Kronborg Castle (a.k.a. Elsinore) is located in Helsingor, a pleasant, salty Danish seaside town that's often confused with its Swedish sister, Helsinborg, just across the channel. The history of Kronborg is inextricably linked to that of Shakespeare, who set here the drama of Hamlet. Naturally, my interest was piqued when I found out that just a short train ride from Copenhagen is the castle where Shakespeare’s Hamlet is set.
Helsingor is a 45-minute train ride from Copenhagen Central Station. The train ride itself is gorgeous — I passed quaint Danish towns and lush forestland. At the Helsingor station, the Kronborg Castle is just within 10 minutes of walking distance. Most of the "Hamlet" castle you'll see today was built long after the historical Hamlet died (more than a thousand years ago), and Shakespeare never saw the place. These days, various Shakespearean companies from around the world perform Hamlet in Kronborg's courtyard each August.
Kronborg Castle was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in year 2000. To see or not to see? Although a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a lot of people come to the castle without going inside. Whether this is the right decision is really dependant upon which aspects of Kronborg are most interesting to you. You don’t need to have read the play to appreciate a Kronborg Castle visit. In my view, the castle is most impressive from the outside. The free grounds themselves are lovely to walk around and between the walls and sea are great, with a close-up view of the strait between Denmark and Sweden.
A Museum Treasure In The Heart of Copenhagen, Denmark: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 丹麦哥本哈根城市中心藏着宝珠：新嘉士伯艺术博物馆
Copenhagen’s roster of museums and galleries is the envy of cities the world over. Apart from Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (click here to view my blog story on that), Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is my second most favourite art museum in Denmark.
Located 5 minutes from the Copenhagen Central Station, the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek presents antique art in an intense interaction between architecture and a large collection of more than 10,000 works of art spanning 6,000 years. It is founded by the famous danish beer founder Carl Jacobsen, he was a collector himself. Eventually, he built this museum and put all of his collection and open it for public. The legacy and influence of the Carlsbergs are visible all over Copenhagen. He also commissioned the famous Little Mermaid statue in the city (I will blog about the Carlsberg Beer brewery and the Little Mermaid in upcoming photo posts.)
If ancient art, Greek and Roman sculptures aren’t really your thing, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek has rooms of French and Danish paintings as well. The imposing and beautiful architecture outside is already a great preview of the art treasures it housed inside.
博物馆名称让人立即联想到那世界闻名的啤酒品牌。事实上这博物馆起初的藏品正是这啤酒品牌创办人之子 Carl Jacobsen 的私人珍藏，当中大多数是雕塑。后来随着藏品渐多，供展出的私宅不敷使用，他于是把藏品奉献给丹麦政府，条件是政府需提供展示场地，这场地正是今日的新嘉士伯艺术博物馆。从石棺到雕塑，每一件艺术品都展现了历史上意义深远的转折，让我流连忘返。
I can't help but fall in love with Copenhagen's historical architecture. The Danish attention to detail is absolutely stunning. History is everywhere in Copenhagen where cobblestone streets, palaces and royal artefacts make for a beautiful backdrop to the modern life lived by the Copenhageners of today. Remarkably, you rarely find the new clashing with the old. More often than not, the contemporary architecture in Copenhagen actually heightens the experience of the historic buildings and streets. Whether you are into old historical, royal castles or enjoy exploring urban architecture, Copenhagen has it all and best of all, within easy walking distance from each other. Walking is certainly the best and most pleasurable way to see Copenhagen. Just be careful not to step on to the bicycle lanes that run along beside the pavements. This is strongly frowned upon as bikes have the right of way here. The normally placid Danes take serious umbrage to that, especially during rush hour.
If you wish to save some time or energy, you can also get around Copenhagen using the city’s efficient metro/urban train transportation system. This will prove particularly useful in order to get to some of the further lying attractions. All the major attractions in Copenhagen are easily accessible by public transport, and switching from one form of transport to another is very seamless.
The Copenhagen Card is a convenient city pass that accords you free access to many best attractions and sights in the city. The other advantage of having the Copenhagen Card is that it gives you unlimited free access to the city’s public transport network in the greater Copenhagen region. The Copenhagen Card has a 24-, 48-, 72-, or 120-hour validity. Overall, I found the Copenhagen Card is an inexpensive way to experience the best of Copenhagen. Ultimately, the question of whether the Copenhagen Card is worth it depends on how much you want to get out of the city. If you plan on visiting a lot of cultural attractions and museums, then it is definitely worth investing in the card. If not, then maybe the Copenhagen Card isn’t worth buying.
