Gabriel's Website - Places Travelled

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To me, the best thing about Paris was the architecture. The architecture of the city of Paris has notable examples of architecture of every period from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. It was the birthplace of the Gothic style, and has important monuments of the French Renaissance, the Classical revival, and flamboyant style of the reign of Napoleon III; the Belle Époque, and the Art Nouveau style. The Gothic style architecture really appeals to my darker preferences. We took a boat that travels in the rivers of Paris and visited many landmarks. The main event was of course, the Eiffel Tower. We went up to the second floor of the Eiffel tower (Third floor in Singaporean terms) and witnessed the great view of the city, although, there were tall skyscrapers that somewhat ruined the view as it did not fit the aesthetic.

More specifically, London. London was, interesting, it looked like any other city but felt different, I think it might be because of the rich history in the city and country itself. The family and I visited the famous Big Ben, the giant clock tower. We also got to see the Buckingham Palace in all its glory, the London residence and administrative headquarters of the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. But to me, the most memorable experience for me was exploring Tower of London, officially Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It had many rooms, all with different purposes. The room that stood out to me was the torture room, it had many mechanisms to inflict the most amount of pain on a person before they passed on. Each torture device had its own history and details. Another room was a corridor with all the previous belongings of the different monarchs in the past, from crowns to jewels, it was a great experience.

We went to Italy in around mid 2016, during June holidays. First stop after landing was, Rome. Rome, was pretty cool. It reminded of the video game, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, in which the game took place. I managed to recognise many of the famous landmarks, from the obvious Il Colosseo, to the less obvious Spanish Steps. We even managed to get a tour in the Vatican filled with many exhibits of art and, of course, Michelangelo's famous painted ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. A very historic city indeed, afterwards, we travelled to Pisa, to get a look at the Leaning Tower of Pisa. There were many tourists there taking pictures of it and posing. It was an interesting experience overall. After Pisa, we took a train ride, to Switzerland.

I would just like to declare that, Switzerland, might just be the best country to live in. Switzerland is by far my favourite I have been to. After we travelled to Italy, we took a train to Lucerne, Switzerland. Just the train ride itself was amazing! Brilliant and gorgeous views, worth more than any painting. The countryside was filled with animals and smalltowns that rival the beauty of many countries. When we reached Lucerne, we stayed in a fairly small hotel. However, the main event was going up Mount Titlis. We had to take a train just to get there, passing by more views. We had to go up via cablecar. As we ascended the mountain-side, it got colder and colder. As we reached the top, high above the clouds, the cold winds hit my face. It was the first time I had set foot on snow and laid my eyes upon it personally. Being above the clouds, the clear, crisp air and the tiny towns in the distance, everything was just breathtaking. I would definitely go again.

The only time that I've been to Malaysia is mid 2017, when the family decided to go to Legoland Malaysia. Legoland is actually Malaysia's first international theme park that has opened in Iskandar Puteri, Johor, Malaysia on 15 September 2012 with over 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions. It is the first Legoland theme park in Asia and sixth in the world upon its establishment. The actual experience wasn't too great at Legoland, I was 17 at the time and I guess I was desensitised from the "magic" of amusement parks. However, the main reason we were there is because of my little brother, who wanted to go, so I guess it was fine.

My homeland... I've been to the Philippines multiple times to visit my relatives. We would either go to the provinces or Manila. Over the many years I have gone to the Philippines, I always see it improving. Infrastructure improves, more buildings get built and the security there does get tighter. Even though these improvements are very little over the course of many years, it is still nice to see it improving either way. I hope that, eventually, the Philippines will be able to be at the same level as Singapore, or even greater. There isn't much to do there, I'm very much accustomed to the technology that Singapore provides, and it's a shame that they don't have that in Philippines. In the end, the Philippines is a great place, just needs some improvement.

Ah, UAE, or the United Arab Emirates. We met up with relatives there and went to Dubai. We stayed at a hotel called The Palace Downtown, next to the Burg Khalifa, which was very hospitable. The morning buffet was especially great as the turkey sausages they had were gastronomical and, well, breakfast foods are my favourite. There were even two shopping centres very close to our hotel, the Souk Al Bahar and The Dubai Mall, both having a wide variety of shops and goods. We went up the Burg Khalifa eventually and the view was, somewhat underwhelming. This is because, the city of Dubai is in the middle of the desert and there isn't much of a view , as it is just cityscape, which doesn't appeal to me. However, as the sun started to set, and as the people broke their fast, the golden horizon in the distance made the trip all the more better.

I've been to Taiwan twice, once in December 2011 and second in October 2017. Back in 2011, the weather there was extremely cold and rainy. Even though the weather wasn't great, the city itself was nice. The architecture and technology back then was not as good as Singapore's. However, when I went back in October 2017, the city was more beautiful than ever. There were taller skyscrapers now and they even have free wi-fi around different parts of the city! Both times we went to Taiwan, my family and I stayed at a relatives home in Taiwan. We visited the The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall which is a national monument, landmark and tourist attraction erected in memory of Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China. It is located in Zhongzheng District, Taipei, Taiwan. It was a very awesome experience as they had a huge statue of President Chiang Kai-shek, which was extremely detailed. Not only that, we also got to see the Taipei 101, but not go up it. Back in 2011, the Taipei 101 was considered the tallest building, so it was a pain in the neck just to look up.

[Hong Kong]
It's been years since i've been to Hong Kong, feels like forever. It was back in 2008 when we travelled there. We went to a couple of places there. We went to The Peak, which had a nice view, we walked the Avenue of the Stars, experienced the night markets for the first time and watched a light show at Hong Kong Harbor. But the main event was of course, Hong Kong Disneyland! The 8 year old me was obviously excited. We even stayed at the hotel they had and had buffets evry morning, while mascots like Goofy and Micky greeted everybody. The park consists of seven themed areas: Main Street, U.S.A., Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point, and Toy Story Land, and each of the themes were equally magical!

The family and I went to Macau in 2008 right after we went to Hong Kong. We stayed at The Venetian Macao, a luxury hotel and casino resort in Macau owned by the American Las Vegas Sands company. The Venetian is a 39-story, casino hotel on the Cotai Strip in Macau. The room that we stayed in was so fancy and huge for the time. The casino hotel itself had a very interesting interior. It had this Venice-like river, where you could request for a boat to row down the river in the hotel itself. The entire experience was really cool, it was the first time I felt as if I wasn't in Asia, since the aesthetic was so Western. We also visited the ruins Saint Paul's Church, which reminded me very much of the medieval times. Overall, I had a great time and would like to go back one day.