18 July, Thursday

18 July, Thursday

18 July, Thursday

GERMANY, Bavaria – Perched on a hill in Southwest Bavaria, the Neuschwanstein Castle is quite possibly the closest you can get to a real life fairytale Disney castle (save the one actually in Disneyland). Symbolic of Romanticism, this iconic 19th century architecture even served as the inspiration of the castle in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

The castle is impeccably finished with white limestone facade with blue turret tops, but if you dig deeper into its history, you’ll find that Neuschwanstein Castle was never finished, not to the original vision of King Ludwig II. The castle was slated to have 200 rooms but only a dozen or so were built before the funds for the project was cut off.

You can enter and walk around the castle but only with a guided tour that lasts about half an hour. If you’re skipping the tour, Marie’s Bridge is where you want to go to take the iconic photo of the Neuschwanstein Castle.

16 July, Tuesday

16 July, Tuesday

15 July, Monday

CHINA, Chongqing – Whoever thinks books are a dying trade should pay a visit to the Zhongshuge bookstore in Chongqing, China. Mind-boggling to the extreme, the central lobby’s design is M.C. Escher meets Penrose.

Floor to ceiling shelves in dark brown hues prop up a mirrored ceiling which turns the lobby into a fantastical labyrinth. The Zhongshuge bookstore in Chongqing is the latest in the line of elegant and massive bookstores by X+living surfacing all over China.

Zhongshuge has one magical room after another, each one promising to leave you  floored in awe. Dive in to find your own little corner and lose yourself in the book you painstakingly chose from the never-ending bookshelves.

15 July, Monday

15 July, Monday

15 July, Monday 

AUSTRIA, Hallstatt – This small beautiful Alpine village along the western shore of Austria’s mountainous Salzkammergut region is one of the hottest travel destinations in Europe. With centuries-old gingerbread timber houses lining up and down the Hallstatt waterfront, it’s truly a picturesque town that is befitting of its reputation.

A day’s trip is enough to the tiny and historic Hallstatt as the village is barely more than a kilometer long. There are plenty of photogenic spots all around as you walk through a town that seems to be plucked out from a classic Disney fairytale. While seemingly quaint on the surface, you may want to avoid visiting in the summer as we hear it’s closer to a crowded amusement park than idyllic town.

14 July, Sunday

14 July, Sunday

14 July, Sunday

SLOVENIA, Lake Bled – The sound of church bells ringing draws your gaze over the water to Bled Island, sitting quietly in the middle of Lake Bled.

The Church of the Mother of God has since become the poster photo for Lake Bled and its surrounding region. To visit the centerpiece of Lake Bled, the best experience would definitely be renting a rowboat and paddling your way across the lake. It is a short 15 min paddle with stunning views all around you, making you wish you could stay there forever.

The church still contains fragments detailing the life of the Virgin Mary and Bled Island has many hidden secrets that cannot be viewed from the shores, necessitating a trip to the little island whenever you’re at Lake Bled.

13 July, Saturday

13 July, Saturday

13 July, Saturday

ITALY, Dolomites – Located in northeastern Italy, the Dolomites is a mountain range forming a part of the Southern Limestone Alps. Look out of your window and you’ll be greeted with an idyllic picture of pine trees canvassing the side of the mountain.

Life moves at a slower pace at the Dolomites, with a sparse population living in small cottages overlooking a stunning mountainscape. Come sunset, the mountains glow in fiery red before the colours change into purple and fade later into the night. This is Enrosadira, an Alpenglow phenomenon that is said to be rooted in legends around the Dolomites.

Spring and Autumn prove to be the best seasons to visit the Dolomites, where you can explore its magic and beauty to its finest.

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