Monday, 29 May 2017

Hotel Review: W, Hong Kong.

A W Hotel has long been on my list of a hotels to test out. I've heard so much about them, and with my love of luxury and all things contemporary and awesome, I was keen to stay at the W Hotel in Hong Kong. Jasiminne is a huge fan of W, so when I suggested it she instantly said yes. The thing is, we didn't want one of those old fashioned luxury Hong Kong hotels, we wanted somewhere fun and unique, and a little bit cool, but still luxurious. And that is exactly what we got at W Hong Kong.

W Hong Kong Hotel Review

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Monday, 22 May 2017

Adventures at Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

Angkor Wat is one of the most famous wonders of the world. It's one of the main reasons people visit Cambodia, and while a lot of people skip the capital city, Phnom Penh, and go straight to Angkor, our Cambodian adventure shows how you can do both all in a short space of time! Angkor really was something special though, and I still have to pinch myself that I was actually there standing inside the temple.



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Friday, 19 May 2017

Visiting Ta Prohm & Angkor Thom, Cambodia.

As well as Angkor Wat, there is also the famous Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones temple to visit in Siem Reap. Clare and I decided to visit this one first, and then save Angkor Wat for our final day. I'm actually really glad we did this, as we found Ta Prohm to be a lot busier and more stressful than Angkor Wat. Despite the hectic feeling at Ta Prohm, it's still well worth visiting, and it's honestly mind-blowing to think it was built nearly a thousand years ago.



Even being British and being used to the common occurrence of seeing buildings that are hundreds of years old in our day-to-day lives, nothing can really prepare you for walking around the temples at Angkor. I think it's the knowledge that they were once lost, buried in the jungle. You walk around and feel as though you're in the middle of a movie set.

We found our lovely Tuk Tuk driver the previous evening when we'd had a disastrous adventure on Pub Street (don't go there, it's touristy crap). He took us back to our hotel for just 3USD, and we liked him so much with his cheeky grin that we used him for our two day trips to Angkor! He picked us up bright and early in the morning around 9am, and we headed over to the ticket booth to buy our pass for the next two days. We got the three day one for $62 (I think!), and then he drove us to Ta Prohm.


Our Tuk Tuk driver warned us about the Korean and mainland Chinese tourist groups, and told us how they come in huge groups and are causing all sorts of issues for the Cambodian tourism industry. Apparently they come in such large groups that the tour leaders can't control them easily, so a lot of rubbish is left behind and they push and shove the other tourists around. We laughed him off and I thought how rude to generalize people like that. 

But then we saw it first hand; and when I was shoved into the side of a wall by one lady, and then when a man slammed into my camera and didn't even apologise, and then when everyone was politely queuing for a photo with the famous Tomb Raider tree, and when it was our turn a woman just ran up and wouldn't let me have a photo as she thought she deserved to skip the queue and have hers first, well...I now agree with our Tuk Tuk driver. Rude. So, so rude. It just made the experience so much more stressful when you're constantly being barged into and pushed around.

Anyway, rude people with no manners aside, we had a wonderful time despite being pushed and shoved around in the 37 degree C heat! We absolutely loved wandering through the temple, finding little rooms with old carvings, rounding a corner and finding yet another crooked tree coming out of a building...ahh, it was just magical. I also had my photo taken with far too many doorways!

The time of day that we went (around 10-11am) was probably the worst time of day for photos as the sun was so high and bright it meant the sky kept blowing out. I'd recommend going first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon/evening to get the best light and less crowds!



After Ta Prohm we wandered back to our Tuk Tuk driver and he then drove us to Angkor Thom. The drive between the two was absolutely beautiful, we drove over an ancient bridge, saw monkeys on the side of the road, and when we finally arrived at Angkor Thom. 



We began at the Terrace of the Elephants, and walked along to Phimeanakas.


On our way from Phimeanakas to Bayon, we stumbled across Baphuon. Again, it was like something out of a movie; an endless stone walkway high off the ground leading you to the temple.



By the time we arrived at Bayon after exploring all of the temples along the way, we were exhausted. It was 37 Degrees Celsius and the humidity was unbearable. The sweat was literally dripping off me, and I had makeup marks on my dress from where I'd tried to blot my forehead out of sheer desperation to get the damp feeling off my skin. We took one look at how huge Bayon was, and decided we'd been beaten, we just couldn't face it.



