About

About
Na Na is one of the leading digital influencers in Malaysia, with her lifestyle travel blog boasting a loyal audience. Bwincessnana.com was launched her blog in 2009, which she balanced with her studies and later full time job in various e-commerce companies like Zalora and GEMFIVE. Just 26 years old at the time, Na Na decided to quit her job and focus on building her digital career. Fast forward to 2017 and Na Na is wearing multiple hats: digital strategist and influencer, creative director, social media and brand consultant, and most recently entrepreneur. She em bodies the modern chic classy-edgy style, by working with high street fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands, from Adidas , Coach, and Gucci to SK -II, Clinique, Hennessy, Sephora, and NSW Tourism. By focusing on her lifestyle pos tings , Na Na gained unique reputation in blogging industry and was featured on major magazines like E L L E , Female, NuYou and ViVi. In hopes of inspiring others , NaNa is working hard to run an online fashion business meanwhile sharing her passion for fashion, beauty, travels and lifestyle each day with her loyal readers.

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Jaipur has been popularised with the name of Pink City. The pink colour has its own history. Back in 1876, the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria visited India on a tour. Since pink denotes the colour of hospitality, Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur painted the whole city pink to welcome the guests. The tradition has been sincerlt followed by the residents who are now by law, compelled to maintain the pink colour. 

This Pink City is filled with historic attractions, myriad bazaars, temples, palaces, museums and gardens - so there is no shortages of things to see and do here. If you are planning a trip, take a look through our guide for what to prepare, getting there, getting around, and some of the best things to add to your Jaipur itinerary. 

What to prepare before JAI

1. Visa
All tourists need to apply for a visa in advance of travel.  I highly recommend travellers to use e-visa instead as it's not compulsory to get your visa approval at India embassy. Visit the official site,  indianvisaonline.gov.in and fill up the e-visa application. Print out the visa approval email once you receive it and bring it along during the trip. It costs US$82. 
2. Health requirements 
I would suggest you get Typherix vaccination to avoid diarrhea or any food poisoning issue. Tap water is generally unsafe to drink in India. Even if the piped water is deemed safe by government, don't risk parasites and heavy metals. Stick to drinking bottled water wherever you are in India. 
3. Costume 
Karen and I also customize our own lengha and saree in KL before visiting Jaipur. It takes about 3 days to get it done. As most of the traditional clothes require time to be tailor-made, if you buy at the local market, you might not be able to wear them on time. 

Getting to and from JAI 

Karen and I decided to take a connecting flight because it offers the best timing to arrive Jaipur. AirAsia do offer direct flights to Jaipur, but you will be arriving at night. So we actually fly to Chennai first, then take a local airway to Jaipur.

Getting around JAI

The best way for us to get around Jaipur is to hire a private charter car. We made our booking via Klook. There are options which you can hire a driver for about RM150 for 12 hours ride. At some tourist places, you will meet local guides. Hire them if you are interested hearing the history and learning the best spots to take your Instagrammable pictures. They usually charge about RM30-RM50, and don't forget to tip them. Although tipping isn't the norm in Asia, a little gratuity is sometimes expected in India. 
OR
Download Ola app to get your around. 

Attractions in JAI

We spent 4 days in Jaipur to explore the city's most significant landmarks, bazaars, and palaces. 
1. City Palace 
It is smack in the center of the Old City. This huge complex comprised of ornate gates, courtyards, buildings and gardens. It will take about 2 hours to explore and snap pictures as they are plenty of photo ops in and around the palace alone. 
Ticket: INR3000  (if you want to take pic with in this blue printing room, you will have to pay for the highest ticket option) 
 

2. Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds)
Built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, this intricate and fascinating facade of the Palace of the Winds is probably Jaipur's most recognizable building. True to the name it earned, it has five floors that contain 953 windows and screens to provide ventilation. 

3. Jawahar Circle Garden
On our way from the airport, you will see this tall pink structure surrounded by a gamut of trees and lush gardens. The entrance of Jawahar Circle is through the Patrika gate, which has been designed beautifully. It gives you a sneak peek into vibrant culture of Rajasthan as each pillar is dedicated to some or the other part of the state. We were there just to snap a photo of this, so if you are not up for a walk in the park. You may skip this spot. 

3. Jal Mahal
The Jal Mahal was built by Maharaja Madho Signh I at the middle of the Man Sagar Lake to serve as a lodge for his duck hunting parties. Jal in the Indian language means water, hence it is also known as the Water Palace. The palace stands bright with five floors, four of which remain under water. The Jal Mahal is on the way to Amber Fort, hence the best plan to visit is either on the way to Amer or in the evening after Amer. There is no entry fee for this palace as government has declared it as a protected area, which means no access to the palace via boat rides anymore. But you still can take a stroll along the river to take some shots. 

