Tuesday, 30 June 2015

My Bali Experience

Ever since I had landed on Asian soil, I had been itching to go to Bali. To me it looked like a place that offered more than just another Asian beach holiday. I knew I'd enjoy it, but I didn't expect to fall in love with it quite as much as I did. During this short trip I spent my time between Ubud and Seminyak. This was the perfect balance of spiritual, culture, sophistication and gorgeous beaches (aka my perfect holiday). From Hindu Purification to stylish sunset drinks, Bali could not have been a more ideal city escape. 

I could write an essay about this holiday, so instead I'll sum it up with a photo diary (believe we took enough!), with a quick list of "must's" for whilst you are there. 

Bali blog

Puri Gangga Resort - A little slice of heaven in the jungle

Bali- Ubud and Seminyak


Bali Ubud

Ubub hotel


Bali- Ubud and Seminyak

A cycle through the local rice fields

rice fields

Local bali

Cycled on to the local town of Sebatu 

Sebatu Ubud

Bali yoga

When in Ubud…

Ubud coffee shop

Anomali coffee break (one of many as there are lots of great coffee spots in Ubud)

Ubud crafts

Ubud Market. Fantastic for arts, crafts and jewellery

Bali architecture

Temple Ubud

Gunung Kawi Temple (righ beside our hotel in Udud)

Ubud

Bali guide

Tegalalang rice terrace

Tegalalang Rice Terraces

Hindu ritual

Hindu Purification in Sebatu. Incredible experience!

Bali best of

Seminyak guide

Boutiques in Seminyak

Mexicola Seminyak

Motel Mexicola. Can my house look like this please?

la lucciola seminyak

La Lucciola - Beautiful dinner with an equally beautiful view of Petitenget beach

Seminyak restaurant


Seminyak sunset

That Seminyak sunset

Fat turtle Bali

Breakfast at The Fat Turtle

Swimsuit blue and white

A day at the beach in Vamastyle

Seminyak beach

Bali best beaches

Bali- Ubud and Seminyak

Bali- Ubud and Seminyak

Lunch at Sisterfields. So. Good. 

Potato head

Potato Head Beach Club. It's not just all about the cocktails. Yummm!

Bali- Ubud and Seminyak

Sunset on the beds at Potato Head


Recommended Stay
- The Puri Gangga Resort, Ubud

Activities
- cycle around old villages and rice fields in the Ubud countryside, for a real feel for Bali life without the busy tourism
-Visit Ubud town to wander the intricate streets, markets and art shops
- YOGA! A Cliche, but the ambiance and views make for the most relaxing and rewarding downtime
- Visit a Temple and have a sarong made. There's lots of temples so this will happen more than once
- Immerse yourself in the culture and have a Hindu Purification. Undoubtedly one of my highlights
- Tegalalang Rice Terraces. A tourist haven but definitely worth a look as it's pretty breathtaking!
- Hit the beach! Bali is home to the most beautiful beaches in the world so make the most of it!
- And on that note…Surf. I wish I could surf…but if you do, this cannot be missed in Bali.

Food and Drink 
- My notable spots in Ubud include Three Monkeys, Tatku and Anomali. (I want to try more, but time was scarce!)
- Seminyak has lots of dining options, and again with so little time, I missed a few gems but certainly had my fair share of good spots. I would recommend Motel Mexicola (night life included!), La Lucciola, The Fat Turtle, Sisterfields, Olive and of course, Potato Head Beach Club.

So to anyone planning a trip to Bali, have fun! I hope it pleases you as much as it did me (sooo when can I go back??).

xxx

































Sunday, 17 May 2015

Thailand: 4 Days in Phuket


As I've said before, one of the major benefits of living in HK is the amazing getaways that only take a matter of hours to fly to. As soon as a long weekend arrives, you can bet that pretty much everyone is making the most of that time and jetting off to the paradises that surround us. Unlike the UK, 2 week holidays ain't really a thing, but if i'm honest they aren't really necessary, after all, we do already live in a tropical climate.

Phuket guide

This year, we decided to escape to Thailand for CNY in February, and spent 4 nights in Kamala, Phuket. Now, this was the second time I had been to Phuket so I'd already done the whole island hopping thing...This time was for zoning out (believe me, we needed it!). I guess when people come all the way from Europe to go to Thailand they have a much more backpacker-esque holiday...This is just not the case when you're having a well deserved break from HK and just wanna chill the f*** out. So on that note, if you are looking for a relaxing and refreshing getaway, here's how we done it.

What to Do

Book a resort: If you want complete relaxation, then take advantage of the amazing deals you can get at the luxe resorts in Thailand. I think everyone goes with this idea of stretches of gorgeous empty beaches...good luck finding that! Most are very much developed now, and still by all means stunning, but for your own little bubble of paradise, go to a resort. We opted to stay at a quieter beach of Phuket, Kamala, in the Cape Sienna Resort, and we are so happy we did! Patong is far from relaxing and does not reflect that idyllic Thai beach image you picture in your mind. Great for a party holiday, yes, but not for a luxe break (I've done a girls holiday there and also just had to show Graham Bangla Road, kind of a must see). Cape Sienna did not disappoint! Stunning sea views, gorgeous spacious rooms, an amazing infinity pool and perhaps one of the most romantic dining spots I've ever experienced at the hotels Plum restaurant. So. Heavenly.

