Part 2 – Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui, Thailand 

After about an hour flight from Bangkok we landed in Koh Samui to begin our 3 night visit, which has to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing airports that I have ever been to.

For this trip we had actually booked via Airbnb an apartment at Replay, which was just a short 10 minute drive from the airport. Walking through the small airport we purchased the ‘limousine’ ride to Replay at one of the transport counters. This was actually a minibus at 200 baht.

Dropping our bags off at the apartment we walked on a rather precariously busy road down to fisherman’s village way where we found a laundry shop. We ended up paying about 160 baht for 4kg of washing, washed, ironed and folded by the next day. 

Having found our first beach in Thailand the view was incredible, it was also nice and peaceful. The water was absolutely crystal clear.

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Bangpor 

We decided to venture towards the north west of the island to Bang Por. The beach again was very relaxing with hardly anyone around. Enjoying yet another pad thai looking out over the beach from one of the many restaurants dotted around was lovely.

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Awaiting the sunrise we found a bar towards the far left of the beach that played reggae music. Sunset (below) was beautiful and worth hanging around for.

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Thai Experience

We found out about the Thai Experience on trip advisor where it was rated so highly we just had to try it for ourselves. This is a unique dining experience where you learn about Thai Culture whilst enjoying thai cuisine. Having booked in advance we were picked up in a minibus where we met some of the others on the trip. We reached the location towards the South-East of the island and were treated to cocktails. We also enjoyed the ice breaker of making a cocktail for the person to the left of you. All night the cocktails were included and free flowing from a choice of three delicious variations.

We learnt so much on the experience including how to order your food on level of spiciness in Thai. Below is a selection of the delicious food served – would recommend working up an appetite as everything is delicious. They are also very adaptive depending on your spice levels – it’s really up to you if you want to crank up the spiciness or not. We also met so many interesting people from Brazil to the US to Finland to Germany. The room is designed with a long dining table making it easy to meet new people. There were 22 people on our experience and Richard running the experience took several photos of our group at the end and kindly posted to facebook. Cannot recommend the experience enough – the plentiful drinks and food and the priceless opportunity to meet a range of people made this so worth it.

 

Fishermans Village Walking Market

I would also recommend the walking street market at Fisherman’s Village that happens every Friday night. Things got quite busy after 7pm. There was so many stands selling food to cosmetics to souvenirs. I would recommend the ribs served outside Squires Loft they are delicious. It did get really busy after 9pm but we really enjoyed the atmosphere.

A great place for drinks near Bophut beach is the Wharf. The atmosphere is really relaxed with bean bags. Although not the cheapest for drinks the view and the atmosphere made it worth it. It was also a great place to watch the sunset.

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Transport

Having come from Bangkok the taxi prices were extortionate, we found we were getting charged 100 baht for a 5 minute journey. 

After a few taxi journeys we ended up using  songthaews, which although were still pricier than transport in Bangkok were easier to get around in. These are basically like pick up trucks with two rows of benches in the back. They do barter with you more than taxi drivers but will also ram the songthaew as physically full and more than it will go.

There are no designated bus stops, it is very much just flagging one down when you see one and ringing a bell when you want it to stop. They also tend to toot their horn when passing travellers to get their attention.

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Koh Samui was a beautiful island to visit and I would definitely stop by again in future. We also went to Chaweng for a few hours to the North East of the island but we didn’t enjoy the busier atmosphere where it had clearly been much more heavily developed to cater for tourists.

Next in my mini series of Thailand Blogs will be Phuket.

Thanks for reading!

Grace

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MAC Lipstick Swatches

Hi all,

Just wanted to share my favourite MAC lipsticks.

MAC – lipsticks retail for £15.50 in the UK. They can be found on the mac website directly, Selfridges MAC counter, Debenhams and House Of Fraser also stock MAC in the UK.

Twig – from the satin range very wearable neutral shade for everyday. Pinky-brown shade that is quite pigmented. I would recommend exfoliating lips first or applying a touch of lip balm.

Trig

Craving – great for those venturing towards the more red toned mac lipsticks. Described my MAC as a burst of plum this is an amplified creme lipstick. It feels quite moisturising on the lips and again has strong pigmentation. One of my go to lip products for a dressed up evening event. Keen to try more amplified MAC lipsticks, which are more pigmented and won’t dry your lips.

Craving

Brave – from the satin range, described by MAC as pink-beige with white pearl. This is a great my lips but better shade. More of a semi-matte finish but does not feel too drying on my lips. Great for everyday where.

Brave

High Tea – this was one of my very first MAC lipsticks from the lustre range. This is in the beige-pink shade. This one gives my lips more of a frosty, shiny finish. This feels very lightweight on the lips and I do find if I do not moisturise my lips first it can apply to dry patches. This is a great nude lipstick that is very wearable.