4. Amber Fort
Amer Fort is one of the most well-known and most-visited forts in India. The fort is located about half and hour drive from the city. Due to the hot weather, I would suggest you to take an auto rickshaw for about 700 rupees for a return trip up to the fort. A little history about Amber fort. Amber was once the capital of princely Jaipur state, and the fort the residence of its Rajput rulers. Maharaja Man Singh, who led Mughal Emperor Akbar's army, commenced its construction in 1592 on the remains of an 11th century fort. The fort was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013, as part of the group of six hill fort in Rajasthan. Its architecture is a noteworthy fusion of Rajput (Hindu) and Mughal (Islamic) styles. 
Tickets: INR200


You may also check out this Shila Devi temple along the way to Amber Fort too. 

5. Stepwell - Panna Meena Ka Kund
Don't miss out this symmetrical stepwells, which located near Anokhi Museum (right before entering Amber Fort). During the ancient time, this place was utilized mainly as a water protect pool.

6. Taj Malal 
Taj Mahal, one among the Seven Wonders of the World is an eye candy of Agra city. It has been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO, as it represents the rich Mughal Culture and Mughal architectural style. It was built in 1653 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, to commemorate his beloved Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth. The Taj is a soul filled with love, loss and sorrow. This glorious monument is an example how intensely a man loved his wife that to keep her memories evergreen. The ideal time to visit Taj Mahal is before sunrise or sunset, but Karen and I were staying at Jaipur hence we decided to book a day tour private car instead via Klook instead. 
Tickets: INR1100
 

7. Agra Fort
With Taj Mahal overshadowing it, one can easily forget that Agra has one of the finest Mughal forts in India. Walking through courtyard after courtyard of this palatial red-sandstone and marble fortress, your amazement grows as the scale of what was built here begins to sink in. Agra Fort was constructed in 1565 by Emperor Akhar, and further done by his grandson Shah Jahan. The fort was built mainly as military structure, but Shah Jahan transformed it into a palace, and later became his gilded prison for 8 years after his son Aurangzed seized power in 1658. 
Tickets: INR650

Where to shop

We only went to Johari Bazaar because my dear friend wouldn't want to explore more. Meanwhile some tips to share before you go to any other bazaars in Jaipur:
1. Avoid wearing over-exposed clothing
2. Always bargain, at least 50% 
3. Bring your own tumbler, handkerchief/tissue
4. They don't accept cards so bring cash


Where to eat and drink

 1. Zarpar 
We basically eating Kashimir dishes every day and night. This is one of the restaurants we went when we were in the city. Avoid going for street foods. 

2. Caffé Palladio 
Food was alright, don't expect super fancy brunch food. But they do have a lot of Instagrammable spots and a cute dog. 

3. Bar Palladio
Located across the street of its cafe, Bar Palladio is located inside Narain Niwas Palace hotel. The interior is a series of smaller rooms, each its own wonderland, where hand-painted murals of blue and white flowers provide a fanciful backdrop that is perfect for the gram. 


Majority of people around me have misconceptions about India, some of them even go the extent of convincing me not to go and telling me terrifying stories from the social media. 
Yet Karen and I still decided to go, and we were so glad we made it happen. 

Jaipur has been nothing but amazing. Although there are improvements in terms of the infrastructure and hygiene part, it was overall a very pleasant experience for me. I can't wait to go back again to experience more of its beauty, history, and food.  
Till next time x 
I MADE IT TO JAIPUR!
I MADE IT TO JAIPUR!
I MADE IT TO JAIPUR!

I finally checked list off one of the dreamiest country in the world, Jaipur. Before I share with you guys the full itinerary, I would like to highlight this special resort we stayed at Alila Fort Bishangarh.  Though it's an hour drive from Jaipur, but it is worth the journey. We booked a private airport charter via Klook. We were so glad we made all the travel arrangement including transportation and tours activities booked earlier with Klook, saving up so much time for us. 

Alila Fort Bishangarh is a special place, filled with marble floor, stone walls and 230 years of extensive history. In a region filled with palaces and historic forts, it is the only warrior fort that has been converted into a resort. With the 59 suites, each has a spectacular views of the valley and feature 22 unique layouts. You might get lost trying to figure out the way in the resort. Down the hill from the Fort features courtyard, swimming pool and terraces as well as the gym and Teen Soldiers Play Club.
Room

Entrance.

Walkway

Library.

Rooftop & indoor restaurant, and bar.

Gym.
Pool


 Spa.

 We took a camel ride to visit the villages nearby and did a 1.5 morning hike to Aravali Hill overlooking our resort.  
 

We spent a 3 days 2 nights in Alila before beginning our touristy activities. If you prefer a relaxing holiday kind of person (not those everyday wake up at 7am to checklist all the touristy spots), you will definitely enjoy our itinerary.  
Stay tune for my next post for a full itinerary covering Jaipur city and Taj Mahal.  
x

@NANABWINCESS