Thursday, 16 August 2018

Deluxe Lake Louise & Moraine Lake Tour By Discover Banff Tours

You may have seen my pictures for this particular tour ages ago but I just had time to pen down my experience. *Typical Farah* I went to this tour; Deluxe Lake Louise & Moraine Lake Tour 3 months ago, courtesy of Discover Banff Tours. Thank you Discover Banff Tours for the opportunity! :)

As you can seen from the title and the tour name, I had a chance to visit Lake Louise & Moraine Lake for the umpteenth time! This tour was particularly special as it was an evening tour, and a lil bit longer than the usual tour to Lake Louise & Moraine Lake. On top of that, an early dinner at the Baker Creek Bistro was a part of the tour as well.

Baker Creek Bistro
Baker Creek Bistro

I didn't get to eat the dinner provided because it was Ramadan. However, I can confidently say that the food smelled and looked so good! I also believe the ambiance of the Baker Creek Bistro will make the dining experience more memorable. It was very warm and cozy that I almost fell asleep while waiting for my tour group to finish off their dinner :)

Castle Mountain
Castle Mountain

We took the scenic Bow Valley Parkway to go to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. It was my first time at the Bow Valley Parkway and as usual, I was so stunned with the surrounding view. Also, the road was fairly empty and quiet compare to the Trans-Canada Highway. Think I saw a caribou or maybe a moose when we were about to reach Baker Creek Bistro.

We were briefed about the Bow Valley Parkway history and were introduced to the name of mountains. It was such an interesting, entertaining, and informative briefing. Couldn't share much here because I don't really remember all the deets but I know I learned a lot!

Tip: If you're heading to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, do use the Bow Valley Parkway for a better road trip experience. The view is to die for. There are few attractions located along the way of Bow Valley Parkway. Additionally, there are also a lot of stops for photo ops. Also, you'll have higher chances to see wildlife here.

Lake Louise

We stopped at the Lake Louise first after the dinner at the Baker Creek Bistro. Surprisingly, there were not many people at the Lake Louise, so that was a happy news, wohooooo! We were given 30 minutes (or was it 45 minutes?) to explore the area. I didn't walk much as I need to save my energy as I had to work that night. Instead, I just sat around and soaking up the view. It was my first time seeing the Lake Louise in this kind of weather and state, so it was an interesting experience.

Tip: Walk along the lakefront for better view and more better photo spots as the jetty (or boardwalk? not sure what you call it) tends to be overcrowded by tourists.

Trail to Rockpile Moraine Lake

We then head out to the Moraine Lake. Honestly, I think Moraine Lake was the highlight of the tour. Well, I can be biased because Moraine Lake might be one of my most favourite lakes in Canada but if you were to ask around, I believe the locals here would recommend Moraine Lake than Lake Louise. That's how special and stunning Moraine Lake is! :)

We were given an hour to explore Moraine Lake just because our guide loves Moraine Lake better. There were not many people here as well, which was a happy news, again! I decided to hike the Rockpile to get the best view of Moraine Lake as I didn't get to do so when I first came here.

Tip: Hike the Rockpile to get the best view of Moraine Lake. Do use the trail to the Rockpile for you own safety. It's a barely 10-minute hike?

Moraine Lake

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It was totally worth the 10 minutes hike! I finally got to see the view of Moraine Lake from the Rockpile viewpoint. You know, like the ones that have always been shared on Facebook or Instagram? lol! This wasn't my first time here but I felt overjoyed and super stoked when I saw the view. Granted, it wasn't the blue Moraine Lake like I have always dreamed of but it was still a magical experience for me. Or maybe because it was my first visit here after almost 10 months? Either way, I was happy! I spent the rest of the time I had here, sitting around and enjoying the view. Also, I took my sweet time to take dozens of pictures so that I can look back at them whenever I miss the view in the future :)

I don't know when will I ever get a chance to visit these two beautiful lakes again, but I'm truly grateful for this opportunity. Again, thank you Discover Banff Tours!

FYI: This trip took place on May 24, 2018. Hence, the snow and not fully thawed lakes.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Why I Haven't Updated Anything About Jeju Island & Why I May Not Update About Jeju Island At All?

I have been receiving a lot of questions about my trip to South Korea (대한민국). And most questions sound more or less like this, "Will you ever finish updating about your trip to South Korea?" or "When will you update about other places than Seoul? How about Busan? How about Jeju?" I honestly don't know how to answer all those questions. I feel like I still want to update about my trip to South Korea walaupun macam dah lapuk but at the same time, I feel it's not relevant anymore. lol!

Anyway, after reading Kak Siti's and Aisya's posts about Jeju Island, I have decided to post something about Jeju Island as well. Instead of talking about how beautiful Jeju Island is, I decided to talk about why I haven't updated anything about Jeju Island and why I may not update about Jeju Island at all.

Honestly, I do not remember much about Jeju Island. It was mainly because I was exhausted when I was in Jeju Island that I just followed wherever my guide brought us. To make things worse, it was raining every day when I was in Jeju Island so I didn't get to see the beautiful Jeju Island and I did not have any beautiful pictures of Jeju Island.

I was truly grateful for the chance of visiting Jeju Island but couldn't help to feel bittersweet about my trip to Jeju Island because of my exhaustion and weather. There was nothing much that I can do about my exhaustion at that point but let me show you how unfortunate the weather was when I was in Jeju Island. I know it was something that I couldn't control of but .....

