Chasing the light: 2016 National Geographic travel photo contest entries

(CNN)Unless they're hilariously bad, we normally steer clear of other people's yawn-inducing vacation snaps.

With a few exceptions.
National Geographic's annual travel photo contest is one of them.
    Each year this event draws staggeringly beautiful images from around the planet that simultaneously fill us with the joy of hitting the road and the despair at our own inferior photography efforts.
    Above we've gathered a selection of some of this year's best entrants so far.
    Among them, a glowing desert landscape in Namibia, a colorful Bangkok market, a sub-aquatic landscape and a glorious Tuscan sunrise.
    The best could still be yet to come, with the deadline for entries on May 27.
    Glory awaits, plus a grand prize that'll take the winner on a seven-day polar bear "photo safari" at the Churchill Wild -- Seal River heritage lodge in Manitoba, Canada.
    That should produce more vacation snaps we'd make an exception for.