Favorite travel photos and experiences of 2015

Favorite travel photos and experiences of 2015 on Travel Photo Discovery

Favorite travel photos and experiences of 2015 at Travel Photo Discovery

I can honestly say that 2015 was a busy and wonderful year traveling around the globe and seeing amazing countries with such diverse geography, culture, food and incredible scenery. It’s always hard to choose a favorite destination for the year, but what I can do is pick some of my favorite places that I have visited during the year to share with you. It was fun to revisit the posts that I have done for the year, enjoying some amazing scenery and landmarks in each destination which made a distinct impression to be included below. I have been lucky to visit some wonderful places during 2015 to share with you, and hopefully inspire you to visit yourself in the new year.

Here’s a look at some of my favorite travel photos and experiences for 2015


Paris in spring time - Favorite travel photos and experiences of 2015

Visiting Paris in spring time

I visited Paris right after Easter and it was perfect, everything seemed to start blooming around the parks, boulevards and little neighborhoods around the city. Spending a perfect day in Paris is easy to do in any of the wonderful arrondissements around the city, but here is how I spent a lovely day visiting some of my favorite places around the city.

A perfect day in Paris



A first impression of Lyon, France

Enjoying a visit to Lyon, France

Why Lyon is not on everyone’s must do list for visiting France is unfortunate, but this cosmopolitan city just a few hours south of Paris is a magnificent place to see historic monuments, eat spectacular French cuisine and tour some unique neighborhoods. Easily visited by walkinig, you can see many of the highlights of the city at a comfortable pace and stop when you see an interesting attraction or venue. Lyon for a short weekend getaway or even longer is a smaller version of Paris but in my opinion more casual, friendly and the food is also world class. This is one of the cities in France that I can easily go back to again and again, here are some highlights to visiting this lovely city below.

A first impression of Lyon, France




Genoa's historic district - Favorite travel photos and experiences of 2015

Unesco historic center of Genoa

Genoa never seems to be on travelers radar who typically visit the larger trafficked cities in Italy like Rome, Florence or Venice. But the city is a hidden gem filled with a history of trade and wealth accumulated from its global trading  past and the city boasts a Unesco world heritage site with many historic treasures all around the city. Even a long street of palaces, churches and commercial venues are easily to visit and enjoy as part of the Unesco heritage trail in Genoa. Take a look at my first impression of how magnificent this city truly is and put it on your radar of places to visit in Italy.

Historic landmarks and Unesco sites of Genoa


Krakow's historic central district in Poland


Historic central district of Krakow

Krakow’s historic central district is filled with amazing monuments and landmarks to this mostly intact city center that was spared during World War 2. Boasting Europe’s largest medieval central square, the area has an amazing collection of magnificent churches, palaces, historical homes, university and fortifications. A very compact city, Krakow is easy to visit most of the landmarks by foot in one day or longer if you want to visit outside of the historic center. Below are more highlights with photos and detailed visits to the center and main attractions of the Unesco site.

Krakow highlights in one day



The main square of Prague - 15 stunning views of Prague

Prague highlights and landmarks

Prague is a photographer’s dream city to visit and capture some spectacular imagery all around the city. There are so many amazing neighborhoods, panoramic vistas, castles and stunning monuments with architectural landmarks in every corner. Walking around by foot is the preferred way to enjoy the city, and you can easily spend a week or even longer and not have enough time to see the important monuments and landmarks of the city. I love that you can see old and new mixed in with unusual,  authentic and kitsch all at the same time. But if you walk around further from the tourist zones of the city, you can easily experience Prague with its unique flare of fantasy and practical combined in your discovery walks.

15 cool views and areas around Prague




Bangkok's Chinatown district

Bangkok’s Chinatown district

Probably one of my favorite Chinatown’s in the world, Bangkok’s Chinatown is huge and very difficult maneuver. It is not easy to find all the unusual temples and hidden markets without a guide to see the the bizarre and quirky offerings in the market.  As far as markets this is the place to bring a camera and discover some colorful displays, produce and bizarre food for sale. And of course trying some of the street food in Chinatown is a must including some of the noodle vendors in the post below.