High Tea

Velvet Teddy – a matte deep-tone beige. Another my lips but better shade for my yellow toned skin. Although this is matte it does not feel drying on my lips and it has great lasting power. This would be great for a wide range of skin tones.

Velvet Teddy

Below are the swatches – from L-R Twig, Craving, Brave, High Tea and Velvet Teddy.

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Next on my MAC lipstick wishlist: Crosswires, Amourous and Ruby Woo.

MAC lipsticks remain my favourite lip products due to the wide range of shades (170 on the MAC website to choose from!) and formulations not to mention its staying power.

My favourite ways to exfoliate my lips are either: lightly brushing over them with a toothbrush or to mix a small amount of sugar and olive oil working into my lips. I would do these either once or twice a week.

So what’s your favourite mac lipstick shade?

Thanks for stopping by!

Grace

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Part 1 – Bangkok, Thailand

Hi there,

Thailand is one of those places that for a long time I always thought would be incredible to visit. Having missed out on not doing a gap year backpacking it definitely appealed to me to visit. So of the first of a mini series of blogs this is my summary/highlights of a 3 night stay in Bangkok.

After a 11h 30min flight from London to Bangkok on Thai Airways (very pink and purple) I was finally in Bangkok. Arriving on a Sunday first things first drop off bags at the hotel (Courtyard by Marriott  Bangkok hotel – conveniently located between the Ratchadamri and Chit Lom  stops on the BTS Skytrain). The hotel also conveniently has a Tuk Tuk that they will take you to Chit Lom (5 minute journey roughly) and if you call them once at Chit Lom they will pick you up to go back to the hotel.

Transport/Food

I would recommend getting a rabbit card (100 baht (useable as credit) plus 50 baht refundable deposit. The Standard Rabbit Cards are valid for 5 years and can be filled with a minimum of 100 baht and up to 4,000 baht). We also travelled around via taxis, from Courtyard Marriott Hotel to Khao San Road in traffic we paid about 120 baht (30-45 minute journey). Just to add the food hall at Siam Paragon shopping centre (just next to the Siam BTS stop) leaves you feeling spoilt for choice. There are restaurants and also a big table seating area where you can grab some food from one of the many booths dotted around the edge. The choices range from Thai to French to Japanese to Korean and so much more. It’s easy to have a full sit down restaurant experience and also to grab something to go.

Chatuchak market

No time for jet lag straight to the market as it is a weekend market at Chatuchak covering 27 acres with over 15,000 booths selling anything and everything from food to clothes to arts and crafts. This is easily reached from Chit Lom by taking the BTS from Chit Lom to Mo Chit (exit 1) from there, there are likely to be fellow crowds heading towards the market. This market was really interesting but definitely need to brush up on my bartering skills!

Grand Palace

The Grand Palace was easily reached by taking the Chaophraya Express Boat (from Saphan Taksin BTS stop) to the Chang Pier (Tha Chang). The boat trip is a really lovely way to see Bangkok and quite relaxing, extremely cost effective too paying once you get on the boat 15 baht each.

Strict dress code as this has some of the most sacred elements in Thailand- no bare shoulders, legs covered up – there is a booth near the entrance where you can hire clothes for a deposit once returned. There is also a 500 baht entrance fee. The architecture and grounds are really quite stunning but it was incredibly busy with big tour groups. I cannot recommend enough to get there early! It opens at 8.30, we got there just before 9 and left a couple of hours later where there was already a large queue waiting to get in.

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Sirocco and Sky Bar

The Sirocco restaurant is on the 63rd floor (I believe this was about 200m high) of the Lebua State tower next to the Sky Bar (famous from featuring in the Hangover 2 movie). Although the restaurant doesn’t open to 6.30pm we got there at 6pm to start enjoying the views from the bar of the sunset. The view is incredible seeing so far out over Bangkok. Our motto we went with was pretty much ‘once in a lifetime’.

Having being seated at our table we were served with impeccable service enjoying a delicious dinner, I also had a delicious gin cocktail. This has to be the most incredible view I have had whilst dining – this redefined rooftop, alfresco dining for me. There was also a live jazz band from 7.30pm and enjoying the sky bar afterwards was a great experience. Although this was a rather more expensive experience in Thailand it was definitely worth it. Following on from the 63rd floor the ocean 52 bar was also visited a few floors down. All in all Lebua state tower did not disappoint.

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Khao San Road

Khao San Road is one of my highlights of Bangkok, well known as a hub for backpackers it had a great feel to it. From bars pumping out music to backpackers hauling their rucksacks through to food being sold on the street the atmosphere was what I anticipated Thailand backpacking to feel like. Pad thai with egg and chicken at 50baht sitting on the side of the road was actually quite delicious. Also had some classic mango sticky rice (so good!).

