Around the World

Dem's Travel Photo Album

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.  -- Mark Twain

These are a few photographs from my favorite trips.

Photos Copyright © Pilafian

Flowers and Towers

Vietnam & Hong Kong

The limestone cliffs of Vietnam's Ha Long Bay offer more than just magical scenery -- they are dotted with tranquil beaches and spooky caves.  It's quite a contrast to the hustle and bustle and neon of Hong Kong, home to the Bank of China Tower.

A quick excursion to mainland China revealed that the whole region is booming.


Banff National Park


Carved from the mountains of the Canadian Rockies, "rock flour" is the magical ingredient that gives the lakes of Banff National Park their spectacular turquoise color.


Caye Caulker Hut


With a culture and language having roots to the Caribbean islands, Belize markedly stands out from its Central American neighbors.  Everything about Belize is lively and colorful -- the people, the food, the diving, and even the buildings.

A little detour into the jungles of Guatemala enabled me to visit some amazing Mayan ruins.


Plantain Playground


Before visiting Isla de Ometepe in the Largo de Nicaragua, I spent a day in Rivas observing life in this Nicaraguan town. On this trip I also completed my SCUBA certification in Costa Rica and had the incredible luck of seeing a Whale Shark, the largest member of the shark family.  After my instructor grabbed onto one fin of the shark, I grabbed onto another fin, and we enjoyed an exhilarating ride through the ocean.


Perfect Aussie Sand


Whitsunday Passage Islands National Park is home to some of the most beautiful islands in the world.  The jungle is full of interesting creatures, like the green ants, while the water has stunning schools of sting rays and giant bubble fish.  Vita Sand.


Landscape Arch

Utah, USA

Moab, Utah is home to two very impressive National Parks, Canyonlands and Arches.  Landscape Arch, in Arches NP, is the world's longest free standing arch.

Glacier Ascent up Orizaba


About half way between Mexico City and the Gulf of Mexico is the highest of the Mexican volcanos, Mt. Orizaba.  It tops out at 5,746 meters (18,851 ft) above sea level.  Mike, Ron, and I decided it would be fun to spend the holiday season trying to find oxygen at just under 19,000 feet.

From the summit of Orizaba, you can peer into the gigantic crater left by past volcanic eruptions.


Mt. Doi Mae Ya


This remote Karen village in the Golden Triangle region north of Chiang Mai offers a good view of Mt. Doi Mae Ya, the high point of Thailand at 2,065 meters (6,753 ft).  The Karen people build their homes out of bamboo and other materials found in the jungle; they use no metal components.  However, the rapid rate of development into the jungle will soon catch up to the Karen tribe as well as the other tribes in the jungle.

My travels on this trip also took me through Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore.


Bay on Ko Phi Phi


It is hard to imagine a more beautiful tropical island than Thailand's Ko Phi Phi.  When you have seen enough of the scenery above water, take your mask and snorkel into the warm and clear aquatic world for a dazzling view of brightly colored fish and stunning coral structures.


Moroccan Spice Sunset


The busy, hectic shops in Merrakech are filled with a colorful variety of goods, like the spices and dyes pictured here.  The real pleasure of visiting this African country, however, lies in getting away from the tourist cities so you can meet the people and enjoy the delicious food.


Mt. Olympus


We hiked for two days to reach the summit of Mt. Olympus, the home of Zeus.  Upon reaching the summit, I made the mistake of flying a small portable kite.  The Gods got angry..  They made it rain so hard the trail disappeared under a torrent river of muddy water.

We also journeyed to Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Vatican City, Turkey, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway.


French Statues


A sunset over Paris creates a colorful backdrop for a few of the cities numerous statues.  Now if only I could have a freshly baked croissant or baguette in my hands...


Dutch Mist


Towards the end of my European trip, I decide to take the train north just past the Arctic Circle in Norway.  I spent six out of seven nights sleeping on the train, but I did manage to get a nice view of some mist while traveling through the Netherlands.


Colcabamba Kid


Three friends and I were trying to hike around Mt. Huascaran, a 6,728 meter (22,200 ft) peak in the Peruvian Andes, when bad weather forced us to take shelter in a small town called Colcabamba.  You can only get there by mule or by foot.

During our four months in South America we also visited Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, and Columbia.


Mt. Ranrapalca


The town of Huaraz, located high in the Peruvian Andes, is surrounded by impressive peaks like Mt. Ranrapalca.  We hiked up the north ridge to a spot just above 5,000 meters (16,400 ft) near the skyline on the left edge of the photo.

Visited 40 countries (17.7%)