13/06/17

The white sandy beaches of Maldives


Hi guys, finally, I’ve taken the time to sit down and actually write-up a post about the Maldives. I have included the best photos in the previous posts, including our video from the trip, which I’ll be linking to underneath this post, or you can simply click the marked area as usual. So many of you have been asking how the prices are, what to do and where to stay when going to Maldives.

girl at anantara maldives

There are plenty of resorts and hotels scattered all over the Maldives, and you can find amazing properties and white sandy beaches starting from only 3000 baht/100 USD. If you are on a low budget, these are more than good enough as the beaches are amazing anyways. You can also opt for something more expensive and more private like the island resorts. It hurts the wallet, and requires some saving up beforehand, but if you plan it in time, you could get a great deal. We stayed at Anantara Maldives with 3 days at Dhigu and 3 days at Veli, which was just a pontoon boat ride away from each other.

Dhigu is more suited for families, and you can have your very own bungalow on the beach, which is dreamy if you ask me. The bungalows are spacious with your own path, leading you straight to the beach where your very own little seating area is waiting for you under a straw hut. There’s a nice seating area just outside your bungalow too, and a beautiful outside bathroom with a large bathtub in the middle, surrounded with white sand. It’s everything you would imagine a beach paradise to be like. There’s more dining options at Dhigu and the island is much bigger and gives room for activities for the kids too.

Our little pathway to the beach

For the lovers or friends who wants a bit more privacy the over water bungalow at Anantara Veli would be the better option. Kids are not allowed on this island during the evening, which feels quite nice if you want to chill by the pool where it’s nice and quiet. The pool bar at Dhigu has a much better view and more space, but it’s also crowded with people

The overwater bungalow at Anantara Veli

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The Maldives can be quite expensive and it does not really matter if you are staying in a cheap hotel or a private resort. Going on guided tours and snorkeling trips will cost you quite a bit. We went for a 2-hour excursion to look for dolphins, which costed 150 USD pr.person. In this price you get to jump into the water and search for them too. There were also cheaper options where you stay at the boat for around 75 USD pr. Person. If you think about what you get in return, being lost in the Indian sea cruising along the atoll’s of Maldives, WATCHING WILD DOLPHINS, it’s worth it! However, don’t compare it to the prices in Thailand… the difference is enormous.

You can get a nice Thai massage in these little huts. Even if you’re not going for a massage you should come here to chill. The water looks insane here while the sun shines!

Alcohol and food is expensive on the islands… we stayed at the Anantara and you can expect the prices to be the same as back home in Europe. I’m Norwegian and I found the prices in Maldives to be much higher than back home when it came to food. But drinks are somewhat the same. A beer is from 10 USD upwards and drinks and wine usually starts at 15 USD. A good trick is to wait for sunset; the pool bars have a great 2 for 1 happy hour deal and there’s tapas deals all day for snacks in Veli. You can also open a bottle of wine at the pool bar all day for only 45 USD! A decent meal ranges between 25-80 USD, where you can expect to pay 45 USD for a good meal to stay full. These are the dinner prices, but if you book a table at the pool par or during lunch times there’s a different menu and you can have simple dishes for as low as 20-25 USD. There are also buffets for 125 USD with a different theme to every day of the week.

There will be an added 22% in service charge and government taxes on top of anything you do there… SPA’s, massages, food, trips, you name it.

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Chill in the jacuzzi and watch the sunset after your SPA treatment!

Another thing I highly recommend if you go to Anantara Dhigu is their massage. It was the most relaxing experience I’ve ever had at a SPA. The massage rooms are located above the water with a window looking down at the sea… and the staff are just perfect there. Actually, the staff are perfect at the whole hotel without even exaggerating Book your appointment so you finish just in time for sunset. There’s a chilling area overlooking the sunset with sun beds and Jacuzzis and saunas for all the SPA’s guest.

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The breakfast buffet is AMAZING at both the resorts and you’re not going to have space for much after. Definitely get a hotel with breakfast package or even half board options!

Pefect tub in your bathroom/sealed garden at Dhigu.

Maldives is on my list of top destinations that I have visited. It’s so relaxing, so pristine there’s nothing quite like it. The beaches are white and the water is clearer than anything I have seen. No garbage in the sea, no pollution in the sky. We had to stop several times during our trip to gaze at the beautiful scenery reminding ourselves how crazy it was that we were there. There are so many places I’ve yet to see and new that I would love to go to, but Maldives was so special I would love to go again!

The sky is so clear you can see stars on the night sky and the sunset is amazing!!! Don’t belive me? Check it out here.

So to all my fellow travelling souls if you ever have the chance to go to Maldives, take it! You can save up and travel in luxury or you can go the budget route and opt for something cheaper, but whatever you do, GO! We are so lucky to live here in Thailand where a plane ticket costs only around 300 USD / 10000 baht!

