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They say the best adventures are spontaneous. On the occasion, of a recent long weekend, I decided to take a leap of faith and travel solo for the first time to Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam. And I must say, it was one of the best trips I have ever had. I learnt that travel is more than the places we see. It’s more about the people we explore it with and the memories we make along the journey. I came to realize that it’s about being fearless to taste the ultimate adventure we seek. In the end, we travel to take a break from the ordinary and understand life and ourselves better. This backpacker’s trip was a great way to step out of my comfort zone and introspect.

Ho Chi Minh City also known as Saigon- is a trending destination for backpackers. The food and accommodation are so cheap. The nightlife in HCMC is also lively and buzzing. Here are the best things to do in HCMC-

Staying in a Hostel

The hostel is the perfect place, which gives a backpacker vibe and where one can easily meet new people. I stayed at Saigon Inn in HCMC district 1- I really loved the location of this Hostel. It was right in the middle of the happening district of the city. Amazing staff and people, great rooftop parties and live music nights plus one free beer every day. On the first day itself, I made new friends in my dorm and later, we explored the city together.

Renting a scooter

HCMC seemed to be filled with far more scooters than cars on the streets. It was fun to watch endless streaming of scooters on the bustling street.  Renting a scooter in HCMC was a thrilling experience in the land of scooters. On the first day, five of us, rented a scooter and set off for our adventurous expedition.

War Remnants MuseumLocated in the District 3 of HCMC, War Remnants Museum is a popular site amongst the travelers. The way the museum conveyed its brutal effects on its own civilian victims in the war was powerful and strong. There were documentaries of US atrocities, photos of children who were exposed to chemicals, infantry military weapons which bring out the harsh reality of the horrific war ‘My Lai Massacre’ conducted between the US and Vietnam.

Cu Chi Tunnels

On the second day, we booked a half day tour in advance to the Cu Chi tunnel through a travel agency called The Sinh Tourist. Cu Chi tunnel is located approximately 70 Kms from Saigon. The 200 km long network of tunnels is a historical remnant of Vietnam’s liberation war. We got the hands-on experience to crawl inside these tunnels. I was quite fascinated by how Vietnamese people managed to live in these narrow secret tunnels during the war.

There is also an outdoor shooting range at Cu Chi. People who were interested could shoot guns like AK-47 and MK-16 with real ammunition. Those of you who know me, you know I wouldn’t miss such an adventurous opportunity. It was such an incredible and hair-raising experience to fire off AK-47 at the target. It was totally worth the price paid for the bullets.

Mekong Delta

On the third day, we booked a half day tour to Mekong Delta with the same travel agency. Mekong Delta is a water world located 86 km away from HCMC. We made stops at several places to gain insight into the rich Viet culture. Navigating through lush green coconut palms, floating veggie markets, Buddhist temples, rice paddy fields, mangroves, I found myself immersed in nature. We also got the chance to see traditional music performance.

Transport (Bus): VND 200,000 (USD 8.76)

Bui Vien Street

Bui Vien Street is a popular street for all the backpackers. This street has everything you need- Cute cafes, several food options for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, rooftop bars, clubs, souvenir shops. This was our go-to street for chilling and dining. At night, this street is full of energy, colorful lights, lively music and good vibes. On the last night, we also did a pub crawl – where we hopped onto different bars & clubs located in Bui Vien. We met interesting people and shared with each other our experiences, and of course, had some drinks with new friends.

 

Wish you guys safe adventures,

xoxo,

 

Who doesn’t love summer? We all know that summer comes with great bursts of spontaneity. A trip to the beach can be the best way to forget our troubles and discover new shores. Thailand, a place with its fascinating culture, people and shining temples. Did I mention the breathtaking white sand beaches, amazing cultural shows, the adventures and the water sports? A few days back, I went to the two main tourist destinations in Thailand- Krabi & Phuket. I came to a conclusion that these two places are too different from each other. Phuket is much more of a tourist hub and is known for water adventure sports and its cultural shows. For those who like to get away from the ordinary busy life, and seek spirituality in a rejuvenating atmosphere within its tropical jungles and limestones, Krabi is the place for you!

What made my trip, a memorable one:

1.  COCONUT WATER BY THE SEASHORE- Sipping natural Thai coconut water by the beach is one of the pleasant experiences that I had in Thailand. Coconut water keeps one away from dehydration in the humid weather of Thailand.

2.   SHOPPING AT AO NANG BEACH- I loved strolling around the colorful street market here, which welcomed me with its chill vibe and warm smiles of the people.  If you really want to experience what the local culture of Thailand, then a street would be one of the perfect places for you!  You’ll find local products here ranging from clothes to boho accessories. And yes, you can also bargain! There are all types of foods from Thai to Indian available here too.

