“Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgundy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road
I am a sucker for a gorgeous sunset. Who isn’t? There is something so stupendously satisfying about seeing another day race off to be tomorrow in some other part of the world. A setting sun is one of those moments that can be experienced anywhere in the world, even your own backyard.
Sunsets have sometimes been the definition of beauty as I judge a place and compare one to another. I realize that can be unfair. Each place in the world has its own identity, and its own signature sunset.
These are some of my favorites.
This is one of the places in the world where my favorite sunset did not necessarily involve an ocean view. Taiwan lies on almost the same latitude as Hawaii, so it has similar tropical weather and high humidity. These combine to create skies filled with marshmallow clouds and the golden and pink colors that I love. I loved to climb to the roof of our 27 story apartment building and spend an hour taking one photo after another as the sun set behind the buildings and the busy shipping port. It was truly one of the most spectacular views in the city, and it was all mine.
Kapua Bay, Big Island, Hawaii
It goes without saying that Hawaii has spectacular sunsets. Virtually any place on any of the islands has an evening view to melt your heart. However, I was fortunate enough to visit the beach house of my friend, photographer Sandi Child, on several occasions. This rustic cottage, located at the end of a long, 4×4 only, lava road through a macadamia nut and honey bee farm will always be one of my fondest memories of the Aloha State. Sunsets were spent on the lanai just a few feet from the water, with cocktails in hand, and abundant laughs. If we were lucky, dolphins or humpback whales would pay us a visit as well.
Before we made the journey from Kaohsiung to Huanchaco, I asked Will if there were sunsets. He immediately showed me photos from his time there a few years before. I was satisfied, but it wasn’t until I witnessed one for myself that I realized just how gorgeous they truly are. Whether we were ensconced on the patio of our little casita with a bottle of wine, or we carried said bottle down the street to perch on the breakwall above the Pacific Ocean, sunsets in Huanchaco are one of those wide awake in dreamland moments that made it so hard to live that perfect place.
Not to be outdone by her Pacific coast, Peru serves up some spectacular sunset vistas in the interior as well, particularly in the jungles surrounding the Amazon River. I’m no meteorologist, but I have to assume that it’s the steamy, humid air that coaxes the amazing colors out of the sky as the sun sets. Beautiful pinks and magentas merge seamlessly with royal purple and midnight blue and tint the mighty river with their hues. Dark always seems to come too quickly in the tropics, but while the color and light show is going on, there’s no better seat in the house than the deck of a cargo boat on it’s journey to Iquitos.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
I have developed a love/hate relationship with the sun since I arrived in Abu Dhabi. On one hand, the often dusty haze that hangs in the sky contributes to stunning, blood red sunsets, and on the other hand, the sun is actively attempting to kill me. However, as the inhumane heat of the summer has faded to the deliciously pleasant temperatures of winter, a cocktail or dinner outside is an actually feasible endeavor. Whether it’s a luxury hotel’s rooftop lounge, or the deck of our villa, Abu Dhabi sunsets are some of the most unusual I’ve seen. Reds shift to orange and orange morphs to purple as the sun settles into the Arabian Gulf, all of it heralded by the sometimes otherworldly ululation that is the call to prayer . It’s an incredible sight to see.
No matter where I am in the world, I will usually drop what I am doing and run outside to catch the sunset, and I am grateful that I have seen yet another day to its close. Maybe at some point in the near future I’ll wake up early on a regular basis to do the same with the sunrise.
Where in the world are your favorite sunsets? Let us know in the comments section below!
Mehedi Saleh says
Sunrise/ Dawn is always a special time of day. It is different to sunset. Sunrise is like a secret time, a private moment between the person awake & their surroundings, & nature. For me dawn is by far the best part of the day.
Only the people who have got up to pray or have an extra early start to their day see it. When you are awake, it seems like the world is sleeping while the sun slowly & calmly arrives & greets the rocks, sand, tree’s that is hasn’t seen for some time. The bird’s sing & apart from that a silence that is calming & grounding lightens the burden on ones shoulders for the following day.
I love sunsets but for me sunrises are even better… hope you can catch some too Cate so you can see what I mean 😀
Mehedi, I know what you mean! I do love sunrises for exactly those reasons and I really hope that I can learn to wake up earlier so I can see more of them!
Beautiful sunsets! It’s nice when there are a few clouds in the sky which makes the light reflect.