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Stunning PHOTOS: 11 must-see moments

Last updated on: August 21, 2012 09:06 IST

Stunning PHOTOS: 11 must-see moments

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National Geographic Traveler magazine recently announced the winners of its 24th annual photo contest.

The magazine received more than 12,000 entries from 6,615 talented photographers in 152 countries around the globe.

Taken in locations ranging from Afghanistan to Vietnam, the winning pictures show everything from peaceful landscapes to unexpected moments.

However, all of them depict the beauty of the places and people that make traveling memorable.

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Stunning PHOTOS: 11 must-see moments

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This image was shot in the Kyrgyz lands of the Wakhan Corridor.

The intimacy of this everyday life moment, shot inside of a family yurt, is in total contrast with the harsh environment these nomadic tribes live in.

On the right we notice a television and a sound console. These tribes live weeks away from any village by foot. In spite of being located at an altitude of 4,300 meters in one of the most remote areas of Afghanistan they are equipped with solar panels, satellite dishes and cellphones.

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Photographs: Cedric Houin/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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Stunning PHOTOS: 11 must-see moments

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H'Mong minority children playing with balloons on a foggy day in Moc Chau-Ha Giang province of Vietnam

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Photographs: Vo Anh Kiet/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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Stunning PHOTOS: 11 must-see moments

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This photograph was taken during the Easter holy celebration called "Misteri" at the port in the tuna-fishing town of Trapani, Sicily -- a land known for its religious processions.

Devotees carry the scenes of Christ's passion on their shoulders all night long. When the day comes they take a break.

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Photographs: Andrea Guarneri/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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Near the city of Morondava on the west coast of Madagascar lies an ancient forest of Baobab trees.

Unique to Madagascar, the endemic species is sacred to the Malagasy people, and rightly so.

Walking amongst these giants is like nothing else on this planet.

Some of the trees here are over a thousand years old. It is a spiritual place, almost magical.

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Photographs: Ken Thorne/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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Stunning PHOTOS: 11 must-see moments

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The Last Supper Of Da Vinci?

No, They are just some old men of Chefchaouen in Morocco with djellaba, sitting and talking each other.

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Photographs: SauKhiang Chau/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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Photographer Camila Massu took this snap of her sister.

They were sitting at home next to the fireplace in our southern lake house in the south of Chile when it suddenly began to pour uncontrolably.

Had to rush into the lake to take this snapshot!

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Photographs: Camila Massu/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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The village of Gasadalur in Faroe Islands and the island of Mykines in the background.

Until a tunnel was built in 2004, the 16 residents living in Gasadalur had to take a strenuous hike or horseback over the steep 400 meter mountain in order to make it to the other villages.

It was a rare sunny day in the Faroe Islands and I had to wait until the clouds rolled in to provide some softer light.

I decided to go with a long exposure (1 minute 10 seconds) to illustrate the force of the wind and a serene sea among the isolated islands.

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Photographs: Ken Bower/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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This is the great Japanese maple tree in the Portland Japanese Gardens.

I tried to bring a different perspective of this frequently photographed tree.

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Photographs: Fred An/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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More than 2,000 Buddhist temples and pagodas fill the plains of Bagan, Myanmar.

Once the capital of the Pagan Empire, farmers now raise their livestock within the centuries old complex.

The best way to see Bagan, apart from a ride on a hot air balloon, is by bicycle.

It's easy to get off the beaten path and live out your wildest Indiana Jones fantasy.

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Photographs: Peter DeMarco/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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Taken at Cloud Break at an outer reef in Fiji, a surfer duck dives his board to clear the rolling waves of the raw ocean.

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Photographs: Lucia Griggi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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A lonely cabin is illuminated under the Northern Lights in Finnmark, Norway

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Photographs: Michelle Schantz/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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Top PHOTO features of the week

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