Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What's Inside The Crazy House of Dalat?

I received a very interesting question on my previous post on Dalat. and decided to answer it with a blogpost. =P

So what's inside the Gaudi inspired Crazy House of Dalat in Vietnam? It's actually a hotel with several rooms, all uniquely different and positioned in odd spaces around the area! Haha! So if you're interested to book a night at this unique hotel, you can either google Hang Nga Guesthouse or just click here. 

If you're not keen to stay a night and come only for a visit (like us), just pay 40,000 dong for the entrance ticket.

The place is so full of crooks and crannies, you'd be wondering how the other person came to the other side!
Room rates are from $22 to $48. But unless you don't mind being peeked by visitors from the outside, I strongly advise against staying here. 

For every room that was available that day, we could simple just look in and snap a picture. Entrance not possible though because all the rooms are locked. 

An example of the interior of a room. It looks like you're staying in a tree house!
There's also a common cafe on the ground floor which is also exquisitely decorated as if you're in a tree.

A common dining room. Or maybe it belongs to the owner?
OH, and occasionally you'll chance upon a carving in the stone.. which strangely reminds me of a woman's bare breast!!! *OK, maybe my mind is not that pure anymore. T___T*

OK, tell me, this isn't some sort of "fruit"!
And last but not least... do you really want to wake up with a bear right beside your bed? Food for thought.

Whoahh! A life size bear! 
In the end, it's totally up to you. :)

Hope this answers the question in my previous post. Happy traveling peeps! ^___^

Friday, November 22, 2013

Girls' Trip to Dalat, Vietnam

"Life is weird, first you wanna grow up, then you wanna be a kid again"

I jumped again, on another airplane just about two weeks after I got back from India. I was on a traveling rampage, unstoppable and full of zest for a new adventure! Some people from the office were already shaking their heads at my sudden (sometimes unexplained) disappearances. Hehe. I spent about RM500 in India and figured, hell, why not another trip? I still got some money left. So Vietnam was my next destination. And this time around was with a bunch of crazy girls. :)

Grown-up kids! A 5 days girl trip to Vietnam! 
Traveling makes me feel like a kid again. New awe-aspiring experiences, new delights, new people to meet, new discoveries... just like a kid experiencing things for the first time. It heightens my senses, making me feel young and vulnerable again.

Only while I'm away was I able to stop being an adult. Stop worrying about responsibilities, bills to be paid, deadlines to meet, work to be done...... all I had to worry about while traveling was sleep, eat and have fun! =P

OK, that's obviously a lie. Staying safe and not getting lost was taken in consideration too. Hehe. Another traveler friend of mine was in charge of the itinerary. I only met the other three girls for the first time at the airport. I never worry about getting along with new travelmates. I just do. Naturally. #tsahhh.

Our first city that we visited right after touching down in Ho Chi Minh International Airport was the French influenced town of Dalat in the north. It took a rather tiring 8 hours via pre-rented bus to get there. I think we each paid more than a hundred for this bus-ride. It was unavoidable as we had limited time. :(

Five days to cover three cities. Kerja gila bukan? Here were the places and activities we did during our two nights stay there.

1. Cable Car and Truc Lam Pagoda

We took a cable car ride to the top of a hill where a tranquil Buddhist temple called Truc Lac sits, facing the beautiful Dalat town below. While the girls were snapping away at the beautiful flower garden there near the temple, I kinda sneaked away to explore the outer parts of the place. I pretty much had enough of temples (from my previous Cambodia trip) and wanted to see something new.

I believe that's Vietnamese for Cable Car, no? Hehe.
What did I find after following some pathways mindlessly? I found a lake! 

Getting lost and found a lake just after a pine-tree covered hill. 
Ok. so, that's not exactly a lake. Just a glimpse of blues in within a crisp layer of pine-trees. I only made to the gate-way that would've led me to the lake. hahaha!

An ecotourist outdoor place. Hope to try this next time. 
It was during this time I felt I was late and the other girls might be worrying sick about me. So I headed back. I was right. The girls were plopped right outside the temple waiting for me. But at least there was a cute Vietnamese entertaining them, talking in a perfect American accent.

2. Datanla Falls

The name of this place sounded so much like our Malay word with almost the same spelling "Datanglah" which means "welcome".

