Luang Prabang is one of the most peaceful and laid-back cities in Indochina. A world away from the
bustle and noise of the rest of Asia, Luang Prabang is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Make
sure you enjoy of some of these experiences before you leave:
Shop at the night market
Image source: postcardandtag.com
The country’s royal capital is home to the region’s most authentic night market, where the local
hilltribes come with their handmade silver jewellery, weaving, and delicious regional snacks. Don’t
be afraid to haggle here, it’s a way of life in Laos.
Swim in the Kuang Si Falls
Image source: steinkyle.tumblr.com
This beautiful waterfall is renowned for its crystal clear waters, and is a great place to cool off after a
day of sightseeing in Luang Prabang. Just a one-hour tuk tuk ride from the city-centre, this peaceful
oasis is well worth the short hike through the jungle, and is popular with locals and travellers alike.
Insider tip: arrive early in the morning to escape the crowds!
Climb Mount Phou Si
Image source: commons.wikimedia.org
This 100m high hill in the centre of the old town offers stunning views of sleepy Luang Prabang.
Bordered on one side by the Mekong River, and on the other the Nam Khan River, make sure you
enjoy the scenery as you take the gentle hike to the top.
Explore the Pak Ou caves
Image source: thousandwonders.net
The Pak Ou Caves are among the most revered holy sites in Laos. Just 25km outside of Luang
Prabang, the caves are easily reachable by riverboat. The caves are spilt in two, one named Tham
Ting and the other Tham Theung. They are both filled with thousands of Buddha images and statues
which have been deposited here over centuries, mostly donated by local people.
Insider tip: bring a torch so you can explore shadowy corners
Give alms to the monks
Image source: 58bits.com
Witness hundreds of orange-clad monks collecting alms at dawn, a sight that has lured travellers
from all over the world to this UNESCO World Heritage listed town. If you wish to take part in the
ceremony, remember to dress respectfully and kneel when offering alms. Sticky rice is the best thing
to offer, and most hotels will make a batch for you to take with you.
This was a guest article by Insider Journeys. Check out their twitter feed where they regularly post
inspirational articles and photographs of Laos.
Header Image source: internationalphototours-blog.com
Wow how time flies!
It feels like only yesterday I was enjoying 7am yoga and buffet breakfast at Fairmont Sanur in Bali.
Now, I am recollecting all those experiences and putting them on this page. How lucky are we to have memories.
I recently discovered a lot about moments. In our eternal search for happiness, we forget that it is the moments that make up all those memories of bliss and feelings of joy.
Happiness is not to be congregated into one big chunk, it’s made up of many incredibly small, seemingly insignificant to us at the time, moments. Think to a time when you were truly happy. I think we all have those memories of something incredible happening – we feel happy because of an event, achievement, luck, win, success…
Think back to that whole experience of happiness and think what in particular do you remember when you felt this happiness. I bet you it was a single tiny moment, a minute or even less, and then a whole bunch of those minutes, just seeping happy feelings and thoughts. A hug, a smile, a tear, a happy dance? All those moments = happiness.
I hold those moments dear and when I think about my stay at Sanur, I can recall a lot of little moments.
Waking up to a beautiful sunset and doing yoga next to the beach.
Smiles and greetings of the staff at Sanur Fairmont hotel.
The genuine care and generosity of the attendants and all involved.
The warm gentle weather and rays of sunlight which were just the best recipe to get over a short cold and the stresses that come with living in the big city.
This travel blogger certainly was very happy.
I loved all those moments, and rolled into one, they create beautiful memories.
Despite all the hassles which happened after – being stuck due to volcanic ash activity, resulting in almost all Australia bound flights in being cancelled. I will hold this time in Bali in my heart because I got to spend it with my mum. These are the moments that will last a lifetime…
Sanur beach in Bali is very charming. It is not what you expect because here in Aus we have amazing beaches with lots of waves and the water can range from all shades of blue to grey.
Sanur waters were very calm when we were there (in July) and there are lots of boats to rent, paddle boards to balance on and jetskiis to scoot around on.
Fairmont Sanur Hotel offers this beach as an almost private experience. All this serenity is topped with beautiful suites (all the rooms are suites), with balconies facing a giant water feature.
What an amazing place to sit back, relax and enjoy a cup of tea!
We truly enjoyed our stay at Fairmont Sanur Bali.
