Whether making a grand entrance or a dramatic exit, Southeast Asia provides some of the best backdrops for the sun’s radiant colour spectrum
Witnessing the sun as it rises to greet a new dawn or as it departs into the horizon at dusk can be a unique show of splendour surpassed by few other natural phenomena. The sky’s endless canvas becomes awash with a palette of soft pinks, warm yellows, shades of peach and striking wisps of violet – reminiscent of some of the most famous Impressionist masterpieces.
While each day brings with it a new performance, selecting the best vantage point to take in the freshness of a new morning or the contentment of a day’s end is key to capturing a rare show.
Rising to meet daybreak may not be a priority on some holiday itineraries, particularly when the words ‘trek’ and ‘freezing’ are thrown into the mix, but the efforts of an early riser in Indonesia are rewarded when the spectacular views and dramatic landscape of Mount Bromo, in Java, are lit by the sunrise and viewed from nearby Mount Penanjakan.
Sitting more than 2,500 metres above sea level, Mount Penanjakan’s vista provides a magnificent show of the neighbouring active volcano’s desolate landscape, which is touted as being amongst Indonesia’s most spectacular scenery. Expect to set the alarm for before 4am to make the most of the picture perfect opportunities presented when first light illuminates Mt Bromo, with Mt Semeru smoking in the distance.
Sunrise over Myanmar’s Bagan temples is also a sight not to be missed and there’s no better way to experience the majestic scenery than with a hot air balloon ride.
The vast openness of the farmland below, speckled with thousands of ancient pagodas and ruins provides a show of historic grandeur. Meeting the sun at dawn promises a perfect start to a day, but with a champagne toast at twilight as you sail over earth-coloured temples glowing in the deep red sunset, an early evening ride fills the air with a heightened sense of holiness unique to the local land.
Bidding adieu to another day with a sunset over open water offers twice the splendour, as the sky’s eclectic palette is magnified in the water’s reflection.
Promthep Cape, located at the southernmost point of Phuket Island, offers a spectacular view of the sea and coastline and is a popular spot with tourists for good reason. It provides the best vantage points to capture the rich shades of early nightfall as the sun descends beyond the open water. For an even better view, make use of the observation level at the cape’s lighthouse, from where one of Phuket’s most breathtaking sights is best seen.
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