5 most photogenic places in the world

Travel photography creates more than keepsakes, it is also a visual journal of discovery on the road.

Check out any hashtags or geotags on Instagram and you will find stunning photographs of places you never knew existed or common locations captured in surprising angles that jolt you out of an otherwise mundane familiarity.

Travel website Kayak.sg has compiled a list of five most Instagram-worthy places in the world that are so perfect you don't need to be a professional photographer to shoot them.

Check out the gallery for the full list.

Lake Baikal, Russia: The world's oldest and deepest freshwater lake

Russia is known for its wild, expansive landscapes. Amongst its many attractions is Lake Baikal - or Baygal Nuur - which is lauded as one of the most beautiful lakes on earth.

Situated in south-east Siberia, "The Pearl of Siberia" is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the oldest (25 million years) and deepest lake (1,700m) in the world and freezes over for about four months every year - making it a spectacular sight to behold.

Even the most amateur photographer will be able to take impressive landscape pictures here.

Tip: Visit Lake Baikal during winter when the lake freezes over and check out the stunning crack patterns created by frozen gas and water. 

Gion, Japan: Kyoto's most famous Geisha district

Kyoto gained much popularity after Japan's geisha culture was propelled into the spotlight by the film "Memoirs of a Geisha." Gion, Kyoto's most famous geisha district, is situated around Shijo Avenue between Yasaka Shrine in the east and the Kamo River in the west. Its high concentration of 'machiya' (traditional wooden houses) makes it the perfect place to capture ancient streetscapes.

Tip: Capture the best view of Gion in the 'blue hour' of early evening, when the place takes on an old-world vibe with glowing traditional lanterns that illuminate perfectly preened apprentice geishas travelling from one engagement to another.

Niagara Falls, Canada: The fastest-flowing waterfall in the world

Eighteen thousand years ago, thick ice sheets covered large parts of southern Ontario. Today's Niagara River is a legacy of the last Ice Age. The largest vertical drop of Niagara Falls is over 50 meters, and about 28 million liters of water travel down the falls every second. Those who stay on the Canadian side of the falls can expect to see a rainbow stretching across the falls between noon and sunset.

Tip: As the falls are wider than they are tall, it is better to take landscape shots instead of portrait shots. Use a slow shutter speed to achieve a curtain-like look of the waterfall.

Mount Emei, China: One of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains in China

Mount Emei, traditionally regarded as the place of enlightenment of the bodhisattva Samantabhadra, is one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China. Historical records in the 16th and 17th centuries also refer to martial arts being practised in Emei's monastries, adding to its mysterious allure. 

The summit has a subarctic alpine climate with incredibly cold and long winters and short cool summers. At the Golden Summit, hikers are rewarded with the sight of the imposing four-sided, ten-headed golden statue of Puxian against the backdrop of a clear sky.

Tip: Hikers at the summit can view the "Sea of Clouds", a unique phenomenon where clouds surround the summit. 

Burj Khalifa, United Arab Emirates: The world's tallest skyscraper

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, stands at a whopping 828 meters tall, making it the world's tallest skyscraper.

The tower is designed to resemble the desert flower Hymenocallis and a snapshot from afar will capture Burj Khalifa in its magnificent entirety. Visitors can capture breathtaking views of Dubai and its surroundings from the tower's observation deck.

The views are great in clear weather and also between November and March when the city is swathed in fog for unique mood shots.

Tip: Leave the tripod at home to avoid run-ins with security.