Western Australia, you have my heart.

It’s always nice to be back in Perth, no matter how many times I’ve been to this little city. I think of it something like my second home.

I finally made it to this quaint little boat house along Crawley’s Edge and snapped a few photos. Too bad it was nearing winter when I was there, else the skies would’ve been painted more dramatically.

Probably my favorite part of it would be the life that runs through the very center of the city. The Swan River carries your sorrow away.

Perth is the half city, half countryside break I need from Singapore when life gets too hectic or mundane around here. Every time I go to Perth, I get slightly confused and intrigued people asking me… “What did you do in Perth? I hear it’s a boring place! And you always go back.” Well, Singapore can be pretty damn boring to a lot of us locals as well. Sp why do people from faraway European countries still fly halfway across the world to visit our little overpopulated, cramped up city?

Because it’s different. And there is beauty in uniqueness.

In Perth, I do everything and nothing, really. I experience good sleeps, nice weather that isn’t constantly sweltering, long walks in the park, sunsets on the beach, a lot of good food & I caught up with friends & family. Doesn’t sound like an epic adventure to most people, but doesn’t that sound like a jolly good time? To me, it always is. I haven’t been to a whole lot of places in the world yet, but here are the reasons why I somehow keep ending up back in Perth (and Australia).

My mum has a house in Perth. Saving on accommodation is saving the bulk cost of the trip. She also takes me out to nice dinners almost every night! Yay for affordable holidays.

It’s also not too far from Singapore. A 4 hours+ flight is something I can deal with, without getting all claustrophobic on the plane. I really hate plane rides. I used to have a huge phobia, but I had to get over it because my hunger to experience new things was stronger.

I like how it has different seasons to switch things up a bit, yet, they’re not too drastic such that they become overwhelmingly difficult to deal with. I’m not a big fan of snow and I’m quite pleased that Australia doesn’t get near that cold. Their summers aren’t that different from the usual weather in Singapore either (less humid, too!)

My boyfriend’s Australian, and I’m quite familiar with the Aussie lifestyle and accent. I was quite taken aback when I went to the States. I thought I would be comfortable in USA, considering how many American movies I’ve watched (?!?) but I still, I hard a hard time adjusting to the cultural shock. Australia has an extremely diverse ethnicity crowd which makes me feel more at home, or rather.. not so out of place. Racism is less present than in other largely white-dominated-countries. I can walk on the streets at night and still feel quite safe, and I don’t have to be on my guard 100% of the time.

Western Australia truly is beautiful. Australia, on the whole is great… but Western Australia has my heart.

Somebody once asked me if I’m being paid by The Australian Tourism Board to always talk about Australia over the years on my blog, because I’m doing a good job, if that’s so. Hah, I wish! Wouldn’t that be awesome, though? I don’t care to be paid, just whisk me off for new adventures.

The clear blue skies, the pristine beaches and waters…. the vast countryside… it feels so untouched. I mean… I get such a happy high just driving down an expressway admiring how there are no tall buildings in sight, just farms and greenery as far as the eye can see. Coming from a girl who lives in a country that spans 50km at its widest point… do you get what I’m saying?

Do you know I am STILL fascinated by seeing horses & cows on the side of the country road? Maybe I don’t get out of my little urban country barely often enough. But sometimes I pride myself in finding joy in the littlest things.

Never lose that child-like wonder in yourself.

Be grateful for every sunset, every opportunity, marvel at every new sight.

Traveling does not always need to be done in an extravagant way. You do not always need to go to the most extraordinary places on earth to find beauty. Sometimes, the joy of traveling is finding beauty in everyday, extraordinarily normal things. Live a little, breathe a little. I was told that a group of bloggers from China had recently gone to Perth on a sponsored tourism trip, and when asked by the tour guide what they’d wanted to see the most.. Their response was simply, “the sunset”. Apparently, in their hometown, the air is so polluted and the atmosphere so choked with smog, they don’t have many opportunities to witness a clear, vibrant and un-distorted sunset in their own country. They were happy just to breathe in the fresh air and to look up in the skies at the end of every day.

Isn’t that amazing?

“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves, and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again—to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

Sofitel So Bangkok! So FABULOUS.

When people think of Bangkok, luxury does not necessarily come straight to mind.

Most would think of the crowded, rowdy streets, bustling night markets, delicious and affordable Thai food – but at the mention of Bangkok these days, the FIRST thing that comes to MY mind is Sofitel So Bangkok.