Best time to travel is between December to late April. We went at the beginning of April as it was fully booked for the dates we wanted. So make sure you are early out. We were lucky and only encountered one day of rain.

More photos here  here and travel video HERE. <3
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13/02/17

The perfect sunset in Pai


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Who’s this handsome guy…

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Loved chilling by the pool area, the view is perfect overlooking the hills and rice fields.

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Get one of these private villas in the background, you’ll get a clear view of the sunrise in the morning <3

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//Bikini-H&M//Swimmers-Thomas Royall//

couple at sunset at yoma hotel pai

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This photo is taken at Pai Island Hotel a 2 minute walk from Yoma Hotel. Seriously, go there to have a cup of single bean coffee. I had a cappuccino and it was the smoothest one ever.


The first night during our time in Pai we stayed at Yoma Hotel located only 5 minutes away from the city center. The view is stunning and the pool is located in a perfect position to chill and watch the sunrise or just gaze at the beautiful view.  The lighting  is perfect for photos during sundown to catch the flares, amazing! As you can see we totally took advantage of this, oops. I opted for the villa as it had more privacy and a clear view. I also loved the glass balcony doors in the morning. Open the curtains and watch the sunrise over the mist from your bed.  All the rooms have a nice outside area so even if you don’t want to spend the extra, Yoma Hotel is a great choice. It’s also only a 2 minute walk to Pai Island Resort which is picture perfect!

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11/12/16

Exploring Siem Reap and Angkor in only one day


I had a friend from back home visiting me for the past two weeks. I knew she wanted to see something new, as she had been in Thailand a couple of times before. It did not take me long to convince her to come to Cambodia with me. Ah- actually there was no convincing at all! I love how some of my friends are so adventurous and spontaneous! I also quickly managed to get Espen and Tom to join us on the journey too. It was great fun. I had never planned a trip over to Cambodia on my own before. There are loads of tips online already and it’s pretty straight forward. We spent a total of 15USD each to get from Bangkok to Siem Reap. Which I would say is quite affordable.

When crossing the boarder you’ll see loads of casino’s. Thai’s love to come here for a one day trip to gamble as gambling is illegal back home in Thailand.

We started in Bangkok at 6.20 in the morning leaving from Makkasan Railway station. Guys- make sure to emphasize that you want to be taken to the railway station and not the airport link. We even spoke to the driver in Thai and he still took us there. It took a lot of explaining for him to take us to Makkasan as he ended up taking us to the Klong Tan Railway station. (We later found out that the train stopped there too so he wasn’t wrong). Just be on your way to the station early. The train costs 48 baht (free for Thai’s) and takes you to Aranyaprathet or อรัญประเทศ,  not far from the boarder to Poipet. A little insider’s tip is to get on in Hua Lamphong station. The train departs earlier from there but at least there might be a chance that you guys get to sit together. There are no numbered seats and they never sell out so be prepared to have to stand for an hour. Many people get off in the outskirts og Bangkok. So don’t worry. We had the pleasure of sitting with this cute lady and man from Sa Kaeo exchanging life stories.. It was nice. We also later got accompanied with a wonderful lady from Cambodia. I promised to meet her exactly one year from now on the train to come and chill at her place, ha-ha.

Beautiful Angkor Wat reflections

You can take a tuktuk to the boarder for almost nothing, then mini bus, bus or taxi from the boarder to Siem Reap. There will be a free shuttle bus waiting for you at the border. Whatever they advise you, go on a taxi. (48USD) It’s much faster and you don’t have to be bombarded with tuk tuk drivers to take you to the hotel once you touch down in Siem Reap. We took the mini bus as we bumped into another traveller on the road and didn’t want her to have to travel alone. Let’s just say the tuktuk driver in Siem Reap ripped us off!

The temples of Angkor is unreal!

Hahaha our friend photo!

Angkor Wat was beautiful. We went for the sunrise and it was amazing. We hired a tuktuk for the day (i’ll leave his contact on the bottom- this guys service is great, and he will not rip you off) for 25 USD. The TukTuk will pick you up at your hotel at 5am so you have plently of time to find a good spot. A good reminder is to get your tickets to Angkor the day before so you don’t have to line up in the morning. The price is 20USD for a day pass and grants you access to all the temples.

It was so nice to watch the many faces of Bayon, too bad this temple was overly crowded by tourists.

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See what I mean?

It looks like we had the temple for ourselves 55

We only stopped at Bayon temple, Ta Prohm (the temple from Tomb Raider) and Angkor Wat the rest we just cruised by, as we were a bit scarce on time. We spent 7 hours in total exploring the grounds on Angkor and I must honestly admit I wish I had more. Beforehand I was thinking we would be tired after only two. However, the area is huge and there are so many nice photo ops!

