory as soon as dawn breaks. At 4am, whilst it is still dark we following a small trail
to the protected gibbon area about 45 minutes away to make sure that we are there in time to
hear their call. We then reach the edge of a grassy savannah and wait for the call of a certain
gibbon family, currently the only group that accepts people in their presence. The different
groups start to call (sing) at around sunrise with some calls carrying up to 2km.
Once the habituated groups of gibbons starts to sing, the gibbon guide will try to locate them in
the forest as fast as possible and he will guide us to the spot so we can watch them as they
go about their morning activities in the tree canopy. In some cases they let you come very
close – less than 15 meters – which provides an excellent opportunity to take pictures. This is a special time as the gibbons can travel quickly in the trees and leave in a split second,
anytime they want. Once they do, it can be very difficult for us to find them again, however the group can often be followed for a couple of hours throughout the forest.
After the gibbon spotting we head back to the station for brunch at about 10:30am.
We then pack up and get ready to leave. We follow a different path through the jungle and head
back to I Tub village. Again, some parts we will cycle some we will walk. On the way we visit a Chinese and Laos settlement and take a short walk around the village. It’s a nice idyllic village with
friendly people and on certain days you will be able to witness traditional local weaving.
We then continue back to Veun Sai town, cross the Sesan River by a small ferry, before stopping
off for lunch at a restaurant that boasts a beautiful view of the river and its banks. Our journey has now
come to an end and we are picked up by car and travel back to Ban Lung arriving at approximately 3pm.
Other trek highlights
- Seeing B52 bomb craters which are now waterholes for resident animals
- Seeing a salt lick, where monkeys, deer and forest cattle come to eat soil which is high in minerals
- Bird watching in Veal Thom as the sun goes down
- Walk the silvered langur trail, you just might see a monkey staring back at you.
- Walk the resin trail and see how local communities collect tree resin sustainably to support their local livelihoods