Based on geolocation data from Panorimio, here’s an excellent map of the most photographed places on earth, but together by Bluemoon.ee. While I’m sure a good portion of this map data corrolates with “population density of those who can afford cameras” as Reddit user kingleo1 points out, it’s still an interesting study of where people take pictures. Now, after looking at this map, my first thought is – I want to go find the least photographed places! Who’s up for a trip to Mongolia? Most photographed places in the world via @Earth_Pics – Imgur. And yes, this too.
Google is quickly developing products for presence in the Travel space, and with their existing scope and technology resources, I can see them making a significant impact if they want, giving emerging startups like BonVoyaging stiff competition. Here’s my rundown of some recent Google Travel projects… Top five travel items that make me think Google may be trying to take over the travel industry: Tour Builder Google+ Travel Google City Experts Are you an expert on all the best places to eat, shop and play in your city? If so, then we want you to join the Google City Expert program and start receiving exclusive perks! The Google City Expert program brings together the most active users on Google Maps who write reviews and upload photos of local places. As a City Expert you will receive: Access to fun, exclusive events in your local area, Free custom swag, Special online recognition Google Field Tripper Google Flights Google tightens grip on future of the travel industry – also puts startups in a tough spot – Tnooz.
After spending three months living and working in Antarctica with the United States Antarctic Program, I was dropped off in Christchurch in February, 2013, and spent the next three and a half months traveling up through Australia and New Zealand, around Southeast Asia, and finally up to Japan. It was an incredible opportunity, the trip of a lifetime, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. View Larger Map All of my blog posts about Traveling Through Australia, New Zealand, SE Asia, and Japan, including most photos can be found at: http://JeffreyDonenfeld.com/blog/tag/southeast-asia-travels-2013/ Related Media: All of my edited photos, available on Flickr Video clips on YouTube Global Travel Map During my travels, I travelled technically alone – I wasn’t specifically traveling from the beginning with any other person. However, throughout my journey, I was rarely actually alone. I ended up meeting lots of fellow adventurers and locals in all of the countries I visited. My very general route of travel was: New Zealand – Christchurch, Queenstown, Mt. Cook Australia – Sydney, Brisbane, Sydney Indonesia – Bali, Lombok, Komodo, Flores, Java, Jakarta Singapore Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur Thailand – Ko Lanta, Tonsai, Railay, Ko Pi Pi, Phuket, Bangkok, Kanchanaburi Myanmar (Burma) – Yangon, Laisho, Hsipaw, Mandalay, Bagan, Yangon Thailand – Chiang Mai Laos – Luang Prabang Vietnam – Hanoi, Halong Bay, Danang, Hue, Hoi An, Saigon Cambodia – Phnom Penh, Siem Reap Thailand – Bangkok Japan – Tokyo, Yokohama, Kyoto, Tokyo Below I’ve written a few summaries on various topics from my travels, as well as linked to all major media items, and articles written about my time in each country. Adventure Gear After I was dropped off in Christchurch, I had about 50lbs of gear with me, spread out over three bags – my Black Diamond Quantum 55L backpack, my Deuter 30L backpack, and my Patagonia Black Hole 90L duffle. This was mostly gear for the climate in Antarctica, and a bunch of personal comfort stuff like books, magazines, hoodies, slippers, etc that made life at the south pole much more comfortable. Obviously it was way too much to travel with on my own – and luckily, it was easy to sent home. For 10 days after I arrived back in Christchurch, I was given access to the APO Post Office. The APO is a military post office, and provides users with postage rates similar to what you’d find domestically. So I packed up everything except for a few items, and sent it all home in a giant box – all for about $45. I packed all of my travel gear in one single GoLite Jam 50L backpack. I had my father send me the backpack for pickup in Christchurch, and it was great. The Jam 50 is an ultralight, minimalist backpack, with just the right amount of space and features to make adventure traveling with it a pleasure. Once packed up, all of my gear weighed about 11kg, and included capability for me to go camping, swimming, hiking, and …
On our way down to Hue, we made one brief, but solid stop at the Vinh Moc Tunnels. From Wikipedia: Vinh Moc (V?nh M?c) is a tunnel complex in Quang Tri, Vietnam. During the Vietnam War it was strategically located on the border of North Vietnam and South Vietnam. The tunnels were built to shelter people from the intense bombing of Son Trung and Son Ha communes in Vinh Linh county of Quang Tri Province in the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone. The American forces believed the villagers of Vinh Moc were supplying food and armaments to the North Vietnamese garrison on the island of Con Co which was in turn hindering the American bombers on their way to bomb Hanoi. The idea was to force the villagers of Vinh Moc to leave the area but as is typical in Vietnam there was nowhere else to go. The villagers initially dug the tunnels to move their village 10 metres underground but the American forces designed bombs that burrowed down 10 metres. Eventually against these odds, the villagers moved the village to a depth of 30 metres. It was constructed in several stages beginning in 1966 and used until early 1972. The complex grew to include wells, kitchens, rooms for each family and spaces for healthcare. Around 60 families lived in the tunnels; as many as 17 children were born inside the tunnels. Since the area above the tunnels was continuously pummeled by bombs during the war, bomb craters are everywhere – and huge. Concrete ditches run everywhere, allowing the people living in the tunnels to sneak around on the surface, and fight against enemies on the land. The tunnels sit on a hillside looking over the South China Sea. It’s a beautiful view. Inside, the tunnels are very very small and cramped – it’s amazing that anybody was able to live in there for as long as they did.
After departing the beautifully abandoned Cuc Phuong National Park Resort and stopping to see a few monkeys and turtles, we hopped on bikes to complete the next leg of the journey through Cuc Phuong National Park. View Larger Map There’s a reasonably well maintained concrete road that winds its way through the park – perfect for leisurely biking. Our main stop during our day of biking was at the Na Mo Cave of Prehistoric Man. From Wikitravel: The Cave of Prehistoric man is the site of the one of the earliest discoveries of human habitation in Vietnam. Excavated in 1966, the cave revealed human graves, stone axes, pointed bone spears, oyster shell knives, and tools for grinding dating back 7,500 years ago. Exploring the cave was interesting – it wasn’t particularly difficult to access the entrance – but when we arrived, it was realized that nobody had brought a flashlight or headlamp except for me. I was lucky to have my headlamp with me, but everybody else used the flashes on their smartphones as flashlights – lame, but it worked. In traveling alone through asia, I got to meet all sorts of people – including ones who go caving without a proper light! It was all in good fun, though.
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