#Leapkiss

One of the several insane trees around Ta Prohm.

FoodCeption of some of the amazing food we got to cosume in Cabodia.

We also had time for some chilling in the pub street and I obviously fell in love with their draft beers and prices. 50 cent for a pint hello?! They also have so many good things to eat, Cambodian and Western! We made sure to only fill our stomachs with Khmer food though… although we did stop for one of the best gelatos I’ve ever tasted! Make sure to visit Gelato lab if you go there!

girl pub street siem reap cambodia

We stayed at Villa OK 1, which had a great vibe and location. The staff was nice too. We paid around 400 baht each for a private room with six beds so it could have been even lower if we went more people. There are loads of cheaper accommodations but we wanted to pick something we were sure was going to work out. It had so many great review.

A n g k o r W a t you beauty!

To make the most of our time we decided to stay in Siem reap until the afternoon. So we had to take a taxi all the way back to Bangkok. It was all a breeze. 48 USD to the boarded in Poipet and then 58 USD from Poipet to our place in Bangkok. Divide that by four and you can say we paid 29 USD to get back home. That’s still a bargain! Obviously, it would save a lot more time to fly, but the prices was so high now as this trip was spontaneous. That being said I quite enjoyed the feeling of this trip and it was so cool to ride the train through Thailand. It was painful to sleep but hey- it was an experience. I definitely think I would do it again.

Contact for TukTuk and other Services:

Sithel Lim

e-mail sithellem84@gmail.com

Ok then- I hope I set a spark to your wanderlust fuse now. See ya later! <3

 

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16/11/16

Staycation at the SO Sofitel Bangkok


I had the pleasure of staying at the So Sofitel Bangkok. It was an amazing experience from beginning to to end. I can’t emphasize enough how much I love the way Sofitel makes every visit an experience, better yet an adventure. It always starts off walking into a lobby with a concept you’ve never seen before, with a signature welcome drink- most of the time it’s something you’ve never tasted before or just a whole new way of drinking something you already know.

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Love how they have played with the shadows here. They spend time of every little detail.

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Check out this amazing view! Who knew Bangkok could look so green?

We stayed at the wood element room on 17th floor overlooking Lumpini park, which is one of the most popular elements in the hotel next to metal.  The high-rise property blends a mosaic of materials that give a contemporary high-tech look while at the same time appearing accessible and inviting. It’s architecture was designed by Smith Obayawat a leading figure in the association of Siamese Architects. As creative as the architecture is the interior design, SO Sofitel Bangkok offeres themed accommodation created around the five elements inspired by Lumpini Park. Water, Earth, Wood, Metal and Fire. Every element has a unique style and layout, and are all designed by five different Thai designers- making every stay at the SO Sofitel a new experience.

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Wood Element- SO Cosy.

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Soft beds that makes you want to stay in bed all day!

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Earth element, I like how every room is different.

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Art exhibition showcasing the five elements- fire, water, earth, metal and wood.

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The winner of the art contest. How can a student make something like this? amazing.

Walking around the hotel you will see art everywhere- every corner, roof and floors are covered with something to fit the current theme of the hotel. There is also annually art exhibitions, this year they held a competition and let students from Bangkok compete for the top three to have their art shown at the hotel.

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Every type of yoghurt you can dream of!

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The world kitchen and the big Red Oven- hence the name of the restaurant.

Living in Bangkok and being a breakfast person, I have tried many breakfast buffets around the city, but had to try the breakfast at the Red Oven. If you have ever stayed at a SO Sofitel or even Sofitel hotel you know you are in for a nice breakfast. However, there is something extra with the Red Oven. The beautiful fire element and red interior plays a big part in making it a nice experience, but the selection of food is just amazing. I understand why it’s also called the world kitchen. You have all the usual stuff, but better quality. Then you have ice creams, all sorts of energizing drinks and snacks, not only seasonal fruits from Thailand but from all over the world, yummy pastries (I never eat pastries/desserts from breakfast buffets). Moreover, the cheese selection? On point! It’s one of those buffets you never want to leave, so make sure you wake up early.

girl sofitel so bangkok

I loved my staycation at the SO Sofitel, even if I was in my own hometown I really felt like I was far away on a holiday. They have everything you need at the hotel.  A chocolate bar in the lobby with an all you can eat chocolate buffet after lunch time, there’s different restaurants and bars to choose from, an amazing infinity pool overlooking the city, the best SPA in Bangkok, a roof top bar with a killer skyline view… Just walking around the hotel and exploring is an adventure on its own.

girl mixxo bar so sofitel bangkok

I’ll be here every Monday for some Mojito madness.

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This is where the pool party is held, overlooking Bangkok city.