Beaches: Yes the beaches are a bit busier than what you might expect, but that's not to say don't go to them! They are busy for a reason. The beach we stayed beside, Kamala, was definitely quieter and was really quite a long stretch of beach. We only took a walk down to it once and if I'm honest there wasn't a whole lot on offer in the way of food or must see's. Nice relaxing day all the same,  but Kamala is definitely more about the resorts. Surin beach, I loved! Still quite a lot of people, but there's a much more hip vibe and better dining options around. And oh maaan that sunset! I have never seen a more beautiful sunset so I can't recommend going to experience that enough. Patong beach...hmm, well that's another story. It's far from relaxing and let's just say it's not my cup of tea and I don't really understand why you would choose to be there when there is MUCH nicer beaches so close by. We also found a little beach by our hotel called Hua beach and there was literally no one there! So, if you are in Kamala it's definitely worth checking out because an empty beach is rare.

Eat: It's no secret that Thailand has incredible food, so eating well is not a difficult task (nor an expensive one!). To me, eating is a HUGE part of my holiday experience (well life experience may be more accurate) so I tend to take my dining choices seriously. Obviously, we ate a Plum, in Cape Sienna, and I really do recommend this if you can get to it easily. The food was gorgeous which was of course important, but it was the outdoor sunken booth with 270° views of nothing but ocean. So. Damn. Romantic. There's so many Thai food options by the beaches and it's kinda hard to differentiate between them, but they make perfect little lunch spots and still offer up delicious Thai food. Another food favourite of mine was visiting Phuket Town and Phuket Weekend Market. In the the town, we went to China Inn for lunch, an old restored building in the town which just oozed charm. The place was filled with Chinese and Thai artefacts and furniture, with a rather quaint outdoor dining area. The menu is Thai, tasty and simple, with a real home cooked taste. Now the weekend market, I don't even know where to begin! This is a foodies paradise. So much street food at insanely cheap prices. It's safe to say I ate way too much here but hey, if there's anywhere to indulge, it's here. There is hundreds of stalls, offering absolutely anything you can think of, and some of the most delicious desserts in existence. We had just had a savoury lunch, so I had a strong craving for sweet, of which I definitely satisfied with the best mango sticky rice, sweet roti (oh my god I still dream about that roti!) and klepon (rice, coconut and palm sugar balls).

Day Trips: As I've said, this particular trip wasn't about island hopping as I've done that before, but I do recommend it if it's your first time. There are many places offering trips to Phi Phi, Maya and James Bond Island so it's incredibly easy to come by. Yes, these places are VERY touristy, but this is because they are bloomin' beautiful! This time, we deiced on a visit to Phuket Town and I am really glad we did. A visit to the town is often overlooked to escape to the islands and beaches, so I do urge you to go and visit as it is beautifully quaint with colourful Sino-Portuguese architecture, many coffee shops, galleries and fantastic little restaurants with lots of culture and history. Oh so very hipster. Just outside of Phuket Town is where the Weekend market is held, and besides from the food here, there is also so much more being sold. I took this opportunity to buy heaps of jewellery, my favourite market stall finds, and there is also lots of other great market finds here.

Thailand

A room with a view!

Travel blogger

Sienna Rocks at Cape Sienna Bikini H&M

Thailand travel blog

We spent A LOT of time here, but can you blame us? Note to self, get that stomach back.

Thailand

Plum at Cape Sienna

Thailand

Plum at Cape Sienna - An unforgettable dining experience ,watching the sun go down over the ocean. Jumpsuit H&M

Thailand

Cape Sienna Wearing a Cotton On Playsuit and H&M hat

Thailand

Sienna Rocks Infinity Pool

Thailand travel guide

Oh Thailand. I could never tire of this ocean view.

Thailand

Kamala- Salty hair and without a care.

Phuket town guide

Phuket Town. In love with the buildings here. Them tiles!! Top Forever 21, Sandals Forever 21, Bag Monki, Shorts Market

 
Thailand travel

Phuket Town wanders.

Thailand

China Inn - Phuket Town

Phuket Market

Phuket Market - Banana stand (too tempted to make an Arrested Development joke)

Thailand Food

Klepon at the weekend market. Please excuse my sweaty frizz look.

Food blog

Sweet Roti's. They look so unassuming, but my god did they taste good!

Thailand

All the sushi! I actually don't eat fish at all but this looks insane.

Thailand

Kamala Beach

Thailand

Surin Beach as the sun begins to set.

Thailand

Surin beach - The sunsets of all sunsets. Just incredible!

In my next travel post I'll be talking about Bali (maybe my new favourite place!). Follow me through Instagram, Bloglovin, or Facebook :)

Thanks,

xx