We rented a motorbike for the day and glided through the winding roads up to the waterfalls we toured a few days back. The light morning mist was nearly burnt off by the sun and it was turning into another comfortable upper 70's day. We reached the falls at bear feeding time. Rather than throwing big chunks of meat in a pen for them to fight over, which is what I had envisioned, the bear keepers stash fruits and vegetables throughout the large yard for the bears to exercise their foraging skills. It was absolutely adorable watching ten bears climbing, digging, knocking over piles of wood, and prodding in holes to dig out bananas.
We hiked straight up to the top of the falls and found a path that ran off into the jungle. Did I mention I love the jungle? cuz I really love the jungle. Staring up towering trees mesmerized and awe struck, gazing at the intricate designs of the flowers, taking note of the hundreds of shades and hues of green coating the hillsides. The jungle is so full of vibrant life... it is also balanced by continual death creating deep layers of musky rot under foot.
At moments we would stop and sit still and let the forest speak. Once we stopped moving the jungle would start. The two butterflies turned into eight and then we'd notice a dozen and then all you could see is butterflies flitting about. A soft gust of wind would pick up shaking the trees who then let go of their unneeded leaves raining down different colors and textures.
It's a good thing the flora had so much to say because the fauna has been eaten. Outside of small insects and other bite sized birds there are no animals to be found in Laos. No squirrels, lizards, monkeys or even rats are here. The only wildlife here are the endangered Asian bears in their refugee camp and elephants who are put to work to entertain tourists. Oh well, who needs stupid yummy animals when you have such nice foliage.