Millions of tourists from all over world have flocked to see the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat, once the capital of the Khmer Empire. Many are busy snapping away at the UNESCO World Heritage, capturing its glory at all angles while some sit quietly on the sandstone steps resting, admiring its beauty. Perhaps they are contemplating how one of the world’s largest religious monuments was being built over 30 years, the brutal wars it has survived, the stories told and untold.
A Santeria woman in Cuba. Santeria is an Afro-Caribbean religion that incorporates some Roman Catholic influences.
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The Space Coast (otherwise known as Brevard County) is home to the Kennedy Space Center, the Cape Canaveral Cruise Terminals, the unique Indian River Lagoon habitat, Ron Jon’s Surf Shop, and many other exciting attractions.
A market in Kolkata, India.
The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, completed in the late 7th Century, is believed by Muslims to enshrine the rock from which the Prophet Mohammed ascended to Heaven. The building, comprising a gilded wooden central dome with an octagonal base, is widely regarded as a masterpiece of Islamic architecture. The site on the Temple Mount is also of great significance to Jews and Christians. The whole area has been placed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
The Pyramid of the Sun is the largest structure in the ancient Mexican city of Teotihuacan, and one of the largest pyramids in the world. In pre-Aztec times, Teotihuacan (“the place where the gods were created”) was a major city. Its ruins are now inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Vehicle tracks in the sand on the shore of the Inland Sea (Khor Al-Dhaid) in south-east Qatar. The Inland Sea, which forms part of Qatar’s border with Saudi Arabia, can only be reached from the capital, Doha, by 4WD vehicle. It is a popular recreation spot for locals, and is included in many desert safari trips organised for visitors to the emirate.
Tinakula is a very active stratovolcano in Temotu Province in the Solomon Islands. It has formed a small conical island that has supported small populations in the past, but which has been abandoned since a major eruption in 1971.
High School Graduation Day on Falalop island, in the western Pacific. The high school on Falalop is the only one servicing the four inhabited islands in Ulithi atoll, part of Yap state in the Federated States of Micronesia. Each of these girls is wearing a traditional lava-lava skirt and a ceremonial lei and headdress. Fewer than 1000 people live on the four islands, so high school graduates face a big decision – whether to stay on their culturally-rich home islands, or whether to seek other opportunities further afield, with the closest “big” population centre being the US island of Guam, more than 600 km away.
Yasur, on Tanna island in Vanuatu, is a very active small volcano. The accessibility of the rim of its circular crater makes it one of the country’s main tourist attractions, with visitors able to peer right in, often as the eruptions are taking place.