We have visited the island of Koh Chang so many times! it is pretty close to Bangkok, yet feels a million miles from the bustling metropolis. You can get there in a cab, or save money and take a bus. The island is huge and provides travelers with any kind of vacation they need. With bars and nightlife, as well as total seclusion, crystal clear waters, and rigorous waterfall hikes. This place is just perfect.
Completely spoiled and ridiculously pampered. When we got the opportunity to visit the amazing Soneva Kiri Resort on Koh Kood Island in Thailand’s northeast, we could hardly believe our luck. The hotel’s private plane picked us up at Suvarnabhumi Airport and in just over an hour we were landing in paradise.
The hotel is just magical, and Koh Kood is heaven. Our massive villa had its own pool, we were given a own golf buggy to cruise around on, and everything we ate was perfection.
For amazing food, hustle and bustle, old timey vibes, and hipster bars, Chinatown “Yaowarat” in Bangkok, Thailand is the place to go.
For our anniversary, Tyler took me on a staycation to Chinatown where we stated at the Shanghai Mansion Hotel. Appropriate since we met in China more than 10 years ago.
We roamed the streets and found that Soi Nana is the perfect location for a pub crawl with dozens of awesome bars along one short block.
When one lives in a tropical paradise like Thailand, it can be hard not to just go to a beach for a long weekend. Now that we have been here a while, we are starting to explore more of the countryside areas and trying to find places that are popular with Thai local tourists. Kaeng Krachan is a gorgeous dam, reservoir, and national park southwest of Bangkok in the province of Petchaburi. We also visited one of Thailand’s few, ethical elephant and animal sanctuaries Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand.
They Have Failed Us
Recently the expat and foodie community in Bangkok has been really angry with the biggest restaurant delivery service. They are unreliable, always late, orders get cancelled for no reason an hour after they are confirmed. Restaurants and diners are hurting because of their actions.
Below is an evolving list of numbers and website links for all of the restaurants I could find with direct delivery…
We were treated to a magical 3 nights at Soneva Kiri on Koh Kood. The island is just a few hours east of Bangkok but you feel a million miles away. One of our nights there was spent dining at Benz’s restaurant. It was a luxurious and incredible, 8-course meal of seemingly-simple but complex and wonderful Thai food.
Also, click to read more!
Continue reading “Soneva Kiri – Benz’s Restaurant”
Penang Island is incredible. I kind of want to move there. I was recently lucky enough to visit and stay in the city of George Town, the capital of the Malaysian state of Penang. While I was there I met with some artists and took a lot of photos. Check out my first article which was published by Travelicious here!
Continue reading “Penang, Malaysia – Amazing Street Art”
Instead of wasting a whole day of your vacation going to one of Thailand’s islands in the south, you can hail a taxi from Bangkok and be on Koh Samet in just a few hours!
Thanks to Travelista Club for publishing my article about my favourite tiny Thai island. This guide comes with the wisdom of someone who has had way too much vacation time this year and went to Koh Samet 3 times in about 6 months. It is that nice and that easy.
We all want to get paid to share our stories and pictures, it is the ultimate dream. I know that my blog is just a silly, little thing, but I still love sharing information with people. Recently, Writers Agency contacted me to ask me to share some tips with other writers. I have written 5 stories for Writers Agency (Callala, Qingdao, Buddina, Guns in Beijing, and Sydney to Gold Coast Road Trip) and they have all been pretty successful. Each article I write makes me a bit of cash and I like doing it. Click here to read my tips for getting your travel articles read by more people. And if you would like to work for Writers Agency, click this link to see how you can sign up and start getting your work published.
Thai Consonant Classes – High and Mid
Reshaping My Brain
After almost 16 years (give or take a year here or there) in China, speaking Mandarin every day, learning the tones, the characters, the bad words, the Beijing slang, and generally being pretty Chinese, I have had to turn off that part of my brain. Every day, I have to try to silence the little part of me that is desperate to communicate with locals in Chinese. The language I have spent so long trying to figure out is useless now, but my idiot brain is having a hard time realising that, and when English fails, it automatically wants to use the other language it knows to get the point across. I find myself constructing sentences with taxi drivers here in Bangkok, and while all the key vocabulary is in Thai, the conjunctions, articles, particles, and pronouns all slip out in Chinese before I can stop myself.
Just an awesome video Tyler made from our GoPro footage of our most recent trip to Koh Samet. Turn the sound on!
As of February 2019 the Thai Consulate in Vientiane now requires appointments for visa applications. The below information regarding queueing up and just showing up at the embassy is no longer correct, if you arrive without an appointment you will be turned away and could be stuck in Vientiane for several weeks. You may wish to go to an embassy in Penang, Cambodia, Singapore or KL instead. To make an appointment at the Vientiane consulate, check their new website here.