Walking through Chinatown in Bangkok




Thailand's Mekong region - Favorite travel photos and experiences of 2015

Visiting Thailand and the Mekong

Visiting northern Thailand along the Mekong river dividing Thailand and Laos is one of the least traveled areas of Thailand and is worth visiting if you are looking for something unique. Northern Thailand is very different and a cool experience not on the travel radar to many tourists visiting the country. The area of Loei is filled with quiet and colorful cities with vibrant communities. Here’s one of my favorite tours cruising the Mekong river and the little village of Chiang Khan with its delightful night market in the old town.

Visiting the Mekong in Northern Thailand




Visiting Komodo Island - Favorite travel photos and experiences of 2015

Visiting the Komodo Islands in Indonesia

There’s nothing like visiting pristine islands where the dragons of Komodo are the top of the food chain and that’s why no accommodations are allowed on any of the islands. The unique and impressive islands of Komodo offer spectacular views, dramatic landscape and under the ocean are stunning corals and incredible tropical fish. This is a truly worthwhile visit to this national park and chain of islands. Here are more highlights with photos and details to my visit.

Visiting Komodo National Park in Indonesia





Borobudur sunrise in central Java, Indonesia

Sunrise at Borobudur, Indonesia

One of the most significant Unesco monuments in Indonesia are the temples of Borobudur in Central Java. Visiting the temples at night and waiting for the sunrise to hit the landmark and surrounding countryside is the highlight of visiting Borobudur. An added plus is avoiding most of the tourist crowds that typically leave right after sunrise has occurred and most of the grounds are easy to reach without massive crowds. The  Unesco site at Borobudur has been recently restored to this immaculate state with magnificent views and carved stone carvings depicting various stages of the Buddhas life and conception of the universe in Buddhist cosmology. Below are highlights of the sunrise visit with images and information to the main site.

Sunrise visit to Borobudur




Visiting Hinckley reservation in autumn, Ohio

Fall time in Northeast Ohio

Did you know that fall is also stunning in the Midwest especially in the Northeast corridor of Ohio. The best places to see autumn colors is definitely along any of the green jeweled parks around Cleveland. The Hinckley reservation just south of Cleveland is one of those gorgeous parks filled with stunning vistas and landscape along with unique geology and rock formations. Take a look at the fall colors visiting this magnificent reservation in Ohio.

Fall time in Northeast Ohio





Visiting Pittsburgh, PA in one day

Visiting Pittsburgh in one day

There’s so much to see in Pittsburgh, it really warrants more than one day or even a whole week to keep you occupied with the beautiful landscape, historic sites and cool neighborhoods to visit around the city. But if time is really short, here are some of the favorite places and activities that I was able to do visiting this amazing city and I would definitely go back to spend more time in Pittsburgh and her 446 bridges crossing three rivers in the downtown district.

Visiting Pittsburgh in one day


Oahu from above and Diamond Head crater, Hawaii

Seeing Oahu, Hawaii from above

Taking a helicopter ride all around the island of Oahu in Hawaii is a fantastic way to discover all the scenic beauty and fascinating and historic landmarks of the island. Seeing the major attractions like Pearl Harbor, Waikiki and Diamond Head in vivid detail from above really gives you a unique vantage to seeing everything especially when there are no doors to your helicopter. Take a look at this amazing tour and imagery of the island tour below.

Oahu island tour by helicopter



San Francisco in Christmas time - Favorite travel photos and experiences of 2015

San Francisco in Christmas

The holiday spirit is alive and in full mode during the Christmas season in the city and all the wonderful displays and decorations are decked out in the many attractions, landmarks and neighborhoods around the city. There are so many fantastic events, Christmas  shows and programs and fun activities around the city to enjoy. Here are some of my highlights in a photo tour around the entire city.

