Instagram Updates: Best of March

Atlantis and Palm Jumeirah from the sky
Posted by on April 2, 2015

Instagram Updates: Best of March

I’ve been having a bit of computer trouble recently, in that my computer won’t charge at all and so I’ve got no way to access the hundreds and hundreds of shots I took in Dubai. I’m hoping to have it resolved soon but, luckily, I was able to edit and upload at least a few of them before things turned south. With one exception every photo I posted to my Instagram feed in March was from the UAE, either old shots from past trips there or newly taken beauties from the week that just finished. Enjoy some of the best of both here, and with any luck by this time next month I’ll have been able to go through and post tons more from waterparks and desert safaris and Emirati food and a seaplane ride over the city’s unbelievable architecture.


Abu Dhabi doesn’t necessarily have the same flashy vibe as more popular Dubai but there are a couple of spots where they’ve definitely decided to do it up big. The first of these, the Emirates Palace hotel, rises up like a phantom through the sun’s haze and defines the city’s beachfront for me even if I’ve not spent much time inside. The other major ‘site’ though, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, is just as worthwhile on the outside as it is in the interior. That alone is worth the trip over from Dubai, even if you jump straight back on the highway afterwards and head back.


Much more than the flashy bit of either of the two main cities of the UAE, I prefer the old quarter of Dubai that hugs the Creek waterway. Bazaars all over, for gold and spices and fish and more, or even just a couple minutes on an abra boat across the water with open sides and the Creek just below.


Of course sometimes you just want to get away from all the development, and the miles and miles of sand that surround Dubai are one way to do it. Jeep safaris, quad bikes, camel rides, and plenty of others. These shots are both from my last trip, but I made it out into the sand several more times on this recent visit and was really stoked with some of the photos off of those shoots… more to come soon.

Of course… you could just get up above it all and end up with way less sand in your shoes. This is from a Helicopter Tour of Dubai just as we were circling back around towards the helipad on the tip of Palm Jumeirah, but I also managed to grab some aerial views of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Creek and of course the Burj Al Arab too. Not exactly a standard travel experience for me, but maybe even more awesome because of that!

With the #Nyepi holiday in #Bali I at least had the good sense to switch to shooting in RAW+Jpeg so, while it will be some time before I get my computer back and can edit the full-size files I’ve at least got a bit to share for now. The main attraction the night before Nyepi is the Ogoh-Ogoh #parade, in which gigantic statues of demons and gods are paraded through the streets to the accompaniment of yelling and fireworks to scare away evil spirits and start the new year off well. Hard to photograph, with low light and lots of movement, but even when challenging it was super fun to follow around the streets of #Sanur for a few hours. Happy Nyepi! #Travel #Travelgram #Holiday #Festival #Dancers #Dancing #DSLR #nofilter #SEA #Indonesia #instagood #Worldtravel #portraits

A photo posted by Stephen Lioy (@slioy) on

The afternoon my computer went on vacation I boarded a flight for Bali, though not exactly for a vacation of my own. I did have one day of enforced relaxation, however, for the traditional Balinese new year celebration of Nyepi. This photo is from the Ogoh-Ogoh parades the night before Nyepi begins, when locals parade through the streets carrying demon statues and popping fireworks to scare away evil spirits from the island in preparation for the coming year. An awesome experience, like Mardi Gras without the vomit, and one that luckily I had the foresight to shoot in both RAW and jpeg so that I could play with the pictures immediately after.

So happy Nyepi, happy Nooruz, and excuse my social media near-silence for the next week or two while I impatiently await the return of my struggling macbook!

If you haven’t already, make sure to follow me on Instagram to catch the rest of those photos from Dubai and Bali once they go live, with trips to Nepal and Malaysia hot on their heels.

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