Chasing the Aurora Borealis

After a futile attempt to catch the Northern Lights in Iceland, I decided to head over to Lapland in Sweden to get a glimpse of the auroras! And boy, was I rewarded with the prettiest of lights! I’m so glad I got lucky this time, seeing it on my 2nd and 3rd night, and hopefully on my final night today too!

On the 2nd night, it was amazing because we decided to head out to the middle of the frozen lake to stargaze with our reindeer hide. We didn’t think the auroras would appear so quickly because the forecast said that it would appear at like 10 or 11 pm. However, we actually saw the aurora form, from a mere lining of green to a sky awash with colors. We probably sat on the lake for a good two hours, just admiring and taking in the beauty of the aurora. At first we thought we were hallucinating (wanting to see it so much that maybe our eyes were playing tricks on us), but then we all started seeing the same thing at the same spot, and we knew that we struck gold and started screaming HAHA.






The whole sky was illuminated with the lights, and stretched across the entire horizon of the sky. It was constantly moving, taking on different shapes and I simply felt so, so lucky to be able to see it, within the comfort of our campsite. There we were, just lying down on the ice, gazing up at the sky. The feeling’s indescribable.

On the 3rd night, we saw it at the Abisko National Park, where the scenery was different because we had trees as the backdrop for our pictures. Even though we had a limited time at the park, we managed to take really good pictures! When we were on the way back, the northern lights were so strong, we could literally see them dancing, alternating between green and red. It must have been like a strength of 5 or something.



This trip has been super fulfilling for me because I finally managed to tick the northern lights off my #bucketlist! And the weather in Kiruna/Sweden has been really beautiful as well. Clear skies and sunlight, what more could I ask for.

Tonight i’m heading up to the Aurora Sky Station in Abisko so I really hope I get to see a beautiful light display! They say the third time’s the charm isn’t it 😉


Germany, Munich

5 tips for visiting Neuschwastein Castle

Neuschwastein Castle, otherwise known as the inspiration for Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” is really beautiful indeed. However, it is also the most touristy place I have visited ever. I have not seen any other European city with sooo many Asians, it’s as though all of Asia’s tourists congregated in Munich. Japan, Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, basically every Asian country!

  1. Save money travelling with friends

Buy the Bayern (Bavaria) ticket, which is much cheaper than a point-to-point ticket from Munich HBF to Fussen. One person costs 23 euros, 2 persons 28 euros, 3 persons 33 euros 4 persons 38 euros, 5 persons 43 euros. Basically, an additional 5 euros for each additional person. It just doesn’t make sense, so you should definitely find people to share the ticket with. Train inspectors come to check often too, so it’s safer to buy the ticket!

The Bayern ticket covers all trains and buses for a day, so you can have unlimited rides, and it covers the bus from Fussen bahnhof to Hohenschwangau, which would otherwise cost 2.80 euros.

You can buy it at any ticket machine, and there are more than 120 ticket machines in Munich, so you don’t have to worry about being unable to buy it. I think it’s better to buy the day before, or on the day itself, so that you can keep your plans flexible!

Don’t buy from the ticket counter because they’ll charge you a service fee of an extra 2 euros!

It looks like this!


  1. Arrive early

Arrive at the train station 15 minutes beforehand so that you’ll guarantee yourself a seat. Fussen is insanely popular, as I’ve mentioned earlier.

  1. Buy Castle tickets in advance

If you want to go inside the castle, you have to make reservations and book tickets at least 2 days in advance. If you purchase it on the spot, you’re looking at a minimum of 2 hours waiting time. Furthermore, they’ll allocate you timeslots and you’ll have to stick to the timeslot, which may be even 1-2 hours later!

We didn’t go in because we heard that it wasn’t worth it. After we met some people in the hostel who have already visited Neuschwastein, they said it was definitely worth going inside because you take 3 hours to reach there, it’s kind of a pity to just take a few (postcard-perfect) pictures. However, you don’t have to purchase the combination ticket of Neuschwastein and Hoswenaggu, as out of the two, Neuschwastein is much more interesting.

It’s impossible to go in by yourself, you can only access the castle through a guided tour so book early!

11 euros with student discount, 1.80 euro reservation fee

  1. Worth the trek – Marienbrücke

Go up to Marienbuckle to get the best views of the castle. See all the postcards of the castle with that perfect vantage point? They probably took it from Marienbrücke. It’s definitely worth the uphill trek, to be honest, I think it only took 10-15 minutes to get there? And the view is amazing. You see the majestic castle surrounded in snow-capped pine trees, with the Alps as the backdrop, and a waterfall flowing in the background, it’s amazing. I can see why the King wanted to build his leisure castle here.






Plus, you also get a really good view of Hosswenagu with the lake beside it. Score!



Due to the snow the day before, there was actually a gate barricading the entry to Marienbuckle. Not to worry, just climb over the gate, everyone was doing it and you should too.

Usually, there’s a shuttle bus that brings you to the castle, but due to renovations, the shuttle bus wouldn’t be available till May. We were only left with the options of taking a horse carriage up (6 euros uphill, 3 euros downhill) or walking. We decided to walk, because we’ll be able to take in more sights, get some exercise while saving some money. Plus, the queue for the horse carriage was crazy long. You’ll save time by walking instead, we took only about 20 minutes to get to the castle! And another 15 minutes up to Marienbuckle.





  1. Create a rough timetable

Plan your time well in advance. You have to take a bus (either 73 or 78) from Fussen Bahnhoff to Hosswenagu bus stop, and that takes about 8 minutes. However, the bus only comes every half an hour or so. You’ll want to plan your schedule in such a way that when you take the bus, it’s just in time for the train back! It’s no fun shivering in the cold. We didn’t know of the bus timings earlier, and had to wait for about an hour in order to catch the next train. I took pictures of the bus timings, so you can view them here 🙂




As we didn’t go into the castle, it was a half day trip to Fussen for us, where we took the 8.53am train, arrived at 11pm and explored till 2pm! We hiked up to both castles as well as the lake, so plenty of time! We got back to Munich at 5pm and still had time to walk around Munich, so it was pretty rad.





1 beautiful castle down, and plenty more to go!

More castle inspiration here