Frederiksberg, like every other neighbourhood in Copenhagen, Denmark, brings a lot of history and affluence to the table. There are a lot of reasons to go here. You have not been there before so you might not know this. However, on getting to Frederiksberg, you will agree with me that you should not have missed it for the world.
Much of my time in Copenhagen was spent taking long walks through the city. One of these walks took me along Frederiksberg Allé while heading towards one of the most lovely parks in Copenhagen, Frederiksberg Gardens (Frederiksberg Have). Frederiksberg Allé was originally intended to be the king's private road leading to his summer residence, Frederiksberg Palace.
This is the most Paris boulevard feeling you get in Copenhagen - if that's what you are looking for. By visiting Frederiksberg, I spent a perfect day in the green village of Copenhagen. This lovely wide boulevard is an open space, broad street, unusually spacy sidewalks and lined with lovely linden trees all the way the Frederiksberg Gardens. There are a number of beautiful buildings located along the length of it. Some of these buildings are elegant homes while some of the larger buildings house top-end shops and restaurants. I enjoyed walking along this picturesque part of the road admiring the nice buildings and pleasant surroundings while on my way to Frederiksberg Gardens.
Copenhagen is no stranger when it comes to art. I was intrigued by Denmark's artsy side. With a wide selection of national galleries and museums, has always been a destination for art lovers. But you don’t have to be a Picasso expert to appreciate the unique designs in every day life of Copenhagen, or to admire the well known sculptures scattered around the city.
Unlike many art museums around the world that compile ample collections within the walls and hallowed halls of enormous and imposing architecture, there is something different about seeing art at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. It feels accessible. And not because it’s small. The permanent collection here is extensive and impressive – one of the largest in Scandinavia.
With over 4,000 pieces from 1945 to the present, mainly painting and sculpture, Louisiana’s collected works represent a broad swath of modern art from artists around the world. Louisiana remains one of the world's most respected exhibition venues. Also, the museum sits by the sea is definitely worth making the extra effort to explore. It was a perfect day out in Denmark.
I actually thought the museum was named Louisiana after the architecture but the truth is that the name Louisiana actually came from the original owner's three wives. They were all called Louise. Interesting coincidence, don’t you think?
美食界有米其林评级，米其林的三星被认为是值得专门为此餐厅计划一次旅行的目的地。如果博物馆界有米其林，我认为丹麦哥本哈根的路易斯安那现代艺术博物馆（Louisiana Museum of Modern Art）一定是三星+。
My trip to Copenhagen, Denmark's capital and Scandinavia's largest city - with a lovely relaxed vibe. Copenhagen has never been on my bucket list until I went to Finland and Estonia. Since then, I’ve always been a fan of Scandinavian countries. Embracing the winter in its freezing glory, I decided to go Scandi again and the search began for the ideal winter location in the post-pandemic climate. So I explored a new destination in Denmark that did wonders for my soul, and my sanity.
There is an ethereal effortlessness to life in Copenhagen, which consistently tops surveys of the world’s best places to live. The very best things to do in Copenhagen are a like-for-like run through the many reasons travel is such an enveloping experience. Copenhagen has plenty to offer the most ambitious sightseer: world-class museums, a stately Renaissance castle, a dazzling royal palace, and yet one of my favorite Copenhagen activities is to simply stroll the streets tuning into the little details of everyday life here. Copenhagen is a mini-break from modern life. It's more relaxed than other cities and more human in character and scale.
Walking in the streets of Copenhagen, I love taking in the mix of cobbled cuteness and modern bustle. Even with a million people, the city feels remarkably hyggelig — the Danish version of "cozy," an aesthetic highly prized here. Danes have a knack for enjoying everyday experiences, and their capital is the best place to sample the Danish good life. Copenhageners somehow manage to exude orderliness without being rigid — the whole city emits a sense of balance, and a general calm.
Everything here is so old, classy and beautiful. It’s almost taken out of a fairytale. Denmark has one of the oldest democracies in the world, and a very long history, but having travelled here for two weeks, I’ve come to appreciate how it’s actually one of the most modern cities in the world. Everything from the architecture and design of the city to its mindset and heartbeat feel very modern. Instead of the glass and steel skyscrapers found in many capitals, Copenhagen is dominated by four to six-story buildings, with new and old rubbing shoulders.
