2013: My year in travel photos 2

Everybody is doing it. So, I might as well.


To recount a year is difficult, and especially when it is a year like 2013 which was nothing short of momentous. I checked my hard disk to find out that I have travelled to a total of 14 countries this year, and the total pictures in my hard disk totalled up to 32000! So, what better way to recount a year, than to show it in pictures.



The Thaipusam festival is one of the most bizarre festivals that one can imagine. I have been wanting to check out the Thaipusam festival for a few years now. Finally got a chance in Singapore, and my camera literally started crying by the end of the day.

Thaipusam festival in Singapore

A devotee during the thaipusam festival in singapore. Sharp objects, possessed dancing, smokes and alcohol. Thaipusam is a remarkable festival that everyone must see once in their life time.

Read more about the Thaipusam festival, and see other photos, here!





Travelled to Manila and to Bintan (Indonesia), which would be the first of 3 times that I have visited this beautiful Island. Lobo, who runs the shady shack resort, has absolutely adorable kids.

Shady shack resort in Bintan

The kids at the ‘Shady shack’ beach resort, who I would run into 2 more times during the year

See images from Ermita, Manila, here!





Took my love for Indonesia higher, by visiting Bali, and riding a motorbike around for a week. I would go on to visit Bali once more the next year. Such was my love for this place!

Kecak dancers in Bali

Kecak dancers in the Uluwatu temple in Bali, recounting tales from the ramayana.

See images from Bali’s Galungan festival, here!





Went nuts on skyscanner, and ended up booking flights to Taiwan, Bangkok and Malaysia. Checked out the Songkran festival (thai new year), during which I didnt dare to bring out my camera and get it wet. But more surprisingly, visited the Taroko Gorge in Hualien, Taiwan, during the rainy season which was infamous for rockfalls. And survived to tell the tale.

Taroko gorge in Hualien, Taiwan

The Taroko gorge in hualien, Taiwan. Was advised not to go there during rainy season because of the rockfalls. When have I ever heeded well-meant advices?

Check out images from rainy Taipei, here!





Visited Cambodia with fellow couchsurfers from Singapore. A week’s journey that began in Phnom Penh, and continued to Siem Reap.

Siem Reap river in Cambodia

The siem reap river in Cambodia, which can be seen as you leave the Angkor complex to head to Preah vihar.

Check out images from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, here!





On an impulse, booked flights to Bangkok again for some debauchery on Khaosan Road. Ended up joining an anti-Thaksin protest for a bit to shout some slogans. Oh, so much fun!

Protest in Bangkok

Had no political ideology or the faintest idea about the state in Thailand, but this protest was too peaceful and cool for me not to join. Bangkok.

Check out more images from this Bangkok protest, here!





Finally, a month where I did not travel at all, and stayed put in Singapore. But had some fun times during the Hari Raya Festival, eating and clicking around the many pasar malams in town.

Pasar malam in Singapore

The ramly burger is to die for. If you thought you got this only in Malaysia, visit Singapore during the hari raya festival.

Read about Kuda Kepang, a beautiful Javanese dance, performed in Singapore.





Took a 10-day break, and headed to backpack in Spain. My first European backpacking experience, which would embolden me to go on more the next year. Actually, a lot more.

Flamenco dancing in Grenada, Spain

Watched the Flamenco dancing in Grenada, and clicked away like a nut while backpacking through Spain. Lost 4 kilos when I got back 🙂

Check out images from the land of Paella, Valencia!





Wanted to visit an offbeat country, so took a weekend out in non-alcoholic Brunei. It was worth the trip. Brunei has a lot to offer, from the capital of Bandar Seri Begawan, to the oil-town of Seria.

Seria in Brunei

Tourists rarely go to the oil-city of Seria in Brunei, but I have not seen many sunsets as beautiful as there.

Heard about the Kampong Ayer, or water village, of Bandar Seri Bagawan in Brunei? Click here to know more.





Did a whirlwind tour of Hongkong and Jeju Island (Seoul). Bicycled halfway (almost) through Jeju, and camped in the cold winter. Sleeping in Jimjilbangs (Korean saunas) and clicking away in the UNESCO sites of Jeju. And in an infamous erotic theme park.

Loveland in Jeju

Oh, you MUST visit the loveland! People in Jeju have their own weird sense of humour, as this sex park can tell you

Click here for more details about the sex park in Jeju! (NSFW)





Extended my love of offbeat locations to Myanmar. Yangon is a charming capital, while Bagan was eye-openingly beautiful!

Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon

Visit Myanmar, especially Bagan, NOW. Before it becomes all commercialized like the rest of South East Asia.

Click here for images from Aung Mingalar and Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar.





Capped the year with a trip to Egypt and Jordan, against all friendly advises not to. Turns out that the media makes us paranoid for no reason. I had an amazing time in Egypt where the tourist pack had reduced after the arab spring revolution. And Jordan’s archaeological sites are simply mesmerizing.

Umm Qais in Jordan.

Umm Qais is one of the many architectural ruins that I ran into (or rather walked into), in Jordan.

Click here to check out what Jordan has to offer! Apart from Petra, of course!

So, that was my 2013. And while I backpacked most of them, I wasnt alone. I travelled with people, or met amazing travellers on the way. Or stayed with some amazing people. And I cant stop to think of all those wonderful souls that made my year what it is. Thank you all.

2014 looks interesting, with Timor Leste, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Western Africa on my radar. And I hope to find the same, amazing travelling buddies as you guys. Here’s wishing everyone, another year with amazing travels.

Click here:  For the 2014 round-up!


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Unless mentioned otherwise, all pictures are taken by the blog admin. If you would like to use them for any commercial or non-commercial purposes, please contact for approval.



About Abhi Surendran

Abhi quit his corporate job, and decided to immerse himself in travels, photography, occasional periods of bankruptcy, and copious amounts of insanity. He is currently working on a book of his experiences, and a dream road trip through South Asia. Both in a haphazard fashion. He blogs at Iamnothome and you can also catch him at times on Facebook and twitter.

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