 

Amongst the highlights above I also visited Don Wai Market (more for local thais – the restaurant on the water was delicious but difficult to order if you didn’t speak/read thai), central world, the siam shopping centres and the patpong night market area. We also visited Maggie Choo Bar just down the road from Lebua State Tower at Novotel Fenix Silom. The bar reflects 1930s Shanghai underground cabaret, although it was very quiet when I was there (still early at 9pm) the cocktails and live jazz music were great.

Top Tips:

Barter but don’t be rude, drink plenty of water but don’t drink tap water, bring sunscreen (it went up to 36 degrees celsius in March), pick up a card at your hotel with the address on in case you need to overcome the language barriers getting back to the hotel.  Also, don’t go crazy on buying loads of liquids prior to heading to Bangkok, we found a boots just near Chit Lom station where we stocked up on sunscreen and insect repellents,there are also Watsons which is similar to Boots all over the place. Most of all Bangkok is a beautiful place so just have fun with it!

Hope you enjoyed reading, please feel free to ask any questions or to let me know your travel experiences of Bangkok.

Grace

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Too Faced Born This Way

Hello!

After hearing all the hype over the Born This Way foundation by Too Faced I finally got my hands on it. Having heard rave reviews about its coverage and lasting power I was tempted to try it (i.e the standard YouTube made me buy it!). This is also my first Too Faced purchase.

The availability for this is limited in the UK. I found a Too Faced counter on the Oxford Street branch of Debenhams. It is just a rather small selection and at the time I went there was no one to help swatch shades for you. This retails for £29 in the UK for a 30ml bottle.

Just to add my skin is typically on the combination to the more dry side with yellow undertones.

So this foundation comes in a range of 18 shades, is oil free and has  coconut water infused which adds a touch of moisture and radiance. It also has hyaluronic acid which helps with smoothing and balancing skin. All these magical touches to create a flawless finish. So how did it live up to expectations?

Firstly the packaging is gorgeous very reminiscent of Giorgio  Armani lasting silk foundation with a pump! I also really liked the pink box packaging. I got this in light beige which is for light to medium complexions with neutral-to-golden undertones.

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This to me is medium to full coverage, buildable without feeling too heavy. One pump goes a long way – initially I applied over my hourglass primer with a damp beauty blender. One extra layer covered pretty much everything and it does look like your skin but better. It definitely hid the redness on my face.

Having set with powder I gave it a whirl for a few days. For me after about 5-6 hours I found it did become slightly patchy around my nose and my t-zone but otherwise it stayed in place. All in all I was quite impressed with this product. Going forwards I would purchase a slightly darker shade to mix in with this one. Definitely keen to try more too faced products after using this though. 

Pros:

Pump Bottle, build able coverage, good range of shades, good lasting power.

Cons:

Not easily available in stores in the UK

Higher end price point

No spf

If you have tried this please let me know how you found it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Grace

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Health binge

Hello!

I like to think I have a relatively healthy diet but I don’t hold myself back from treats. So I have those days where it starts with a chocolate bar which is followed by a packet of crisps and then heck I’ve started the spiral of being bad might as well have that takeaway fish and chips I was craving. We are all human after all and dark chocolate is supposedly good for you!

So April is all about pushing that diet towards the healthy side. Breakfast is all about fruit and fibre, porridge or greek yogurt topped with fruits.

Lunch is a variation of some form of meat and veg depending on what I have in the fridge.

Dinner is all about leaner meats and cutting back on the lasagne, sausage and mash. Instead opting for salmon and rice and edamame beans or sweet potato and Turkey steaks.

Of course this is all followed by a healthy amount of water consumed through the day (great for health and good skin!).

So here’s one of my easy lunch ideas which can also easily be a side dish for dinner as well.

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So all this required was the below:

Couscous – 200g was plenty for four  lunch portions

Vegetable stock

Lemons, spring onions, cucumber, tomatoes, mushrooms, sunflower seeds

Cooked chicken pieces

After leaving the Couscous to soak in the vegetable stock I just quickly cook up the mushrooms and spring onions and add to the Couscous. I then added the other vegetables and sunflower seeds. With a good squeeze of fresh lemons I then just give it a good mix up. Great for packed lunches or for work served with a wedge of lime or lemon. I like to have this with a portion of mixed fruits and a yogurt.

Healthy balanced diet helps keep a healthy mind 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

Grace

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New to blogging

Hi there,

Thanks for stopping by.

Having touched on blogging in the past I decided to give it a real go this time.

Having enjoyed reading both other people’s blogs and watching vlogs it’s an area that I’ve been interested in for a while now.

And at the end of the day why not? Life is all about sharing experiences and thoughts.

So here is my blog site from me to you, from the heart. A place for thoughts on beauty, fashion, health and lifestyle I hope you will enjoy sharing the blogging journey with me.

I can also be found on Instagram as whimsicalgrace2.

Grace

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