Take a Sneak Peek of NatGeo's Stunning Portraits of the World's Citizens

Bangladeshi train surfers, plugged-in Tokyo kids, and a woman smoking a Cuban cigar star in this series from the National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year contest.

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May 17 2017, 2:23pm

Meet a pair of Bangladeshi train surfers, plugged-in Tokyo kids, and a wizened woman smoking a Cuban cigar in this sneak peek from the National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year contest. The magazine, which collects thousands of user-submitted photos for the contest every year, curated images on the theme of "people." This small selection shows the range of talent that NatGeo will have to cull through. The annual contest has consistently provided some of each year's most unique sights and stunning compositions. The winner of the competition will receive a 10-day trip for two to the Galapagos Islands, where they can snap photos of exotic flora and fauna. Check out the specially curated selection, and read the stories behind each shot, below:

Photo and caption by Hiro Kurashina / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest. A Popular Rendezvous Spot in Tokyo, "Two young ladies and two men stand waiting on the side of a decommissioned train that used to carry thousands of commuters and other passengers daily between Shibuya and Sakuragicho. The decommissioned train now serves as a Tourist Information Center just outside the Shibuya train station in Tokyo. The spot has also become a favorite rendezvous point for lovers and friends to meet. The facial expressions and body postures indicate people's empathy gaps in some ways or other."

Photo and caption by Mauro De Bettio / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest. FREE RIDERS, "Taj and Akash they travel every day from station to station with their mother bagging to make a living. Train surfing is not without risk, even if dangerous and illegal, is a common form of transportation in Bangladesh. People have suffered electrocution, severed limbs, falling onto the tracks and colliding with tunnels. However, this can not stop them and jump onto moving trains running away from the police bamboo sticks become daily routine."

Photo and caption by pradeep raja / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest. "Ramadan Prayers this is shot of women praying inside Istiqlal Mosque,Jakarta which is the biggest mosque in Southeast Asia during the month of Ramadan."

Photo and caption by Lorraine Yip / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest. Retro Ride, "Traveling through Cuba in a vintage 1950 Chevrolet with a speedometer which no longer works. We were passing by the city of Camagey known for its winding streets. The modern American Hawaiian hula figure and yellow taxi cab sign on the dashboard adds to the time travel-esque element of the classic Chevrolet, set against the backdrop of an old and perhaps dilapidated , but not forgotten, Cuba."

Photo and caption by Jérôme Gence / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest. Tide Fighter, "A young boy playing in the river niger by fighting the tide helped by a rope."

Photo and caption by Hua Zhu / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest. Old and Young, This photo was taken in a small village in Wuyuan, China. It estimates that there are about 250 million countryside people living in the big cities. Many young people are making money in the cities, leaving their parents and kids at their hometown."

Photo and caption by Jobit George / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest. Bridging Generation, "A beautiful photo of a father and son sitting in white traditional attire with beautiful blue sky on the day of Eid al-Fitr in a mosque in New Delhi, India. The photo shows the beautiful bond which these two generation have been building up in a very simple and lovable manner."

Photo and caption by Yogesh Gupta / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest. Holy Bath, "Yamuna river is most polluted when its flow in Delhi, its too muddy and full of filth. Yamuna is second most sacred river after Ganga. People took holy bath in as they feel its very sacred. Numbers of Siberian Sea Gull comes here in winter. They give the place a new dimension for few months. Here a local man took his daily bath in Yamuna river."

Photo and caption by Lauren Breedlove / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest. Lady Havana. "During a recent visit to Cuba, I encountered this bold woman on the street while strolling around Old Havana. Something about her just struck me, like her eyes held a million stories. Not having any cash on me, I borrowed some change from a friend and approached the woman with it, asking to take her photograph. She nodded and posed like a boss, stogie and all."

Photo and caption by Diane Sta Ana / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest. Four Seconds Later, "Taken at the busy street of Jaipur."

Learn more about the National Geographic Travel Photographer Contest on the official website.

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