我最近通过疫苗接种者旅游通道游 (Vaccinated Travel Lane) 去位于丹麦的哥本哈根。时隔两年，我终于可以飞往北欧，探寻冬日里的梦幻国度。如果小时候没读过安徒生童话，我也许永远无法想起那个北欧小国的古城。哥本哈根究竟是一座什么样的城市？它是北欧最大的城市，但城市的景致却充满小桥流水的温情；它有厚重的历史，但城市中充满轻快快乐的节奏；它是有文化底蕴的，但却绝不繁复，一切都是简约温婉的；它很cool，这不仅仅是指城市的温度，更是指城市的的风格；它很出色，这不仅仅是指城市的色彩，更是指城市生活的多姿多彩。
Happy Thursday. I am actually on en-route to Denmark and got to learn that my The Netherlands photo story is published in full coverage today. Special thanks to Lianhe Zaobao. Really much appreciated and I am so motivated now. I hope to make a "comeback" for my travel photo stories ✈️🌏📷🖊📰🗞 in 2022 !
My Finland Winter Sunrise Photo Series《芬兰寒冬暖日》Published in LianheZaobao 联合早报光影之“世界未戴上口罩时”版 on 16 January 2022
周末愉快！三年前我在芬兰冬季旅行中，拍摄日出的照片《芬兰寒冬暖日》刊登在今天（一月十六日）的 “世界未戴上口罩时”【光影】版。感谢 Lianhe Zaobao 联合早报。感恩。
Happy Sunday! My photos on winter sunrise shots taken in Finland before COVID-19 are published in full coverage today . Thank you so much to zbNOW/早报现在. Really much appreciated.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, I will be travelling soon next month finally after two years. Travelling life must still goes on, albeit with caution. I hope that entire trip will be a smooth-sailing one and return with many great photos!
I have always fantasised about seeing a bell tower in a gothic cathedral, and the Hunchback of Notre Dame fantasy finally came true in 2021. I had a rare opportunity recently to view Singapore city from a different perspective, via access to Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall by climbing the iconic grand Clock Tower.
During a one-hour tour, I got to see the mechanism up-close and learnt more about the clock’s history and its role in Singapore for more than 150 years. I must say that the climb to the top of the Clock Tower was not an easy task – there were steep climbs and two cat ladders. It is important to wear comfortable walking shoes. Visitors were asked to wear safety helmets throughout the tour and slippers are definitely not allowed for safety reasons. Aside from the panting, the walk down the tower may be slightly unnerving for those with acrophobia.
At the top of the tower, I managed to soak in glorious city views while immersing myself in history. There, I was also greeted with five majestic bells, weighing about 5,000 kg in total. These bells have played the same Westminster jingle since 1905, chiming every 15 minutes. They complete the full melody every hour.
Most Singaporeans know that the Singapore Zoo is the big name when it comes to Singapore’s amazing wildlife parks, but if we are being honest, its sister park, the River Wonders (formerly known as River Safari, rebranded in October 2021), is totally underrated but absolutely perfect for a day out with kids – particularly younger kids.
I knew that I was in for a wild adventure when I accompanied my 5-year old niece (Janelle Teo) to River Wonders last weekend. My niece is a big fan of wildlife animals. She was very excited and had been looking forward to this adventure since a few months ago.
The River Wonders offers the best of both worlds with aquatic and terrestrial animals representing nearly 250 species, including one of the world’s largest collections of freshwater animals. The park is divided into two areas, halved by the Upper Seletar Reservoir. The first area called Rivers of the World contains the 7 “Rivers” – it features mostly sea animals like fish and crocodiles. At the end will be a bridge that will take you to the second area, which features mostly rainforest animals. The park is designed in such a way that you go through the first half through Rivers of the World, then make the return journey to where you started. To view the map of the entire park, click here.
If you are looking for a refreshing view on art, then street art is definitely the answer you need. Many have described it as intriguing, creative, and unhindered. As most of you are aware, I have always been on a lookout for interesting street art and raise awareness of them through my photo lens and blog writing. I love the thrill of discovery and that moment of personal appreciation and enjoyment in front of street art.
I have been advocating that street art is an important part of the identity of cities all around the globe, as it can help shape and define the sense of community and personality of a metropolis. There are many cities that already offer “street art tours” as graffiti and urban expression have already become relevant touristic attractions. Therefore, we cannot deny that this type of art is loaded with social, touristic, and even economic value, just like it happens with the work of Banksy, one of the most popular and sought after street artists of the century. Street artists create art out of their own creative need and to hopefully make us think as we pass their work.
Street art is also diverse. There are many different designs, styles, techniques, and types that help decorate the various surfaces that we see. Street artists come from different backgrounds, countries, and cultures. And with this, the birth of different forms of street art that dazzles and impresses me. I certainly appreciate street art and think it improves our urban areas.
