The National Geographic travel photography contest 2016 has come to an end and it's time to announce the winners! Chosen from more than 10,000 entries, below are the best travel photographs of the year.

The grand prize went to Anthony Lau from Hong Kong for his stunning photograph of a horseman in Inner Mongolia. Other winners included Hiroki Inoue who came first in the nature category for his stunning picture of foxes in Hokkaido, Japan; second place winner Yasmin Mund for her beautiful aerial shot of people sleeping on rooftops in Varanasi, India; and third place winner Victor Lima for his otherworldly image of Chile's Atacama Desert. We're just glad somebody else had to judge them because we'd give them all the grand prize!

Want to see last year's winners? Then click here.

More info: National Geographic

#1

Grand Prize Winner: Winter Horseman, Inner Mongolia

Grand Prize Winner: Winter Horseman, Inner Mongolia

The winter in Inner Mongolia is very unforgiving. At a freezing temperature of minus twenty and lower, with a constant breeze of snow from all direction, it was pretty hard to convince myself to get out of the car and take photos. When I saw Inner Mongolia horsemen showing off their skills and commanding the steed from a distance. I quickly grabbed my telephoto lens and captured the moment when one of the horseman charged out from morning mist.

Anthony Lau Report

Leen Pol 3 years ago

Very well deserved! Great photograph!

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#2

First Place Winner, Cities: Ben Youssef, Marrakesh, Morocco

First Place Winner, Cities: Ben Youssef, Marrakesh, Morocco

Even though there were a lot of people in Ben Youssef, still here was more quiet and relaxing compare to the street outside in Marrakesh. I was waiting for the perfect timing to photograph for long time.

Takashi Nakagawa Report

Sue Schultz 3 years ago

Note a photographer WAITS A LONG TIME for the perfect shot! Don't dismiss photography as easy...sometimes the shot takes days to capture!

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#3

First Place Winner, Nature: Wherever You Go, I Will Follow You, Hokkaido, Japan

First Place Winner, Nature: Wherever You Go, I Will Follow You, Hokkaido, Japan

Romance is in the air. It was the time of day immediately following sunset. I heard a voice. "Wherever you go, I will follow you" the voice says.

Hiroki Inoue Report

Letícia Barbosa 3 years ago

I think that's my favorite. It's so peaceful and calm, the sky's color make me feel so happy <3

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#4

Honorable Mention, Cities: Divide, Manhattan, New York, United States

Honorable Mention, Cities: Divide, Manhattan, New York, United States

In the helicopter looking south on Central Park West – dividing the architecture and Central Park, on November 5th 2014, a day before my 27th birthday. The flight was my birthday gift.

Kathleen Dolmatch Report

Peta Everton 3 years ago

I'd love to be able to zoom in. The things you could see.

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#5

Honorable Mention, Nature: Bears On A Berg, Nunavut, Canada

Honorable Mention, Nature: Bears On A Berg, Nunavut, Canada

This photo was taken far out on the sea ice in the Davis Straight off the coast of Baffin Island. This mother polar bear and her yearling are perched atop a huge snow covered iceberg that got “socked in” when the ocean froze over for the winter. To me, the relative “smallness” of these large creatures when compared to the immensity of the iceberg in the photo represents the precariousness of the polar bear’s reliance on the sea and sea ice for its existence.

John Rollins Report

Ruthann Oliver 3 years ago

gorgeous

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#6

Second Place Winner, People: Rooftop Dreams, Varanasi

Second Place Winner, People: Rooftop Dreams, Varanasi

I arrived at my guest house in Varanasi at 5:30am, I instinctively climbed the 7 sets of stairs to the rooftop (which happened to be the highest in the vicinity) to see the sunrise over the famous Ganges River. As the sun was rising I looked over the right hand side of the balcony and my jaw dropped with disbelief. Below were families – mothers, fathers, children, brothers, sister and dogs all sleeping on the top of their houses. It was mid summer in Varanasi and sleeping sans AC was difficult.

Yasmin Mund Report

Shaxx Sart 3 years ago

and the monkey family on the left wall.. such a detailed pic

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#7

Third Place Winner, Nature: Lagunas Baltinache (atacama Desert), Antofagasta, Chile

Third Place Winner, Nature: Lagunas Baltinache (atacama Desert), Antofagasta, Chile

The Baltinache Ponds, also called Hidden Ponds are a set of seven salt ponds located in the area of the Salt Cordillera, near San Pedro de Atacama, in the second region of northern Chile, in the Atacama desert. After much research, I believe to be the first photographer to publish night photos of this place, but it is still necessary to confirm this information. Tech Details: Photography done in one shot. Foreground was illuminated by the moonlight.

Victor Lima Report

#8

Second Place Winner, Nature: Double Trapping, Brazilian Pantanal

Second Place Winner, Nature: Double Trapping, Brazilian Pantanal

Picture taken in the Brazilian Pantanal when I downloaded the CF did not want to believe it. The nature knows we always give magnificent events but sometimes extraordinary.

Massimiliano Bencivenni Report

Misty Pal 3 years ago

Awesome timing!

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#9

Third Place Winner, People: Remote Life At -21 Degree, Himachal Pradesh, India

Third Place Winner, People: Remote Life At -21 Degree, Himachal Pradesh, India

Kinnaura tribal old women in remote village in Himachal Pradesh carrying big log back home to warm up her house.

Mattia Passarini Report

Misty Pal 3 years ago

Cool pic, really serene looking place

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#10

Second Place Winner, Cities: Silenced, Guangdong Sheng, China

Second Place Winner, Cities: Silenced, Guangdong Sheng, China

This photo was taken on my last trip to Guangzhou, China. This place is the school dormitories of South China Normal University. When I was hanging around, most of them were taking a break. After lunchtime, they needed to go back to study

Wing Ka H. Report

Carolina Llanos 3 years ago

was it laundry day?

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#11

Third Place Winner, Cities: Celestial Reverie, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Third Place Winner, Cities: Celestial Reverie, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Lightning seemingly strikes Komtar Tower, the most iconic landmark of George Town, capital of Penang state in Malaysia. It is symbolic of the rejuvenation that the city, famous for a unique blend of centuries-old buildings and modern structures, has enjoyed in recent years. While many of its old neighbourhoods fell into neglect in the 1990s and early 2000s, UNESCO World Heritage listing in 2008 sparked a transformation, and today, they are all part of a vibrant tourist destination.

Jeremy Tan Report

Donna Lim 3 years ago

A stunning lightning bolt...I can feel the crackles and sizzles coming through... Awesome shot. <3

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#12

Honorable Mention,people: Muscle Beach Gym, Venice Beach, California, United States

Honorable Mention,people: Muscle Beach Gym, Venice Beach, California, United States

A weightlifter lifts a barbell loaded with heavy plates while a bodybuilder performs an aerial handstand at the Muscle Beach Gym in Venice Beach, CA

Dotan Saguy Report

Johnathan Mejias 3 years ago

2 plates and 4 plates, that makes so much sense...

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