This story was originally published on Hong Kong Tatler
Whether you’re an avid photographer or traveller or both, there’s no question that you should bookmark these destinations for your next adventure. From natural geological formations to man-made wonders, grab your cameras because you’ll want to capture these breathtaking landmarks:
Itsukushima Shrine (Hatsukaichi, Japan)
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the centuries-old Shinto shrine on the island of Itsukushima is best known for its dramatic gate, or “torii” in Japanese, which appears as if it’s floating. The shrine complex includes a prayer hall, a main hall and a Noh theatre stage, all of which are connected by boardwalks and supported by pillars above the sea.
Mù Cang Chải (Yên Bái, Vietnam)
Known for being one of the most scenic rice terraces in the world, the rice fields of Mù Cang Chải stretch across 2,200 hectares of this spectacular mountainside in Vietnam. Harvest season starts around the beginning of October, which is when photographers flock to capture an idyllic shot of the terrace.
Rakotzbrücke Bridge (Saxony, Germany)
Also known as the Devil’s bridge, the Rakotzbrücke Bridge in Germany is a fairytale-like structure that creates a perfect circular reflection in the water below. Though man-made, legend has it the bridge was created by Satan as it’s so hard to climb. It’s now forbidden to cross in order to preserve the ageing relic, but you can still take a pretty sweet shot from afar.
Aurora Village (Yellowknife, Canada)
You don’t need to trek all the way to the North Pole to capture the surreal beauty of aurora borealis. Located in the northern territories of Canada, Yellowknife is one of the best places to track the northern lights. Want the best seat in town? Aurora Village offers cosy accommodation and guided tours so you’re always ready to capture the perfect moment.
Lempuyang Temple (Bali, Indonesia)
This “candi bentar”, or split gateway, is a classic Javanese and Balinese entrance found at the entrance of Pura Besakih, one of Bali’s oldest and most sacred temples. It’s a steep climb of 1,700 steps to get there with smaller temples along the way, but the view at the top is definitely worth the effort.
Lavande Angelvin (Valensole, France)
This lavender field in the region of Provence is simply breathtaking. Visit during summer for a full bloom field that reaches as far the eye can see for the picture-perfect shot. You can even try the signature lavender honey at the nearby village of Valensole.
Arches National Park (Utah, United States)
The otherworldly Arches National Park is home to over 2,000 natural sandstone arches. Delicate Arch is probably one of the park’s most photographed landmarks—in fact, it’s such an icon that it can be seen on Utah license plates and on a postage stamp. The Olympic torch for the 2002 Winter Olympics also passed through the arch.
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall (Iceland)
While the Blue Lagoon in Iceland is a popular (and super Instagrammable) spot, the Seljalandsfoss waterfall is a less crowded and equally beautiful alternative. Located in the South Region of Iceland, you can hike behind the falls into a small cave for the perfect shot looking out.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (Hunan, China)
Look familiar? The epic scenery of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park inspired the famous floating peaks of Pandora in the movie Avatar. A towering 326-metre glass elevator can take you to one of the highest points for a killer shot. Rain or shine, the pillar-like formations look heavenly no matter the weather.
Marble Caves (Patagonia, Chile)
One of the most colourful geological formations in the world, the Marble Caves sit in waters shared by Argentina and Chile. , The natural erosion creates beautiful sculptures and, as the years go by, the walls change colour depending on how the water reflects light, so it’s possible that no two photographers have the same image of this marvellous peninsula.