The Gibbon Experience in Laos is a eco tourism concept that is turning the rainforrest profitable in other ways than just chopping it down. It consists of a number of treehuts up to 50 metres abover the ground, each connected to eachoter by zip-wires. It’s a bit pricy but most of the money goes towards the preservation of the forrest and most importantly the Gibbons that live there. The Gibbons are a very shy type of ape that is hard to spot. We spent three days up in the trees and trekked the forrest looking for them. The experience of waking up to the sound of the Gibbons calling and then putting on your harness to zip down the wires after them is simply priceless, RECOMMENDED!
Check out my travelblog at www.175days.no
Under the living root bridge near Mawlynnong in Khasi hills, Meghalaya. The roots of the trees on the banks have been knitted to form a bridge in the early days by the war-Khasi tribes. Not really sure how old the bridge is!
In order to make a rubber tree’s roots grow in the right direction - say, over a river - the Khasis use betel nut trunks, sliced down the middle and hollowed out, to create root-guidance systems.
The thin, tender roots of the rubber tree, prevented from fanning out by the betel nut trunks, grow straight out. When they reach the other side of the river, they’re allowed to take root in the soil. Given enough time, a sturdy, living bridge is produced.
Text by Soumya Menon - A Living Root Bridge, near Mawlynnong village.
In a region which receives the maximum rainfall, where the terrain is rugged, with steep cliffs and rapid flowing rivers from waterfalls originating higher up in the mountains, these bridges serve to connect otherwise inaccessible villages, deep in the mountains.
The Indian Banyan -the Ficus benghalensis- grows on giant boulders by sheer cliff faces or along river banks, sending many secondary roots from the tree trunk down to the rivers. The roots (and branches) of the Ficus benghalensis are cleverly engineered by the War Khasi people to form this bridge, unique to this region, and a marvel to behold.
Midway on 9 km long trekking trail to Triund (2975m), a small plateau on the foot ridge nestled in the Dhauladhar Mountains, the weather suddenly turned with a quick hail storm engulfing the whole visage…The trees wore a misty look and seemed happy as always….