Posts Tagged ‘Balloons over bagan’
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Unless you’re Luke Skywalker, it’s rare that you look to the sky and see Darth Vader looming overhead. Well, Jedi or not, now you can feast your eyes on some pretty sweet airborne eye candy. Were talking ginormous strawberries, pudgy panda bears and flying cows. Each year, a smattering of magical hot air balloon festivals take place around the globe, albeit the lack of trophies, prize money or bragging rights. So what’s the motivation for these skilled balloon-gurus? It’s the moment they find themselves slowly rising above the tree line, gaining a whole new perspective on the earth below.
Sometime after the first hot air balloon drifted lazily into flight waaay back in 1783, hot air balloons evolved from simple spherical shapes, to massive, mind-blowing creatures looming in the sky! Lucky for you, we tracked down the ten coolest hot air balloon festivals for you to experience during your travels (or you know, admire from your computer when your boss isn’t looking). Either way, when you combine brilliant design with the hot air balloon industry you get larger than life Vaders, soccer balls, light bulbs, and a master mix of colors and patterns that would make a kaleidoscope jealous. Talk about haute air balloons!
UK - The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is held in Bristol in the United Kingdom each year. This massive four day festival draws in over 100,000 visitors each day with their colorful and artistic balloons! One of the favorite attractions during the festival is the annual night glow, where balloons are launched after dark and are choreographed to glow in time with specific music. Be on the look out for the specialty balloons designed by Seamstress Paula Caddick of Cameron Balloons, which is the world’s largest balloon maker!
Mexico – The International Balloon Festival in Leon, Mexico gets an audience of over 300,000 visitors! 200 spectacular balloons are on display during the festival which is known for a unique set of balloons such as this Darth Vader head balloon.
Burma – The historic region of Bagan is well-known for its massive collection of ancient temples, Balloons Over Bagan, takes travelers up in the air to see the magical structures from above. The religious structures were built between the 11th and 13th century, while many of the temples were damaged in a series of earthquakes that occurred in the 20th century, Bagan still presents some pretty impressive sights.
Canada – Don’t forget your coat for this ride, you’re gonna need it! Take a chilli ride over the icebergs in the Arctic Bay. As far as we know, this balloon ride is the highest latitude passenger flight on a hot air balloon ever. Passengers get to take in the sites of breaking ice bergs and the penguins with Arctic Kingdom Polar Expeditions! (© Michelle Valberg/National Geographic)
Germany – For an unforgettable experience, ride through the forested canyons and over the historic Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. This balloon ride is best known for their collection of traditional shape and vibrant colorful patterns.
Africa – Over in Kenya, have a safari by air! Check out the wild life in it’s natural habitat while your balloon is barely scraping the treetops in the scenic beauty of Masai Mara.
USA – The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico is the largest balloon festival in the entire world! Held each October, the event spans nine days and features over 750 incredible balloons. One of the most incredible event held during the festival is the Dawn Patrol, where special lights are used to allow a series of balloonists to launch their balloons well before sunrise. The most popular is the Mass Ascension, during which time all of the participating balloons launch in two or three carefully coordinated waves!
USA – The Colorado Balloon Classic was organized in 1977 and has grown to be the largest and the longest continuously running hot air balloon festival in the Rocky Mountain Region as well as the State of Colorado. Each year on labor day weekend, mass ascensions of approximately 90 balloons happen during the afternoon while a special event called Balloon Glo® happens after sunset.
France – In the late summer, the hills of the Chambley-Bussieres fill up with a colorful and unique display of hot air balloons as Europe’s largest balloon festival kicks into high gear! The Lorraine Mondial Air Balloon Rally consist of over 300 balloons that take off in a local airfield, then they drift over the stunnin french landscapes.
Switzerland - Chateau d’Oex, the Alpine capital of ballooning! Each year when the weather permits it, a joyous collection of bright balloons flutter through the skies of the Swiss Alps for the Festival International de Balloons in Château-d’Oex. From the launch point, riders get 360 degree views of the Alps, Mont Blanc to the Eiger via the Grand Combin, the Matterhorn, Jura, not to mention Lake Geneva and Fribourg regions.
After combing the planet for the most exotic retreats, we put together a collective of our favorite 15 spots that all have a lovely mixture of adventure, relaxation, danger, and beauty. Many of these out-of-this-world destinations might take more than a typical flight to get to, but whether you are riding on a camel’s back to a far out tented retreat or swinging from a rope onto a tree house balcony, these extraordinary spots will make you want to pack light, and enjoy the ride!
Finca Bellavista (translates to estate with a beautiful view) is a residential tree house community in the South Pacific coastal region of Costa Rica. The property is said to be absolutely untouched by the modern world and completely off the grid!
Cap Rocat will transport you back into another world! A former military fortress located in the most secluded area of the bay of Palma de Mallorca. Stunningly blended into the landscape, this magnificent fortress has been totally refurbished without altering its unique architecture and its natural environment.
Domina Home Piccolo, immersed in the luxuriant vegetation typical of the Ligurian Riviera, in Portofino Italy, is a converted refined period villa that cherishes the ancient art of hospitality.
The secluded Gásadalur Village rests on the green cliff side of Faroe Island. The tiny village is not easy to get to, making it a gem for adventure travelers who would have to be willing to go by train, air, boat, and a hefty hike to get to this exotic location.
With access to 350,000 acres of private land in the Serengeti, the Singita Game Reserve provides a back-to-basics camp which guarantees closeness to wildlife and untouched landscapes.
Imagine floating over thousand year old pagodas and the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River, as the sun sinks slowly behind distant mountains… Sound good? We think so! Get away to Burma and hop into a hot air balloon for an unforgettable experience over Bagan!
The Ladera Resort in sits in between an array of forested mountain peaks. The resort has an infinity pool that rests upon the cliff side and gives guests panoramic views of the lush island!
Burning Man is a week-long annual event held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, in the United States. The event is described by many participants as an experiment in community, art, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance. Each year, artists and underground designers gather for the event to showcase art, sculptures, and mind blowing structures!
North Island Seychelles is a private island with an exotic retreat which is separated and sprawled out through the entire paradise!
Situated within the home of Kichwa Tembo, &Beyond is a safari in Kenya that marks the climax of the annual Great Migration which happens each year on the Masai Mara National Reserve!
In Cappadocia’s magical landscape of fairy chimneys, in the ancient village of Urgup, is a unique hotel carved into a mountain cliff, the Yunak Evleri. This hotel includes six cave houses which date back to the 5th and 6th centuries and a 19th century Greek Mansion. Yunak Evleri is an inspiring hotel – an ideal base for exploring Cappadocia’s elaborate underground cities, hidden cavernous churches and enchanting rock terrain.
Wanakasa (Forest in the Mist) is an exotic retreat set amongst the trees near Ubud, Bali! The pool’s semi-circular edge echoing the bend of the Ayung River 100 metres below.
Rayavadee in Thailand is an idyllic retreat located in the middle of amazing Phranang Peninsula on the edge of Krabi Marine National Park.
Leopard Hills is a breathtaking lodge situated in the ‘Big 5’ Sabi Sand Game Reserve adjoining the world famous Kruger National Park. Hotel Guests can view Lions, Giraffes, and zebras from their open veranda!
In the Loisaba Wilderness in Kenya sits an unforgettable retreat which lets you break down the barriers of the modern day world and be closer to nature. The Loisaba retreat gives you the unique opportunity to try a night under the unspoilt Kenyan stars on one of our Star Beds!