Best Pictures from One Amazing Year in Asia

Since coming to Korea, I have taken a ridiculous amount of pictures. At first only on my cell phone, but now I'm trying to switch over to using my new DSLR. Despite stepping up my camera game, I still have a very soft spot for my IG account, in that it's pretty much a digital, visual diary of the last year. It's nice to remember where I was, and what I was feeling in any given moment. So, from my first ever trans-Pacific flight, to my latest trip to Taiwan, here are my favorite pictures of this last amazing year living abroad. 


 
 

I found this beautiful beast outside of Club Ibiza in Dunsan, Daejeon. Though this picture doesn't show it, there was also a gold wrap BMW on the other side of the road. That plus all of the lights, bright like neon love. So freaking sexy, I just might die. 

 
 
 
 

The end of the line in Daejeon's one subway line. Usually the train is crowded and full of people, but at the end of the line it starts out completely empty and fills gradually over a period of ten minutes. 

 

 
 
 
 

I like this picture because it looks like something from a daydream. This was taken on Bamboo Island, on our boat trip between the smaller islands of southern Thailand.

 
 
 
 
 

Hands down the best cup of coffee I've ever had. Never thought that would happen at some hostel in Phuket, Thailand, but I guess that just goes to show - life is surprising and beautiful even when it's seemingly mundane. Pay attention to the little things! They are often the most important. 

 
 
 
 

Norweigan Wood is the best book I've read all year, and it most definitely makes the Lifetime Top 3 as well.  I read a lot, so that's high praise coming from me.

Buy it, read it, love it!

 
 
 
 

Every year on Buddha's Birthday, Korea is enveloped with colorful paper lanterns. They are everywhere - schools, businesses, homes - but temples take it to the next level. I took this at Donghwasa Temple in Daegu where there were literally thousands strung about the entire grounds. Such a unique scene.

 
 
 
 

 

This is the Arayshima Bamboo Grove in Kyoto, Japan. Visiting here allowed me to cross something off my travel bucket list, so that was amazing. Highly recommended to anyone traveling to Kyoto.

 
 
 
 

 

It's said that if you make 1,000 paper cranes your wish will be granted. I found huge piles of these cranes covering the individual shrines in Fushimi-Inari Taisha.

 
 
 
 
 

One thing I've noticed is that Coca-Cola (and McDonalds) is everywhere!! The cool thing is that Asia loves it's glass bottles,and each different country has the logo in it's own language. So far, I have one from Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea.

 
 
 
 

My travel essentials. Kindle because I can't not have access to a book, especially when there are long plane, train, and bus rides ahead. Passport, because duh. My journal because I carry that everywhere, and suggest that every traveller do the same. It's always nice to have a written account of your thoughts and feelings at any given moment. And sunglasses, because again, duh. 

 
 
 
 

 

Spiraling stairs inside a shrine in Taroko Gorge. It was a pretty long climb to the top, but was very worth it  once I got there.

 
 
 
 
 
 

I took this on Baisha Beach in Kenting, Taiwan. Again, very highly recommended. This might have been my favorite destination of the entire trip. Kenting has the same beautiful views as Thailand but is about 1000% times classier.

 
 
 

My first international plane tickets. I took this when I was sitting in Denver International Airport, sipping a bloody mary (and then an Irish coffee) at like 9am... Don't judge. Moving trans-Pacific is hella scary, especially when you've never before left the country. 

 
 
 
 
 
 

I took this walking home from school in the dead of winter. Korea get's cold!! I'm from Colorado, so I know about winter, but Korea winters feel more bitter to me. I Still like this picture though, since I'm wearing my favorite purple scarf :)

 
 
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Koh Phi Phi, Thailand looks exactly in real life like it does in the pictures. Stunning azure waters, sultry breezes, and fantail boats bobbing gentle on the shore. It's kind of hard to believe that there are places in the world that actually look this. It's even crazier to me that I've had the chance to explore them. When you imagine paradise, you're imagining Thailand. 

 
 
 
 

Departures and arrivals at Bangkok Station, Thailand. We had just woken up from our 12 hour, overnight train from Krabi. 

 

 
 
 
 
 

In Phuket, parasailing is a very laid back endeavor. You lift off and touch down directly on the beach, and one of the local employees just hops on and rides with you the whole time. I definitely almost got smashed by landing parasailers more than once. Does look fun though...

 
 
 
 

One day I randomly decide to see if I could get on the roof of my building. It's surprisingly easy... and was an awesome decision! The views are amazing, and it's perfect for inter-city BBQ's and picnicking

 

 
 
 
 

I have wanted to visit Fushimi-Inari Taisha in Kyoto, Japan since I first saw a picture of it. There's just something so alluring about that pathway. The real thing did not disappoint - serene despite the loud color, and totally unlike anything I've ever seen.

 
 
 
 
 

Currency confusion... I have an ever growing collection of international coins. Can you spot how many different kinds of currency I have? This collection is now actually out of date, since I can now add Taiwanese coins into the mix. 

 
 
 
 

I've always wanted to go to Ultra, but never found the time to make it all the way to Miami. So, finally being able to attend in Korea was really such a cool opportunity. 

 

 
 
 
 

I took this picture as the sun was setting on the Boryeong Mud Festival in Korea. Though I had heard some interesting anecdotes, I had a really great time. Drinking beers on the beach, listening to music, and playing around in the mud. What more could you want?

 
 
 
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The Shrine of Eternal Spring in Taroko Gorge, Taiwan. You actually hike for about 2 km, enter through the back of the shrine, and then pass through to the front where I took this picture. Would definitely recommend for anyone making a trip to Taiwan. 

 
 
 
 
 

Finally decided to commit and really try to step up my picture game. I still don't have all the nuances and intricacies down, but I've been practicing (and annoying my friends) so for my next trip expect some top-notch pictures.

 
 
 
 

What is your favorite IG from the past year? Follow me on Instagram and then tag @abeautifulview0 in your photos, and I'll give you a shout-out on my feed. You can also find me on Facebook, or Twitter. If you enjoyed this please 'Like' it on my FB page, or share with your friends.  Spread the love! It really does help me a lot. Also, keep an eye out for more reflections on my first year in Korea. 

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Enjoy the beautiful view(s)!

Morgan