Talking about the crazy pool venue and sun deck SO Sofitel Bangkok hosts a pool party at the end of every month. I’ve been there a couple of times and it’s so much fun! Another new thing that I’ve learned is that every Monday there is a Mojito madness going on at MIXO bar. There’s an all you can drink Mojitos from 7-9pm. They are super delicious… I tried them all…

girl wearing red at skybar bangkok

View from Park Society at night. Perfect for some romantic late night drinks.

Thanks to Sofitel for hosting me at the SO Sofitel Bangkok!

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23/10/16

Reflections after my detox and stay at the LifeCo Phuket


I obtained some great results staying at the LifeCo. Not only did I feel healthier and more relaxed but I actually lost a couple of kilos as well. I’m well aware that a detox isn’t all about losing weight, but for me this was a good motivational factor to keep me going. It’s important to have something to keep you going while on a detox, especially if you haven’t done it before. Remember to always have an open mind when trying it- scepticism before visiting is normal and of course allowed, but don’t let it define you. Take it seriously for the period of stay. It’s not easy.

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Loved the balcony view…

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As I mentioned earlier I like the way LifeCo has built their premises and programs- they have everything you need on site, nutrition, activities (mandala painting, lifestyle lectures, yoga, meditation, sonic therapy, steam room, infrared saunas, massages, beach walks, food courses, excursions to markets ++), motivational staff, doctors, colon cleansing, library, IV treatments, bikes to get around the area. There isn’t many outside factors that are going to disturb you while you’re trying to focus on cleansing your body. You really don’t have to leave the LifeCo center at all to achieve great results.
girl walking detox lifeco phuket

There is plenty of programs you can take part of, daily, weekly or even monthly. Some people stay here for months. I think this is a great solution if you’re trying to get away from bad habits that you may have at home (drugs, alcohol, even sugar addiction!) You can discover your health and beauty for a day (for only 1600 baht) or you can stay there on a full detox program, (all inclusive, 405 EUR). The daily program is a taste of what the detox is about, you choose either health or beauty, one including Juice and a raw vegan meal + massage and the other a SAF-Raw meal and facial treatment. Both gives you access to the pool, sauna & steam room and live blood analysis & body composition. We went for the all-inclusive and stayed for 5 days. You can choose between a Master Detox, Green Juice Detox, Green Salad Detox, Ketogenic diet for cancer patients, low-calorie diet and anti-aging programs and Diabetes regulation programs. They have something that fits everyone- I would say it’s better to choose something after talking to the experts, unless you have a clear goal.

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The last day we got to try out the low calorie program- here having some cottage cheese wrapped in beetroot with parsley dressing and probiotics and vitamins. It was nice to finally get to chew one something.

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This raw salad tasted amazing- served with a Thai sesame dressing. I can’t believe it’s all healthy!

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Cheese cake made out of coconut meat and coloured by butterfly peas. Surprisingly satisfying.

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There’s pools everywhere around the facility.

The master detox regime (which is the fastest and recommended way to cleanse your body) included 5 daily vegetable juices + some fruit juice and bentonite clay. The rest was wheatgrass shots, lemon juice and Himalayan salt water. If you do crave something warm there is unlimited herbal tea and vegetable soup. But nothing to chew on as we want to relax our digestive system.

girl detox lifeco phuket with green juice

I wasn’t a big fan of having all my juices all the time… but you need to finish them all otherwise you will get hungry. I really like that the staff is so passionate about this- explaining to you why you need to have your drink, but also making sure you drink it. The area is not too big so they always know where you are, chilling the pool, having a yoga session, hanging out in your room- your drinks will be served in time.

girl detox lifeco phuket

I wasn’t a big fan of having all my juices all the time… but you need to otherwise you will get hungry and lethargic. I really like that the staff is so passionate about this- explaining to you why you need to have your drink, but also making sure you drink it. They will find you- either that be chilling by the pool, having a yoga session, hanging out in your room… your drinks will be served on time.

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I think everyone should go for a detox once in a while or even once in their lives to cleanse their body from toxins from their daily life either that be food, chemicals, stress or a negative mind- or simply because you have an unhealthy lifestyle and need someone to guide you to a better path. The low-calorie diet has nice raw food and salads that could definitely help you lose some- or if you stay for a longer period many kilos. There are mostly people from 35+ that visit this center, you might need it more the older you get, but I would say it’s suitable for people from 25 and onwards aswell. I like the message the project manager and nutrition expert told me, that my body is the most precious and expensive thing I have, why would I fuel it with junk and toxins? Why not give it the best of the best- and always take care of it. Because you’re going to live in that body forever.

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What’s special with this place is the people. They believe in what they do. They live and breathe for what they do. When you talk to them you get a genuine feeling that they want to help you and guide you to a better lifestyle. They emphasize on the life after the stay so you don’t bounce back unprepared to the life you had before. Staying at the LifeCo is a life lesson…

 

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