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ho chi minh city flower shop

Saigon Flower Shop

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Street sellers survey colorful blooms outside their flower shop in the Vietnamese capital.

paradise cruises in halong bay

Halong Bay Sunrise

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Situated in northeast Vietnam, Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is known for its thousands of limestone karst islands in various shapes and sizes of which there are between 1,960 and 2,00 of them. The limestone in this bay has gone through continual change over the past 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments.

This particular morning sunrise saw a calm sea swathed in the usual fog (said to be caused by excessive pollution inland). Junk boat tours with companies like Paradise Cruises operate year-round in Halong Bay.

angkor wat buddhist temple

Buddhist Temple

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Three monks in conversation at the entrance of an Angkor Wat Buddhist temple near Siem Reap.

It’s extraordinary how these monuments have survived so well for several centuries under the encroachment of the jungle. Restoration to certain badly damaged parts of the complex continues to this day.

 

angkor wat temple images

Looking towards Buddha

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Two little Cambodian children stare into history as they gaze at a Buddha statue in an adjacent complex.

With very warm daily temperatures in this part of the world, many children will play inside among the temple structures to remain cool.

 

little cambodian girls

Bracelets for Sale

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

These two little Cambodian girls are selling their homemade bracelets to visitors in and around Angkor Wat. Poverty is rife in this part of the world, but generally, the Cambodian children are extremely demure and unlike the street-wise kids of most other Asian countries.

You can help these children and transform their lives by sponsoring a child through the Cambodian Children’s Fund.

 

angkor wat temple buddha

Boy and Buddha

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

A Buddha towers above a small boy who assists his seniors with the preparation of worship ceremonies inside an Angkor Wat temple.

There is such a feeling of calmness and serenity surrounding this place which leaves a befitting memory to those who experience it. The wonderment of the construction and detail of the carvings is also a joy to behold.

 

cambodian apsara dancers

Cambodian Apsara Dancers

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Within the great Angkor Wat temple complex, these Cambodian Apsara dancers display their art for visitors. Over a million people a year visit Siem Reap and the surrounding area to see these extraordinary monuments that have been resurrected from the jungle.

Apsaras are beautiful, supernatural female beings according to Indian mythology. They are youthful and elegant and are excellent in the art of dancing.

angkor wat temple images

Lighting the Incense

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Inside the great Angkor Wat temple complex beneath one of the many Buddha shrines, a woman prepares a fire to light incense sticks for those wanting to worship.

The experience of peace and serenity surrounding this wonderful place are enjoyed by over a million people per year. It is thought that a cap on visitor numbers may be introduced in the coming years.

 

angkor wat temple trees

Reach for the Sky

Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

These 15th-century temples of Ta Prohm were so well built that even after many centuries in the jungle they still stand today. Trees grow out of the ruins as their extraordinary root structures seek new gripping points wherever possible.

Angkor Wat is the world’s largest religious monument, which includes temples, reservoirs, and canals. The website ‘World Archaeology’ describes Angkor Wat as “the most extensive urban complex in the pre-industrial world.

 

angkor wat tree

Historic Roots

Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

After the fall of the Khmer Empire in the 15th century, the temple of Ta Prohm (the modern name of the temple at Angkor in Siem Reap Province) was abandoned and neglected for centuries.

When conservation and restoration of the temples of Angkor began in the early 21st century, it was decided that Ta Prohm would be left mainly as it had been found, as it was the one which had best merged with the jungle, without becoming part of it.

This tree soars skywards while the roots maintain their reptilian-like grip on the beautifully carved temple structures below.

angkor wat tree roots

A Lattice of Life in Ruins

Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

The power of nature combined with the extraordinary building structures enable scenes like this all over the Angkor Wat temples complex. The roots of mainly fig trees bid to consume the efforts of these manmade structures.

However, this “Great City” of Angkor Thom was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire established in the late 12th century by King Jayavarman VII still stands tall and fights back the jungle encroachment.

Assos in Kefalonia

Assos in Kefalonia

Kefalonia, Greece

Assos is a village on the west coast of the Greek island of Kefalonia. It was founded under Venetian rule and it served as the administrative capital of northern Cephalonia from 1593 onwards.

The famous Myrtos beach is located a few miles south of Assos, and both areas are naturally popular on the tourist trail.

navagio beach greece

Navagio Beach in Greece

Zakynthos, Greece

Navagio Beach or Shipwreck Beach, is an exposed cove and only accessible from the sea. It is often referred to as “Smugglers Cove”, on the coast of Zakynthos, in the Ionian Islands of Greece.

On 2 October 1980, during stormy weather and poor visibility, a freightliner, the MV Panagiotis, ran aground in the waters around Zakynthos Island on Navagio Beach. It is thought that the ship was smuggling contraband cigarettes, wine and women. Having been abandoned the ship now rests buried in the limestone gravel of the beach that now bears the nickname Shipwreck.

sapa vietnam pictures

Misty Terraces in Sapa

Lao Cai, Sapa, Vietnam

Mist rolls in over the Sapa rice terraces in northwest Vietnam. The district of Lao Cai is located about 260 miles from Hanoi, and one way to get there is by travelling on an overnight train journey that winds its way slowly through the hills while gaining altitude on the way.

This area is popular for trekking, staying in homestays and generally meeting the local hill-tribe people called the Hmong.

sapa rice fields vietnam

Sapa Rice Fields

Lao Cai, Sapa, Vietnam

Rice terraces have been built into the mountain slopes for cultivation by reclaiming the land from nature. Views of this epic scenery are frequently subdued by thick mist rolling through the valley’s, but even when it’s cloudy, the local hill-tribe people (Hmong) fill the towns and villages with colour.

 

sapa vietnam photos

Terraces in Sapa

Lào Cai Province, Sapa, Vietnam

Approximately 236 miles northwest of Hanoi in the northern part of Vietnam lies the district of Sapa.

Known for its extensive rice terracing on the surrounding hills and mountains, travelers, trekkers and photographers are drawn to its overall beauty. Thousands of tourists come every year to trek the hundreds of miles of trails around the villages of Dao, Ta Van and Ta Phin and meet the Hmong people – a local ethnic group.

 

virginia fall colors

Virginia Fall Colors

Virginia, USA

Stunning tapestry of fall colors on full show in the mountains of Virginia, near the Wintergreen Mountain Resort.

virginia fall colors peak

Virginia Blaze

Wintergreen, Virginia

A late season show of fall colors on display in the mountains near the Wintergreen Mountain Resort in Virginia.

hiking trails images

A Fall Trail

North Carolina, USA

Fall colors gently changing in the Appalachian mountains near Boone in North Carolina.

grand teton national park

The Land is Theirs

Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming, USA

Bison graze in the early morning under the magnificent backdrop of the Grand Teton mountain range. The location is close to the renowned Moulton’s Barn on Mormon Row near Jackson Hole.