Yoho and Radium


On my birthday, I wanted to see the sunrise, so we started driving in the total darkness.



Weather did not cooperate; since it was so cloudy there really was no sunrise.


But we did get to check one thing off my list…


Canoeing at Emerald Lake was $60 CAD (as of Sept 2017), muchhhh cheaper than Lake Louise which charged $105 CAD (per hour).




I loved the color of this lake – so much more than all the other lakes we saw on this trip. It was also less touristy and not as crowded.










After hitting up Takakkaw Falls, we decided we still had time to go to Radium…



Dinner at Old Salzburg Restaurant – Austrian food which means schnitzel, spatzel, strudel!


It was around $6 CAD to get into the Radium Hot Springs.


It was pretty awesome soaking in a hot pool while staring off into the mountains.

On this Canadian Rockies trip, we checked off a lot of things on our bucket list! The next time we come back (and I hope we do), I want to:

  • Finally get to Maligne Lake
  • Hike to Lake O’Hara
  • See the Northern Lights
  • See more sunrises and sunsets!

Banff Lakes: Louise, Agnes, Vermilion

We started our hike from Lake Louise. It started snowing in the middle of the hike and at one point, hailing!


The snow made for interesting pictures though.


Mirror Lake



Went into Lake Agnes Tea House to sit out the hail – apparently everyone else had the same idea. It was crowded, dark (no electricity), but we somehow got seats. Cash only! They take CAD and USD but will only give change back in CAD.




Lake Agnes after the storm.

After the hike, we drove to Vermilion Lakes for sunset.


Vermilion Lakes are a series of 3 lakes – we drove from one to another to check out the best spot for photographing the sunset. Honestly, all 3 were spectacular. We decided on the last lake since we didn’t want to risk not being able to park and miss the short window.


The colors shifted right in front of our eyes. One of the most stunning sunsets I’ve ever seen.

Again, we camped out at Tunnel Mountain Village 1 Campground (highly recommended).

Banff in September: Moraine Lake, Larch Valley & Sentinel Pass


For my birthday last year, I decided to check out the Canadian Rockies. We stayed in Calgary the first night. The drive from Calgary to Banff was only 1.5 hours. I liked Calgary a lot – there were a lot of hip restaurants and bars, and outdoor art installations (free interactive musical see-saws!) at the Riverwalk.



First thing we did after arriving in Banff: went on a boat and cruised around Lake Minnewanka. Then we walked around the town of Banff. I was unprepared for the cold weather in September, which gave me an excuse to buy a new down jacket (love shopping in Canada, feels like a bargain with the Canadian dollar: 1USD=1.3CAD).


Lunch at Park Distillery – pretty good meal and extremely friendly service. Highly recommended.


Did the touristy gondola thing.


This view though.

We camped out that night at Tunnel Mountain Village 1 Campground – it was perfect, clean, and I highly recommend it. Much better than Lake Louise Campground which we later on discovered.

Breakfast at The Bison – pretty good bison burger!




We passed by the parking lot leading to Lake Louise and there were long lines of cars outside the entrance waiting to get in. For Moraine Lake, we got lucky. If you wait a bit inside the parking lot, you’ll eventually get a spot – seems like there were fast turnover rates for people visiting the lakes.


Moraine Lake – where you go to start the hike to Larch Valley. September is the perfect time to see the golden larch trees!


Sentinel Pass via Larch Valley



Those larch trees.



Loved the wide open landscape here.


Hiking through Larch Valley was easy, but going up to Sentinel Pass was a little more strenuous. Worth it though.


After this point, turn around and proceed to the top…



Waiting for sunset at Moraine. There was a huge rock pile for people to scramble up. The higher you go, the bluer the lake looks. It was nice to relax here after the hike.

Travelogue: Montreal Part Un (Sept 2015)

I took my mom to Montreal for a few days in September. Our goal was to EAT. Or at least mine was. We took a short morning flight from New York to Montreal and took the cab (fare is around $40 to downtown) to Marché Jean-Talon (Jean-Talon Market) for breakfast.

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Jean-Talon Market is a farmer’s market and has lots of food vendors.

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Montreal (Sept 2015)


Montreal (Sept 2015)

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Montreal (Sept 2015)

The reason why I chose Montreal was because my mom wanted to go somewhere close and I’m a bit of a francophile. Gahh macarons.

Montreal (Sept 2015)

We settled on crepes at Crêperie du Marché. They serve buckwheat gluten-free crepes and have plenty of seating.

We took the metro to our hotel — the metro system was super easy to use! I bought us 3-day unlimited tickets from the airport and we put them to good use. It’s convenient to get around by metro. Plus, there’s usually some art installations near the stations. We also walked a lot.


For dinner, I made a reservation at Le Quartier Général, a tiny and cozy French restaurant that offers affordable (and amazing) prix fixe menus. Soup, appetizer, entree, dessert! BYOB too.

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Something you need to know about dining at French restaurants in Montreal: they write their menu on chalkboards in French and the waiter will come around to tell you about it — the whole process is extremely slow (especially for us New Yorkers) but they really know their stuff!

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Homemade soup… sooooo good.

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Montreal (Sept 2015)

That duck was the reason I came here. We ate duck for every dinner in Montreal but that’s for the next post. This was one of the best.

Montreal (Sept 2015)

Creme brulee, of course.

Montreal (Sept 2015)

The lemon curd was very refreshing.

Definitely make a reservation here since it’s a tiny place and dinner lasts for 2 hours (seriously, at every place we went to).