The Hills Are Alive – what to do in Salzburg

The hills are alive with the sound of music.

Do, a deer, a female deer, Re, a drop of golden sun

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Do these phrases seem familiar to you?  If they do, that’s because they all are song lyrics from an incredibly well known movie called The Sound of Music.  And lucky for us, we actually managed to visit the place where they shot a couple scenes from.

This was our second day in Salzburg, and also our last day in Austria before we headed into Czech Republic.  For those of you who just want to know what attractions there are to see in Salzburg, the ones we visited include: Hellbrunn Palace (Schloss Hellbrunn), Mirabell Palace and the Gardens, the main shopping street called Getreidegasse, Salzburg Cathedral, St. Peter’s Abbey, and Fortress Hohensalzburg. Continue reading The Hills Are Alive – what to do in Salzburg

Hallstatt is Where the Swans Say Hello

Hallstatt is a fairy tale like, picturesque small town that is both charming and idyllic, located in the Salzkammergut region of Austria.  It is situated on the banks of the Hallstätter See (Lake Hallstatt) and is surrounded by majestic mountains, making it a stunningly picturesque destination.  It’s walkable distance from Salzwelten Hallstatt (oldest salt mine, click here to read post) and offers a visual of skies and water that looks so clear it seems untouched, ever, by human industrial actions.  What’s the most impressive was that the swans seem unfazed and unafraid of human beings; in fact, they kind of embrace it and seem to notice when you want to take photos of them.  And if you feed them, they will definitely come nearby as well.

The town is renowned for its natural beauty and is a popular tourist spot.  Hallstatt has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. It is known for its salt mining industry, which began as early as the Bronze Age and has continued till the present day. The town’s name has even been given to the Hallstatt culture, a prehistoric culture that existed in Central Europe during the early Iron Age.  The charm of Hallstatt lies in its well-preserved historic buildings and traditional Alpine architecture. The narrow cobblestone streets are lined with charming wooden houses, some dating back to the 16th century. Continue reading Hallstatt is Where the Swans Say Hello

An Ice Cave and the OLDEST Salt Mine, in Obertraun, Austria

We booked a private driver from goEUgo ( called Mr. Lau who was super friendly and knowledgeable and punctual.  In our itinerary, we went to three places in one day! – an ice cave called Dachstein Giant Ice Cave, the oldest salt mine in the world called Salzwelten Hallstatt, and a small beautiful town called Hallstatt right around the corner.  For this blog post, I’ll be posting photos basically from the first two activities.

We went to Obertraun, nearby Hallstatt, a village and also a popular holiday destination for people to engage in activities such as skiing, mountain biking, snowboarding, swimming, and kayaking. Continue reading An Ice Cave and the OLDEST Salt Mine, in Obertraun, Austria

Visiting the Incredible Melk Abbey and Dürnstein Castle

Today began our six days tour of visiting different small towns in Austria and Czech Republic, our first stop being in Linz.  But before stopping by Linz, we actually stopped by the town of Melk to see Melk Abbey and also took a detour to see Dürnstein Castle.  We hired a driver through a tour agency called goEUgo (website) that also helped arranged us for our hotels.  If you’re looking for mandarin or cantonese speakers, they can definitely help you out, but do note that there are not that many Cantonese drivers available  We called a driver called Mr. Lau who was able to speak Cantonese.  We were very pleased with him throughout the entire trip because he was knowledgeable, super friendly and nice, and very punctual every time, and never complained once even if it meant working longer than what was supposed to be a 10 hour work day (we had shorter days on other days)

Anyway, while Dürnstein Castle was pretty cool to see, Melk Abbey seriously blew our minds off.  Dare I say it was quite possibly one of THE highlights of my 3 week trip.  It was beautifully designed, with a pastel yellow that made it look significant but yet humble, and special.  We also had some time on the way to our hotel that we also visited Stift St. Florian as well.  Lastly, I’ll be sharing with you our horrible experience in the hotel we stayed in, at ibis Style Hotel Linz. Continue reading Visiting the Incredible Melk Abbey and Dürnstein Castle

Four Day Itinerary in Vienna (Part Two)

This post is a continuation of the blog post Four Day Itinerary in Vienna (Part One), where we will be taking about my itinerary and the things we did on Days 3 and 4.  You should read part one as it also included pics of our Airbnb and neighborhood, plus restaurants you should go AND shouldn’t go.



Schönbrunn Palace (website)

We were awake really early on day three of Vienna, because we expected that there will be a lot of people for Schönbrunn Palace.  Fortunately for us, that turned out not to be the case.  That being said, it was still good we went early, because we actually have to get a ticket to be reserved a time to enter the palace.  We got there around 9am, and this included a 10-15 min walk from the Schönbrunn metro station as well.  While there was availability at around 11:30am, we decided to come back at around 2pm so that we had enough time to take photos around its garden but also go to one of our bucket list restaurants for lunch before coming back. Continue reading Four Day Itinerary in Vienna (Part Two)

Four Day Itinerary in Vienna (Part One)

Before coming to Vienna, I had no idea, no preconception, no expectation of what this place would be like.  Besides knowing that it’s a place for music and that Mozart was a prominent figure in Vienna, and that Jay Chou loves to visit here, I had no idea what this place would look like or feel like.

After coming here, I have to say as a tourist, I enjoyed this place very much.  Amongst many places to visit as a tourist, I would rank Vienna to be high up compared with all the travel destinations I’ve been to.  Vienna has a lot of beautiful museums that showcases a lot of incredible and vibrant artwork and antique collections, the city is very safe and very clean and tidy (comparable to Japan standards, even their gardens are tended very well), and the architecture of different buildings were all stunning.  The museums offer a lot of its rich cultural history as well.

The city’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site, showcases grand palaces, churches, and museums, such as the stunning Schönbrunn Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and the Belvedere Palace, which houses the famous artwork of Gustav Klimt. Vienna is also renowned for its classical music heritage, being the place where renowned composers like Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss stayed, and home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The city hosts numerous music festivals and concerts, including the world-famous Vienna Opera Ball. Additionally, Vienna is celebrated for its coffeehouse culture, offering a cozy and traditional atmosphere to enjoy coffee and pastries.

We were there for four days in Vienna, and I would like to share with you our 4-day itinerary that you can utilize as well for your next visit. Continue reading Four Day Itinerary in Vienna (Part One)

Photos of Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien Vienna

As I was uploading my photos from Vienna, I realized how many photos I took of the beautiful antiques, art, and collection from Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, the art history museum.  To avoid my Vienna post being too cluttered, I decided to create a separate post to showcase the photos from this amazing museum.

So without further ado, here are all the photos (that I’ve filtered down to already!).  The photos do not include the interiors of the museum, merely the artworks and collection.

Read my Vienna itinerary which includes this art history museum at  For the museum website, go to –

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien (Art History Museum) Continue reading Photos of Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien Vienna