Europe in Winter IV


I was not really looking forward to the trip from Lucerne to Paris, because the bus journey would take almost 10 hours. My jaws dropped when I heard from our tour guide that we would be travelling for an entire day just to get to Paris. To PARIS?! So torturous! Anyhow, I managed to survive this arduous journey, because we managed to catch a movie Thor on the bus, and there were numerous bus stops for us to get down and relieve ourselves, and of course to familiarise ourselves with an entirely new place. Suddenly, everyone around us spoke French, the people looked different, and even the food they served were rather different. Guess what was my first meal in France? Yep you got it. French fries. -.- Continue reading “Europe in Winter IV”

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Europe in Winter III

After leaving Milan, we left for Switzerland on the 14th December 2011. I was rather amused by the border between both countries. It was not really a border at all, but rather a toll station. In most other countries I have visited, whenever we cross over borders, the gates are heavily guarded, and there are fences everywhere surrounding the borders of both countries. It was really weird to see all the European union countries all connected together with little barriers between the countries. Awesome. Once we drove into Switzerland, the scenery was definitely much different compared to Italy. The towering mountains of Alps, and the beautiful scenery greeted us, and the snow-capped mountains added to the overall beauty. I was really overwhelmed by the splendours and glories of nature surrounding us. Very soon, we got to see our first snow on the ground after almost 7 days in Europe. Continue reading “Europe in Winter III”

Europe in Winter II

After completing our visit to Florence, we travelled northwards to Pisa, famous for its architectural beauty. Pisa  is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa. Pisa is well-known for its leaning tower. In the cold wintry morning, we boarded a tram which drove us to Piazza dei Miracoli to find the celebrated the leaning tower, the Duomo. Its is a masterpiece of Romanesque art. The tower began to sink in its early stages of construction, and over the years, it was able to remain in its slanted state due to wars which stopped construction and allowing the soil to stabilise and prevent the building from collapsing. During WWII, the Americans also decided not to attack the building which was a German observation post. It was indeed a sight to behold, because there is no other building like it in the world. Continue reading “Europe in Winter II”

Europe In Winter I

8 December 2011. It was the day when I left for Rome, Italy from Singapore’s Changi Airport. I was filled with excitement and anticipation because this was my first time going to Europe. I have never travelled beyond the Asian continent and Australia/Pacific, so I guess you could sense my joy at the prospect of being able to go to the other part of the world, where you hear so many good things about those places. Those castles and churches I hear since young, the towns where fairytale stories were born, and the buildings where I would add colours on my artbook when I was just a little kid. Europe was this mysterious land that created so much fantasies and life to my wonderful childhood years. I would imagine Little Red Riding Hood walking along the beautiful meadows amidst the beautiful Alps as the background. I would imagine Tweety Bird singing and playing chasing games with Tom in Venice, with the picturesque beauty of the city shown right before my very eyes. Europe was basically a dreamland filled with my childhood memories, and being able to experience it first-hand was an indescribable feeling. Off we fly to the Land of Wonders. Continue reading “Europe In Winter I”

Christmas in the Tropics

Its Christmas time again and without fail, Orchard Road is decked in festive colours to usher in the Christmas.   Just like in most parts of Asia, and increasingly more in the West, the traces of religious context have been overshadowed by consumerism. However, one cannot deny the joy and festive spirit these lights bring to the city when the lights are switched on in late November, beckoning shoppers to shop to their hearts’ content. Continue reading “Christmas in the Tropics”

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Pulau Ubin, Singapore

Pulau Ubin is Singapore’s few remaining nature jewels. Ever since Singapore was founded in the early 19th century, Pulau Ubin has been left mostly untouched except for about a few thousand islanders living on the small island off the north-eastern coastline of Singapore in the middle 20th century. A few villages dot the island only accessible from mainland through the jetty at Changi coast. Today, Pulau Ubin only has 100 villagers, and it is one of the last rural areas to be found in Singapore, accompanied by primary rainforests and swamps preserved from urban development. Continue reading “Pulau Ubin, Singapore”

Malacca Part 2

Famosa chicken rice balls

Malacca’s Chinatown has a famous chicken rice stall called the Famosa Chicken Rice Stall (古城鸡饭粒). The rice does not taste as good as we thought. But the kampong chicken which we ordered was delicious. There is another chicken rice ball stall in Chinatown, Continue reading “Malacca Part 2”

Malacca Part 1

I managed to plan a trip to Malacca, Malaysia with some of my friends for a few days to explore this UNESCO heritage city, about 290km away from Singapore, on the eastern coast of West Malaysia. It is a city established in 1403, and was an important trading port in Malaysia’s early history and it attracted traders from all over the world, before Singapore was founded by the British in 1819 and took over as the main trading port for South East Asia. Malacca is a very special place. Like Singapore, it is a melting pot of different cultures with influences from the Portugese, Dutch and British during their rule of the city. It is also home to the Peranakan Culture, which I will explain more in my post later on, with added emphasis on this culture since it is part of my family’s culture. Continue reading “Malacca Part 1”

National Museum Of Singapore

With a rich history dating back to its inception in 1887, the National Museum of Singapore is Singapore’s oldest museum with a progressive mind. Designed to be the people’s museum, the National Museum is a custodian of the 11 National Treasures, and its Singapore History and Living Galleries adopt cutting-edge and varied ways of presenting history and culture to redefine conventional museum experience. Continue reading “National Museum Of Singapore”