Thailand : Phuket

Stay

One thing I failed to note is how cheap it is over in Thailand. You can really afford to stay in comfortable hotels for less money if western comforts are your thing (and they are mine). We stayed at the Grand Mercure in Phuket which sadly was not on the beach or even across from it. But it was walking distance to the beach and the hotel was five star and really nice (with a really good breakfast and daily happy hour) so I couldn’t complain.

It’s also walking distance to a market for shopping, some outdoor casual bars and many restaurants. It’s also not far by foot from one of the popular party streets which I’ll discuss later so it was a good location. phuket2

To Do

There are many touristy things to do beyond the beach. My group and I went to Fantasea, which is like a very mini Disneyworld with a Thai focus. You can ride elephants ( I don’t as I have ethical concerns about the treatment of the elephants), see a cirque de soleil style show (which was cute), shop, dine (the food wasn’t great, so I’d skip that), drink.

You don’t go to Thailand without getting a spa treatment. Specifically a massage. It’s one of their claims to fame as it goes back 100s (maybe 1000s) of years for their culture. So their experts and you can’t walk more than a few feet without passing a massage shop/bar/salon/spa. I like to go for a full experience so I wasn’t going to go into some “round the way” shop for a massage. I want a spa like experience. Sure it cost more but even that is cheaper than what it would be here. I went to the  So Thai Spa upon recommendation from a friend. For under the equivalent of $100, I got a head to toe massage including reflexology foot massage, body scrub, and facial. This was a four hour experience (that actually went quickly) including a tea break. I fell asleep a couple of times and woke up in a panic forgetting where I was (did I get myself Taken, my dad has no special set of skills so it would have been a wrap for me). It was an overall great experience and worth the money.phuket 1

It’s worth your time to do an excursion while in Phuket, my group and I did a Phi Phi islands tour where we went to the island where Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Beach was shot It is pretty secluded except for a few campers but a nice beach (outside of some biting fish which I was lucky enough to avoid as I raced onto shore from the boat instead of lingering in the water, others weren’t so lucky and got bit).

We also checked out a few other secluded islands including a place called Monkey Island (actually just a beach where monkeys lived, not sure if humans did too). Sounded like a mini Planet of the Apes to me so I stayed on the boat. We also had an opportunity to find Dory and go snorkeling but I got a serious case of sea sickness and skipped that part (taking a speedboat in choppy waters for an hour does cruel things to the stomach so be warned, skip this excursion if you have a week stomach and the weather isn’t great). phuket4phuket5

Nightlife

Phuket is kind of a party place so there are a lot of nightlife options. One of the more popular party locations are on Bangla St which houses a lot of clubs. It’s a bit seedy for my taste so not sure I’d recommend it. There are regular clubs to get “turnt up” at but there are also a bunch of girls in pasties dancing on tables and with poles type places. I don’t like partying in that type of element but to each their own. There are classier options and I’d recommend doing an online search prior to going to check out other options if big clubs and seedy nightlife isn’t your thing.

Noteworthy

Again, like Bangkok, diversity isn’t their thing so seeing a group of black people was still a shock for many. We got a few insensitive comments from passersbys (from someone shouting “Obama” when they saw us to asking us if our hair was a “sew in”- ugh, who let the secret out about hair weaves and black women? Now everyone thinks all black women don’t have any hair, one woman refused to believe that the hair on our heads was our own (and it was thank you) and thought we were joking). People also assumed we were South African. Again not sure why so specific to that country.

Up next…Malaysia.

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Thailand: Bangkok

Soo I recently returned from a trip to Thailand and Malaysia. It was my first time in Asia so I was looking forward to experiencing a totally new culture.

In my first post on my trip, I talk about Bangkok.

Plane Ride

It  was a long journey. This is not a place you visit for a long weekend. The flight from D.C. to Dubai was about 13 hours. Then from Dubai to Thailand was another 6 hours. I’m not much of a sleep on the plane kind of gal so and if you are like me this journey is not for the faint of heart.

I flew with Emirates airline and I’d give them five stars for the coach experience. One day I’d love to do business or first class with their reclining all the way back chairs and sleep space, showers and bar. However, coach was pleasant enough They had a lot of current tv and movies to keep me occupied when my eyes were too weak to read. They also kept us well fed and limitless liquor.

Hotel

Once I kissed the airport floors upon arrival (ok I didn’t do that, gross). My group took a shuttle to our hotel. Le Fenix Sukhumvit is a 3-4 star hotel located near a lot of resturants and bars as well as walking distance from the metro. Our stay included free breakfast which was pretty good for western standards (although they also had eastern fare).bangkok1

To See/Do

Overall, when in Thailand, get your eat on. The food is spicy so be warned but it’s great for your digestion and metabolism! It’s worth it though, as the food is flavorful. If the spices aren’t good for you, there are other less spicy dishes and you can ask them to make a dish less spicy. I made the mistake of asking for a dish to be made the regular Thai way, sure I could handle it.bangkok3

I couldn’t handle it.

Ok, so beyond eating, Thailand is great for shopping. Things are way cheaper there. In part because there’s a strong knock-off game going on there so be sure to check the quality of your goods. Also a lot of brands are made in Thailand so the selling prices is lower too (as long as it’s not a fake). Also, if you are into beauty and skincare, it’s a mecca for that as well as a lot of Korean and Japanese brands are featured there. I had a party with that and will do a post on that later.