We were a little disappointed as it looks so incredible, but we'd run out of water, and desperately needed aircon and some lunch. We took a snap, found out Tuk Tuk driver, and made our way back to the hotel.

We spent the rest of the afternoon lazing by the pool at our hotel with our books, sipping on freshly made juices and diving in whenever we needed to cool down. It was bliss and the perfect way to recover from such a busy morning!




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Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Hotel Review: Belmond La Résidence d'Angkor, Siem Reap.

Just a ten minute tuk-tuk from Angkor Wat and the huge temple complexes, the oasis of Belmond La Résidence d'Angkor is a welcome haven away from the hustle and bustle of busy Siem Reap. Before I even left Australia to fly to Cambodia I was spending my days staring wistfully at the swimming pool on my computer screen hoping the beauty of it wasn't just a trick of the photographer. Well, I can tell you straight away...it definitely wasn't.

Swimming pool at Belmond La Résidence d'Angkor Siem Reap in Cambodia

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Monday, 15 May 2017

Exploring Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

We only had one full day to see Phnom Penh, and we managed to see quite a lot - including an evening exploring some of Phnom Penh's best bars! After our epic breakfast at our hotel, Intercontinental Phnom Penh, we started our day early with an emotional visit to the Killing Fields. They're around a 30minute drive outside of the main city area, and well worth visiting at the start of your visit to Phnom Penh to learn more about the Khmer Rouge's genocide in the 1970s.




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Friday, 12 May 2017

Hotel Review: Intercontinental Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Our stay at the five star Intercontinental in Phnom Penh was blissful, and I've been so excited to share it with you guys! The staff we encountered in Cambodia were some of the best and friendliest I have ever experienced, and the hospitality extended to us was just exceptional. Not to mention the incredible rooftop swimming pool complete with Elephant water fountain with *that* sunset as a backdrop...

Intercontinental Phnom Penh Luxury Hotel



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Monday, 8 May 2017

Five Hours Solo in Singapore: Making The Most of a Long Transfer.

With just five hours in Singapore, I wanted to pack in as much as possible, and I'm pretty proud of what I managed to see and do in that time! The reason I had such a short time in Singapore, was that on my way from Perth to Phnom Penh I had a 15 hour transfer in Singapore, but I landed at 11pm at night...so with 8-9 hours of a decent sleep and then a coupla hours to get up and showered and have breakfast etc, I only had five hours left to play with.

Singapore Skyline from Helix Bridge overlooking Marina Bay Sands and the Merlion

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Saturday, 6 May 2017

Lux Life's April 2017.

April was probably my busiest month this year so far, it was such an awesome one though! Here in Australia we had three, four-day weeks because we had two Easter bank holiday weeks, and then the Anzac day week. I made the most of this by heading back to Perth for a week over Easter, and then flying up to Asia for a week in three different counties; Singapore, Cambodia, and Hong Kong. I also had not one, but four visitors from the UK in Australia, with two in Sydney and two in Perth!!



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Thursday, 4 May 2017

Luxury in 48 Hours: Perth, Australia.

I'm a little bit of an expert on Perth, and I've written about it a lot in the past from my numerous visits there. For those who are new around here (*waves*) and don't know already, I did year 11 and 12 of High School in the western suburbs of Perth, so have a fair amount of local knowledge and my love for this isolated little city is very, very strong. I used to go back twice a year to visit, until I started working after Uni and cut it down to once a year.

Last year I made the move back to Australia and spent six weeks in Perth before moving to Sydney, so I went back for a visit over Easter to visit everyone and see my brother and his girlfriend who were visiting from the UK. As I've written so much about my Perth visits before, instead of telling you everything we did like I usually do, I figured I'd write a more useful guide to try and persuade you all to stop there on your way over to the more popular East Coast!

Perth City Skyline in Western Australia

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Monday, 1 May 2017

Flying Virgin Australia's Incredible New Business Class.

I'm gonna throw it straight out there - I think Virgin Australia's new Business Class is better than Emirates Business Class. I know I know, it's a wild statement, especially considering the Emirates business class is regarded as one of the best in the world alongside the likes of Singapore Airlines and Qatar.

I wasn't really sure if this was something you would all want to read about, but after flying on VA's business class twice now, I just had to tell you more about it and how you can upgrade yourself to business for much cheaper than paying for it outright! 

Virgin Australia New Business Class


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