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[Reviews] [ZenFans Review] Capturing images of the world - ZenFone 5 Around the world in 80 days(Part 4)

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Wayne_ASUS TWN Moderator | All posts
Last edited by Wayne_ASUS on 2018/8/30 14:54

Piecing together a complete Seven Wonders of the World
The first time I visited one of the Seven Wonders of the World was the Great Wall of China; back then I just left the army and started working, and I had the opportunity to work in Beijing. A long 14 years has passed by (looking back now it seemed like only a few days-time), and I’d seen the Great Wall of China countless times during that period. I’ve been to India 14 times, and I’ve seen the Taj Mahal that appeared in the beautiful love stories. I’ve been to Cambodia three times to explore the stunning Angkor Dynasty. I’ve visited the Middle-East several times to visit the ancient Egyptian pyramid that was honored number one among the Seven Wonders of the World, and I also visited the ancient city of Petra, Jordan in the wilderness along the way; and a few years later, I headed towards the passionate Rio in Brazil, South America to see the Christ The Redeemer (Cristo Redentor).

Finally, I headed to Machu Picchu, which we are now so familiar with because it had been shared countless times over the internet, without any expectations; what kind of sensation could it bring for me? I just wanted to pass by (actually intentionally took two flights and then a train ride to get there) to collect the last piece of puzzle so that I can complete my collection of the Seven Wonders of the World.

▲  View of an ancient city valley surrounded by cloud and haze in the morning

At five o’clock in the morning, the author got on the shuttle bus that goes from Aguas Calientes to the entrance of Machu Picchu (takes approximately half an hour and costs USD $12 per trip). The sun was not up yet that morning, and the bus was slowly heading up the zigzag mountain road under the dark blue color temperature, driving between the misty valleys; it felt mystic and fantastic, and I was moved to tears at that moment. (Some things do not need photo records, you just quietly experience them.)

Machu Picchu really is full of magical power (don’t come on sunny days because you won’t be able to feel it at all); no matter how many photos of it I’ve seen over the internet, when I actually came here to feel this lost ancient city in the mountains with the clouds and the mists that is isolated from the world, at that moment I felt all that trouble to get here was completely worth it.

I am happy that Machu Picchu allowed me to fully piece together the Seven Wonders of the World; I was extremely satisfied and moved.

▲ RAW file taken using Auto mode of ZenFone 5 to allow users who love editing photos to have more tolerance for adjusting photos.

▲ Returned to Cusco and headed towards the Consulate of Bolivia in Cusco for our visa application; half way there we met some primary school students who were protesting against too many cars in Cusco. I used the 24mm rear main camera of ZenFone 5 to take a photo of them; although they were protesting, but these students who were wearing traditional clothing were too cute.

▲  Then I used the 12mm rear secondary camera of ZenFone 5 to take another photo of them to capture more background environment.

▲ Admiring Cusco from a high place was a good choice, along with the buildings with the drawings on the walls as the foreground; however, this can only be taken using the 120 degrees dual-camera of ZenFone 5.

Bolivia, the place that we thought we couldn’t go
If you ever plan to come back to Peru again, then go for the essence spots this time, and head south to the Sky Mirror in Bolivia. After all, you’ve already made the rare trip to South America, we sincerely recommend you to visit there. This is what a traveler from Taiwan that we met in South America told us.

So I stopped being as lazy as I was in Chile, and started actively having fun in Peru. We crossed the border of the two countries and arrived at the legendary high mountain lake - Lake Titicaca.
Honestly speaking, we’ve been through a lot to get to Bolivia. We originally spent USD $85 in Chile for our Bolivia visa, and it was stolen before we even had the chance to use it. Fortunately, it wasn’t as painful applying for Bolivia visa in Cusco, Peru; it only took 20 minutes and USD $30, and we got the visa right away.

▲  Lake Titicaca at the edge of Bolivia really was beautiful; but it is four thousand meters above sea level, so travelers who came here for the first time must beware of acute mountain sickness.

▲ The world’s highest capital - La Paz; it is 3,600 to over 4,000 meters above sea level. I wonder whose idea it was to replace subways with cable cars; the locals called it “Subway in the Sky” and they said we must ride it. La Paz was stunningly beautiful (especially at night); it definitely ranks among the top few in the hundreds of cities I’ve visited before.

▲  Finally, I arrived at my last destination for the trip to South America this time - Uyuni Salt Flats, which is the Sky Mirror that we hear all the time.

In the town of Uyuni, travelers can take several local trips according to the number of days you have. The author joined the sunrise/sunset and one-day daytime group with a total of three trips; this was completely due to our limited time and we were trying to maximize the fun that we could have. We could take naps in the vehicles anyway.

