My favourite Sunrises and Sunsets

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
Rabindranath Tagore

Sunsets and sunrises have something magical. Wherever in the world you are, the sun rises and sets everyday. Each sunrise begins a new day filled with new opportunities, new things to see, new people to meet. Each sunset closes another great day.

To me both are very peaceful moments. No matter where I am in the world or what I’m doing I always stop for a moment to see the sun set behind the horizon (to be honest, I’m not usually awake for sunrise). How the colours change, how the lights casts shadows, I find it one of the most beautiful things there is. It makes me realise how small we are and it helps me reflect on the day and life in general.

It’s nature’s daily spectacle and the best thing: it’s for free. So stand still for a moment, take a quick break from your busy life and enjoy this display of light and colour.

Sunrises and sunsets are especially good for photography. It’s not for nothing they call these times ‘the golden hours.’ The light, the contrast, the long shadows and the colours can make for some great photographs. These are some of my favourite sunrise and sunset pictures I took during my travels.

Australia

If there is one country that’s great for enjoying sunrises and sunsets it’s Australia. The outback is mostly flat and usually the skies are clear. On my road trip from Sydney to Darwin there was hardly a day I couldn’t enjoy a beautiful sunset.

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Australia’s most famous landmark, Uluru, looks great at sunset. But it gets particularly crowded at the viewpoints. For a much quieter and more beautiful experience, go to the other side of the rock to catch the sunrise.

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Sleeping in a swag in the middle of the outback is a classic Aussie experience you shouldn’t miss.

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This viewpoint is literally called, “The Best of All Lookouts.” I don’t know if it’s the best, but it’s surely one hell of a view

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The ‘twelve apostles’ rock formation is the highlight of ’the great ocean road,’ one of Australia’s most scenic drives.

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When I was taking a road trip from Cairns to Darwin with my friend Jan, we stumbled on this amazing campsite in the middle of nowhere.

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Forest fires in the Kakadu National Park turn the sky all shades of red

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View from the Ubirr rock of the Kakadu floodplains. I half expected elephants and zebra’s to show up to honour the new Lion cub.

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This is the last picture I ever took in Australia, and the only time I was on the west coast to see the sun set in the ocean.

South America

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The number one item on my bucket list: watching the sun rise over Machu Picchu. And it did not disappoint.

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Seeing the sunrise from within a volcanic crater in Uyuni, Bolivia

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The Iguazu falls are on the most spectacular sights in South America. The whole time I was there it was cloudy, accept for a few minutes before sunset. You have to be lucky sometimes.

South-East Asia

You have to be lucky to catch a nice sunrise or sunset in Asia, skies are usually overcast in the afternoon and it’s not uncommon to rain. It’s a easier to see a sunrise, but who wants to get up early after a night of partying on a beach in Thailand? If you are lucky enough to catch one though, you will be treated to some of the most amazing skies there are.

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I saw the sun set among the clouds from Gunung Kerinci, the highest volcano in South-East Asia

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This is Gunung Merapi, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. I had to get up extremely early and drive almost 2 hours on a motorbike to catch this sunrise.

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Continuing the volcano theme, Gunung Bromo is one of the most scenic volcanoes in the world. And every morning hundreds of people gather to watch the sun rise here.

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Another great Indonesian volcano is Gunung Kelimutu on the little-traveled island of Flores.

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Climbing Gunung Rinjani on Lombok is one of the most popular treks in all of Indonesia. It’s absolutely worth every agonising step, as the views are literally and figuratively breathtaking.

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enjoying a well earned cocktail after spending 4 days on a tiny boat to the island of Flores.

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The Gili Islands, near Lombok, are well known for their stunning sunsets.

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Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, is like a dream. Perfect blue waters, amazing beaches, and the most colourful sunsets.

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Phong Nha, Vietnam is the up and coming travel destination in Vietnam, it’s mainly known for all the things you can see below the surface, but the views on the surface or not to bad either.

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What Machu Picchu is for South America, is Angkor Watt for South-East Asia. And watching the sun rise behind one of the biggest religious monuments ever build is exactly as wonderful as promised as promised.

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I’m sure you can see many great sunsets in Thailand, but when I was there it was mostly cloudy. This is one of the few sunsets I saw on a long tail boat near Koh Phi Phi.

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Borneo is not a great place for sunsets, there are few good beaches and the sky is mostly cloudy year round. So I was very happy to catch this rare sight in Bako National Park.

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This extremely red sunset is not filtered and not a painting. It was an amazing sunset I saw in the Kelabit Highlands, Borneo.

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Finally this picture from the summit of the Wilhelmina Mountain in my hometown, Kerkrade. Proving that you don’t need to travel to the far reaches of the planet to capture a beautiful sunset.