Lonely Planet Writer

LP Pathfinders: top Instagrams from May 2017

Choosing this month's round-up of photographs from our Pathfinders community was no easy task. From the colourful architecture in Singapore and castles in Japan to the striking landscapes of Sri Lanka, Namibia and the Maldives, the inspiration just keeps on coming.

Hadahaa, Maldives

‘The Maldives is everything you've dreamed of – blinding white sand and water with more tones than a Pantone collection. For an extra amazing view of the whitest sand, the bluest blues, incredible corals and colourful fish, take a clear canoe out for a paddle... you won't want to give it back.’ – Evie & Emmie, @mumpacktravel.

Why we like it: The symmetry in this composition gives us water and sky for days. All of the blue colours are so relaxing, inviting and tranquil.

Matsumoto, Japan

‘On a road trip to Shirakawa-go we did a quick stop in Matsumoto to see one of the few castles in Japan considered a national treasure: Crow Castle (aka Matsumoto Castle).’ – Never Stop Travelling, @awoisoak.

Why we like it: The red bridge on the lower third of the image adds a great pop of colour against the darker shades of the castle. The light illuminating the castle is soft enough that we don't get bad shadows under the roof layers but we still get great texture in those roof tiles. Also – the crane standing under the bridge is framed perfectly and a real treat for those who spend time studying the intricacies of the image.

Sossusvlei, Namibia

A post shared by Len Theivendra (@lentheivendra) on

‘I was on a camping tour of the Namib desert, and this was the spot I was most looking forward to seeing. Corpses of dead trees in a vast desiccated white clay pan, surrounded by some of the tallest sand dunes in the world rising up over a 1000 feet... It was simply otherworldly and needless to say my jaw was mostly on the ground.

I asked our guide to drop me off here as early as possible in the morning so I could try to capture this place in the golden hours when the dunes would would appear in rich hues as the sun rose.’ – Len Theivendra, @lentheivendra.

Why we like it: The giant blocks of colour in the sky, the dunes and the sand combined with the utter simplicity of the barren landscape. Each tree has its very own distinct shape and form. Even though there is no vegetation and the trees are all dead, this non-traditional landscape can still hold its own for breathtaking beauty.

Ella, Sri Lanka

A post shared by Globalhelpswap (@globalhelpswap) on

‘This shot was taken on a slow moving train between Nuwara Eliya and Ella in Sri Lanka. It has to be one of the world's most stunning train rides. I hung outside the door of the carriage to take it.’ – Globalhelpswap, @globalhelpswap.

Why we like it: The lush hill country in Sri Lanka is jaw dropping. The view of blue sky and fluffy clouds with the never ending rows of green shrubs has us wishing we could book a trip right now.

Katong, Singapore

‘Katong is a bit farther from all the spots tourists usually visit in Singapore. It took one stroll through the extremely colourful streets for me to grow fond of it. There is so much to discover in that area - Peranakan history, small local cafes, some of the most beautiful streets and one famous laksa shop. Add Katong to your travel list!’ – Aga Kozmic, @aga_amatteroftaste.

Why we like it: Colour and repitition with one surprise. The framing of the woman on the street with the colourful umbrella brings a point of interest to break up the repetition and add even more personality to the image.

For your chance to be featured in our next round-up, sign up to Lonely Planet Pathfinders – our programme for travel-loving bloggers and social content creators. In the meantime, you can get more Instagram inspiration by following @lonelyplanet.