Here's my latest Singapore street art photo series which are all found in Bukit Merah area. Does Bukit Merah make you think of anything? IKEA only? Take a trip down Jalan Bukit Merah and there is so much more than that. The art trail "Bukit Merah Diaries" by Brilliant Corners, is a part of the Arts in Your Neighbourhood programme organised by Singapore National Arts Council, to inspire people to explore this art trail in these neighbourhoods. I realised these murals were inspired by the residents’ childhood memories as I explored the neighbourhood. As a fan of street art, it’s my mission to understand the story behind every art piece that I come upon throughout my adventures. These street artists were invited to consider the residents’ memories and the history of the estate while creating their artistic response, giving new works of art in the neighbourhood. #dontsayinevershare
Reflection. A word that is wonderfully ambiguous. One of my favourite things to do when I travel is to go on a quest to find a body of water that has a reflection of a landmark. Photographing a reflection creates a unique image of an often photographed subject by adding interest and depth to your photograph.
Reflections show up often in the most impressive landscape photos. The iconic ones are beautiful snow-capped mountains with a lake in front acting as a mirror. But reflections are not only great for landscapes. Even in street photography or architecture, you can create stunning images with pools of water after a downpour. It is not difficult to find inspiration for reflection photography. Look for a river doing landscape photography, or wait for the rain to pass and search out puddles.
I took a scenic walk down memory lane with Singapore River recently as I have a special liking for this part of the Singapore River. Unconsciously, this is also one place that I would tend to go for some respite, or when I need to have time for quiet reflections during weekends. Furthermore, the colonial buildings nearby the area somehow have an attractive appeal to me. I simply love their designs, especially when being reflected along the mouth of Singapore River. Capturing a perfect reflection is harder than it sounds because any amount of wind at all will cause ripples and blur the surface of the water. I spent one whole day from early morning until evening to capture beautiful water reflections to form the collection below. The weather was absolutely perfect that day.
Singapore may be a concrete jungle, but as the murals on the streets and charming heritage buildings show us in the recent years, you can find beautiful art almost everywhere in the city. Even our humble HDB flats have been catching our eye more and more lately, boasting all sorts of creative designs from pop art to Medieval-style architecture.
Sometimes a pop of colour is all you need to brighten a place up. Seven HDB flats in the Teck Whye Avenue at Choa Chu Kang estate received an colourful new coat of paint a few years ago. The HDB flats at Teck Whye Ave ditched their old do – bright vibrant colour scheme with teal accents – for eye-catching designs inspired by the famous paintings themed “Composition with Red Blue and Yellow” by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. Last year, the facade of several HDB flats in Circuit Road at MacPherson Estate have also been painted to the designs inspired by Piet Mondrian.
Piet Mondrian was a 20th-century abstract painter from the Netherlands who is regarded as one of the greatest artists of his generation. Also known as one of the pioneers of abstract art, he was a firm believer of basic forms of beauty and hence discarded “non-essentials” in his work. “Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow” is a product of the Dutch De Stijl (The Style) movement. Many attribute Mondrian for bringing popularity to this rather obscure style.
The surface of things gives enjoyment, their interiority gives life — Piet Mondrian
Reopening of Singapore Haw Par Villa With A New Hell's Museum & Ten Courts of Hell 狮城虎豹别墅著名十殿阎罗和新地狱博物馆
Apart from visiting the Singapore Zoo and the Jurong Bird Park when I was a child, my parents enjoyed bringing my brothers and I to educational places such as the Science Centre and Haw Par Villa theme park too. My late grandmother used to tell me many stories about Chinese myths and legends, so I’m very familiar with stories of Sun Wukong the Monkey King, Chang’e and The Jade Rabbit, and the legend of the White Snake, just to name a few. I have not visited Haw Par Villa located at Pasir Panjang Road for more than two decades. To my surprise, I found it very interesting to rediscover this quirky place as an adult. The Ten Courts of Hell was recently re-opened on 28 October 2021 being fully air-conditioned and it is part of a new attraction called Hell's Museum.
Previously known as the Tiger Balm Garden, this cultural theme park is the last of its kind in the world. Built by the late Aw Boon Haw, the millionaire philanthropist who gifted the world Tiger Balm, Haw Par Villa is Singapore’s largest outdoor art gallery. This eclectic park which houses more than 1,000 statues and 150 giant dioramas depicting scenes from Chinese mythology, folklore, legends, history, and illustrations of various aspects of Confucianism, is a treasure trove of Asian culture, history, philosophy and religion.