Top 10 Travel Photos of 2014 #1

2014 was my most traveled year yet.  I had the good fortune to bring in the New Year in the Philippines before returning to my job in South Korea.  Summer vacation was spent backpacking Vietnam and Chuseok (Korean thanksgiving) brought me to Japan.  I ventured to Shanghai before heading back to America for the end of the year holidays and all along these crazy adventures my camera followed me.  Tens of thousands of pictures were narrowed down to roughly 30 finalists before I selected my top 10 travel photos of 2014!

#1 brings us back to Son Doong, the world’s largest cave, the deep in the jungles of Phong Nha Quang Binh National Park, Vietnam!   Its no surprise that my favorite photo of 2014 comes from the most amazing adventure I’ve ever taken.  The photo comes from deep within Son Doong in a section of the cave known as Watch out for Dinosaurs; a doline (collapsed ceiling) allowing light to pour in resulting in the spectacular jungle.  Cave formations are covered a splendor that can only be found in Son Doong are seen in the distance as the jungle’s heat mixing with cool cave air generates the cloud just slightly obscuring the far wall.

I hope you enjoyed these travel shots!  Stay tuned for some honorable mentions that barely missed the top 10!

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What is your favorite one of my photos from 2014?  How about your own favorite shot?

 Check out #2 here!

 For the best of 2013 go here!

Top 10 Travel Photos of 2014 #6

2014 was my most traveled year yet.  I had the good fortune to bring in the New Year in the Philippines before returning to my job in South Korea.  Summer vacation was spent backpacking Vietnam and Chuseok (Korean thanksgiving) brought me to Japan.  I ventured to Shanghai before heading back to America for the end of the year holidays and all along these crazy adventures my camera followed me.  Tens of thousands of pictures were narrowed down to roughly 30 finalists before I selected my top 10 travel photos of 2014!

#6 comes from Son Doong, the world’s largest cave, the deep in the jungles of Phong Nha Quang Binh National Park, Vietnam!   This muddy trench was aptly named Passchendaele and can only be visited after trekking for 2 days and camping in Hang En with Oxalis Adventure Tours.  I was lucky enough to be among the first 200 people to enter this natural masterpiece and worked with intrepid explorer Howard Limbert to capture this stunning shot.  He was as excited as me to be the first group with the right camera gear and a team that reached this point quickly enough to pose for the picture and illuminate this stunning cavern!

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 Check out #5 here!

Check out # 7 here!

Son Doong Day 4 – Great Wall of Vietnam

Rising early I enjoyed some hot tea while listening to Son Doong’s morning chorus of insects filled with an avian duet, buzzing beetles and the occasional hooting owl.  I hoped to hear a monkey or spot some of this magnificent wildlife, perhaps even the fabled flying foxes Howard mentioned.  Sipping my tea I settled for the best that nature would give me and enjoyed the serenade as our camp flickered into life with rays of morning light gleaming through the misty jungle from the aptly named doline, Garden of Edam.

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A hearty breakfast of fresh fruit and veggie filled ramen topped with eggs came out as my traveling partners emerged from their tents.  Today’s journey would take us o the mud filled trench named after WWI’s Passchendaele, a battle that claimed 310,000 Allied lives for a measly 5 mile gain.  After sloshing through the trenches we hoped to watch Deb rappel down the Great Wall of Vietnam, a 200 foot cliff, with the head of national parks and our tour company._DSC7864

Donning a grimy set of clothes we left our porters behind.  After trekking to the wall wee would return to camp for lunch before beginning our 3 day journey back to town.  As the campsite grew smaller so did our window into the sky.  We stopped for a gorgeous silhouette photo making good use of the 2nd doline’s green aperture.  Hanging right between 2 massive stalagmites the cave eyt again showed how monstrous it was.  This massive chamber wound around rock formations in rooms larger than my house when suddenly a slithering snake greeted us.

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Son Doong

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Mr. Ky shined his light warning us with a swift “No!” before backing away.  There was no translation for this jungle creature’s name other than “very dangerous,” and lets not forget that we are a 3 day journey from the road.  The meter-long serpent probably eats bats according to Thanh, who helped me keep a safe distance as I photographed the beast.

 

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Son Doong

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