Christmas in San Francisco



Staycation visit to Keauhou, Big Island

Keauhou on the Big Island

There’s nothing like coming back home to Hawaii on the Big Island after touring around the world in 2015. But for short staycation breaks, I love driving to the other side of the island and Keauhou was a perfect place to stay and enjoy a part of the west of Hawaii that I was not familiar with. Here’s some of the highlights and pictures below of my visit to the wonderful area of Keauhou just south of Kailua Kona.

A staycation in Keauhou


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15 Responses to Favorite travel photos and experiences of 2015

  1. Dubai Desert Safari January 9, 2016 at 5:14 am #

    Wow. really beautiful places are in pictures. superb. wish to travel the worlds beautiful countries.

  2. Mags January 3, 2016 at 3:30 pm #

    Your photography is amazing! Looks like you had a busy year. I especially love the photo of Lyon.

  3. Andrea Leblang January 3, 2016 at 7:32 am #

    You are incredibly talented! Love all of these pictures, especially the ones from Thailand. I am visiting later this year and your Komodo Island picture inspired me to go!

  4. melody pittman January 3, 2016 at 7:08 am #

    Wow, what an amazing photographer you are. I would love to have some classes from you! Your pictures of Krakow and Prague are superb and reiterate why those 2 places are 2 of the top on my bucket list travels. Being a native of West Virginia, I am so pleased you included lovely Ohio in your portfolio as well. 😉 Lyon, France’s photograph is my favorite. That is one gorgeous landmark, I had no idea even existed.

  5. Jempi January 3, 2016 at 6:09 am #

    Hi Noel, you’re pictures are always a feast to look at. My favourite is the one from the meat vendor in Bangkok. I also loved the Chinatown district when I was there in 2014, so vibrant and the food is delicious! Looks like 2015 was a busy travel year for you 🙂 Cheers and my best wishes for 2016, Jempi 🙂

  6. Rosemary January 3, 2016 at 4:34 am #

    Great photos and experiences that you had in 2015! Stunning imagery as well. Wishing you much travel in great amazing places for 2016.

  7. Erica January 3, 2016 at 2:31 am #

    Noel, you are a wonderful and very talented photographer! My favorite is the shot of Komodo Island and I was also captivated by your photo of the Mekong. I wouldn’t have realized it was Mekong!

  8. Alice Teacake January 2, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

    Your photos are stunning! I particularly love your bird’s eye view of Prague but most of all, I’m so psyched you made it to Chinatown in Bangkok. The food is so good there right?! I piled on the pounds there a bit haha. Happy New Year and looking forward to seeing more of your photos in 2016.

  9. Sue @NoFixedAbodeForSue January 2, 2016 at 8:35 am #

    Wow that was exhausting just reading about all your adventures, did you work out how many miles you traveled last year? Quite a varied selection of locations too with some wonderful photographs that tell such a rich story on their own. I have visited a few on your list but would love to see more of Indonesia for sure.

  10. anna January 2, 2016 at 6:52 am #

    Stunning photos as usual! We went to Paris in Autumn and loved it. I enjoyed looking at your Indonesia photos as we really enjoyed our time there.

  11. sabrina January 2, 2016 at 6:22 am #

    wow, you’ve travelled so much! pics are great! Do you have an instagram account?

    • Noel January 2, 2016 at 6:40 am #

      Hi Sabrina,
      Yes my IG is nmorata, come and check it out thanks

  12. Stephen Garone December 30, 2015 at 5:55 am #

    Love the Oahu shot. Really beautiful!

  13. Rhonda Albom December 30, 2015 at 1:01 am #

    Wow. Your year looks spectacular on this page! I think it was the above shot of Hawaii that is my favourite, although it was your post on Komodo Island that was my favourite of the year. Happy New Yeare.

  14. Javi December 29, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    Nice photos and stories! It looks like you had an excellent year.

    Good luck for the next one 🙂

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