If you follow my blog, then you already might know that one of my favourite things to do is to explore a new place as walking aimlessly and getting lost in it. I love when one discovers new and unexpected travel gems and The Hague (a.k.a. Den Haag) in The Netherlands was a great surprise. You can easily travel from Amsterdam and trains from Amsterdam to The Hague Centraal take roughly 50 minutes. It’s very easy to get around in the Hague and explore on foot (and public transportation is quite expensive). I love the Hague because it has such an international spirit, but still a vibe of a small town. The Hague doesn’t have the same scale as Amsterdam, ie, Miles of canals and multiple historic districts. The Hague’s Center City charms are impressive but concentrated in a very walkable area. Also, the architecture in Den Haag is very beautiful. I have a thing for big windows, bicycles and beautiful and big doors. The typical Netherlands picture.
The Hague is such an important city in the Netherlands. The Hague is home to the International Court of Justice, a center of justice associated with the United Nations, which is located in the Peace Palace. The International Criminal Court, which is responsible for prosecuting international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, is also located in The Hague. In addition to these international courts, the King and Queen of the Netherlands live in the center of The Hague. It’s quite an important city, not only for the Netherlands but the rest of the world.
荷兰一直是个神奇的国度，它总是不断刷新人们的认知，就像大家都知道阿姆斯特丹是荷兰的首都，但却不一定知道荷兰政府其实不在阿姆斯特丹，而是在另一座城市：海牙 (The Hague)。海牙曾是皇室贵族的猎苑，直到16世纪成为了荷兰的政治中心。这里是荷兰中央政府和议会的所在地，荷兰的皇室也在这里，因此海牙是荷兰名副其实的皇城。
Let’s get one thing straight from the get-go. I fell in love in Amsterdam. Not with a person, but with the city itself. It was instantaneous and mutual. Amsterdam was made for me and I was made for Amsterdam. Amsterdam is for everyone – the extroverts, introverts and everyone in between.
Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities in the world. I love its brick buildings, open skyline, rich history, and relaxed, easy going attitude towards life. I love the beauty of the canals and historic homes (as I keep saying over and over again), the friendly nature of the Dutch, the museums, the parks, and the quality of life. I love the international feel of the city, the cafe culture, the art, the exploding entrepreneur scene, and the rise of good beer bars! In short, I love it all.
My Photo Essay on Taipei's Pretty Bookstore VVG Something 好样本事《台北隐藏最美的书店》Press Publication Dated 27 February 2020
A good start to a happy weekend! My photo essay under pen name 蓝天游 on Taipei's pretty bookstore VVG Something 好样本事《台北隐藏最美的书店》is published today! "VVG" stands for "Very Very Good". So happy to see it being featured nationwide in print! Special thanks to Lianhe Zaobao, you have made my day! Thank U so much 感谢 感恩 :)
Life in The Netherlands: Amsterdam in Winter with A Blue Sky 蓝天白云的荷兰首都: 阿姆斯特丹 (Part 2/3 of Amsterdam)
It was a perfect winter day. The day started beautifully with a blue sky and the sun kept me warm. I love this winter weather. Winter had relaxed its grasp on the Amsterdam city a little. There was a lack of snow in December last year, and wispy clouds raced along a blue sky. It was a fine day to go exploring. There’s nothing finer than a walk around an European city on a crispy, windy morning; things were quieter than the morning before, but the sun streamed in between the narrow houses, reflecting off calm canal waters.
The Dutch sky is well known for its beautiful clouds. The Dutch love their skies. Many famous and lesser known painters illustrated the spectacular views of the Dutch sky in their work. Personally I think that the real Dutch sky is to be seen on the fields, in the countryside (and with the obligatory windmill in the background, of course). But in the few winter days the Amsterdam sky can also be spectacular, not only for its clouds but also for its deep blue colour. These are a series of cityscape view of the canal of Amsterdam in winter with a blue sky, house boats and traditional old houses.
