My Top 15 Travel Photos of 2013

Hi guys! I hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday. Mine have been nothing short of perfect- snow, siblings and all.

Seeing as the end of the year is upon us I wanted to recap 2013 with my favorite travel shots (I was inspired by The Polar Route’s absolutely beautiful photos.)

Reviewing all of these photos was a lot of fun. As many of you know I adore photography- and not just taking the photos- I also love editing and curating them. My travels in 2013 spanned 15 countries across Europe, North America and Asia, and my photos reflect that (though there is a strong preference for Bali, which was possibly the most photogenic place I visited!)

As I reviewed these photos I noticed a bit of progress as the year went on so hopefully in 2014 my photography will continue to improve! Considering my parents gifted me the wonderful Canon 50mm 1.4 lens for Christmas (thanks SO much, mom and dad!), here’s hoping it will.

So without further ado, here are some of my favorite shots from 2013… and I’d love to hear which one is your  favorite in the comments!


The view of the Eiffel Tower from Trocadéro. Paris, France.


The Hagia Sofia. Istanbul, Turkey.


A bride and groom on the Pont des Arts. Paris, France.

San Sebastian

San Sebastián at sunset. San Sebastián, Spain.


A tree-lined French road in spring. Maincy, France.

Confolens, France

A Roman bridge in a small French town. Confolens, France.


A sushi chef at work. Narita, Japan.


Chinese lanterns above the crowd. Macau.

Angkor Wat

 Angkor Wat at sunrise. Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Canyoning Vietnam

Rappelling down an 80-foot waterfall. Dalat, Vietnam.

Motorcycle Vietnam

 Motorcycling in the Vietnamese countryside. Vietnam.

Medicine Man Bali

 Meeting a ninth-generation medicine man in Bali. Ubud, Bali.

Mount Batur Bali

The summit of Mount Batur at sunrise. Mount Batur, Bali.

Mount Batur Bali

 A group of hikers and a monkey. Mount Batur, Bali.

Rice paddies Indonesia

 A verdant rice terrace. Bali, Indonesia.

Which photo is your favorite?

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About Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Uganda. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour Magazine.

55 thoughts on “My Top 15 Travel Photos of 2013”

  1. All of these photos are stunning Ashley, they represent all the incredible things and places you’ve experienced 2013. If I were pushed to choose a favourite it would be Angkor Wat at Sunrise, followed closely by Motorcycling in the Vietnamese countryside, it looks like God parting the sky!

  2. OMG, your pics are beautiful! Really, I am very impressed. Impossible for me to choose a favorite;-).

    Funny to see your pic of the lanterns in Macau, I was there too at that time, because I have a similar picture. Was it crazy crowded the day you were there? It was when we were there and that was the reason that we were not able to see all what we wanted on Macau. Guess we will have to go back one day;-). Did you also see the show House of Dancing Water? It was gorgeous!

    Bali is a long-time love from me; was there 25 years ago for the first time and 6 years back for the second and (hopefully not) last time. Ubud is amazing.

    I was in Vietnam 25 years ago and hope to return there in 2014. I remember how friendly the people were and how divers the nature was. My stepdaughter returned yesterday from 3 weeks in Vietnam and she loved it!

    How cool that you also like to work on your pics. Me too! I am always surprised and disappointed that so many people disapprove of it. Discarding it as ‘not real’. I disagree. I think post-work on pics can dramatically enhance the image.

    I am sure your photography will get even better then it already is; you have a talent for it!

    • Thanks so much, Anja! It was definitely super crowded in Macau, it was hard to escape all the other tourists! And I totally agree about Bali and Vietnam- they were my two favorite places on my trip. And photo editing makes SUCH a difference- I would never post pictures without doing it first!

  3. Girl, those are some gorgeous photos! I really love the one of the Eiffel Tower because it gives a unique view to something so often photographed. I also really like the tree lined street and the motorcycling in Vietnam, they both have such an ethereal feel to them. What do you use to edit? Have fun with the new lens, too! ;)

  4. Awesome, awesome photos Ashley.

    The tree-lined street from Maincy seems like a place that only exists in forgotten dreams. I’ve gotta see that, as well as the other places in your pictures.

    Cheers on the great year you’ve had!

  5. Such lovely photos Ashley! Your photos from Bali take me back! The rice fields were one of my favorite places on that trip – it had quite a spiritual feeling! Looking forward to seeing your pictures with your new camera in 2014!

  6. Ashley, they are all my favorites! You are an incredible photographer and I’m happy to hear your folks gave you a new camera for Christmas. When do you leave again?

    • Hi, Marsha! Hope all is well down in Nashville and that you had a wonderful Christmas! I’m actually not sure of when I’m leaving again… I’ll definitely be home for the next month or so. And I always love getting your comments by the way :)

  7. Ashley,

    These photos are AMAZING. I love the sunset in Spain and the countryside in Vietnam. I’m so glad you’ve been able to travel and share your experiences. This is such an inspiring blog!

    Hope you’re doing well and that 2014 brings you even more adventures!


    • Hi, Shereen! How have you been? I remember taking art class together back in the day… hope everything’s been going great for you :). And thanks so much, I had a great year of travel for sure.

  8. Gorgeous pictures. The one of the married couple is beautiful and I really like the Bali ones! Looking forward to seeing your pictures in 2014.

    Hope you have a fabulous new year!


  9. Ah that picture in Vietnam is just stunning. I love when the light rays do that. Second fave is the one in Maincy, France because it makes me want to sing the Sound of Music songs haha.

  10. These are all spectacular photos but for sheer awesomeness, my two favorites would be the rice terrace in Bali and sunrise at Angkor Wat. Although I adore the one in Istanbul too….I’m really hoping this is the year I make it there!

    Happy New Year!

  11. Gorgeous, gorgeous photographs! I love them all, but I think the one from motorcycling in Vietnam is my favorite. Cheers to more great travels in 2014!

  12. Wow! Ashley! Youve been to a number of beautiful places. And whoaaaa..amazing photos. Its honestly hard to pick a favorite..because they r all absolutely stunning.. however..if I had t pick one.. I might choose e sunrise on e summit of e mountain.. one thing I was wondering about is your thoughts behind e picture you took of e sushi chef.. What is it about e picture..that makes it one of your favorites? Anyw..Hope you had a fantastic 2013.

  13. Hello, I just happened to come upon your blog through the Cultureist…these photos are beautiful and I vote the Medicine man in Bali! You can see the true genuine curiosity you have on your smile and the excitement in his. Cheers!

  14. It is difficult to pick a favorite photo from this group. I would have to say my favorite is the one featuring the medicine man. It made me smile and gives me a sense of peace.

  15. Your preference of Bali as the most photogenic place you’ve visited is exactly the same with what my friend from Hong Kong said after our trip to the island last December. One year ago he was quite skeptical about Bali — its reputation as a very touristy island didn’t help. But I managed to gradually convince him to visit, and he ended up losing words to describe how beautiful and amazing it was. We skipped the southern part of the island altogether and focused more on the central and east. Love your photos from other places btw! Seeing that photo from Paris makes me want to redeem my very short visit to the city back in 2007.

  16. Hey Ashley I’m flattered that my shots inspired you to share yours. You have some excellent work here; it’s hard to pick but I think my fav is the motorcycle in Vietnam. Thanks and take care!

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