Popularly known as the Periya Koil (Big Temple), this marvellous piece of Tamil architecture is the world’s first complete granite temple. It is located in Thanjavur (Tanjore) in Tamil Nadu and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This photo was taken by Shivani Suresh who is a Third Culture Kid (Born in India, Brought up in Rwanda). She is currently on her gap year and keeps her passion for travelling, culture, writing, and photography alive through her blog.
Travel Photography that Will Inspire Your Next Trip
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I rode Tram 21, the “tourist tram,” up to Prague Castle, but instead of getting off at the castle with the rest of the tourists I decided I wanted to see where the tram ended. The journey stopped in what seemed to be the suburbs of Prague. I had to catch another tram going back down the hill. It was just me and the local woman with the blond hair in front of me. She was staring out the window wistfully and I thought it looked like a cool picture. I took a few pictures and she looked behind at me to see where the noise of my camera was coming from. Soon thereafter, we returned to the castle and the tourists got on the tram to ride back down the hill and the quiet moment on the tram was gone.
Just over the Charles Bridge toward the Prague Castle site is a long road filled with shops and restaurants. The buildings are a myriad of pastel colors, here the buildings were Easter egg pink, blue and yellow. But then there’s the old gray and brown, medieval bridge alongside the buildings. I thought it was a cool juxtaposition of old and new.
The Jewish cemetery, located in Prague’s Jewish quarter was so fascinating to me. There’s an estimated 100,000 bodies buried here in about 11 layers of graves. The Jewish belief is that bodies cannot be moved from their original resting place. So since there was no more room in the area they just put layer on top of layer. Now there are about 12,000 visible gravestones.
Some clever entrepreneurial Czechs offer tours of Prague in these cool classic convertibles. Even though it was about 40˚F in the sunshine, every car I saw pass me by was filled with tourists. Too be honest, if I had the money I would’ve done it too!
This small bread store was just a little carved out hole in the wall and it was packed. The powerful aroma of fresh baked bread was all it took to draw in the crowds who grabbed baskets and filled them with an assortment of breads.
There were many stores in the old city of Prague with touristy items to take home to those who weren’t so fortunate to visit the city. But none were as cool this marionette store which was filled to the brim with every kind of character you could imagine from ballerinas to clowns. I loved this old marionette couple hanging in the entryway.
With all the tourists walking around, it was difficult to catch a good picture of the trams. I especially loved this shot because, as you can see if you look in the background, that the tram came through a small tunnel built into a building. The tram only came through every 10 minutes and I wanted a picture of the tram coming through the tunnel without any people walking by. After about 45 minutes, the crowds were finally beginning to disperse and the tram came through. Right as it came through a couple walked right out in front of me as I was taking the picture. Luckily, they were walking quickly and I managed to get a shot of the tram as it came toward me.
Jerri Stephenson is the co-founder of DIWYY. She recently toured Amsterdam, Berlin and Prague, and loved them all, but Prague was definitely her favorite.
Today’s featured photo is the Drum Tower in downtown Xi’an, China. Sequestered between bustling streets and hidden behind trees, it holds great mystery for the Chinese and tourists alike because of the swallows that soar around it day and night. This image was taken by Bethany West who is a 20-year-old student with a passion for traveling that started when she went to Ireland in 2003 with her mom and siblings. Her experiences traveling abroad and in the U.S. have boosted her self confidence and taught her to believe that there is goodness in the world in the form of a friendly face and a helpful point in the right direction. She savors every trip, no matter how small, and hopes to inspire others to travel to places unmemorialized in touristy guidebooks.
Thailand by itself is a gorgeous country. Full of color, activity and emotion it’s hard to imagine taking a bad photograph of the people or places within Thailand. Not being too Photoshop savvy and being quite in love with Instagram, I gathered a few of my favorite photographs from my recent trip to Thailand with the Tourism Authority of Thailand and decided to enhance my amateur photographs a little.