All these 3 pictures were taken in Seongsan Ilchulbong (성산 일출봉) where my frustration and sadness were on peak.

Farah at Seongsan Ilchulbong 성산 일출봉
Excuse me, where's the blue sky and the peak of Seongsan Ilchulbong?
Seongsan Ilchulbong does not look like this in my imagination, hello?!

Farah at Seongsan Ilchulbong 성산 일출봉
Errrr, yeay I finally arrived at the top of Seongsan Ilchulbong???!!!
Where's the view, again?

Seongsan Ilchulbong 성산 일출봉
Right, the view you asked?! Who am I kidding?
No blue sky, no blue beach or ocean, no view at all T____T

So, kindly refrain yourself from asking about Jeju Island to me, okay? I'm still sad that I didn't get to see the beautiful Jeju Island T__T

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Banff Sunshine Village & Sunshine Meadows For The First Time

I have many pending posts about places in Banff National Park and Yoho National Park that I've been to since the start of this summer. I think I should start with this one. Perlahan-lahanlah kita kayuh ya? :)


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I went to Banff Sunshine Village & Sunshine Meadows (from now on, will be referred as SSV) for the first time on July 28. It was kinda last minute decision. Initially, I planned to go to SSV on July 27 but I had no energy left after exploring 4 other places the day before. So, off I went to SSV in the morning of July 28.

In all honesty, it wasn't the best decision to go to SSV on that July 28. Firstly, I was rushed to go to SSV right after my shift. #sispenat #sismengantuk Secondly, it was quite hazy and hot that day. Thirdly, I wasn't prepare physically and mentally to explore what SSV has to offer that day. Fourthly, I was in a rush as I had to take the 12 pm shuttle back to Banff so that I can catch my sleep as I had to work later that night.

Banff Sunshine Village

However, I decided to go to SSV despite the reasons mentioned above just because of one reason; I had one free sightseeing coupon which expired on July 29. So I thought to myself, "Why not go and check out what Banff Sunshine Village has to offer first? Kalau best, repeat. Kalau tak best, at least you've been there?"

Took the free shuttle from Banff to go there. I think it took about me 20 to 25 minutes to arrive at the base of gondola. Wasn't so sure because I slept in the shuttle and woke up right after the shuttle arrived at the base of gondola. After that, I went to the general office to change my coupon to actual ticket. However, I did line up at the ticket counter before being redirected to the general office and what I can say is, the line was not long at all. There were only 2 people in front of me. So, I guess, 9 AM and maybe earlier is the best time to go to SSV?

Banff Sunshine Village - Gondola

Took a gondola up to the Village and boy, what a long ride. I think it took me about 20 minutes to reach the Village. I was restless for a bit but thank god, the view was mesmerizing. After that, I had to walk for less than 3 minutes to get on the Standish chairlift to go up to the Standish Viewpoint. It was a fairly short ride. It was less than 10 minutes, I think.

I have to say that after riding open air chairlift for few times, I am now less nervous whenever I'm on a chairlift. I think that's quite a feat for me. So, yeay for me? :)

Standish Chairlift

Right after I get off from the Standish Chairlift, I was stunned. I was speechless. My 360-view was a picture-postcard! Honestly, I wasn't expecting the view to be stunning like that. Subhanallah. Subhanallah. Subhanallah. Rasa kerdil sangat-sangat. Took me a solid 5 minutes before I started to walk to Standish Viewpoint.

Walkway to the Standish Viewpoint

It was supposed to be a short walk, 10-minute walk to be exact from the Standish Chairlift to the Standish Viewpoint but I obviously took longer as I was truly mesmerized by the surrounding view. I really had a good time when I was walking to the Standish Viewpoint. It was truly serene and calming, almost magical despite the walkaway was fairly packed by other visitors.

Sunshine Meadows from the Standish Viewpoint


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I thought that would be it but masya Allah, He proved me wrong. Sunshine Meadows appeared in front of my eyes. The Sunshine Meadows as seen from the Standish Viewpoint was easily one of the best views or maybe the best view that I have seen this summer! Allah knew how much in awe I was when I first saw the view. Again, I was utterly speechless. As I mentioned before, it was quite hazy that day. So, few of the mountains were not visibly clear to the naked eyes. I could only imagine how majestic Sunshine Meadows would be if the weather is good and clear with all those mountains as a background.

Hiking Trail at Banff Sunshine Village
There were a lot of pretty and colourful flowers along the hiking trail

I actually went down to the hiking trail to the lakes for a bit but decided to make a U-turn mainly because I was pressed by time as I need to catch the 12 PM shuttle back to the Town of Banff. Other reasons for the U-turn were I forgot to bring bug spray and my legs were still sore from the hiking that I did 2 days before.

Tip: Please bring bug spray whenever you're hiking during summer in Canada. Bear spray is a plus.

As such, I decided to sit around at the Standish Viewpoint for about 45 minutes enjoying the amazing view before going down to the gondola base again. Wanted to stay longer but it was too bright and too hot. The UV index on that day was high as well. So, 45 minutes was my limit.

Banff Sunshine Village - Chairlift

The ride down to the gondola base was filled with my self-reflection about life in general, my numbered days in Canada and my goals. Also, it was filled hope and desire that I'll get another chance to see Sunshine Meadows again, hopefully in fall this year.

At this point, all I can say is my impromptu decision to go to Banff Sunshine Village & Sunshine Meadows might be one of the best impromptu decisions that I have ever made this year. It was easily one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been in Canada and for that, I'm eternally grateful for the chance given to me.
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