3. ISLAND HOPPING- This was one of the BEST parts of the trip.  I just loved exploring a different range of Islands. And by the looks of it, I can say Thailand is a land of Islands! The islands here are famous for its recreational purposes, relaxation and plunging into new adventures. Phuket is well known for the base for all its Island trips, however, you can visit the same Islands through Krabi as well because Phuket and Krabi are only separated by the distinguished Phang Nga Bay. While I was in Krabi, I took one of the famous 4 Island trips (half day trip)  through a speed boat which included Phranang cave at Railay Beach ( One of the famous beaches in Krabi), Tup Island, Poda Island, Mor Island and Koh Gai (Chicken Island). I was fascinated by the individual beauty of each Island and different forms of limestones.  The islands were beautiful with clear white sand and lush greenery all around me. Those who were interested in snorkeling also got down in the clear water. While I was in Phuket, I took an Island trip to a famous tourist spot, an Island which was named after the featured 1974 James Bond movie “The man with a golden gun”. The world renowned  James Bond Island is especially known for its dramatic limestones set between the tropical forest and turquoise water.  We took a small boat to reach this Island from our ferry.

Discovering new shores at Koh Gai
Railay Beach
Poda Island
James Bond Island

4.  CHILLING BY THE POOL- I stayed at Amari Vogue, Krabi which is located beside the peaceful blue Andaman sea, in the most ultimate beach front setting at Tubkaek Beach, Chilling by the pool was refreshing and the ocean view through tropical paradise slowed down the pace of the time.

5. SUNSET EXPERIENCE AT TUBKAEK BEACH – I loved the feeling of freedom, which I experienced when I was sitting on one the rocks in this ultimate sunset experience at Tubkaek Beach in Krabi, I could feel the tides of the ocean stroking in between of my toes. The sound of waves, crashing on the rocks, helped me to let go of all thoughts and allowed me to appreciate the present.

6. COFFEE BY THE TUBKAEK  BEACH- A perfect beach escape comes with a coffee. There’s nothing like wearing an oversized T-shirt, listening to chic music and sipping on a cappuccino.

7. DINNER BY THE BEACH- What a delightful night it was, just to listen to waves of the ocean and have a delicious dinner with drinks at the open bar restaurant at Amari.

8. DESERT ON MY MIND- What on earth can be more magical than having a dessert with a loved one with a live music band in the backdrop?

9. THE SWING – Swings brings joy to all the ages! There are many swings and hammocks in islands around here. The swing below is located in the area of beautiful paradise Tubkaek Beach, This was my favorite place to go in the early mornings and evenings and reflect on myself.

10. PAMPERING MYSELF WITH SPA- A beach vacation also comes with a pursuit of self-rejuvenating, pampering oneself with luxury and relaxation of a spa.

Source: Breeze Spa at Amari Vogue, Krabi

11. CANOE ADVENTURE-  On our way to James Bond Island, we also got the opportunity for canoeing. This was an unforgettable adventure under the mysterious unseen world of caves and stalactites. 

12. PHUKET FANTASEA – Phuket Fantasea is a cultural theme park, which opens in evening till late night. It is known for its amazing fantasy show which shows the culture, music, magic, and dance put up by theater artists. I could not believe my eyes when I saw an elephant flying!

13. SIMON CABARET PHUKET– An exclusive Ladyboy show. I was really convinced by their makeup and dance.  Also, the high-tech sets, lights and oh boy did I mention their extravagant costumes?

14. EXPLORING THE ISLAND JUNGLE- A wise poet Henry David Thoreau said “Sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from any worldly engagements”. It’s true, that a daily dose of wildness can help maintain health and keep up with high spirits.

Hope, this summer brings you with unforgettable adventures and cherished moments with Family&Friends.

XOXO,

 

As the summer scene at Railay Beach ramps up, likewise the colors trends this season amps up with energy and youthful vibes. This season is all about earthy tones such as orange, beige, green, teal which soothes the senses and connects one with nature.

Today, we see embroidery on everything from bohemian dresses to bomber jackets! From runways to high street brands, it’s everywhere! This trend is my NEW  LOVE. To match my beach state of mind, I’m wearing comfortable yet stylishly versatile embroidered shorts with a shirred orange crop top. These high waist shorts with a frilled hemline are such an effortless casuals for this summer!

I’m literally obsessed with  boho jewellery, which is definitely one of the hottest trends at the moment. To add a dash of free spirit and individual touch to my distinct beach look, I wore boho tiered earrings.

