The View Of Halong Bay Is Really Breathtaking
Hạ Long Bay is located in the northeast of the country and it was first listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The beautiful and uniquely shaped islets and limestone pillars are scattered all around the emerald waters of Hạ Long Bay located in the Gulf of Tonkin. The Bay features around 1,600 islands and islets of limestone karsts in various shapes and sizes. Hạ Long Bay (in Vietnamese Vịnh Hạ Long) means descending dragon bay. The sound of ‘Hạ Long’ is similar to Cantonese ‘下龍’, which also means descending dragon. The similarities between the Vietnamese and Cantonese language was one of the things I found interesting while traveling in Vietnam. Okay, back to the place… I thought the islets at Hạ Long Bay were so fascinating because on each little islet there were life. It was covered in green vegetation. I believe the biodiversity at Hạ Long Bay was quite unique, including tropical evergreen, oceanic and seashore bio system.
Another Cruise At Ha Long Bay From Afar.
I visited mainly Bai Tu Long Bay, which belongs to the northeast side of Hạ Long Bay on a cruise for two-days-one-night. On the cruise that my friend Belicia and I went on, the average age of cruisers (not including us) were probably age 55-70. We were definitely the youngest cruisers and people on the boat. Even though most of the cruisers were double our age, it didn’t stop us from having a great time. It actually made our cruise experience better. Bel and I were able to have intellectually stimulating conversations that gave us a new perspective on life, cultures and travels. I felt like I was surrounded by a bunch of loving aunties and uncles that were super chilled and loving life. This bunch of lovely elderlies taught us how to enjoy the life of ‘slowing down’.
Waking Up On My Cozy Bed On The Cruise With This View
The thing I enjoyed the most in this cruise was the breath-taking view of course. We had a huge window from our room that looks out at the stunning view from outside. There were curtains in the room to cover the windows but I slept with them open. In the morning, the first thing that I saw when I opened my eyes was this beautiful emerald coloured sea and bays softly lit by the sunrise behind. I was absolutely enchanted by the beauty unfolded before me and I thought I was still dreaming. The water softly collided with the boat, creating a gentle soundtrack in the background. I could also smell a hint of sea salt, scented from the sea. The moment was glorious. As I rose from my bed, my senses started to grow more aware of all the magnificence happening around me. A deep inhale, alas! ‘It is real, it is happening’ I thought to myself. I then reflected on how marvellous the works of the Creator are and how lucky I am to be able to experience His love for His works. For me, nature is great evidence that there is someone/something greater than all of us here on earth. It is difficult to deny that there isn’t a greater power once I have experienced such marvelousness.
As for now, Happy Jetsetting! ✈
A Tranquil Moment
A Golden Sunrise Complimented By Refreshing Sea Breeze
I Can Never Get Enough Of This View
A Fishing Boat At The Bay
Lok Lok Steamboat (樂樂火鍋)
During my trip in Penang, I got to try a lot of the local foods. Penang cuisine is very diverse because it processes a blend of Indian, Chinese, Peranakan, Malay and Western cuisines. The mixture of cuisines reflect Penang’s image as a multicultural city very well. Most of these local cuisines can be found at road-side stalls, which is also known as ‘hawker food’. They are usually gathered in a cluster, where each stalls sell different type of dishes or cuisine to the neighbouring stall. Hawker food is usually cheaper than eating at indoors restaurant, making it very popular among both locals and tourists. In 2014, it was actually voted one of the top culinary destinations by Lonely Planet. In the photographs above and below, you will notice that there is a variety of food in sticks. These pictures represent a unique Penang-Chinese cuisine call Lok Lok. Lok Lok, in Chinese 樂樂 (which means double joy) derives from the traditional Chinese/ Cantonese hotpot meal, only difference is that the food is served skewered. In a traditional Chinese hotpot meal, the food would normally be cooked in hot boiling water or in a well-seasoned soup. Once cooked, the food would either be picked up by chopsticks or special sieve. However, Lok Lok makes it more convenient for eaters to pick up their food from the pot of hot boiling water. Another difference between Lok Lok and traditional hotpot meal is that Lok Lok’s cooking pot is attached to the eating table.
Be Careful! It’s Hot!
I really enjoy Lok Lok or hotpot meals because it can accommodate people with all types of dietary requirements (apart from the raw diet). The food ranges from seafood and meats to different types of vegetables. After the skewers of food are cooked in the boiling water, the food is usually dipped into a variety of sauces such as satay sauce, chilli sauce and fish sauce. You can tailor it to the taste of your liking, which is also another pro for this type of cuisine. Lok Lok is easy and almost self-serving but there is an element of fun in it as you interact with those you are dining with. There is nothing wrong with eating this alone, but as many Chinese influenced cuisine, this is best enjoyed when one is eating with others. To add to the atmosphere, the prices for Lok Lok are relatively cheap. I ate in a group of four and we stuffed our faces till our heart's content at the price of $50 Malaysian Ringgit in total. (That’s approximately equivalent to $94HKD, £9.80 British Pounds or $12USD)
My Friend Katheleen Enjoying Her First Lok Lok Experience.
Lok Lok Stall Vendor Preparing Food For Customers
How Can One Resist An Unlimited Supply Of Food?!
So where can you find Lok Lok in Penang you asked? I had my first Lok Lok experience in downtown of Georgetown at the Pulau Tikus Hawker Center. The place is open air, so be ready to sweat as you savour every bite of goodness in the never ending heat of Malaysia. Do comment below, would love to hear about your Lok Lok experiences!
Address: Pulau Tikus Hawker Center, Jalan Burma, Pulau Tikus, 10350 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
As for now, Happy Jetsetting! ✈
P.S. Check out my vlog on http://bit.ly/VlogLokLok
Hi Jetsetters, welcome to my blogisphere. I am Esther, your guide for today! I hope you will enjoy this tour of my visual travel diary.
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