We planned a family trip to Bangkok to celebrate my sister’s 25th Birthday – although, we ended up celebrating her birthday without her.
Lesson 1: Do not look for your passport a few hours before the flight, have it ready at the point of booking your flight
My sister and brother had misplaced their passports, and only realised 3 hours before our flight from Singapore to Bangkok. I remained positive that they would find their passports and be able to catch the evening flight out, but this never happened. So it was just me, my mum and her partner.
I was convinced that I had been to Bangkok before, but my memory fails me at times and I cannot be 100% certain, I’ll have to ask my dad if he took us there as kids. But either way, I did not get any deja vu moments driving into the city from the airport. So I decided to take in the city with naive, curious eyes. Lesson 2: You always discover something new when you visit a place you’ve been to before Continue reading “3 Day Itinerary in Bangkok”
Many know Bangkok as the foodie and shopper’s paradise of Southeast Asia, with mouth watering Thai street food every meter and the haven for your hearts desire to bargain (not to mention the fake designer goods you can afford).
I almost came with no expectations of doing anything else other than eat and shop – but it turns out, this bustling and chaotic city has a delicate side too.
While there a few temples to visit and impressive buddha statues to admire, there is nothing like the intricate detail and design seen at The Grand Palace.
Since 1782, these palace grounds have been the home for Thailand’s Kings. Whilst the current King resides in Dusit Palace, the Grand Palace is still used for royal and state ceremonies.
The grounds of the palace are made up of several important buildings and ornaments, with some of the more astonishing below.
Six pairs of Guardians surround the palace, all facing the Chapel of the Emerald Buddha, guarding the buddha of any evil.
The Emerald Buddha Continue reading “The Grand Palace – A Cultural Must in Bangkok”
Disclaimer* Be prepared for some adorable pictures, that will have you wanting to squeeze baby elephants
In case you havn’t heard, I had the best trip ever in Sri lanka two months ago, and I am completely smitten with Elephants. After the humbling and magical experience visiting an elephant sanctuary in Cambodia last year, I wanted to use every opportunity abroad to get closer to these gentle giants. So there was no doubt that we were going to see them in Sri Lanka.
I have written a previous post on ethical elephant tourism which I want everyone to familiarise themselves and one of my aims is to make aware the places that truly do great conservation work for elephants versus the ones that call themselves orphanages or conservation park but have no interest in the elephant’s well being.
There are a few wild life parks in Sri lanka, Yala and Udawalawe to name the most popular ones. Yala is more popular for leopards while Udawalawe is an elephant-lover’s paradise. The good thing with most wildlife parks is the freedom given to the animals to roam and do what they please, without too much interruption from us humans. All you do is admire from a slight distance, without petting or getting out of safari jeeps.
The park reaches almost 31,000 hectars, enough space to drive for 2-3hours.
TIP: Do not fall into the trap of getting tickets online and through tours, they bunk the price up extensively! Continue reading “Sri Lankan Safari: Udawalawe National Park”
I first touched foot on Sri Lankan soil about 5 years ago when I visited Colombo with my dad for 3 days. It was everything that I expected it to be, chaotic streets with drowning noise, crowded stores and visible contrast between the rich and poor, I was not a fan.
So much so that I disregarded Sri Lanka as a travel destination, despite the link to my heritage. But sometimes, you need to visit a place twice to recognise it’s beauty – it isn’t always love at first sight.
So when I decided to go back to Sri Lanka, I decided to go back with open eyes and no expectations, I wanted to explore more than the capital. And we did.
It was mesmerising, in case that message didn’t come across in my other post on Ella . I still have so much to write about the amazing safari park at Udawalawe and the south west coast; but today, I go back to the place where it all started,the place that had me dismissing this beautiful country, the capital – Colombo. Continue reading “Sri lanka Series – The Heart of Colombo”
June is approaching, as if! Apparently there are only 20 Friday’s left until Christmas?!
I am honestly dreading the day that I wake up and realise I am 30… So while I am getting older and wiser, I shall share my experiences in hopes that it will help you make the right decisions.
Many of us are fascinated by Elephants, I think they are the most mesmerizing mammals to walk this earth. So it is no surprise that elephant rides are such a big hit for zoo’s and any other tourist “sanctuary/orphanage” etc. Even I fell for the trap 7 years ago when I didn’t know better and went for an elephant ride in Phuket, Thailand.
Continue reading “How to Avoid Supporting Elephant Cruelty”
Ever since I returned from one of the most amazing trips I have had, life has been manic with busy days at work and never ending social events in my diary. On top of that, I’ve really taken my fitness training on another level and got myself a personal trainer, I’ll talk about that journey separately. I have so much to write about Sri Lanka, I have been meaning to do it for awhile. But then the sun has been teasing us here in England, and you know when the sun is out, London is out, especially me.