My visit to The Netherlands was perfect. The Netherlands are nothing short of spectacular, everywhere you point your camera you get postcard quality shots. I loved every minute I spent in The Netherlands. Amsterdam has always been on my list of places to visit. I spent many days in the Amsterdam with trips to enjoy other lovely cities such as Haarlem, Utrect, The Hague (a.k.a. Den Haag) and Rotterdam. Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is a magical place. As a tourist, you’ll never have enough sightseeing, canals, and beautiful adventure that will help improve your experience. You should also try walking the streets and have a taste of the wonders of Dutch architecture. I wouldn’t say I’m a massive architecture buff, but I’ve always had a fascination with old buildings and their history, and my favourite thing to photograph is interesting structures, archways, and houses. Amsterdam, unsurprisingly, lends itself very well to this little hobby of mine. You can’t walk anywhere in the city without seeing a row of gorgeous houses, often leaning slightly forward, slightly left or right. I hope you fall in love with Amsterdam like I did!
I took many sepia photographs in The Netherlands and I really liked the results. The sepia tone seemed to "warm-up" the image, and change the mood for the better. Photographs can be thought of as tangible memories of the past, providing a lens to reminisce and revel in nostalgia. I’ve always felt like I’m traveling back in time whenever I see those warm, brown-tinted old pictures. I, personally, find that sepia can be a softer, more delicately muted medium than black and white, even in high contrast sepia images. I should mention that high contrast and low contrast sepia are far different from their counterparts in black and white photography.
不少人都喜欢拍摄单色 (monochrome) 的照片，而通常也是指“黑白色”，但也有人会喜欢上图这种棕褐色 / 深褐色调 (sepia tone)。我用了棕褐色拍摄这系列的照片，因为它带有一种怀旧、温暖的感觉，也有一份历史的味道。
Hello everyone, it has been a while since i last updated my travel blog. I hope all of you are well! I've been very busy before Christmas last year and I travelled to Amsterdam and other parts of The Netherlands for almost two weeks before returning to Singapore on New Year's Eve. When it comes to travel, there are some destinations we instantly fall in love with, others that we become fond of in time, some just remain in our minds forever.
Visiting Amsterdam is a life-changing experience no matter what time of year you go. However, the city dials it up a notch over the festive season and New Years. It’s not known as one of Europe’s merrymaking capitals for nothing. Even for the most world-weary traveller, there is something very special about Amsterdam. #iloveAmsterdam #iamsterdam
My Photo Essay for 2020 on Tokyo Sakura Cherry Blossom《东京春季赏樱浪漫旅程》Press Publication Dated 10 January 2020
My photo essay for 2020 on Japan, Tokyo Sakura Cherry Blossom《东京春季赏樱浪漫旅程》is published in Lianhe Zaobao 联合早报 zbNOW/早报现在 today! Thank U so much 感谢、感恩！
My Photo Essay on Tokyo's Two Remaining Streetcar Lines Setagaya Line (世田谷线) & Toden Arakawa Line (都电荒川线)《乘坐东京仅存路面电车》Press Publication Dated 23 December 2019
Woohooo! #蓝天游 My photo essay on Japan, Tokyo's two remaining iconic two streetcar lines - Setagaya Line #世田谷线 and the Toden Arakawa Line #都电荒川线《乘坐东京仅存路面电车》is published in Lianhe Zaobao 联合早报 zbNOW/早报现在 today! U made my day while i'm currently travelling in Amsterdam. Thank U so much 感谢、感恩！
My Finland Winter Photo Series《魅惑香港》Published in LianheZaobao 联合早报 光影版 Newspapers Dated 15 December 2019
My long awaited Finland winter photo series under pen name 蓝天游 titled《芬兰黑白冬季》is published in today's LianheZaobao 联合早报光影版 full coverage dated 15 December 2019! 感谢、感恩! Thrilled to see it being featured nationwide in print! Special thanks to Lianhe Zaobao, you made my day! :)
A good start to a happy weekend! My photo essay under pen name 蓝天游 on Tokyo's Kayaba Coffee House《体验日本老咖啡馆时光》is published today! So happy to see it being featured nationwide in print! Special thanks to Lianhe Zaobao, you have made my day! Thank U so much 感谢 感恩 :)
My Photo Essay on Czech Republic’s St. Barbara's Church of Kutna Hora《圣巴巴拉教堂 捷克小镇上的建筑瑰宝》Press Publication Dated 17 October 2019
A good start to a happy weekend! My photo essay under pen name 蓝天游 on Czech Republic’s St. Barbara's Church of Kutna Hora《圣巴巴拉教堂 捷克小镇上的建筑瑰宝》is published today! So happy to see it being featured nationwide in print! Special thanks to Lianhe Zaobao, you have made my day! Thank U so much 感谢 感恩 :)
I got the chance to see Southern Finland for the first time in December last year during Christmas and fell in love with Finland. I spent most of my time in Helsinki, but one day I took a one hour bus ride to Porvoo, a medieval town filled with cute, colorful streets. Porvoo is the second oldest city in Finland. And if only the cobblestone streets could speak, they would tell you tales of many Finnish artists who’ve called Porvoo their home.