I moved to Thailand! This has been a fantastic adventure and I am not ready to settle into the workforce just yet. I plan to spend my time studying and exploring. In order to do those things, however, I do need a visa. There are people who live in Thailand for years by exiting the country every 30 days and coming back in on a new tourist visa, but that sounds exhausting. Below is my guide to getting a student visa for the Land of Smiles.
Feta Cheese Classes
Bangkok is such a cool, diverse, and fascinating city. It is a place where an expat can easily fill every day with a new experience, from fruit carving to Muay Thai, tattoo schools to photography classes. This city attracts the artistic, the adventurous, and the weirdos, and many of those choose to share their experiences with others.
My friend Carolyn and her lovely family recommended this spot to me as the perfect easy, laid-back holiday destination. Then I remembered that my mum used to take us to Jervis Bay as kids to stay in the caravan park. I soon realised there was so much to offer on the NSW south coast and I just had to share this magical destination. It seems that the more time I spend outside of my beautiful country, the more I appreciate just how lucky I am to be Australian.
The kind people at Tropicalist picked up my article and published it for you to read at this link.
Hospital Visits, A Necessary Evil
Hospitals suck. Over the past 17 years, I have been to every hospital you can name in Beijing for my spine and various other things, ranging from motorcycle accidents to lady business. I wanted to share this guide with you to make the process less intimidating.
This article was picked up by Beijing Kids and published on their website. Thanks, gang!
Qingdao is one of those cities that just feels good as soon as you arrive. It has a vibe, a warmth, a breeziness, a friendliness. The people there are chill compared to the perpetually grumpy Beijingers. Though I do love a grumpy Beijinger, I myself am definitely firmly in that category of human, it is nice to escape the big, mean city sometimes and hit up the coast.
I recently wrote a little travel guide to Qingdao, which gives you lots of helpful travel hints and advice. Forget Qingdao Airport, it is all about the bullet train! It’s almost summer now, and the weather is perfect to see where the beer comes from and drink loads of it on the beach at dusk. Read my article on Travelicious at this link.
Australia’s Pacific Coast is just stunning. I grew up driving up and down it with my mum, and little brother. Listening to a soundtrack of Patsy Cline, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens. We spent every holiday in a caravan park in Arrawarra, we went to the Pet Porpoise Pool in Coffs each time we drove through. We regularly visited friends in Dorrigo and Belingen, and for a few years when I was young, I went to Currumbin Primary School. My brother and I were both born in Sydney, but we were central coast kids at heart. Recently I wrote an article detailing the perfect road trip from Sydney to the Gold Coast and it was published on Tropicalist. Click here to read it, but be warned, it might inspire you to get in the car and start driving.
Last year, I took Tyler to Australia for the second time. Tyler’s favourite book is Moby Dick, and he has a mild whale obsession. I planned a trip the gorgeous Sunshine Coast to visit another friend, see some whales, and just escape Sydney a little bit.
Buddina is a tiny town, full of charm and natural beauty. I wrote about our trip and the awesome people at Tropicalist picked up my article. You can read my guide to visiting this part of Australia here.
A friend of mine recently asked me what I would recommend for a trip To Langkawi in Malaysia. Me, being the overenthusiastic weirdo that I am, I wrote him an email that ended up being more like a novel. I thought I would share it here for others to see.
Our first trip to the Philippines was incredible. We spent 3 weeks on Palawan Island, visiting El Nido, Port Barton, and Puerto Princesa. We loved the people, the beaches, and the country and really wanted to go back. For our second trip to the Philippines, we didn’t have a whole lot of time and we were looking for a vacation which just included lots of swimming, eating, and relaxing. After some online research, we decided on Matabungkay in the Batangas Region.
Beijing’s suburbs provide endless entertainment, even if it is hard to find sometimes.
For Tyler’s birthday last May, I rented a bus to take us and 12 of our friends out to the mountains around Changping to stay in a nongjia hotel and then visit a shooting range to blow stuff up. We had a blast (pun intended) and I wrote a bit of a story/guide to getting out of Beijing for this kind of adventure. Today I learned that Travelicious have published my story!
Biking out to Liyuan Library — one of the world’s most beautiful libraries. Great journey into the deep Beijing countryside. Also, books… Continue reading “Road Trip to Liyuan Library”
No one likes mooncakes. This is a simple fact of life in China. Every year I am gifted several boxes by employers and business associates (jk, I don’t have those). Every year, I re-gift them to my ayi and my mechanic. Every year, I get the distinct feeling that they are going to pass them on to distant relatives. It is the cycle of the mooncake. I am quite certain that—in the history of mooncakes—no one has ever eaten one, ever. Continue reading “DIY Mooncakes – They’re Edible, It’s Lunacy!”