Saturday, 20 September 2014

Thalia in Thailand #5: Coconutty in Koh Samui

peach drop hem blouse asos | denim a-line skirt asos (link) | black gladiator sandals h&m | embroidered bag Thai market | sunglasses primark | watch casio via asos 

One thing (among many other equally brilliant things) that Koh Samui had to offer was beautiful blogworthy backgrounds. Seriously though, there was an abundance of 'em. In this very coconutty shoot I found myself standing in front of a shower (yes, for realz..) - the silver ornament is actually a dial that upon turning it leaves you pleasantly drenched. 

The weather in KohSa (as my best friend refers to it) was absolutely stunning - think 33 degrees all day long, sunshine for hours and evenings oh so pleasant that I questioned why I live in North Europe and not some place warmer. Being me and having the serious ASOS addiction that I have meant that obviously I had to attack this warmth with two of my favourite ASOS pieces - this peach drop hem blouse and my wardrobe's most worn item, my denim a line skirt. Unfortunately they no longer sell the blouse but they've got the a-line skirt in a number of different colours. Next on my ever-growing list is the vintage wash version, with the berry acid wash one coming a close second). 

This stunning embroidered bag was bought when shopping at the village in Chiang Mai  I mentioned in my last post. I actually thought it was a makeup bag at first as the handle has been tucked in but I am seriously pleased that it turned out to be a small bag - it's big enough to carry the essentials but small enough to convince me that I don't need to take all of my belongings with me everywhere I go. You'll be seeing this again in my upcoming posts from Koh Samui as I simply could not get enough of it.

Thalia
xxx

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Thalia in Thailand #4: Villages & Temples

As good as the night markets were, we knew we couldn't limit ourselves to only going out at night. We being well and true travel fanatics couldn't stay in the inner city area of Chiang Mai all day, so escaped out to the village of Doi Pui, located in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. Needless to say the journey there consists of an uphill drive, with a number of twists and turns and trees in all directions.
Our tour guide took us for a walk in the village, showing us where the locals live and work. As you can tell the infrastructure is on the basic side, but I can say with complete honesty that this did not bother a single person there. That's one thing I really notice when I go abroad - so many people are grateful with what they have, even if it isn't as much as others. They have such a positive attitude - they are happy for themselves, and that's all you need to be really.
I spotted the cutest young boy in traditional Thai dress and forced my parents to stand under a heart-shaped arrangement of flowers. They've been married for nearly nineteen years. They found my request a tad cheesy.
What's interesting about this Thai dress is that the locals rent them out to visitors for a fee of 50-100 Baht (£1-2ish) so they can get photographs of them in the Thai mountains wearing Thai dress. I personally think it's a great idea - not only does it earn money for the locals in a way that appreciates their culture, the tourists get to experience the culture without having to buy an absolute tonne of heavy things that will never fit in their suitcase or luggage weight quota.
The view from the mountains was outstanding. Nearby you're surrounded by plants of a number of vibrant colours, and in the distance you see the trees that essentially trap you in this beautiful bubble.
Driving down the mountain required a pit stop. We found a cafe along the road selling ice creams and cold drinks but more impressively had one mighty view.
After exploring around Doi Pui we made our way to Wat Phrathad Doi Suthep, quoted to be "the most sacred temple in Northern Thailand". Now I'm not religious in any way, but I still find temples beautiful. We were (somewhat incorrectly) told that the walk to the top was strenuous (borderline impossible) so we grabbed some tickets and took the cable car up to the top. 
And when you reach the top you're not only surrounded by gorgeous golden monuments, you get one hella good view of the city that goes on for miles.

So that's all from me from Chiang Mai - my next stop? Koh Samui. I'll report back soon.

