Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Fernweh - Lets Get Lost 2016 - Sapa Valley - Part 1

"I wandered everywhere, through cities and countries wide. And everywhere I went, the world was on my side..." ~ Roman Payne

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Hello readers.

Next up, Sapa Valley!!

I stayed in a lovely hotel called the Holiday Sapa Hotel. It was nestled on a hilltop, and the views were breathtaking.

Ola Sapa!

Lovely beautiful locally made vases was a centerpiece at the lobby 

 I loved these lights!!

 There was this beautiful winding staircase from the top floor all the way down and these pretty embellushments were hanging all the way from the top to the bottom

The detailing for the roof is quintessentially Sapa and locally made 

Check out the chill woody vibe of the lobby 

And yes, it comes with a working classic wood fireplace. Apparently it gets really cold up here a few months out of a year so the fireplace comes in handy.

And the view from the buffet dining room?


It was one of those moments in my life where I was completely in awe of my surroundings. And all I could say was 'Masyaallah, this is sooo beautiful...'

And it simply was. I mean look at that.

Sapa is accessible from Hanoi either by an overnight train or bus, and I will in my later posts share my experiences riding the overnight train getting to this place.

Until the next update, much love from Airiel and I.

Peace and love to everyone.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Fernweh - Lets Get Lost 2016 - Halong Bay

"There's something about arriving in new cities, wandering empty streets with no destination. I will never lose the love for the arriving, but I'm born to leave.." ~ Charlotte Erikson

Hello readers,

A week in from coming back from my first outside of Malaysia destination this year. I went to...you guessed it. VIETNAM!! weheee

I went to Hanoi as opposed to Ho Chin Minh, mainly due to the weather.

On to my first highlight of the week long trip.

NIN and I decided to have an overnight trip to Halong Bay, on board one of the junk boats. So we did indeed.

Hello Halong Bay

This is my room in the Junk Boat, It was super comfortable. Air conditioning, full shower, toilet. The works! I was so surprised that everything was super awesome.

There was a kayaking trip 

 Idzerqq the explorer weheeee

There were tonnes of other boats in the bay at the time... 

We visited Hang Sung Sot, a cave located in Halong Bay.

Awesome view of the caves... 

My ever so friendly tour guide. Thank you for your awesome hospitality!! 

We had a wonderful night chilling on the deck before tucking in for the night.


 The next day before disembarking we went to visit the Halong Oyster and Pearl Farm. Pics below.

 The farm from a distance

We were first taken to the oyster and pearl museum shown above. There were apparently different types of oysters giving different types of pearls!

This is the actual farm where the oysters were kept. First, the oysters are cultivated for about 3 years before a pearl can be implanted in an oyster. 

After the 3 years are completed, these workers take out the oyster cages and go through the oyster to see which oysters have grown up healthy enough for the implanting process and which are not. The ones which are not are eaten. 

These oysters are about 3 years old 

This is the implanting station. They open the oyster a bit, put a tiny stone in the ovary of the pearl and close it back up and put it back into the water. where it is left for another couple of years

Once the years are completed, they open the oyster to see whether any pearls a present inside. We were not lucky and did not see any.

Beautiful view of the bay from the upper deck of the farm. 

A UNESCO heritage site, all that you see formed naturally. This is also the place where Godzilla was shot. 

We also stopped by Ti Top island. The statue is apparently of a very famous general who dropped by the island after America withdrew from Vietnam.

Bye bye Halong Bay. You are so mesmerizing... 

And last but not least... beautiful view of the deck!!!

Alright people.

More updates on highlights soon!

Much love from Airiel and I

Peace and love to everyone.