Today started out easy enough. I left my hotel. Cake for breakfast. Filled up on gas. Was heading out of town by 9. In an effort to buy some time, I opted to take a faster highway in the morning; I’d cut across horizontally to jump on the more scenic Ho Chi Minh Trail West by the afternoon. I was heading to Phung Nha - the location of the world’s largest caves. On Google Maps, the horizontal road was nice, fat, and yellow - signifying a highway. In reality, the yellow line was a big, fat lie. It’s prominence on the map was overtly ambitious even by communist propaganda standards. Instead of buzzing along on nicely paved asphalt, I put my off-road riding skills to the test while navigating 30km of winding, mountain trail through the jungle. It was unbelievably rocky in some sections; unbelievably muddy in others. There were multiple water crossings up past my foot pegs. Sheer unguarded drops seemingly around every bend. The only thing not present were humans. After what seemed like an eternity of skirting death (or at the very least, a flat tire in the middle of nowhere) I finally popped out on the Ho Chi Minh Trail West. I continued along the scenic byway, constantly amazed by the scenery - like in this photo. It was some of the most beautiful I’d ever seen; some of the most fun riding I’d ever done. There were a couple of backpackers stopped at this same vista. They asked where I had come from. When I told them, they declared, “Riding that road is supposed to be impossible!” “Nothing is impossible,” I replied. #Vietnam #travel #adventure #wanderlust #landscape #nature #getoutstayout #afterlight #mountains #gowithoutwalls #huckberry #folk #livefolk #natgeo #natgeotravel (at Phong Nha Quán)

Top Shot: Niagara Freeze

Top Shot features the photo with the most votes from the previous day’s Daily Dozen. The Daily Dozen is 12 photos chosen by the Your Shot editors each day from thousands of recent uploads. Our community has the chance to vote for their favorite from the selection.

A frozen Niagra Falls in Ontario, Canada. Photograph by Mark Duffy.

Caption This: Prairie Dogs and Starlings

Last week we asked you to caption this photo of a get together between prairie dogs and starlings by Your Shot member Jake Danishevsky for our series on the National Geographic Facebook page.

And the editorial team’s favorite caption is…

High five on getting the chicks here!"—Eileen Zak Buck

Thanks for captioning this! Try your hand at writing captions this week on National Geographic’s Facebook page.

Note: New “Caption This” photos are posted on Monday, and the captioning closes Friday at noon.

4

Too Young to Wed: The secret world of child brides

Every year, throughout the world, millions of young girls are forced into marriage. Child marriage is outlawed in many countries and international agreements forbid the practice yet this tradition still spans continents, language, religion and caste.

Over an eight-year period, photographer Stephanie Sinclair has investigated the phenomenon of child marriage in India, Yemen, Afghanistan, Nepal and Ethiopia. Her multimedia presentation, produced in association with National Geographic, synthesizes this body of work into a call to action.

Read the full story ‘Child Brides’ for the National Geographic by Cynthia Gorney and view the photo gallery by Pulitzer Center grantee Stephanie Sinclair. 

Top Shot: A Spark in the Dark

Top Shot features the photo with the most votes from the previous day’s Daily Dozen. The Daily Dozen is 12 photos chosen by the Your Shot editors each day from thousands of recent uploads. Our community has the chance to vote for their favorite from the selection.

Volcán de Fuego or “Volcano of Fire” erupts in Guatemala. The stratovolcano lies approximately 10 miles to the west of Antigua and frequently erupts at a low level, but larger euptions like the one pictured are rare. Photograph by Diego Rizzo.

Jökulsárlón, Iceland, by genphotos

This is my favorite picture from my Iceland Collection. See the full collection at: Any offers on book deal is warmly welcomed Magical Iceland Collection Subscribe to my Facebook picture blog for motivational stuff, new way of taking photography business, awesome pictures and stories on a weekly basis: Facebook

Top Shot: Water, Whirled

Top Shot features the photo with the most votes from the previous day’s Daily Dozen. The Daily Dozen is 12 photos chosen by the Your Shot editors each day from thousands of recent uploads. Our community has the chance to vote for their favorite from the selection.

A waterspout spins off the coast of Ngamba Island in Lake Victoria, Uganda. Photograph by Julia Cumes.