Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mini Travel Log: Brighton, UK

Good news to the fans of Hong Kong TVB series of "Triumph in the Skies". If you are in London, you'll be delighted to know that Brighton is one of the shooting location of the movie and is only 40 minute train ride from London.

Geographically, Brighton is the coastal city directly south of London, facing the English Channel. From London, one can easily access Brighton by using the Southern Rail services departing from London Victoria station. An off peak same day return ticket only costs 26.70 pounds.

This beautiful coastal city has three very distinctive areas which visitors can visit and it's all connected and within walking distance. From Brighton train station, walk out, turn left and under the bridge tunnel to reach the North Lanes. I'd recommend you reach there after 10 am so most shops will be open. These streets are very bohemian style and have many exotic retail stores selling unique merchandises like old books, vinyl records, bargain hippie clothing and accessories, and also some cafes. As you continue to walk south following the colourful bohemian trails and graffiti, you'll reach the Pavilion Gardens where the beautiful Royal Pavilion and Corn Exchange buildings are located. If you divert west (right) on North Street, you'll find all the familiar retail outlets of popular brands. This is where you would shop. If shopping is not your cup of tea, then you can continue following the colourful shopping "lanes" down south. The South Lanes area are a maze of narrow streets with many exotic shops and also jewellery shops. One particular exotic shop that you should visit is the Choccywoccydoodah; if you can find it in the maze. It is a chocolate shop specializing in art and design, turning normal chocolates into exotic cakes and decorations. If you manage to escape from the maze, you should be facing the open sea. You have reached the Brighton Pier. The pier itself has been turned into an amusement park, and the Brighton ferris wheel goes round and round on the left of the pier. The long stretch of beach on both sides of the pier is worth checking. This area has many cafes, eateries especially fish and chips, souvenir shops and also museums. If you are feeling adventurous, you can head a long way east from the pier. It should bring you to the sea wall cliffs and high grounds, where you can have a nice view of the city from top. And once again, fans of the movie would be delighted to know that one of green park area here was also used as a location for the romantic scene between Captain Branson (Louis Koo) and Cassie (Charmaine Sheh).

The official Brighton tourism guide is available here (including high resolution city maps for download): http://www.visitbrighton.com/

Click on the image for picture gallery

Monday, April 13, 2015

Mini Travel Log: Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany

If you have some free time in Munich and have nothing else to do, you can take a short train ride to Dachau to check out the Dachau Concentration Camp used during the WW2. If you go by your own, you'll only need to spend 8.30 euros instead of spending more than 20 euros following guided tours.

From any S-Bahn stations in Munich, hop onto S2 line Peterhausen direction train. You can purchase the XXL day ticket from the ticket vending machine for 8.30 euros. Make sure you choose XXL single day ticket as you'll be most likely offered a single trip ticket at 5.40 euros which you need to buy 2 for the return as well, making it more expensive. Train ride is only about 20 minutes. You can alight at Dachau Bahnhof. Remember to keep you train ticket because this ticket will also include the bus ride.

Right outside Dachau Bahnhof, you can wait for bus 726 Saubachsiedlung direction. You will never miss it because the stop itself has many Dachau Concentration Camp pictures and directions. You can alight at KZ-Gedenkstätte stop. A short walk will bring you past the visitor centre and to the camp entrance gate.

It is advisable to take the early train from 8am onwards so you can reach the camp at about 9am. This is to avoid groups of tourists which will stream in endlessly later in the morning. With almost no one else around, you can really take in the atmosphere, sometimes that eerie feeling in a huge camp.

For more information, you can visit the official website here: https://www.kz-gedenkstaette-dachau.de/index-e.html

Click on the image for picture gallery; First few pictures are from Munich itself