Video of the Day – Thailand’s Yi Peng Festival via iPhone 4S


The Yi Peng festival is a special event in Northern Thailand that occurs on the 12th full moon of every year. Coinciding with Loi Krathong (a festival celebrated throughout Thailand) it is observed by lighting sky lanterns and letting them float into the sky, resulting in what appears to be large flocks of giant jellyfish floating through the air.

There have been many fantastic videos and pictures that capture this event, but today’s Video of the Day is especially stunning for one reason: it was completely shot on an iPhone 4S. Produced by Vimeo user Tada Archawong, it shows just how far a little color grading (with Magic Bullet Looks) and a great mobile camera can go.

So, adventurers; it may just be time to kiss your DSLR goodbye. If you’ve already said goodbye to traditional cameras in favor of mobile devices, we want to see what youv’e captured! Paste a link in the comments section below, or post pictures to our Flickr Pool – it could just be our next Photo/Video of the Day.

Transmongolia – Part Three: the Road to China

Transmongolia: Part Three – Click above to watch video after the jump

As soon as dawn broke, I could hear rustling coming from the other tents scattered around the convoy of rally cars. Bitter cold winds whipping across the open desert prevented me from moving or making any attempt to unzip my sleeping bag, but we needed to get moving in order to cover as much ground as possible.

The night before had been an impromptu birthday celebration for a rallyer named Andrew; now 25 years old. We sat around a campfire, listening to iPod playlists blasting from one car’s deceivingly powerful sound system, sipping on flasks of Russian-made vodka to keep warm. Under the most vivid blanket of stars I’ve seen in my life, I couldn’t help but smile at the fact that I was getting to celebrate a stranger’s birthday with a group of new friends, hours away from any familiar form of civilization.

As we set off, I began to accept and adapt to my new environment for the next week; the ambulance’s olive colored walls, coated with dust that seemed to stream in from all directions, shuddering relentlessly – it was everything I had ever hoped my Mongol Rally experience would be.


Transmongolia – Part Three: the Road to China

Climbing into higher elevation, our convoy’s engines struggled to climb up long sections of mountain switchbacks and cross picturesque streams. Apart from a few lone nomads on horses and the occasional yurt far in the distance, the only evident signs of life were the goats and yaks that grazed the open landscape.

After hours of forward progress, we came upon our first Mongolian prayer flag; a bright blue piece of cloth in the center of a pile of rocks. The Buddhist practice calls upon travelers to circle the rocks three times and add a stone to the pile; ensuring safe travels and good spirits to accompany those who trek that path.

For us, it was a welcome excuse to get out of the car and move before settling in for another hour of being tossed around, so we vowed to stop at every flag we saw – little did we know that their frequency would dramatically increase as we moved closer to Ulaanbaatar.

Riding in the back, staring out the small side window, I suddenly heard a loud gasp from up front. ‘Well look what we found!!” was all I could hear over Olive’s wheels striking rocks and shifting from side to side. Then, out of nowhere – silence. No vibration. Just silky smooth, freshly paved, blacker-than-the-night-sky asphalt (or ashphelt if you’re Australian, apparently).

We couldn’t believe it, but we were too eager to. Driving at an unbelievable speed of 80 km/h, we forged ahead in any direction that the magic strip of tar would take us. That is, until we started realizing that our compass needle wasn’t pointed in exactly the right direction and that there was an alarming amount of construction equipment with Chinese lettering on it.

Stopping to seek advice from several locals that communicated mostly via gestures and pointing to our worn-out map, we confirmed that we were heading toward the Chinese town of Altai rather than our intended destination of Altai in Mongolia. Just a couple of hours and we would have been face to face with some imaginably unimpressed Chinese officials.

Not only would we have to retrace hundreds of miles, but we’d have to abandon the beautiful asphalt road and forge a new, unknown path to try and cut some time off our overzealous mistake.

With no other option, we forged ahead – hoping we’d calculated our direction correctly this time, venturing further into the middle of nowhere.

For more information about the Mongol Rally, including how to sign up for the 2012 rally or tips for entrants outside the EU, visit the Adventurist’s website – or view the Adventurists’ 2011 trailer here!

Transportation was made possible by the scholars & gentlemen at the Adventurists. No editorial content or opinions were guaranteed, and nor was anyone’s safety or hygiene.

Video of the Day – Flying over Earth on the ISS


If you haven’t seen this video since its emergence on the internet in the past two days, stop whatever you’re doing, plug in your best headphones, quit your other applications (so you can watch in silky smooth HD), and full-screen this amazing compilation of moving images.

Edited by Michael König, this time-lapse was created by stitching together a series of still images shot by astronauts Ron Garan, Satoshi Furukawa, and the crews of expeditions 28 & 29 onboard the International Space Station. Shot from an altitude of 350km between August and October 2011, the images were captured at 4K resolution with NASA’s Super-Sensitive High Definition TV system.

The imaging system picks up much more light than a normal HD camera is capable of, thus capturing a vivid look at the surface of the Earth and aurora borealis that’s unlike anything humanity has seen before.

Assuming that you don’t have $1 million to book an entire Virgin Galactic flight exclusively for your family, this video should be a pleasant placeholder until you get your finances in order. Until then, leave us a comment with a link to your favorite shots from the ground! It could be our next Photo/Video of the Day.

Video of the Day – Destination Earth


Why do you travel? For adventure? To know the unknown? To get lost? To find something?

Today’s Video of the Day is an ad for a company called G Adventures that encourages viewers to get out and see “why Earth is the universe’s #1 travel destination”. The short piece does a beautiful job of illustrating some of the moments that beg us to travel, tailored to pull at the heartstrings of the crowd that doesn’t want to be part of the crowd.

Have you found a photo or video that captures why you like to travel? Share it with us! Post a comment below or upload to our Flickr Pool and it could be our next Photo/Video of the Day.

Brazilian police ram airplane to stop smugglers


Believe it or not, this isn’t a leaked scene from the set of Lethal Weapon 5; it’s just another day at the office for a few heroic members of the Brazilian Federal Police.

In what is sure to be the highlight of these officers’ careers, a video uploaded to YouTube yesterday shows police in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil chasing down a group of smugglers attempting to take off in a small aircraft.

After gaining enough speed to catch up with the aircraft, the driver decides that the best course of action is to ram straight through the plane’s wing, disabling the craft and allowing officers to arrest five suspects after a month-long investigation.


We’re still wondering if there’s a Federal Police policy for this sort of thing, or if the officers were just… winging it.