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10 Of The Top Entries From National Geographic's Travel Photo Contest

Travel never looked so good.

If you’ve ever tried to photograph a beach sunset, a sprawling desert or a cityscape at night, then you know how hard it is to capture the unique feeling of a “travel moment” on film.

Stunningly, these entries from the 2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest have done it with ease. The images come from photographers all around the world who document their trips so vividly, it's like a virtual vacation for us at home. Take a look:

Bangkok, Thailand
Colorful market in Bangkok city, Thailand
San Quirico d'Orcia, Tuscany, Italy
A beautiful sunrise in Tuscany.
South Africa
"In the still of a starlit night, buffalo cautiously approach to quench their thirst. A long exposure with light painting allows me to capture the moment forever." -Alison Langevad
Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
"India = colors, colors, colors." -Mike Czech
Simon's Town, Western Cape, South Africa
"You don't need to travel far from cities to visit Narnia. This seven-gill shark was photographed in a kelp forest just off the shore of Simonstown near Cape Town." -Tracey Jennings
Sonchaux, Switzerland
"The shot is the result of a magical, powerful instant seen from the top of Sonchaux, a day when the clouds were particularly low. I though I was like immersed in a fairytale, out of every human scale." -Boukhechina Malik
NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia
"Over the last 7 years I had one aim - photograph rain in the driest desert of Africa. In 2015 finally I found the rain. In the breathtaking scenery of the Namibrand-Park right at the border of the Namib Naukluft Nationalpark. An enormous thunderstorm came in and the setting sun created a wonderful rainbow. The challenge was, to not have my shadow in the picture." -Stefan Forster
Mathura and Vrindavan, India
"Holi, India's festival of colors, is an ancient Hindu tradition that is celebrated around the world, with the biggest and most colorful gathering taking place in the twin cities of Mathura and Vrindavan in India. The unifying festival is a celebration of love and the arrival of spring and includes the singing of folk songs and traditional dances depicting the festival's origins." -Claudio Ceriali
Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape, South Africa
Elephants hold onto each others tails as they walk the fields of The Crags Elephant Sanctuary, Plettenberg Bay
South Iceland
"[This is] one of a series of aerial shots taken from a helicopter over the fabulous river deltas in South Iceland. This one depicts one river winding its way to the ocean. The brilliant colors are a result of mineral deposits picked up by the glacial waters as they flow towards the sea. We were lucky to shoot on a gorgeously sunny day." -Stephen King

To enter the 2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest, submit a photo on the contest website by Friday, May 27. One grand prize winner will score a seven-day Polar Bear Photo Safari for two at Churchill Wild-Seal River Heritage Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World.

Happy travels!

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The Best Travel Photos Of 2016