I fell in love with Porvoo as soon as I saw it. And not just because Porvoo is pretty – even though it is, very pretty indeed. It’s one of those places that you find on those ’10 most beautiful villages’ kind of lists, alongside a plethora of stereotypical descriptions – picture-perfect, candy-coloured houses, picturesque, cute as a button, quaint cobbled backstreets, and so on.
Fact is, Porvoo really is that. It is picture-perfect. The medieval town and riverside have a happy, holiday-ish vibe which is unique in Finland. That is my favourite part about Porvoo. The time seemed to tick even slower in Porvoo. Wandering around in the enchanting town is easy to get lost back in time and feel the easy-going and historical atmosphere.
踏入古镇，首先会想到的是，我重新定义“景色如画”这个词。波尔沃是一座有着200多年历史的古，具有北欧威尼斯之称，处处美景如画。如果没有身着现代装束的居民和游人熙来攘往，我会以为整个古镇还被尘封在600多年前的某一天里。当初我为何选择去波尔沃完全是被网路照片那一整排河边红色小屋给深深被吸引了，所以决定前往追寻。我查找了一下交通方式，其实从赫尔辛基搭巴士过来还满方便的，在时间充裕的情况下，决定来个波尔沃 一日遊，享受一下芬兰第二古镇的魅力。从赫尔辛基到波尔沃车程大约只需55分钟。在赫尔辛基市中心的长途汽车站即可乘车前往，长途汽车车身上通常标有 Porvoo 字样。
One of Last Remaining Streetcar Lines in Tokyo, Arakawa Line: Tokyo Sakura Tram 在东京转个弯换个心情，乘搭复古电车：都电荒川线
Streetcars used to be very common in Tokyo. However, due to the progress of technology and the progressive migration of trains from above to under the ground, they have almost disappeared. Only two streetcar lines are currently left: the Tokyu Setagaya Line and the Toden Arakawa Line. You may read my recent blog on the Setagaya Line here.
There's something deeply nostalgic in seeing a vehicle with such a retro look still running the streets of Tokyo.
那天坐上百年历史充满复古怀旧的都电荒川线路面电车 (Tokyo Sakura Tram)，就像把时钟拨慢我不赶行程更没有紧凑的步代，走走停停来来回回全靠当下的一念之间。荒川线就像一本历史故事，也像一铁道电车百科全书，喜欢老时代氛围的会爱上它的内涵，是铁道迷的更会来此捕足它深度的风采。
This temple has significantly increased in popularity among foreign tourists in the past few years, with the main drawcard being a wonderfully strange sea of beckoning cats. Gotoku-ji has been the home of the maneki neko (lucky cat) since the Edo Period when a white cat apparently saved a warlord from a dangerous storm by beckoning him inside the temple. The cat became a symbol of good luck and its legend lives on in the statues.
It was a warm, spring day as the Setagaya Line snakes its way through the quiet, residential streets of Setagaya Ward. Its ten-station line is a haven for local feeling and one of the true little joys of suburban discovery. The compact, two-carriage tram might be just a regular commute for locals, but it also gives sightseers a rare glimpse of Tokyo away from the crowds. Easy to get to, easy to ride and easy to enjoy, the Setagaya Line is a must for those looking for a picturesque day of feel-good sightseeing. I spent a day getting on and off, exploring quiet residential neighborhoods and local shopping streets.
The Setagaya Line is one of two surviving tramways in Tokyo (the other is the Arakawa Line which i will blog about it separately). Sangenjaya is a town with a long history. Beginning as an area with three tea houses, travelers and warlords stopped here on their way in or out of Edo city. Today, Sangenjaya sits beneath a towering expressway, offering a fascinating mix of old and new.
I've made this series of photos into a comic book illustration. Making a picture different, quirky, and a little bit crazy doesn't necessarily make the image immature. Such effect has great potential to really make moments memorable and really etch that fun memory in stone. The comic effect can be an important reminder to not take life too seriously, have fun, and enjoy those special moments in life.