Shopping is an event. The malls are huge. I went to MBK for shopping and it has a whole level just for eating. The food courts are on a whole new level compared to food courts in American Malls. Don’t scoff at dining in a mall food court in Bangkok. It is a foodie event with an overwhelmingly high amount of choices. I’d suggest checking out the Weekend Market as well.

I also did the regular tour thing. Mainly checking out the many buddisht temples. I went via Your Thai Guide who were excellent hosts. A note, on visiting temples, women should wear below the knee pants or skirts and keep shoulders covered. It was hot so this wasn’t fun but that is the respectful attire for visiting theses sites. During the tour I checked out the Grand Palace, the megasized Reclining Budda and the Golden Buddabangkok4

Nightlife

There is plenty of nightlife in Bangkok and you can stay up late partying (just don’t get a face tatoo like in Hangover Three, sadly I didn’t get to visit that hotel rooftop but I heard the drink prices were insane especially compared to the more economical rest of the trip).

However, if anything, check out a rooftop while over there, the views are great. But there is nightlife for all the different vibes: hip hop, live bands, jazz, large mega clubs. Thailand isn’t yet on yelp but check out tripadvisor for ideas of good nightlife.IMG_20160527_233757

Noteworthy

Getting around was pretty simple there. Taking the metro was easy enough and the people who work there are friendly and will point you to the right way. If you get a cab, it’s best and safest to get one from a hotel and make sure it’s metered. There is also Uber over there. As with anything be smart. I only did Uber when there were a few of us, never alone.

Ok, I have to get this out. Thailand is not a diverse place. So if you are a brown person you are going to stand out. The people I was with and I got many stares and those in the group with braids got a lot of stares and requests to touch their hair. However, there were a lot of Asian tourist who were not used to seeing black people and they took seeing us as a photo opportunity. It almost got to paparazzi level. I didn’t appriciate it but I knew why. I hope one day enough black people, especially black americans, get the opportunity to travel abroad and to less popular choices in our community like Asia.

Next up…Phuket

Beauty Haul: ColourPOP lips and eyes

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I am doing another beauty haul post. This time on some recent colourpop items. If you don’t know about this beauty  line, you need to. High quality products for cheap prices. So here is what I got:

Lips:

Lip Primer- Great as a base on lips from drying mattes and helps prevent feathering

primer

Frick n Frack ultra satin lip. Feels almost like the mattes. Strong color and long lasting even after eating. grunge

Ellarie lippie stix- matte. Love this color. Not as matte as the ultra mattes but still pretty good. ellarie

Grunge lippie stix- Matte. Great every day color. Also not really matte or drying

frick n frack

Eyes

Super Shock eye shadows- they all fill smooth and creamy. The colors are super rich but they will wear down quickly as it’s not all that much in the little tubs as you might think. But for about $5 a pop, it’s worth it.

Weenie – Beautiful sparkly color, unfortunate name

Porter- Rich maroon

Mooning- Deep brown

Mittins- Almost a purple with a bit of sparkle

Here are the swatches in order from right to left

eyeshadows

Already eyeing my next colourpop purchases but I’ll wait until I return. In the meantime going to try to perfect a smoky eye look with my goods!

 

I was nominated

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A big thank you to the blog Beauty and Cherries for nominating me for a Liebster Award!

The Liebster award is to welcome new bloggers into the exciting blogosphere, and let the community discover new blogs and meet new bloggers. It is generally given to blogs/bloggers who are new, and have less than 1,000 followers.

liebster-award

RULES FOR THE LIEBSTER AWARD:
•    Thank the blog(s) that nominated you on a post in your blog.
•    Answer the questions asked by the blog that nominated you.
•    Nominate 5-10 other new bloggers.
•    Create 10 new questions for the nominees to answer.
•    Notify all nominees via social media.

Liebster Award Questions ****

  1. Why did you start blogging? To express ideas/tips/experiences that I thought would be helpful and relate to my fiction novels (one currently out on Amazon)
  2. Name 1 beauty product you can’t live without. Mascara- a good one can change your life!
  3. What’s your most favorite place? Beach- Negril, Jamaica
  4. What’s your favorite blog post and why? Really, anything about traveling, which is my passion
  5. What’s motivates you to continue blogging? New ideas and experiences
  6. If you can change 1 part of your body – what is it? Sigh, would love flat abs
  7. Name someone/something in your life that makes you happy everyday. Being in good health!
  8. What’s your holy grail product? SPF!
  9. What do you do to relieve stress? Watch a comedy (still love Golden Girls)
  10. What’s your ultimate goal for this year? Love!

My nominees

  1. Music is my Religion
  2. Bountiful Curls
  3. Beauty Books and Blogging
  4. Love from Jess XO
  5. Le Wendy Blog

My questions to the nominees?

  1. Why blog?
  2. If you had writing music, what would be one of your top songs on your playlist?
  3. Favorite place or time to blog?
  4. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
  5. If you could do anything for a living, what would you do?
  6. Besides blogging, do you have any other passions, and what are they?
  7. Favorite meal/food?
  8. Favorite drink (alcoholic or non alcoholic)?
  9. What’s your spirit animal?
  10. Celebrity crush?