▲  There was a place in the Salt Flats full of flags from all over the world (yes, Taiwan’s flag was there too)

▲ Take that! This is something that people will 100% do when they take the trip to Sky Mirror. If the distance between the two objects is further apart, using SLR cameras will results in shallow depth of field (blurry) because the sensors of SLRs are larger; on the other hand, taking photos using smartphones with smaller sensors will give us deeper depth of field.

▲ The tour guides were all professional drivers; they knew how to take fun and lively photos. However, our driver said he only knows  how to use iPhone, but I forced him to take photos of us using ZenFone 5. (After all, the one who paid to join the trip is the boss; sure enough, this is standard Taiwanese thinking. Huh?)

▲  Sky Mirror at dusk with our Spanish tour companion. The photo was taken with ZenFone 5 held in the hand under dim lights; the result was pretty good.

Bye bye South America, hello again to Europe

We took an 11-hour flight from Lima and arrived at the capital of Spain – Madrid. I actually didn’t particularly want to come to Europe because I’ve already been to Europe four times and spent a year traveling around the countries in Europe. This time it was because I bought the tickets to travel around the world, and I had to go around the world entirely; so I planned to spend around ten days in Europe to take my time and look around in Spain. But I didn’t; I came to Madrid in March last year as the first stop of my two-month Europe trip, and yes, on the first day after I got off the plain and reached the city train station, my wallet was stolen. I thought to myself that I really have to be careful this time coming to Europe, but now it was like “whatever” because most of my valuables were already stolen in Chile; so I might as well not worry and just have fun!

However, the author really doesn’t have any love for Spain; so when the plane arrived at Aeropuerto Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, I transferred to Budapest, Hungary. And since I had no Euros on me, I used the only credit card that I had on me that was not stolen to take the taxi (I wanted to cry).

Coming to Budapest to meet my friends and make new friends were wonderful; I also applied for the visa of the Republic of Serbia at Balkans, which I didn’t get to go last time. This is the only country in Europe where China doesn’t need a visa, but that means Taiwan needs a visa; fortunately it was only 60 Euros and we could pick it up from the Embassy immediately. It was a pass printed with A4 paper and had to be taken back when we left the country.

I spent five days in the Republic of Serbia; European countries actually aren’t big in size, and their lands are connected with neighboring countries. However, plane tickets to fly from the Republic of Serbia to other countries are quite expensive; it seems that they don’t have good relationships with other European countries. Honestly, for a traveler, the monuments/buildings/good value for money/delicious bread of this country really appeals to me; I personally like this country very much.

But since the plane tickets were very expensive, I spent ten Euros and took a mid-sized bus for three hours to cross the northeast border and arrived at the ancient city at the border of Romania – Timisoara. After I got here, I realized that I’ve been here six years ago (I forgot completely).

▲  Madrid is infamous for its thieves, but it is still a great city if you be careful. (However, the author doesn’t plan to come back again!)

▲  Old town of the Serbian capital; there is a storm coming ahead.

▲  A grand plaza of the ancient city Timisoara at the border of Romania

Flashmob trip to Europe
Within the ten-day flashmob trip of Europe, we had actually been to four countries from Spain to Hungary, then to the Republic of Serbia, and we spent a night at Romania, and then took a cheap flight back to Madrid.
We said farewell to Europe with Spanish seafood paella, and headed towards the last stop of our trip around the world, Tokyo, Japan. Yes, Tokyo. I didn’t think about where to go, and just wanted to enjoy some delicious Japanese cuisine; so we decided to stay at Narita City next to the airport. We bathed in the large bath of the hotel next to the station, had some Japanese ramen and donburi, and then visited an ancient temple in Narita City. In the eighty-day trip around the world, I thought it would be painstaking, but it wasn’t at all; I didn’t even lose 1kg. But I still returned home to Taiwan full of beautiful memories.

▲  Ancient temple in Narita City

▲  Took a Scoot Tigerair flight back to the original starting point – Terminal 1 of Taoyuan International Airport. Every time I come back, I want to take a photo before I enter Taiwan.

ZenFone 5 completes the journey with you
After travelling to so many places, home is the place to be; I’ve finally made it back to Taiwan (actually I came back to Taiwan for less than ten days, then I went on an island hopping trip to the North Pacific Ocean). The ZenFone 5, which I used for over three months, definitely is durable whether it was for low temperature environments or different rigorous landforms. Through its dual-camera AI smart photography learning function, I was able to fully record this trip around the world. Although my other equipment were lost in Chile, and there were some rough times during the trip, but no matter whether they were good or bad, they were all part of the trip, and they are experiences that will help us grow, just like the AI learning of ZenFone 5, it gets smarter the more you use it.

Lastly, travel and love photo with ZenFone 5!

Yey! Home sweet home! I hope I can get to travel as well in the future. Can't wait to have a travel diary of photos with my ZenFone 5z. Thank you so much for this inspiring series of posts.
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