- Our first night in Thailand, we attended the Beautiful Thailand reception at the Anantara Bangkok. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), which hosted the event, went all out by providing engaging and breathtaking entertainment. The performers wore beautiful sparkling, detailed costumes and Miss Thailand even made an appearance. I was very intrigued by the Lotus lamps which the female performers carried with them in the performance. Their costumes were so intricate and detailed that I found myself forgetting to watch the performance as I contemplated how long it took to make them.
- After my first classic Thai massage at RarinJinda Resort and Spa in Chiang Mai, I was treated to ginger tea and my first ever dish of mango and sticky rice. I was completely unprepared for the sweet tastiness of sticky rice paired with the juiciest mango I’ve ever had. I feel that Thailand has kept this delicious treat a secret for too long! They can no longer keep this to themselves. I’m revealing the secret. Mango and sticky rice is better than chocolate cake!
- As we prepared to ride the elephants at the elephant camp outside of Chiang Mai (perhaps another post in itself for a later time), I was struck by this cute little girl running after her mommy who was busy selling crafts at a nearby stall. I couldn’t resist getting a closeup photo of this little girl. She watched me warily as I squatted in front of her and held my camera up to my face. Her mother told her to smile (I presume. She was speaking in Thai.) and the little girl flashed me the sweetest smile. I quickly snapped the picture and it was lucky I did. The little girl soon resumed to eating her noodles with her hands and never smiled for me again.
- I chased this monk all around Doi Suthep temple outside of Chiang Mai. I had a really hard time getting a picture of just him and not the crowd around him. After a while I lost interest in him and also felt a little guilty for harassing him so much, so I backed off and went to take some pics of unsuspecting, cute little kids. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed the monk wandering off to a less trafficked area of the temple and I pounced. I caught him walking alone past these beautiful bells. I imagined that for a moment he felt some temporary peace and relief from the crowds and may not have even known I was there with him.
- These young girls from the Long Neck Karen tribe outside of Chiang Rai are quite used to gawkers and photographers taking their pictures without permission. I tried to be very respectful of their privacy and to make them feel comfortable with me. I don’t believe they ever felt comfortable with me, but I know that they did like it when I took their pictures and showed the results to them. I kept waiting to get more personality from them, but they were quite reserved and understandably so. The little girl on the left is either looking at me with interest or checking to see if I’m still there. Her sister has decidedly written me off as crazy and un-noteworthy (I assume).
- This sweet little girl that I found in Laos was very interested in me but she was the smallest of about 5 little girls and stood behind the rest as I was taking their pictures. After dozens of pictures of the group of little girls, the others wandered off momentarily. This little one walked right up to me and squatted in front of me as if to say, “OK, I’m here. Watcha got?” She was so curious and not the least bit of afraid of me. After a while, the other little girls came back and crowded around us, but I really enjoyed my short little visit with this quiet little girl. I wonder if she will be so brave when she grows up.
- I was quite obsessed with spotting babies on scooters in Thailand. As we were driving in a van on the way back to our hotel during rush hour, I spotted this couple with a baby sandwiched between them on a quick moving scooter. As they weaved in and out of traffic, I thought for sure I wasn’t going to be able to get a picture of them. Luckily, just as I was giving up hope, the red bus in front of them on this picture sped up, allowing me a clear view of them. I quickly shot the picture just in time. The bus stopped at a red light and they turned left at the corner, lost forever.
- Considering a short or long term stay in Thailand? One of the best ways to see a country is to live like a local. View an awesome selection of Thailand home rentals here with rentals all all kinds available all across the country.
- Jerri Stephenson is the co-founder of DIWYY and recently toured and fell in love with Thailand.
Today’s photo of the week featuring a beautiful shot of Barcelona, Spain shot by Lily Allyn Gordon. After a semester spent falling in love with Barcelona and exploring Europe and Northern Africa, Lily has returned to Berkeley, CA to finish her senior year at Cal. You can follow her on Twitter as she begins to cross a few items off of that looming first-steps-into-the-real-world checklist.