Zipping Through the Weekend

Students cycled and zipped through the weekend with endless adventures in Laos.

After renting a bunch of bikes, staff and students cycled out to the popular silk neighbourhood of Luang Prabang. We cycled out to the local shops in 20 minutes which allowed us to explore more of the city in such a short period of time. The silk district is known for its production of silk and handwoven silk goods made on site.

We arrived at the shops and witnessed the local women and their skillful artisanship as they worked with the looms, thread by thread.

While silk is the most popular item on site, we also watched the construction of elephant dung paper! In the early stages of production, the waste is combined with water and sifted through to create a flat sheet prior to drying. The final products came in a variety of shapes and colours – environmentally sustainable and fun! Students then put their strong barter and bargaining skills to practice in the shop before heading back for our afternoon excursion to the Green Jungle.

After a quick lunch and break, our carts arrived to take us down to the ferry docks and onward to our zip-lining excursion. We crossed the Mekong River by boat before then jumping in the back of trucks to the Laos Green Jungle, an adventure park with waterfalls and thrill-seeking activities.

We learned upon arrival that this park used to be owned by the King of Laos which is why the trees towered high above us. At the heart of the park is a massive, stunning waterfall that splits into pools before the water makes its way down the Mekong River. Equipped with our harnesses and helmets, we received a brief training demo before ascending up into the trees with our guides. Broken up into three groups, we crossed a series of suspended wooden planks before making it to the first station.

As soon as our feet hit the second platform we were all in for an unexpected surprise. One by one, small droplets of rain began to pour down from the sky and into the trees. From that point on we continued our trek through the trees in the rain until we made it back to the first checkpoint. Where some made running jumps to gain speed, other student lifted their feet to zoom by upside down!

Mathilde had this to share about her zip lining experience:

“I originally thought that the rain was going to dampen our experience but we made the most out of it and had a lot of fun. The park was really beautiful and the beautiful waterfall made us all want to jump in. The last stretch of zipping was the best because all I could think about was being in the air during the rain. We all joked around and had a great time despite the downpour!”

On Wednesday we will make our way over to Thailand via the Mekong River. We will be packing our suitcases for a two-day adventure sail up the Mekong until reaching the Thai border and onward to Chiang Rai. Stay tuned for updates from the river cruise!

Yours in the trees,
Nic