For creating a sun kissed and dewy look, first off I put my sunscreen.  For foundation, I used my Marc Jacobs concrete foundation with a sheer application. This foundation is super long-lasting and lightweight! After that, I applied my Bobbi Brown concealer under my eyes and lightly dabbed on MAC sheer powder over it. I used Too faced chocolate bronzer on my jawline and cheekbones. For soft eyebrows, I used goof proof brow pencil by Benefit. I also used Roller lash for eyelashes by Benefit. I swear this mascara lift my eyes and creates a wide eyed look! On my lips, I’m wearing the shade Cream Sheen Ravishing from MAC to keep it natural and beachy.

Hope this helps you guys to rock that beachy look 😉

Outfit details

High waist embroidered shorts: TEMT, Singapore

Shirred cropped top: TEMT, Singapore

Bohemian Earrings: LOVISA, Singapore

Hat: AO NANG STREET, Thailand

XOXO,

 

 

 

Home is where, love begins and never ends

 Every time I go  back to India, I love the overwhelming feeling of  happiness and amount of warmth that home gives me. It’s as if how much ever far I go, at the end of the day I always want to return to home, to forget all my troubles and be with the people I love the most. In the same way, Ahmedabad, my hometown, it always welcomes me with its warm embrace, no matter how long it has been.

This time during term break , when I went back to home, I felt that the revived city of Ahmedabad is evolving exuberantly with time and at a fast pace. However,  I have always been curious to explore the old city of Ahmedabad- where it all began from. My keen nature lead me to visit the old city. I discovered, The soul of the old city remains timeless, many people who have traditional values,who are accustomed  to the old way of living are still residing in old pols of Ahmedabad which are urban narrow streets where group of people who share same beliefs reside together. The thing that intrigued me the most was that each one of these pols had their own temples, which was a shrine to them. This lead me thinking that, “What holds us together are our shrines, our beliefs and  our philosophy of living”, this is, indeed what makes a home, a beautiful and a sacred place. These streets are best to explore on foot as they are narrow and that way one can look around and observe the way of living. I did too! 

An old soul in the old city

The old city is known for its wealth in architecture, textile houses, museums  and century- old mosques. As I walked through, the narrow street, it was a bustling street scene, mouth watering food stalls were lined up; I would call it a maze market, where people literally had to find their way out. But the best part of the after maze, when you finally discover something unexpected, after all it makes the maze worth it. The crowded way brought me to the one of the beautiful mosques of India, which is The Jama Masjid.

Spiritual moment at Jama Masjid

 As I stepped inside the mosque, the musty smell of ancient walls enveloped me in. I could hear the islamic “Adhan” was played from the Minaret’s loudspeaker at the mosque. This is an announcement for the prayer time for Muslims by Muezzin ( who calls for prayers). In that serene moment, the sun reflected through the Jali ( Lattice screen) forming a prism of yellow amber color on my face ; It was truly a spiritual moment.I believe that one can find their spiritual moment, when you feel as if the universe has started understanding your language, and in that moment everything feels right. And that my friend, is the positive force, a language, that means nothing can stop you to achieve your vision. 

Love,

 

 She turned her cant’s into cans and her dreams into plans 

Singapore! The city of sharp hued skyscrapers and ceaseless contrasts. The city of ambitions and thriving achievers. As I stand here, I feel the yielding power within me, I think about my aspiration to become a successful fashion entrepreneur. Looking at the mesmerising view of the sea adjacent to the cityscape of the central business district- I feel at peace amidst the hustle bustle of the city. The sea always transports me from a mundane to an unusual land, a place where I can reflect, where I can dream, where I can be myself in my own dreamland.

 I immerse myself in the soft breeze, I ask myself, what have I learnt in these past one and a half years of living in Singapore?  As I reflect on myself, I feel as if I am growing stronger each day, mentally and physically. Staying away from home hasn’t been easy at all, but it is preparing me for life- It has made me independent than ever, it has given me the credible opportunity to discover and express my own potential strengths in an efficient way. It has definitely given me the opportunity to explore myself, and to prove myself in the best way possible. Each day is a new beginning, a new experience, a new challenge for me, which makes me closer to my goals in life

I must say, this journey of self-experience isn’t an easy one. I have experienced a lot of ups and downs. But most of all, I have learnt never to give up on my dreams and my goals even when something goes wrong or discourages me, I have gained the ability to be focused throughout and rise up against it all.  And yes, passion does changes everything!

Standing here, I inhale the positive power of confidence to achieve my resolutions and exhale all the fears, so that I can become unstoppable in the pursuit of what sets my soul on fire. I hope you guys, 

OUTFIT DETAILS  

Top: Boutique at Hill Road, Mumbai

Pants: Boutique at Hill Road, Mumbai

Bag: Charles & Keith

Shoes: Charles & Keith

Watch: Michael Kors

Love,