Top 10 Instagram Photos of 2016 …And the Stories Behind Them

2016 has been a great year. Considering that the blog is now just about a year old (a baby), it has come a long way already with paid press trips, sponsored stays, media invites, social marketing deals and a ton more. It has been an exciting ride, to say the least and I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store.

With the blog garnering eyeballs in its first few months itself, I decided it was time to up my Instagram game as well. Spending hours at end on Instagram paid off as I got immense response and jumped from 1000 to 18000 followers this year.

As I work hard on honing my photography skills, its encouraging to know that my Insta handle got a whooping 62000 likes in 2016. Here are the pictures which got the most likes and the stories behind each shot.

My Top Instagram Clicks of 2016

#1 – Butterfly Garden, Changi Airport, Singapore

It was my second long layover at Changi airport and this time, I was prepared to make the most of it. Armed with my trusted Canon, I went around all the free airport attractions clicking pictures left, right and center. The butterfly garden is my favorite spot for taking shots at the airport. This pretty little thing stood still for exactly 10 seconds which gave me ample time to click away to my heart’s desire. The awesome red backdrop made the picture pop and its no wonder this beauty bagged the most likes for me in 2016.

#2 – Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

I visited Plitvice lakes in Croatia over 4 years ago. Since I just started my travel blog, Instagram was never my focus. I got around to posting this shot in November 2016 (Finally!) and I am glad I did. As you can see it got a tremendous response from my followers and everyone loved this click, taken from a view point inside the park.

#3 – Pink Beach, Komodo Island, Indonesia

Even though I spent 11 months in Indonesia in 2015, I only got to visit Komodo island during my #TripofWonders in August 2016. It was one of the best trips ever, courtesy Indonesian tourism board, and the pictures clicked during this tour made the best impact on my Instagram. Not only did it skyrocket my following but also engagement through the roof. It was the single best thing that pushed my Insta to the next level in 2016 and the shots taken make up 50% of my top 10 shots of 2016 – which is a huge deal in itself.

This shot was clicked by the amazing @bchastity as I was strolling along, admiring the pink sands of this stunning beach.

#4 – Padar island, Indonesia

This was one of my first shots using my GoPro and I think it turned out especially well. This shot won me a photography award from a fellow blogger and a lot of kudos from followers across all channels. It was taken on a secluded spot I found on a hike up Padar Island. It took a lot of work to get up there on the edge of the cliff, all alone with my GoPro and I could just soak in the view, relax and take shots at leisure. Out of maybe 50 odd shots I clicked while enjoying “me time” in my spot, I simply loved this one of the setting sun making for this awe-inspiring view. Till date, it is one of my favorite travel  moments.

#5 – Bintan beach, Indonesia

Bintan island has some of the best sunsets ever. If you don’t believe me check out these next two shots which made it to my top 10. Sunset chasing is a lot of fun and capturing it with a group of like minded bloggers and photographers gave me an opportunity to learn and enhance my skills too. These two shots are some of the best sunsets I have ever seen.

#6 – Bintan, Indonesia

#7 – Giethoorn, The Netherlands

Another shot from my old Euro trip, this was in one of the most beautiful villages I have ever seen. My Dutch friend and I, cycled around Giethoorn for over 40 kms and came across many such lovely cottages. They made for perfect photo opportunities and inspirational house goals.

#8 – Labuan Bajo, Indonesia

Labuan Bajo (Komodo island) was my favorite place during the #TripofWonders in Indonesia. With lovely blue green waters, breathtaking views and of course the mighty Komodos, this island makes for an ideal destination. This shot was clicked from the airplane as I simply could not get enough of this view and took several shots and videos to save my memories and showcase the beauty of this island – to the world! You simply have to see it to believe it.

#9 – Matterhorn, Switzerland

Switzerland has some of the best landscapes I have ever seen. Matterhorn was high on my bucketlist and I was so happy when I finally saw the snow covered Swiss Alps. One of the highlights of my euro trip and I am definitely up for a revisit.

#10 – Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden, Chiang Mai, Thailand

My short trip to North Thailand introduced me to so many new adventures and experiences. One amazing place I found was this cactus display at Queen sirikit botanical garden. I was so impressed by the display that I simply had to get myself clicked here. There are so many places to see in Chiang Mai so it can get overwhelming if you aren’t staying for long but I covered a lot of ground, thanks to the Thailand authority of tourism who planned it perfectly.

Follow me on Instagram –, to stay updated on my 2017 escapades as I travel to Vietnam, China, Malaysia and beyond with my handy GoPro and trusted Canon by my side. Let’s see which pictures make it to the top in 2017.


  1. My fave is the one from Padar Island. You have a lot of talent for photography! It’s great to know the stories behind these moments.

  2. Jo, Love your photos and your trips. I haven’t been to most of the places and this truly inspires me to get back to Asia. Maybe 2017!

  3. Living near all of Toronto’s tourist attractions means I see Instagram boyfriends taking a million photos of their girlfriends every day. It certainly adds to the experience of drinking on a patio!

    I love the stories behind the photos. And I love Plitvice Lakes! Another travel blogger, Tomislav Perko, forced me to go and now I’ve been back twice. Maybe there are spots more beautiful somewhere on earth, but I haven’t been yet!

  4. Some fantastic images here. I especially love the one of the cottage with a thatched roof. It looks so pretty. Well done with your success of Instagram. I can only dream of getting over 1000 likes on my pictures!

  5. I can see why these made it as your top 10! I just added Plitvice Lakes to my bucket list thanks to you =)

    Huge congratulations on the success on your blog this past year as well. Many wishes on an even more amazing coming year!

  6. Looks like we spent some time in the same countries! Isn’t the airport in Singapore so cool? I found myself completely fascinated by all the stuff to do in there and the amazing shopping and food.

  7. Wow, you just really deserve all those paid engagement in your blog cause you have a beautiful and interesting blog that everyone can really be interested in. You have just captured those photos with heart and how I wish I have the same eyes as what you have cause you’re really seeing the art to your subjects. Keep shooting and blogging!

  8. A picture really is worth 1000 words. Your travels and experiences are so diverse. My top photos of 2016 were almost all from the beach. I love your photo of Matterhorn. I didn’t make it there this summer, but hopefully another time. Switzerland is REALLY beautiful, but none of those photos made my top hits either.

  9. Nice to see so many Indonesia pics in your top ten of the year. We’re planning a ten day trip there this year and I will definitely check out some of your posts on your trip there. It looks just stunning!

  10. You have some amazing shot there Jo! I really think it’s time that I invested in a go pro too – thanks for inspiring me!

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