By Frankie Chee
Yeo Hwee Ming
Occupation: Global head of trade
finance product management
Length of stay: 15 months
Sweden was one of the countries from which the fearsome Vikings originated. And Stockholm has been the political, cultural, economic and media centre of the country since the 13th century.
Made up of 14 islands linked by bridges, the city is well known for its beauty and has been hailed as the Venice of the North. About a third of the city is made up of waterways, with parks and green spaces making up another 30 per cent.
This is why the city is such a draw for nature-lover Yeo Hwee Ming, 37.
The global head of trade finance product management at Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken has been living in Stockholm for 15 months.
Ms Yeo, who is single, says the people in the city enjoy gatherings at home with friends and families, and points out that while Troy is known for its Trojan horse, Sweden also has a famous wooden horse, the Dala horse.
The best way to explore the city is ...
On foot. Stockholm is a beautiful city and most places are reachable within 30 minutes on foot.
The best time to visit is...
Now. Sweden is beautiful during the summer when it is not raining.
It can rain the whole week here but be extremely sunny the next. The weather is really unpredictable.
Swedes get really disappointed when it rains during summer as Sweden has shorter days of daylight for half of the year.
The beauty of Stockholm is its accessibility to nature in the city. The abundance of greenery and water is simply awesome.
Swedes love to take long walks in the woods and enjoy what nature offers.
Which places in the city excite you?
Djurgarden (www.djurgarden.net), one of the many bridge-linked islands that make up Stockholm. The cultural centre and lushly wooded park has been attracting Stockholmers for centuries.
A couple relax at one of the city's many coastal spots.
Shaded walkways line the canals where ducks float peacefully by, while the entrance to Stockholm's harbour and its intense boat traffic lie beyond the trees and their spreading leafy branches.
At the same time, different sources of entertainment and culture await visitors at the garden.
There is also Gamla Stan, The Old Town (www.old-town-stockholm.com) where the Royal Palace is situated, and Stadhuset (www.stadhuset.se), the City Hall on Kungsholmen which is also the venue for the annual Nobel Prize festivities.
What is the biggest difference between Singapore and this city?
The space, weather and nature that Stockholm offers, to a large extent, determines the lifestyle of the population.
My experience is that the Swedes appreciate nature and enjoy what it offers.
They enjoy different indoor and outdoor activities depending on the weather.
The population in general is very active and independent.
Where is one place you always take your friends when they visit you?
If the weather is good, I will always go for a picnic at Djurgarden since I love nature and enjoy taking long walks.
What is the one thing you must do in your city?
Jog and go for walks.
Are there any notable festivals that travellers should look out for?
The midsummer festival was held two Fridays ago. The main celebrations took place on that day and included traditional events such as raising a huge maypole and dancing around it.
Before it is raised, greens and flowers are collected and used to cover the entire pole. It is a tradition for people to sing Swedish folk songs and dance in circles around the maypole.
Another tradition is to eat pickled herrings with sour cream and marinated salmon with baby potatoes.
The Lucia Celebrations fall on Dec 13. Based on an ancient mythical figure who was the bearer of light in the dark Swedish winters, girls compete to be Lucia, who is driven around town, preferably in a horse-drawn vehicle of some kind, to spread light and song in food stores, factories, homes for the aged and medical centres.
Djurgarden's Nordic Museum archives Swedish culture and ethnography from 1520 to the present day.
Lucia wears a crown of candles on her head.
Some of the food eaten during the celebrations include ginger snaps and sweet, saffron-flavoured buns shaped like curled-up cats with raisins for eyes.
What do you do on your weekends?
Exercise, go out for brunch, shop for groceries or do housework. Over here, everything is pretty much do-it-yourself - no maids - due to high labour costs and taxes.
It is also interesting to learn that many activities take place at home - people invite families and friends home for drinks, lunches or dinners.
I do the same. It is interesting as I have learnt to appreciate a different lifestyle here.
What would make a good souvenir of the city?
A Dala Horse, a handcarved and painted wooden horse which has become one of Sweden's most popular souvenirs.
It is a skill which has been passed from generation to generation and is today one of the few living folk traditions of the country.
Sweden is also famous for two brands of crystal products, Orrefors and Kosta Boda, which are available almost everywhere.
Where is the best place to go on a shopping spree?
One can find pretty much everything in Nordiska Kompaniet (Hamngatan 12-18, www.nk.se). The store's six levels house more than 100 departments offering a wide range of goods ranging from books and cosmetics to sports items and stationery.
International brands such as Hermes and Mulberry share the space with Swedish names, while the food market, bars, cafes and restaurants give shoppers a break from all the walking.
The coolest place to chill out is at...
Lydmar Hotel (Sodra Blasieholmshamnen 2, 103 24 Stockholm, www.lydmar.com), where one can get a good view of the Palace across the water while having a drink.
Also, there are restaurants and bars such as Riche and Bistrol Jarl along Birger Jarlsgatan, one of the longest streets in central Stockholm.
Are there other interesting things outside the city?
One can visit Dalarna (www.dalarna.se) - the city that produces the Dala horses. There is a very popular lake there called Lake Siljan (www.siljan.se). Buses and coaches ply the route between Stockholm and Dalarna (www.swebusexpress.se).
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