. We began by coming to some small animal habitats. The large one housed an Indo-Chinese tiger and you could see the beast roaming around through his jungle. The other housed Asiatic bears, which are really strange looking b/c the fur on their face sticks out to the side making them meaner looking than the American bear. Inside a small house there were some baby bears and we were able to feed them bananas and some porridge! We continued on and found a small waterfall are with about 9 cascading falls and a nice swimming hole with a rope swing. We explored a bit and make a mental note to come back here. As we continue up the trail the falls get better and better, each time thinking that this is the main waterfall. Then we begin hearing this thunderous roar and as we come through a clearing see the most beautiful waterfall I've ever been to! Dozens of small and dozens of large powerful falls everywhere, tumbling over the sloping mountainside with the tiniest rock causing a magnificent spray and new water formation. We walk closer and the power of the water sends wind and water spray at you in what you imagine a small hurricane would be like. There's a trail that goes up the mountain next to the falls so we go up, actually I race ahead and go up, and take another side trail that leads you very close to the falls to a small level land formation in the middle of the falling water. From there you can look down to where the falls hit and where we were standing and where the river leads off back to our swimming hole. Going back I decide to keep climbing up and find myself, after a killer stairmaster workout, completely drenched in sweat, but on top of the mountain where I begin looking for the waterfall source. The source must've been deep in that jungle b/c I explored it pretty good - walking through the mud, swimming across ponds, but enjoying the solitude and peacefulness. As I was hiking back to the trail I was in a field of green and it began raining softly, just lovely, and then it began to downpour, so I found myself hiking down this incredibly steep and slippery trail to find the others
. Eventually I do and we do some swimming and waterfall diving and then decide that rain be damned we must go to our swimming hole, and in particular, our rope swing! Justin, Jonathan, Myrna, and I get there quickly and have loads of fun swinging around and end up taking some fun pictures with me waterfall jumping, Justin swinging, and Jonathan tree diving (Myrna photographed). The water is great, a pale lime green, and the waterfalls are great b/c the rock has great traction and we can climb all over them and not fall. We decided it was time to go and stopped at a small restaurant at the park entrance. As we're eating I see Kate and James (Canada) who I had hiked with in the rainforest in Malaysia! We chat for a bit and I tell them of the dinner with Robby, which is now a huge dinner party with everyone invited, and they agree to come.
We get back to LP and check email and guess who just arrived...Jamo and Juliano! After a while, we head out for dinner. I chose this restaurant I saw that was fairly cheap and had cheap BeerLao and lots of strange choices, well strange for travelers, like buffalo or some weird bird, whatever. We have a huge group now with the addition of Robby, Kate, James, Jamo, and Juliano - about 12 I think. So, dinner, introductions, conversation, laughs and then some go home, some go to a bar called the Hive for a few drinks - a great day overall.
Really, if it wasn't for this journal I would have NO CLUE as to what the date was, much less what day it was! It was a rainy day, but since we had already arranged a transport to Kuoang Si Park and it could possibly still be raining tomorrow, we decided to just go. First I had breakfast and sitting there at the restaurant was Robby (US) who I had done my Advances Scuba license with on the Gili's in Indonesia! We chat for a bit and I arrange a meeting place for dinner. The 3 Brits had left that morning for Thailand to meet some friends, which left Justin, myself, Jonathan, and the 3 Mexican girls - Myrna, Bianca, and Daniella. Myrna's nice; Bianca isn't stuck-up, more hard to get to know; and Daniella is pretty much just rude and unrealistic, but condescendingly nice. We arrive there about 11 am and instead of taking the main trail I suggest we take a side trail and the road less traveled. It turned out to be the best idea eventually. Instead of taking us straight to the giant falls, we arrived there gradually and it made the falls that much more impressive