I have been very fortunate to have experienced the beauty and tranquility of some of the most remote forests and jungles of Southeast Asia. I recently traveled for six weeks through Cambodia. One of the highlights was a trek through the jungle of Ratanakiri province in the northeast corner of the country, in hopes of spotting rare, northern sulphur-crested gibbons; an endangered member of the ape family.
This was a completely different experience than my stay at the Gibbon Experience in northwest Laos last year. This was a journey into Nam Kan National Park via trekking and zip lining, with a couple of nights stay at one of the adventure program’s tree houses.
Both of these wildlife encounters were thrilling but in completely different ways. In the Gibbon Experience of Laos, you are zip lining and treehouse living and given a 360 degree sensory overview of life in the jungle. Whizzing over the jungle canopy and living 50 meters above ground transforms you into what life must look like to a gibbon; complete with a chance to hear their singing calls in the morning.
In Cambodia, the gibbon over the course of several years, have been habituated to human presence, allowing you to get closer to this species than anywhere else gibbons are in the world. Following the gibbon as they swing through the jungle at speeds of up to 55km/h, was one of the most thrilling wildlife encounters of my life.
I thoroughly enjoyed both of these wildlife adventures. The excitement of getting up close to the gibbon of Cambodia was unique and a rare opportunity, usually only experienced by scientists and naturalists. This issue is devoted to my account of traveling through the Veun Sai/Siem Pang areas Gibbon Project, deep in the jungle of northwest Cambodia for an up-close encounter with the northern sulphur crested gibbon.
I am very excited to be bringing you the best of Asia, whether it’s well-known heritage sights or yet undiscovered jewels — in two exciting formats: Far East Adventure Travel Magazine and Far East Adventure Travel: The Podcast.
Far East Adventure Travel Magazine