The AbsoluteVisit Blog
The Top 100 Places in the World...And So Much More
Here is a quick video I put together of the shaky footage I captured with my new whiskered friends.
Do you have any unique animal encounters from your travels?Continue Reading The Full Post >
AV Travel Photo – Tijuca Sunrise – Rio de Janeiro, BrazilEverything in Rio always appears to be perfect – especially the simple things can often go wrong back at home. Every morning this week I have awoken to the same beautiful sun rising outside of my apartment window here in the local neighborhood of Tijuca. What a difference it makes to have a warm sun accompany you through the always challenging morning “wake-up” process.
A lot of locals will tell you winter is not a good time to visit Rio de Janeiro. I couldn’t disagree more.
The high temperature floats comfortably throughout the low eighties (high twenties celsius) and it drops just below seventy each night (twenty celsius). The majority of the days are sunny, as the winter doesn’t bring much rain and of course it never snows.
I think the Cariocas (local Rio people) are just used to much warmer weather and so crazily their bodies think you can’t go to the beach unless the temperature is in the nineties (thirties celsius). I’ve been to the beach twice this week and both times is was plenty hot outside and the sun was definitely toasting my skin.
Best of all, it is not popular to travel to Rio in the winter, which means all of your travel costs are much lower if you make a visit this time of the year. Flights, hotels and tours are all significantly cheaper.
If you have a little extra vacation time, why not book a last minute trip to my favorite city in the world this winter? The endless beaches, beautiful people and delicious caipirinhas will surely be very distracting, but make sure not to forget to cross the Rio Panoramic View AV off of your list!
AV Travel Photo – Açúcar Reality – Rio de Janeiro, BrazilThe original AV Trip plans had me flying to Madrid in a few days, but with our new changes I found myself landing in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday. Different continents, similar (and very different) languages, and both places that I really love. No complaints with the swap here
I’ll be in Rio for the next two-weeks. The plan is to split time between working on AbsoluteVisit and exploring my favorite city in the world from more of a local perspective. I’m staying with a local friend (Paloma), in a very local neighborhood (Tijuca) and trying my best to do very local things (like attempt to speak Portuguese…attempt).
Today I took my local host Paloma on a several hour afternoon street walk through the historic neighborhood of Santa Teresa. The narrow, cobblestone streets are dotted primarily with old school colonial buildings from when the Portuguese ran the place. The walk can be tough at times, but you are handsomely rewarded for traversing the steep hills with some of the best views I have found in Rio, including the view of Pão de Açúcar from Parque Das Ruinas shown in the photo below.
Since I planned out the tour and dragged my Carioca (Rio de Janeiro inhabitant) friend with me, I’m not sure this was really a “local” thing to do, but it was far away from the sun-soaked beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema – good enough in my book!
Borobudur, AV #25
Two weeks ago we visited AbsoluteVisit #25, Borobudur! This was our 8th AbsoluteVisit of the trip and was one that we had never seen before, but were both very curious to explore and compare to the other incredible temples we had seen in the region.
Unfortunately the weather gods delivered us clouds for our entire visit, but we were still able to enjoy a decent sunrise and sunset from the top of the temple. All in all we had a great time and really enjoyed spending hours trying to take the perfect photos of the bell-shaped stupas from the top!
[Don't miss our favorite PHOTOS and a VIDEO from our trip to Borobudur!]Continue Reading The Full Post >
A quick layover in Singapore and one EPIC view of the cityOur path taking us from the Philippines and the Banaue Rice Terraces to Indonesia and Borobudur left us with a several hour layover in Singapore. Even though the Singapore airport is known for offering one of the most comfortable layovers on the planet, the two of us were eager to get out and have a quick look at Singapore.
AV Trip Photo – Two Wheel Circus – Jakarta, IndonesiaEveryone is overwhelmed on their first trip to Asia by the number of scooters found zooming through the streets. These daredevil drivers often perform maneuvers reserved for video games back where we come from. The normally boring daily commute turns into something you could watch for hours.
I’ve witnessed lots of crowded streets throughout my travels in Asia, but never before have I seen such madness as I did this week in Jakarta. These are the most complicated and crazy streets that I have ever seen. Crossing the road turns into a game of Frogger cranked up to level 10+. I’m convinced that my odds of dying while traveling have never been greater than when I spend the day criss crossing the Jakarta streets.
Here is what one of the less crowded roads looked like from where I stood as the two wheel circus flew by!
AV Trip Photo – The Future Riders – Jakarta, IndonesiaJakarta often is knocked as a tourist destination because of having a real lack of anything “touristy” to do here. Additionally the city is incredibly crowded and very intimidating to navigate.
For us, the crowds create a never ending web of people and places to explore. Yesterday we stumbled down some random back alley streets near our hostel and ran into a couple of kids who were truly enjoying life. They were riding around the alley on their little bikes, pretending to be like their parents who navigate the crowded streets of Jakarta on their scooters everyday.
Scenes like these bring a huge smile to my face. There is nothing that I enjoy more about traveling around the world than seeing people happily going about their normal lives. No tourist attraction in Jakarta or elsewhere can give you the same feeling.
Angkor Wat Visit, AV #7
Last week we visited Angkor Wat in Cambodia, marking our 6th AbsoluteVisit on our journey to see the top 100 places in the world! We spent three days exploring the temples, waking up at 4am every morning to beat the tourists and capture all of the magic at sunrise. The infamous Angkor heat and the early starts really wore us down towards the end, but I think we were able to capture some amazing stuff before our eventual collapse on the bus ride back to Bangkok.
[Don't miss a VIDEO of us attempting a jump squat in front of Angkor Wat!]Continue Reading The Full Post >
AV Trip Photo – Sleeping Stone Giant – Bayon Temple – Siem Reap, CambodiaWhy is Bayon our favorite temple to hang out at when visiting The Temples of Angkor? Easy. There are 216 of these massive stone faces, each taller than my six foot frame. Can you imagine hanging out in the 5am darkness with these guys looking over your shoulder? On our recent visit there were even bats precariously zooming past our heads as we set our tripods up awaiting the sun.
Do you agree that Bayon is the coolest temple to walk around at Angkor? If not, what temple moves you the most?
AV Trip Photo – Angkor Wat Stone Battle – Siem Reap, CambodiaYesterday I published a photo highlighting the incredible detail on the walls of Angkor Wat. In order to get across how cool these stone engravings are, I wanted to share another picture of inside Angkor Wat today.
This fighting scene is part of a massively long wall that contains a beautiful story of ancient times. The engravings are so detailed and numerous that I’d have to imagine a translation of the events to paper would fill hundreds of pages in a book!
Does anyone have any cool “detailed” pictures from their own Angkor Wat visit? You should be able to attach them to a comment. I’d love to see them