Thalia
xxx

Monday, 8 September 2014

Thalia in Thailand #3: Chiang Mai Night Markets

I personally loved Chiang Mai. It's got a quieter, more chilled vibe than Thailand's capital during the day, but during the night the city comes alive. The night markets sell items from knock-off electronics to stunning scarves, with some delicious street market food thrown somewhere tastefully in the mix.
Thailand in general really surprised me in terms of how beautiful their bags are. To me they seem like the sort of thing the likes of Accessorize base their products on.. before charging £35-40 for them. The key difference is that these are all handmade with so much attention and care and they cost a fraction of that. Authentic and affordable.
I wasn't sure about how safe the earrings were when it comes to hygiene: since living in India, I've always been cautious around jewellery when abroad. I didn't end up picking up any but that didn't stop me staring at hundreds of gorgeous earrings in awe.
The food area of the main night market was completely filled to the brinks with global cuisines smelling delicious all at the same time. They use a coupon system in this area to make it easier for the locals to make transactions and avoid theft. The coupons are bought in bunches and if you've got any leftovers after eating you can exchange them for your money back - that way, you haven't spent too much and the system can work with ease. We absolutely loved the Indian stalls there as well as the banana roti stall - a hot banana roti smothered with honey doesn't sound right, but my oh my it tastes spot on.
Smoothies were essential to stay cool in the 28 degree evenings. I went for pineapple and passionfruit whereas my brother went for the classic strawberry and banana combination.
After enjoying the markets and eating a bit too much food, we took a tuk tuk back to the hotel. I absolutely love tuk tuks - they remind me of riding on rickshaws back when I lived in Delhi. Chiang Mai's drivers are far more chilled than in Bangkok, so fortunately no rides in this city involved terrifying, near-death experiences.
All in all I absolutely adored my (numerous) visits to the night markets in Chiang Mai over the 3-day time period we were in the city. If you were to ever visit I'd take into account these three points:

1. Banana roti's are always something you should say yes to.
2. Bargain like you've never bargained before. Aim to take 50-60% off their original asking price - the term 'tourist tax' springs to mind...
3. Enjoy yourself. Pick up things you couldn't buy anywhere else or really capture the spirit of your trip. But avoid anything too large/heavy. Chances are if you're visiting you're constantly battling with the weight of your baggage. I know this from experience...

Have you ever visited a night market? If so - whereabouts in the world? 

Thalia
xxx

Monday, 1 September 2014

Thalia in Thailand #2: Serious Paisley Vibes

paisley dress new look (teens) | blue embroidered bag Chiang Mai night market (post coming soon!) | green sandals clarks | watch casio via asos | black friendship bracelet cotton on | rose gold rings lovisa | nails unsure (sorry!)

There's something about paisley that screams summer to me. Exotic locations...paisley. They're on the same agenda. Well, they are in my opinion anyway. Grab a pair of strappy sandals and hey! you're good to go. So with this aforementioned opinion of mine in mind I simply had to take advantage of this beautiful £4 bargainous sale purchase I found at New Look earlier this year and truly hit the road. We stayed at a beautiful yoga retreat-like place in Chiang Mai called Tamarind Village, so naturally I had to take advantage of the numerous gorgeous bloggy backgrounds it had to offer and go on a mini photoshoot with Dad. Considering I've been posting outfit photos on here for two and a half years, I still don't really feel comfortable with the whole posing for photos thing and whatnot. I much prefer being behind the scenes. I'm an awkward lil' thing in front of the camera. One who usually dumps a good 90% of the photos taken before selecting the decent bunch. But anyway - despite this, I hope you like the photos. I'll be back with written content that isn't quite so blah soon, as I continue sharing my travels - this time focusing on the stunning city of Chiang Mai. I hope you liked my post all about Bangkok and continue to tune in to the rest of my Thai adventure!

Thalia
xxx

P.S - Happy September! Definitely feeling the impact of starting to move back to reality...

Friday, 29 August 2014

Thalia in Thailand #1: Bewildered in Bangkok

So for a couple days earlier this month, my family and I visited Bangkok and tried to fit as much as we could into a 48-hour visit. Mum, Keir and I flew for seven hours back from Perth and Dad met us from London, having flown for twelve hours. Meeting half way was rather awesome - we'd somehow managed to plan it so Dads's flight from Heathrow was due to arrive a mere ten minutes before ours, however, as his was delayed, our genius plans went to shambles. Fortunately, we managed to have a mini Fairweather family reunion in Suvarnabhumi airport before going to explore the city.

I've got a collection of photos from the two days we were there which I've just put into a photo diary. As we weren't there for that long, our aim was just to see as much as we could; not spending too long in one place. The end result was a lot of rushing, sweating (it was very hot) and adventure. Bangkok was undoubtedly the most fast-paced of our Thai trio, yet was the perfect place to start off our experience. I hope you like the photos!
View from the hotel window | Before catching the Bangkok Skytrain
Before the scariest tuk tuk ride of my life
Steps to the Golden Mount 
One of the many bells placed along the walk to the top
The beautiful view of the city from above
The top of the Golden Mount

I'll be back tomorrow with my next installment of Thalia in Thailand, when we went further north to the beautiful city of Chiang Mai.

Have you ever been to Bangkok? If so - what did you think of it?

Thalia
xxx

P.S the title 'Thalia in Thailand' simply had to be a thing. Having spent the first six months of owning my phone not to autocorrect my name to Thailand, I figured the similarity was too good to miss.