For any tourists visiting the UK for the first time, it is definitely a must to visit London and there are many iconic locations around. This is also the time to explore the city as the summer break starts. For me, I had the opportunity to meet up with my ex-colleague and classmate while spending the time in London. With so many sights to see at every turn, I have had many considerations when planning my trip: How many places can I visit within a limited time and a shoestring budget?

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While planning my backpacking itinerary, I realised the importance of planning my road of advancement. I brought my bicycle along and had used it for the most part of my trip and I would take the subway to places further away. I figured I could cut down my travel expenses a little. Hence, staying at a hostel in King’s Cross area was the ideal plan for me as there would be many places around accessible on my bicycle. I had adjusted my travel itinerary depending on my situation while in London.

 

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As a lover of travel photography, part of the challenge was to find new ways to capture those tourist attractions, saturated by tourist photographs. To take advantage of the lighting conditions, figuring out the best time to visit was also part of my planning process.

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This image was taken at the Greenwich park after sunset. The whole day was spent exploring the park, observing people and the condition of light and weather. I found a few vantage points in the park and I thought it would be interesting to see the city lights after sunset. The challenging part was that I had only a short fifteen-minute window period to shoot the blue hour before the park closes. Rushing from one point to another took a while, and I managed to capture this, a single frame before being chased out.

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For the next couple of days, I toured around the Westminster area, from Leicester square to waterloo station. It was a good weather that day and I had walked around for the entire day. I likened the busyness of the London streets to that of Singapore, a city-state.

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The next leg was to visit Kew Gardens, partially inspired by BBC host and naturalist, Sir David Attenborough for his documentary series on plant life. Kew Gardens is a huge place to explore and it is quite different from the Singapore’s Botanical Gardens.

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Other locations on my itinerary include riding to areas from Liverpool street to Tower Bridge and wandering along the River Thames.

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Camden Town wasn’t part on my list, but a friend had brought me around to explore a different side of London. It was a different experience compared to the city centre.

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They say London is a vast and complex city, and backpacking for the first time can be quite a daunting experience. But after a week of exploring and riding around, I realised there is still so much more to see. Totally worth it.

For part two of my trip, click here.
For part three of my trip, click here.

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