Zip-lining over Laos

Gear up, clip in and step off the platform. That’s all there is to zip-lining, right?

Not so much in Laos, where everything runs a bit slower and more relaxed. Getting to the site, for instance, was a 2+ hour adventure out of Vientiane, including a van, a transfer to another truck at a random turn-off and eventually a 20 minute boat ride up the river which was one of the high points of the day.

Puttering up the river we passed lots of locals, including these women fishing:

There was a lunch break and then some hiking; you have to get to the top of the canopy somehow. And the views along the way were nothing to sneer at.

From there it really was just a matter of getting the gear on and jumping off the platform, trusting that the wire would hold and that the ride would be worthwhile. It did and it was!

There was more to the day than just the zip-lines. The path through the trees also included "obstacles" of a sort, challenges to get past as we moved between the zip-line runs. They were both fun and a bit difficult, though we all made it through OK.

The longest of the runs was over 180 meters; the highest was 37 meters off the forest floor. That’s something like 20 seconds of flying, spinning and dodging the occasional errant branch. And there were a bunch of "flights" during the afternoon.

There were also a couple spots where we had to change elevations, with the guides lowering us down. Not nearly as exciting, but some great views as we did it.

And then it was back on the boat and back down river. More time to check out the locals and just relax before the van ride back into town.

Overall this was a great way to spend the afternoon. We knew that we’d be desperately bored in Vientiane and got lucky wandering past the kiosk downtown for Green Discovery Tours. It didn’t take long for them to get us signed up for their tour going out to Nam Lik. And their team was incredibly professional, helping and encouraging where needed, focused on safety and able to have a ton of fun while doing it.

More photos from the day here.

More from our trip through Laos here.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Loved that post! I’m hooked on zip lining. This is now in my go to places. But up next: Costa Rica!

    1. Sorry, Muerl, but I’ve got stories to tell. πŸ˜‰

      I made the video using Windows Live MovieMaker, mike. It mostly sucks, but I’ve learned how to work through many of its limitations and the price (free) makes it hard to beat. One of these days I’ll get a step or two more advanced, but for now it meets my budget and time constraints.

  2. Laos is on my list of places that I’ll be visiting in the near future. Bit with this write up, I want to drop everything and leave right now to enjoy such pristine adventures. BTW nice pics!

  3. Yea, I get it Seth I want some Beer Lao and some Larp looking at the river.

    Aptraveler its amazing. We did zip lining up North in Bokeo Nature Reserve at the Gibbon Experience, which was expensive, but a unparalleled experience. You Zipline into Tree houses and then spend the night in them.

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