Every year, Odyssey staff travel extensively to enhance their travel knowledge, inspect tour programs, and most importantly, to experience the destination themselves and pass on the excitement to the guests. They also bring back tons of inspiring travel photos that shouldn't be buried in the disk. So we decide to make these photos a series and present you the first episode in this article.
1. A splash of sacred water - Ganges, India
By Sherry Zhang, Odyssey Travel Consultant
"It was early morning. Hundreds of Hindus bathed in the Ganges when our small boat slowly passed by. I was told that over 60,000 people from all walks of life, in Varanasi alone, plunge themselves into this most desired holy river to cleanse their sins. The sun was just up, amid the morning beams we exchanged a few looks that I would probably never forget - call it fanaticism or devotion, to me it was a message of most determined belief."
2. Where daily life starts - Tsukiji Market, Japan
By Laura Li, Odyssey Travel Consultant
"Usually wet market is not my thing, but Tsukiji Market is different. Being one of the world's largest fish markets, it trades more than 2,000 tons of marine products every day - image how lively it is! To watch the famous action scene you must get up super early to grab a slot, but all is worth. The market is clean and tidy, no foul smell. Everything sold here is pure fresh for a bite. I especially enjoy the restaurants around that provide high-quality local foods for cheap! Mind that the bustling inner market is set to relocate in Toyosu in November 2016."
3. Lost empire unveiled - Angkor Wat, Cambodia
By Michelle Shen, Odyssey tour operation staff
"Angkor Wat is something endorses the saying that pictures don't do justice to what you see in person. With a little bit of luck, we watched the breath-taking sunrise view by the pond. The silhouette of Angkor Wat can summarize all that is classic Siem Reap. At that point, I came to realize the reasons why we always yearn to visit the ancient wonders are simply to take in awe and admiration."
4. A bowl of Hanoi - Beef Pho, Vietnam
By Wanda Tang, Odyssey Sales Manager
"I can't visit Vietnam without gorging myself on a steaming bowl of pho, the national dish of Vietnam. For me, beef pho is the most popular version that leads me to the rich culinary landscape. The slick rice noodle soup consists of broth, beef, and a heaping platter of garnishes like fresh herbs, bean sprouts, greens, lime, and chilies. Though widely served across the country, pho was originated in Hanoi, where preserves the most authentic flavor."
5. Divine beach killer - Bohol, the Philippines
By Lucy Peng, Odyssey Account Manager
"The beaches of Bohol are considered some of the most awesome beaches on earth. The Philippines just walked out of one of my dreams the moment when I reached the beach, paradise was revealed before me – white sands, crystal-clear water, the sky seemed to be within a distance so close that I can easily touch with my hands. There is not much to do, but a free snorkeling or tasting fresh coconut drink under the shade is already enough for me."
6. An encounter of the wild - Chitwan National Park, Nepal
By Mathilda Wu, Odyssey Marketing Specialist
"Our private guide signaled us to be silent and pointed forward - there it was, a one-horned rhino roaming around, staying on its back was a tickbird looking for a way to help clean the friend's body. The jungle safari also offered an up-close view of other wildlife like sloth bear, deer and much more, all inhabit in the deep bushes. It is very important to explore with an experienced guide and I was lucky to have one arranged by Odyssey. Fascinating experience!"
7. Priceless love - Negombo, Sri Lanka
By Mavis Jiang, Odyssey Travel Consultant
"We met the lady and her son in front their house when we were taking some rest from a drive. They examed us with curious peek at first, our camera then seemed to be the subject of their attention. I gestured that if I could take their portrait. The lady gave a lovely smile as permission, holding her baby in a natural pose. This precious moment was accurately captured. She giggled when she timidly checked out the picture. We continued the trip without knowing her name, but I was pretty sure one of her beautiful names would be 'mother'."
8. The nature's spell - Mt. Huangshan, China
By Jun Wang, Odyssey Travel Consultant
"It's never too much to use 'phenomenal' on Mt. Huangshan, China's most scenic mountain. I was blown away by the grotesque stones, stunning sea of clouds and oddly-shaped pine trees - a visually stunning and emotionally inspiring place that should be on every traveler's itinerary. Though arduous climb was needed, every turn, peak, and curve brings a more amazing view that made every step and moment worth. If time permits, staying in the mountain will greatly maximize your visit."
9. Magical existence - Bagan, Myanmar
By Kevin Yang, Sales Manager for B2B
"Well-traveled tourism industry people I am, Bagan remains one of the most beautiful places I have seen by far. I couldn't believe my eyes when seeing over 2,200 of Buddhist temples appeared on the lush plain. Each temple was built by a family from the area, and together the congregation makes a magical existence by human ingenuity. Taking a hot air balloon ride outside the monsoon season, you will be rewarded with a mind-blowing panorama."
10. The royal dignity - Grand Palace, Thailand
By Sinba Guang, Odyssey Sales Manager
"The spectacular royal architectures certainly are not-to-miss, but I find myself enjoying more watching the people around like this young security guard. Unlike the Queen's Guard, they laugh during duty, within the reasonable extent and never forget about maintaining the royal dignity. I strolled the grounds, got a good history lesson about the royal family. Besides, it was really emotional when we saw the Thai people show their respect and love towards the king and his families."
How'd you like these travel photos and the stories? You are invited to share yours on our Facebook page and let's stay tuned for the next episode of more inspiring travel photos!