Tim: Our last day in Vang Vieng Amber, Joe, and I opted for the Nam Lik Jungle Fly. The location was 2 hours south of us by van then a 20 minute boat ride, then a 30 minute hike. It is probably the first time this trip that we have been completely away from civilization, no cars, no motor bikes, no buildings. It was nice, and we definitely want to find more seclusion from the affects of modern civilization.
The Jungle Fly included 9 different zip lines, and 5 bridges. It took about 1.5 to 2 hours to make it all the way down. This zip line would probably not meet the safety standards required in the states, but that just added to the excitement. The equipment and gear was not the issue, it was more the limited supervision where we were hooking in and out of the safe ropes on our own. Also the platforms were very small with no railing. At times there were 8 of us crammed on one platform. It you did not clip yourself in properly it could be a 20 meter fall to the jungle floor. The land platforms were also low enough that if you did not lift your legs on the approach you could potentially split open or even break your shins. There was also no safety stop except for the guide who stood there to slow you down if you came in too hot to avoid smashing into the tree that the cable was secured to. In order to get back to the ground, the guides belayed each person down manually on a slightly weathered rope. Having said that, it was amazing, and We felt safe most of the time.
Overall it was a thrilling experience and definitely a highlight of the trip so far.
Amber: After taking an hour to jump off of a fifteen foot cliff on Koh Tao, my fear of heights has been tested again. A little more successfully. The ziplining experience was terrifying and exhilerating all at once, but all in all, I loved it! We had three guides, so one would always be in front of us with the other two either helping the other six people on the tour. The main guide loved to torture the two ladies on the trip by dropping us from the 20 meter belay at free fall speed and then stopping us and letting us hang for a bit. The guides had a great sense of humor about the whole thing, I screamed alot. The ziplining itself was really fun; they started us out on smaller lines and by the end we were well up in the canopy, zipping along about 170m of cable. We ended all too soon! To wrap things up we took a quick swim in the very swift river and then headed back to Vang Vieng.