If you read my last post, I broke down what my trip to Sri lanka really meant to me. Yes it was beautiful, yes it was a girls trip full of adventure and so many laughs, but it made me fall in love with the country and be proud to say I am half Sri Lankan. I had been to Colombo before with my father, a good few years ago. It was a 3 day trip to visit some family which I had never met. But I didn’t see much of the country or even capital, it was a chaotic rush from house to house, and even a last minute wedding. I left Sri Lanka overwhelmed and tired, and I decided, this place isn’t for me. It was only a year ago that I heard my aunties who had visited talk about and seen so many jaw-dropping pictures on instagram that I thought, let me give this place another go. Especially since my grandmother had told us more about our late grandfather, it really was just my mother prying more information out of her.
There were so many times where I just stopped and took the air deep into my lungs, trying to savour every moment and every little thing Sri Lanka had. Ella was probably the most scenic, with the perfectly set tea plantation making up every corner of every hill. Continue reading “Sri Lanka Series – Views from Ella”
The sun has hit London, Summer has arrived! I hope this isn’t it but a sneak peak to what is waiting for us in the next few months…
Despite the beautiful weather, I am still in complete holiday blues mode after one of my best trips yet…. Sri Lanka – The mother land, or father land shall I say. I did a speech about my trip in my toastmaster’s meeting last week which summarised our holiday quite nicely, with a top level 10 day itinerary, in case you are currently planning a perfect getaway. I will of course be following this up with more detailed posts of our adventures in separate posts, but here’s to the first of the series.
80 years, It was 80 years ago that a young man moved from the country side of Sri Lanka with nothing but hope to build a life in a growing city, now known as Singapore.
That man was my grandfather.
Continue reading “Discovering my roots: Sri Lanka”
I ended the year 2017 finally getting to tick off a massive bucket list, visiting the Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This is the majestic and more touristic version of the temples in Bagan, Myanmar but still a must see especially since the ancient building walls are slowly deteriorating and it is such a shame!
Angkor Wat means temple city and when you step foot on it’s ground you understand why this is one of the world’s largest religious artefact. What I hadn’t known was that the Angkor Wat complex was originally a worship house for Hindus and later converted by into a buddhist temple in the late 14th centuries
Another thing I had not known was that Angkor is the name of the city where the temple lies (no, it isn’t in Siem Reap), and prior to the industrial revolution, this was the biggest city in the world. It was also the capital of the Khmer empire in Cambodia. How does a country with such power and wealth succumb to being another poor, third world country visited by many well off tourists? A government that does nothing for it’s people comes to power…
But let me avoid the political rant.
When you walk into the large temple city, it is easy to understand why many are left in awe. To think of the extent of work that went into this architecture thousands of years ago with none of the machinery we have today, leave you speechless. As if the size wasn’t enough to impress, the walls are carved with religious stories of battle, heaven and earth and so much more.
Continue reading “The Iconic Angkor Wat & Cambodian Adventures”
Slovenia, Slovenia… this country has become a more mentioned place amongst travellers then ever before. So with all the hype, I had to go see for myself why everyone loved this place. What is so great? I just don’t get it…..
- The alcohol is too cheap
There’s always that snobbish though telling you that cheap alcohol taste shit. So you should really avoid going to Slovenia to be tempted by great tasting prosecco for only £3.
2.Slovenians don’t actually like Melaina Trump
How dare they not have any love or respect towards the first lady…..
- The unspoilt landscapes are so hard to get too
Continue reading “7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Visit Slovenia This Year”
So it is 2018 already huh? I have started the year off being ill and I mean ILL – flu, tonsillitis, fever the whole package. So I am sorry about the radio silence here and I hope anyone reading this is having better luck.
Spending 3 weeks in Southeast Asia in December and spending Christmas and New Year in my birth country was lovely and I cherished all the family time. I also experienced by far the best day of my life when we travelled to Cambodia. I have a few posts coming up on my trip but I thought my first post of the year should be about the best experience – the elephant sanctuary. Most people know that I love these majestic creatures and in reality my dream job would be to work on elephant conservation, who knows maybe it will still happen one day. But for now, I have to make do with visiting the conservations and donating. In Cambodia, many elephant sanctuaries are found in the less touristy province of Mondulkiri.
How to get there? Take a bus from Phnom Penh (roughly 4.5hours & 10USD) or Siem Reap (roughly 8 hours & 17 USD). We used Rithya Mondulkiri Express, it was really easy to message them on Facebook and make a reservation and the vans were comfortable.
Please pre-warn anyone you are travelling with of the journey. I failed to mention it to my family because they left me in charge of planing our trip agenda. Listen, if you are not going to get involved in the planning, do not complain during the execution. It was a long drive, but every moment of it was worth it because I got to meet the most beautiful elephants: Princess, Sophia, Lucky, Happy and Comvine with their beloved Mr.Tree, the founder of the Mondulkiri project.
Continue reading “A day with the rescued Elephants of Mondulkiri”