Datanla Falls. Noticed how shiny the statue's boobs are! I heard the locals rub it for good luck. T__T
Half-naked statues aside, no-one was allowed to bath at the waterfalls. But that wasn't the main attraction there. Datanla Falls is actually more famous for their outdoor activities - roller coaster ride (like below), cliff climbing, forest trekking, and abseiling in the waterfalls! Unfortunately, I only tried only one of the above. 
The Alpine Couster at Datanka Waterfalls. Exhilarating! 
3. Bao Dai's Summer Palace

How did the royal people of Vietnam lived l ike? Was there anything unique and traditional about how the royals lived their lives? When I stepped into their house, all I see was a westernized way of living except one part of the house where there was a beautifully decorated throne. It was to me, surprisingly simple.

In and about the palace. 
It belonged to the last king of Vietnam named Bao Dao and used as a summer palace. The family lived a pretty modest life despite their royal status.

4. Hang Nga’s Crazy House (Crazy House), Dalat

The owner of this house turned artistically, twisted hotel is actually a daughter of a very influential person in the region. She is an architecture and has acknowledged that the building's desing was inspired by Antoni Gaudi, the famous Spanish Catalan architect.

We sure had fun discovering the many weird pathways going all over the place! Haha!
I personally thought it as a gigantic playground for adults. We could play the children's game "hide-and-seek" and will never be found. Am sure of it! =P

5. XQ - Su Quan Co. Ltd.

This place is a silk embroidery factory and we came upon it by chance while waiting for the rain to stop outside. We didn't know about this place and turned out to be a very pleasant visit!

Everything on display was threaded in silk. A delicate patch of artwork!
There were many things on display behind big glassed frames. Hanging high on the walls of this store or factory, or whatever you call it. You could also watch one of the workers working on a piece. Upstairs there's a great display room where you'll see a large dining table and decorated on its walls are large artworks of life-size people in extraordinary silk embroidery! I tried catching the liveliness off the artwork but my camera failed to do the job! T__T

6. Dalat Railway Station

The railway station is over a century old, the oldest railway station in Vietnam and is built in the French colonial architecture. We wanted to take a ride in it but since it was so late in the afternoon and it raining, the operators decided to cancel the ride. Oh ya... there's a quota of 12 people to ride the train to have it operational. Since there were only the six of us, it was still not possible to ride on one. Oh ya, it's listed as a national architecture relic since 2001.

I is sad.

Modeling was all we could do to overcome our disappointment. Haha.
So instead of moping around for not being able to take a scenic ride to Trat Mat, we opted to camwhore instead. The classical way! :)

Eh.. only one picture of me on this blogpost? Wait for the next post then. You munt puke. :P

Till then happy traveling! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Preparing for my Winter Sonata Trip 2013

Sorry for the lack of updates. I've been preparing mentally and financially for this winter trip. This means taking extra workload (part-time jobs), selling off personal things on the net and researching for the cheapest itinerary possible.

The thing is... I'll be going during winter and I don't have the proper attire to withstand such cold weather. LOL. And so bit by bit, I'm buying things needed for this : heattach clothing from Uniqlo (the fleece, turtle-neck t-shirts are being sold at RM39.90 per piece), leather boots (Jusco is having a winter sale. Hiks), gloves (found at Sogo selling for RM9.90 each!), and a reliable down jacket (still looking for the cheapest one). Hopefully money invested in these will be re-used for my future hiking trips which might involve more snow. =P

So Jard, where are you heading to this December?

Lemme drop you a small hint in form of a picture. :D

Eiffel, I'm in love! #eh (pic taken from google search)
Oh, and why so quiet on twitter? Well... that's quite a complicated question. Haha! Currently having an intense feeling of deep affection for a certain some-one. Wakakaka! So am better off from twitter, else I'll be annoying a whole bunch of followers by my corny tweets. *ahh, jadi malu* Until of course, I'm able to neutralize this feeling. =P

Lastly, I wanna share this inspirational quote I found online.

Be crazy.
Be stupid.
Be silly.
Be weird.
Be whatever...
Because LIFE is too short to be anything but... HAPPY! Happy traveling tweeps! :)