We feature some of the brightest Instagram storytellers in the Passion Passport community through our Instagram Spotlight series. This week, Mavis Sun (@mavi.sun) describes some of her recent travels and a few of her favorite places from around the world.

Kyoto, Japan

For me, photography is therapeutic, and Kyoto is a place of restoration and healing. I flew to Kyoto on a whim recently to escape the daily grind for a few days, hoping to slow down, breathe, and regain some poise through quiet solitude.

Avoiding crowds whenever possible, I wandered the preserved stone-paved paths of Gion, the endless arcades of Fushimi Inari vermillion gates, and the hidden bamboo groves and isolated temples of Arashiyama at odd hours of the day in blissful isolation, searching for poetic wabi-sabi aesthetics, bold colours, and the first hints of the fleeting Sakura season.


During the 10 days we spent driving the Ring Road, Iceland never ceased to amaze me. Every stretch of its otherworldly landscape was an extraordinary tapestry of textures and colours, a breathtaking masterpiece of nature.

It is a place where I truly felt the extremities and the ineffable power of nature, starkly juxtaposed with the insignificance of human constructions and my own tiny existence. It was like stepping into a real life sci-fi movie: immersive and visceral.

Hanoi, Vietnam

The pulse of Hanoi is in the Old Quarter. In a desperate attempt to capture that soul, I welcomed the sensory assault and dived into its colonial legacy.

Around every corner in this part of the Vietnamese capital, narrow streets are lined with beautiful colonial architecture in picturesque states of decay, teeming with swarms of scooters impatiently honking and hurtling by at lightning speed. From the persistent hawker merchants pushing carts piled with fresh produce and trinkets to the locals huddling on plastic stools on the sidewalk consuming exotic foods, there is so much detail and life to be captured in the engulfing chaos of it all.

Urban Landscapes

I find urban photography challenging because it calls for a keen observant eye to notice the extraordinary in the well-known or the overlooked. Instagram has been a great source of inspiration and learning for me in this area — from the accidental mirrors framing urban landmarks in London to the kaleidoscopic carnival of neon lights and silhouettes in Tokyo, I have learned to spend time looking for the right angles and framing to make the most of reflections, patterns, light, and shadows.


I’ve been incredibly lucky to have travelled to many beautiful places all over the world. One of the reasons I started photography a few years ago was because I wanted a means of documenting and capturing the precious memories and emotions felt during these travels.

New Zealand, Turkey, and Morocco are three of my favourite travel destinations and will always have a special place in my heart. Chancing upon delightful cloud formations while hiking around the majestic Mt Cook; drifting into the break of morning with hundreds of other balloons in Cappadocia; and wandering the periwinkle lanes of Chefchaouen, immersing in its 50 shades of blue — these are some of my favourite travel memories and I hope that those who see these photos are able to, for a moment, vicariously experience my perception of the otherworldly beauty found in these places.