I’ve had the utmost pleasure of staying at Sofitel So Bangkok twice in less than half a year, and I have to tell you, the second experience wasn’t any less impressive or awe-inspiring as the first one! It is, without a doubt, one of the best hotels I’ve ever had the good fortune to step foot into.

“Let your imagination run wild in a world of visionary expression and multi-sensory indulgence. Situated on the corner of Sathorn and Rama IV Roads Sofitel So Bangkok is an intrigue-steeped 5-star hotel with a resolutely contemporary outlook.

At the heart of it all The Tree of Life – an emblem designed by famed couturier and design legend Mr. Christian Lacroix – combines the five elements of Water Earth Wood Metal and Fire into uniting icon.
Discover these elements reflected in the design themes of the hotels luxury rooms and suites. Four leading Thai interior designers each bring to life Water Earth Wood and Metal with their own inspired vision.
Sensual experiences celebrate the French art de vivre in lavishly creative restaurants and bars So Spa and a variety of unique spaces – from the infinity pool to solarium to Club Signature to one-of-a-kind meeting wedding and event venues.

Overlook sparkling cityscapes and Lumphini Park from a very luxe perch. Captivate your senses. Live a high-tech lifestyle in a sky-high suite. Dine and wine. Work and play. Explore the elements in a stylishly modern Bangkok design hotel.”

From the moment you enter their doors, you’ll be immediately overcome with the realization that this. is. a. swanky. place. Although it is very much luxurious, Sofitel So Bangkok maintained a cosy and almost homely sort of atmosphere because the service was genuine and personal!

The entire hotel has contemporary artistic designs and fixtures that will leave you breathless, even their welcome drink was a lemongrass magical potion that consisted of three differently colored liquids – when mixed together, they turn into a bright purple shade!

Taking a quick hotel tour…

Their Club Signature lets you enjoy perks such as having high tea in the lounge during the afternoon and cocktails in the evening!

A display of the super intricately detailed staff uniform in the lounge, designed by Christian Lacroix, which the staff all proudly wear. There’s something to look or marvel at in every inch and corner around here.

Their infinity pool is absolutely gorgeous, with a sight like Lumphini Park to behold! They have a knack for allowing you to leave the rest of hectic far behind. The water is very welcoming because Bangkok’s weather is so humid and warm!

I was hopping excited to check out the hotel room we picked because Sofitel So Bangkok’s concept is unlike any other. The hotel has five elements which it is themed around – Water, Earth, Wood, Metal and Fire. Each type of room is completely different from the other, and they all sounded exceptionally inviting when I was reading through the description on their website.. I had a hard time deciding which beautiful room I wanted to call home for 3 days!


Earth Element {Wonder & Enrichment)
An enfolding haven adorned by Thai primeval wall paintings – mythical creatures, shadows flickering in the light.


Wood Element {Elegance & Tranquility}
Enter a calming oasis, murals sketched on silk evoking old Siam, alive with colour and the touch of a master.

Metal Element {Purity & Modernity} 
Frenetic Bangkok comes to a halt. A collage of metal, whites and glass. A transcendence of time and space.
Metal is actually my second favorite room after Water! It’s very clean and minimalist looking. Very white-centered. In my opinion, I feel like the Water room is best for couples, Metal for friends traveling together, Wood for business travelers and Earth for families!
My photos don’t do enough justice to the rooms.. they’re way more stunning in real life when your eyes and mind can actually conceptualize the widths, sights and angles of the whole carefully put-together room!


Water Element {Sophistication & Calm)
Organic curves like flowing water, onyx glowing against cool dark marble. Drink in skyline panoramas from every vantage point.

Check out that sexy tub!!!!!!!!! ♥_♥ The entire room oozes futuristic sexiness, and it’s the ideal couple hideaway!

Part of the Water theming was two fighting fishes placed on the desk! Love the attention to detail. It’s very, very endearing.

The magnificent view from our room. Who knew Bangkok could look so serene? Every morning we would look at people rowing their boats on the lake or jogging around the park!

Talk about state of the art – I was delighted to find that the TV came hooked up to a mac mini, which allowed me access to the internet (free wifi) & social media easily – you don’t need to lug your laptop with you!

With a room like this…. I don’t need to leave the hotel at all.

In fact, we didn’t.

