The 31st January 2016 marked the one year anniversary since I first left the UK to go travelling. That’s one year since I quit my job, one year since I said farewell to all my friends and one year since the hideous teary goodbye with my family at Heathrow airport. So I’ve decided to mark the occasion with 12 of my favourite photos from the past 12 months.
I found it much harder than expected to choose my best photos from the year. I have had to leave out so many photos that I absolutely love. But eventually I got down to my favourite few. That isn’t to say that these are the best, most eye-catching and technically perfect photos of my collection. But I chose all 12 because they have special memories attached to them because of where I was, who I was with and what I was doing.
Chatuchak Market, Bangkok
This photo has already made a few appearances on my blog. Just because I love it! Chatuchak is my all time favourite market and my favourite weekend activity when I was training at the Muay Thai gym in Bangkok. You can buy pretty much anything you could wish for from this market. Including these creepy, lifelike Buddha statues if your heart so desired.
Posing at Angkor Wat
This was taken on my second visit to Angkor Wat. The first time I was there I was completely caught up in taking hundreds of photos of the beautiful temples and carvings. This time I was a bit more relaxed and instead amused myself watching the crowds of tourists pose in all manner of different positions and places around the temples. This was my pick of the bunch.
Taken the day before the ‘infamous’ Fanzpian climb (more to follow on that later). It was late afternoon, we had just completed a pretty strenuous 12km trek through the hills and rice paddies around Sapa and were just about ready to drop when we were met with this stunning view.
Sunrise over the temples of Bagan
My birthday last year was spent in Bagan, Myanmar. I was so nervous that I wouldn’t meet anybody and would end up spending my birthday alone but luckily I had nothing to worry about. I met a great group of people and we all spent the morning watching this beautiful sunrise over the temples of Bagan. Just as we were about to leave, when I feeling sorry for myself because I thought everyone had forgotten my birthday, they burst into a very loud version of ‘Happy Birthday’. Suffice to say, I think we disturbed the peace for everyone.
Little Bagan, Hsipaw
Another Bagan photo. Kind of. This time I was in the Northern Burmese town of Hsipaw. I was wandering through the streets when I stumbled upon this collection of mini pagodas in the centre of the village, aptly named ‘Little Bagan’. This temple was my favourite with a tree growing smack bang through its centre. Another perfect example of nature taking back what is hers.
Novice monk in Sagaing, Myanmar
Okay yes I know, another Myanmar photo. But its just such an amazing country with such a rich culture that its difficult not to get great photos. Plus, it was one of the best places I travelled to on my whole trip. This was taken in the town of Sagaing near Mandalay. We were watching the monks line up for their last meal of the day (monks are unable to eat past noon) when one of the novices looked around and caught me snapping his picture.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of Kuala Lumpur. There’s nothing specifically wrong with it; I just found it a bit…boring. But its difficult not to admire the impressiveness of the Petronas Towers, especially when they are all lit up at night.
Sunset over Canggu beach, Bali
Despite a Javanese volcano’s best efforts to stop me, I arrived in Bali halfway through my travels to meet a big group of friends, some from home and some I had met on my travels, and we rented a villa in Canggu, a surfer’s paradise a little North of Seminyak. This photo was taken at the end of a gorgeous day, whilst drinking cold beers and watching the sun set over the beach.
‘Victory beer’ at the summit of Mount Batur, Bali
To get here we had suffered through a long taxi journey from Canggu with a slightly unhinged driver who proceeded to place a curse on one of my friends. We then spent another couple of sweaty hours climbing to the summit only to be met with this ‘view’ (I suppose if you squint very hard you can just about make out the outline of the mountain to the right of the beer). It still makes me laugh to this day.
I had always thought of Borneo as a touristy place, full of honeymooners who went there to lie on beaches and see the Orangutans. In fact, Borneo turned out to be one of the wildest, off-the-beaten-track places I went on my whole trip. This photo was taken in Kinabalu National Park and I love it because it gives you some sort of idea of the vastness of the rainforest there.
Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Singapore never failed to impress me at every turn. One the one hand full of culture and tradition and on the other hand modern and on the cutting edge of technology. This was taken in the Cloud Forest dome at Gardens on the Bay. A huge indoor ecosystem featuring tropical plant life, a 35 metre tall mountain and the World’s tallest indoor waterfall.
A photo from my first ever New Zealand road trip. We hired a campervan for the weekend and drove down to Rotorua and Taupo. After 6 months of living and travelling around New Zealand, Rotorua is still one of my favourite places. This is the Champagne Lake at Wai-o-Tapu, a huge geothermal wonderland with lakes in varying colours, steaming geysers and bubbling mud pools.