Brazil’s dazzling Carnival celebration attracts more people each year than any other festival in the world, an estimated 10 million.
Germany’s sudsy Oktoberfest sits a distant second in attendance, with about 5 million people.
These two popular world festival icons at the top shouldn’t surprise anyone.
But there is a fast-rising newcomer on the scene.
How to define an adventure traveler? There's really no one way.
Some travelers would call an adventure nothing less than barreling down death road on a bicycle at 15,000 feet; others like their adventure in the ease and comfort of quiet contemplation along El Camino Santiago.
What most adventures have in common, though, is living out a dream. You dream, you travel, you gain a new perspective on who you are and your place in the world.
When you're an old fossil on the road like me, what's better than stopping by the side of the road to see an old fossil?
This was no pedestrian fossil, either.
The world's oldest, largest intact tree fossil was unearthed recently in the Ban Tak District of Tak Province in Northwest Thailand.
I was hitching a ride from Bangkok to Lampang with my friend Sky who decided the Petrified Wood Forest Park would be a good place to stop and stretch.
Wow! Stretched along 72 meters of earth was this ancient tree trunk turned to rock that was discovered by a local villager and uncovered by scientists in just the past 10 years.
Experts estimate the tree was alive in the forest about 800,000 years ago, and was as tall as the tallest trees on earth today.
Several other large tree fossils have also been uncovered near the site and they now comprise the Petrified Wood Forest Park which is open to visitors.
Thai officials are trying to preserve the fossilized tree, which has started to deteriorate since being exposed to the elements.
For more, see these articles in Live Science and ResearchGate .
(Note: I reminisced about the Fourth of July two years ago in a Facebook post from Medellin, Colombia. Today I've updated and revised that post for my favorite holiday. I'm posting it again with the Washington monument photo, above, that was posted with it.)
Four years ago, the director of the Pata Zoo in Bangkok, Thailand, agreed that its lone gorilla on exhibit should be moved to a more suitable location.
But Bua Noi, the 31-year-old ape who’s lived in its dingy cage here since she was just a few months old, still mopes around the sterile concrete floor, reaching through the steel bars for bits of paper on the floor or anything that might help break the deadening monotony of her life in an indoor cage.
The Pathirakali Amman Temple in Trincomalee, where I could take all the photos I wanted, which is funny because the recent violence took place at a church, and I was stopped by soldiers for taking photos of an office building.
My second night in Colombo I was still taking photos about 8 p.m. when Sri Lankan soldiers raced toward me.
I was on the sidewalk in front of the downtown twin towers World Trade Center.
The author enjoying a late afternoon swim in the clear, warm waters of the Indian Ocean, Uppuveli Beach, Sri Lanka.
All I wanted was to lounge at a beach, read and write some, work out a little, sleep a lot.
It had been a while since I’d seen a beach. Sri Lanka seemed a perfect destination for my visa run out of Thailand.
“Pearl of The Indian Ocean,” the ads call it.
Okay, so I didn’t know about the violence.
I am still in Sri Lanka today, Monday, Memorial Day in the U.S.
I took this photo in Arlington National Cemetery, 10 days into my journey, August 10, 2016.
Arlington was beautiful and meaningful, as I had imagined.
A view of Kew Street on Slave Island, Colombo, Sri Lanka, where the intricately carved Arullmigu Sivasubramania Swami Kovil, a Hindu temple, was built more than 125 years ago to honor Lord Muguran, god of religion and yoga. The distinctively decorated 80-foot tower is flanked by smaller clock towers. The temple remains an active place of worship.
Leaving Colombo, Sri Lanka, by train on Thursday, photo taken though the open train window. In the distance is Colombo Lotus Tower, its long-awaited opening often delayed. This week officials said the landmark structure is "nearing completion," the Sri Lanka Mirror reported. I stayed two nights at a hostel here, the capital of Sri Lanka, before taking the train for about five hours across Sri Lanka to the east side beach town of Trincomalee, where I am now. The island nation, formerly known as Ceylon, is located off the southern coast of India. The Indian Ocean is warm and beautiful. People are friendly. Life is good.
David Hunter Bishop is a retired journalist from Hawaii who quickly tired of retirement life and hit the road as a solo traveler in August 2016. Since then he's traveled in 18 countries on four continents and is currently enjoying life in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. For more about David's journey, see his blog at www.davidhunterbishop.com. David's also been interviewed by Nomadic Matt and Expat Focus, and for an article titled, A Confluence of Adventure Writers, by veteran Borneo news writer and author James Ritchie.
David's Articles On Other Travel Blogs
GARIFUNA SETTLEMENT DAYS: Colorful festivals celebrate Caribbean History and Culture
SELVAMONOS: An Alternative Arts and Music Festival in the Amazon highlands
ANIQUEM: Reinforcing Human Connections Through Travel
PROMISES, PROMISES: Tourists High and Dry in Siem Reap Rip