Couldn’t resist jumping right in for a hot soak with overflowing bubbles. What would life be without bubble baths, really? The tub was so big, I could literally float around, spread out like a starfish. All while having views of Lumphini Park and listening to the music from the built in stereo system. My favorite part of the room!

We booked the So Comfy suite FYI. And yes it was really freakin’ c-o-m-f-y. I look a little cross eyed in this picture because I was struggling to keep my eyes open for this shot…..

..Usually, my trips to Bangkok are jam packed with activities and I’d spend most of the time walking and shopping until my feet ached, then frantically search for the nearest massage place.

This time, however, we decided to take it real slow and easy, spent our entire first day just fully discovering what this lovely place has to offer!

I was massaged into a pile of butter at So Spa.. as the therapist slowly worked my muscles, I felt all my aches and troubles melting away. I highly recommend the So Signature treatment which was nothing short of AMAZINGGGGGGGGGG. Worth every single cent. It wasn’t too hard or painful to endure, it was absolutely relaxing and invigorating at the same time. My idea of a perfect spa. The last thing I want during a massage is to experience discomfort and have my muscles ache even more afterwards so I avoided going for Thai massages.

So Spa had everything from the zen ambience, extensive range of pampering treatments to professional & skillful masseurs! It would be impossible to feel any sense of unhappiness in a place like this.

It’s not a proper holiday for me until I’ve got some good spa lovin’!

Don’t feel like facing Bangkok’s rush hour at night, or the terrifying jams?
The hotel’s got us covered with evening cocktails at their Club Signature, and a romantic candlelit dinner for two at their rooftop restaurant, Park Society!

Spoilt for choice. It’s been super long since the mister and I had gone to a fancy dinner like this. Dress up for a 2.5 hour at a nice place, just the two of us, drink wine, order lots of food, stare into Bangkok’s skyline, with little serious chatter in between but a lot of comfortable silences and gazing at each other… Just appreciating the food & company. I had the greatest time ever.

We ended up ordering what seemed like 1/3 of the whole delicious menu, because we just couldn’t decide what NOT to stuff our faces with!

Seared scallops with creamy chestnut puree, sauteed green veggie and chestnut foam

Pan seared foie gras with toasted brioche, fresh cherry, almost and cherry sauce

Snow fish, prawn ravioli, prawn & squid, sauteed veggies and bisque foam

Roasted beef tenderloin, more foie gras, sauteed asparagus & truffle sauce

Canadian lobster, asparagus, baby veggies and angel hair pasta in bisque foam

“Indulgence” would be a secere understatement. If I could use one word to describe our meal, I’d have to say it was gastronomic. We had originally intended to order desserts, but needless to say… we were overly stuffed. In the best possible way. Every calorie was gleefully devoured!

So stuffed in fact, that we had to take a picture from the back where you wouldn’t see our bulging tummies. LOL. Or maybe we just wanted a romantic picture. You decide which is the truth :P

Don’t miss out on a classy dinner date at Park Society when you stay at Sofitel So Bangkok!

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All in all, Sam and I had an utterly unforgettable experience at Sofitel So Bangkok!

We are endlessly thankful to the So wonderful team for making our time there So darn enjoyable. So awesome!!!! SO FABULOUS. ;)

We honestly didn’t want to leave at all, and were very to go. Special thanks to Germaine for bringing us around on a tour of the premises and arranging everything  for us. We’ve recommended this hotel to all our friends, and I can’t wait till the next opportunity I have to return again.

Interested in booking Sofitel So Bangkok for your next trip? Check out their website for more details. You won’t regret it… You have my word.

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

Bangkok Baby!

As a belated 21st Birthday gift, my mum took me (and my elder brother who shares the same birthday) on a trip to Bangkok. All our respective partners came along with, so it was a big gay family affair!

At first I wasn’t all THAT excited to go Bangkok. I was bound for Europe (that woman swore for my 21st she’d take me on my first trip to Europe) but because my brother is going to have a kid realllyyy soon early next year and doesn’t like to fly to places too far away, we settled for Bangkok in the end. She’s all like, “think for your korkor, for many years he will not be able to travel anymore when committed to a kid, this will be our last trip as a family for a long time” so that was that. At the risk of sounding like a spoilt brat….. Boo. I mean, sure I was excited as anyone would be before any sort of trip, but as I’d already been to Bangkok before, I was sure it wouldn’t blow me away again. Not like it really did the first time. The last trip I made there was merely 4 years ago or so, so how much could it have changed since then?

As it turns out…. Life has proven me wrong, once again

No matter how many times you read a book, you’ll always look at it from a different perspective. I concur that A LOT has changed about Bangkok. Or at least, who I am when I visited it both times!

I guess when I last came here at 16 years old, I didn’t realize what a buzzing urban city this was. All I can reallyy remember is my feet aching as I walked through chatuchak and strange little alley ways.

I didn’t have the spending power back then, that I now possess, so a lot of things were left undiscovered in my previous trip. Bangkok is both third world and first world all at once.

 Step into the malls and you’re surrounded by big labels such as Chanel, McQueen, Prada, and soo many other brands… take one step out of the mall and you’ll see sunken faced raggedy clothed people selling dubious looking food under the bridge in completely unsanitary conditions, making absolutely no money. It’s such a stark contrast.

What I do love about it: You have all these cute little artistic cafes everywhere, the food is AMAZING everywhere you go, everything’s so damn cheap and you can seriously buy everything in Bangkok… A dream for people who love cheap thrills, and people who enjoy roughing it out a little, but not too much. The down side to this place is despite how many tourists visit each year, it’s still not that safe (or clean). Traffic is absolutely shit, and everyone is trying to scam you.

 Glamorous luxury is not really what Bangkok is about, good food and cheap buys = where the money at. But still, despite it all, we managed to find a little piece of luxury and extravagance in the heart of Bangkok at Hua Chang Heritage Hotel.

Actually, all credits go to my mum for discovering this gem, I had no idea about it until she chose it.

And she could not have picked another hotel that screamed me more than this one!!!!! Picture spam of one of the prettiest hotels I’ve ever stayed in coming rigghtttt up!

The moment you step into the hotel, you know what the rest of it is going to be like.

Statement pieces of furniture boasting loud colors.

Quilted stuff & rhinestones everywhere (which I adore!) It’s fancy but remains relatively minimalist in other aspects. Modern and contemporary, don’t expect no wooden Traditional Thai vibes here. Everything in this hotel sparkles.

I LOVED IT.

I mean please, check out the dream of a room I stayed in for 4 awesome nights. Fit for a princess!

 The room was brightly lit, spacious, very clean, chic as hell (I don’t care if it’s too girly for a hotel room in general, it’s perfect to me!)

Grabbed this pic from my Instagram (@shiberty)

For the record, not a single part of this trip was sponsored. My opinions are completely my own! :) The service and experience at Hua Chang Heritage Hotel was always top notch, so I highly recommend this hotel if you’d like to indulge a little in Bangkok the next time you go. I know Bangkok is known for cost friendly accommodations all over the city, but just look at the pictures!!!! I believe I make a convincing salesperson! :P I reiterate my point with pictorial evidence, not just words.

I couldn’t resist taking a few (or a lot) of shots around this pretty place…

Don’t let the greenery fool you, it’s not quite as serene as it appears to be.

It IS Bangkok, and it is located right next to the Siam district (10 mins walk to major malls & train, fab location!) so how could it possibly be anywhere near quiet? The loud fountains try to drown out the noise of the traffic, but they’re no match to the massive amounts of zooming cars driving past the swimming pool. You can’t see them, but you can hear them right next to you. So I didn’t bother taking a dip in the pool, despite it being a pretty feature, the ambience just didn’t feel right. I spent every night in the glorious en-suite hot tub instead!

One of my favorite parts of the trip was waking up to a buffet breakfast everyday with my family.

How many of us get to wake up and enjoy a slow breakfast in the morning with the ones we love? They’re either not even there in the morning, or always rushing about…

Not that the hotel’s breakfast was an impressive spread (it was actually relatively disappointing compared to all the other yummies in Bangkok) but it was nice knowing I’d wake up to a gorgeous morning, fill my anticipating belly with food, mull over how to spend a long day ahead with my family, without any work interruptions or other stressful commitments. Just us, and the world to explore.

 That’s the great thing about any holiday, innit? You feel like a free soaring bird. You feel like your work doesn’t own you, and you own your life. That you’re ready for ADVENTURE. The older I get, the more I realize quality family time is extremely precious. I could go to Europe anytime I want to now that I’m financially independent, however, precious family time like this doesn’t come by too often and it doesn’t even matter where in the world we are, as long as we’re together.



Thank you for always giving me the best whenever you can. ♥ Trust me when I say you don’t know how much a difference parents make to your life, until you move out.

Bangkok was a great idea. I miss it already.

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess
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