All the good stuff:
- Free yoga classes at 7am every morning
- Suite rooms facing the beautiful water feature
- Sunday night buffet
- Tranquil location on the Sanur beach
- Bike ride around the resort
- Amazing serenity and beautiful wet edge swimming pool
What I’m Wearing:
Boohoo Crochet Flute Sleeve Dress (similar HERE or HERE)
Fiebiger Shoes Lovebird sandals from the Iconic
City Beach Rusty Bikini
More info on staying at Fairmont Sanur, Bali
Photography by Theo Widharto – wedding, fashion and lifestyle photographer based in Bali.
Have a look at his Instagram profile.
Jetlag can cause havoc to many a traveller’s plan, both on the ground in a new country and on home soil as you try and slip back into everyday life. If you can avoid jetlag, do it at all costs because you will feel fresher, have more energy and you’ll have a clear mind as you travel. If you’re yet to master the art of evading jetlag, here are some helpful tips to make your next long haul journey that little bit more pleasant.
1. Keep Busy
Upon your arrival abroad, hit the ground running and keep busy to avoid being tired. Adrenalin will kick in and you’ll be able to push through what’s left of your new time zone and collapse into bed at a respectable hour to reset your body clock. A great way to ensure you are kept busy in the first few days of your trip is to book yourself on a boutique tour, with operators such as Gypsian Boutique Tours, from the day you land so you have a set itinerary in place and people to help push you through the jetlag.
2. Use Your Stopover Wisely
If you have a stopover en route to your final destination, use your layover time to prepare yourself for the next flight so you can slip right into the correct time zone upon your arrival. If you are arriving early in the morning and will have to stay awake all day, make yourself tired during your stopover by walking, shopping and eating the entire time. Alternatively, if you are arriving at night and want to go straight to bed for a full night’s sleep in your final destination, have a nap during your stopover and try to stay awake for the entirety of the next flight.
3. Eat Well and Drink Lots of Water
While you are in transit it is important to drink lots of water and keep yourself hydrated, especially when flying. It’s also important to eat regularly and, if possible, in line with the time zone you are entering so your eating habits get used to the new routine. Eat a lot of fruit and vegetables when you can and avoid soft drink, alcohol and fast-food because it will make you feel fatigued and sluggish.
4. Keep Comfortable
If you need to sleep while in the air, ensure you are comfortable to give yourself the best chance. Always wear comfortable clothes while flying, ask for a blanket if you are cold and use your neck pillow. If you’re still struggling to sleep, drape a scarf loosely around your face to create darkness and listen to some calming music to block out all other sounds. I like to keep my noise cancelling headphones handy to block out crying babies and the aircraft noise.
5. Coffee Helps
When it gets to 10am and you’re feeling like it should be midnight, a cup of coffee will be your new best friend. Drink coffee in moderation throughout the day as you are adjusting to a new time zone as the injection of caffeine will help you stay awake without fatigue for at least a couple more hours. Once you are settling back into a routine, wean yourself off multiple coffees a day and return to just one in the morning.
Ultimately, it is near impossible to avoid jetlag of some degree, but if you take these tips on board, you’ll have the best chance of slipping straight into a new time zone without fatigue and tiredness impacting your plans.
What tips have you got to avoid jetlag?
Still stranded in Bali with closest re-booked flight being Friday (Fingers crossed!) I might as well do some blogging
While in Bali, myself and my guest ( My Mum) were lucky enough to be invited to experience the ilLido Bali Italian Restaurant in the trendy Seminyak district. I wasn’t aware of Bali bearings – its a bit hard to figure this out when you go on forums and tripadvisor as people have different opinions of places. Where we stayed in Fairmont Sanur, it was more quiet and was a more tranquil beach front with less people, lights and Westernisation in a way.
Most of the top rated restaurants are located in Seminyak. It is no different for ilLido Bali. The popular venue where ilLido Bail is now located used to be taken up by a French and Mediterranian restaurant Warisan. Pierre (one of the managers) mentioned that many still call up to book Warisan and they have to explain that it is now a new restaurant. Somehow I think that it won’t take long for everyone to fall in love with ilLido and embrace this amazing new addition to the Bali dining culture.
The courtyard and the venue is beautiful. We attended for dinner so all the candles in the garden made the whole setting very intimate and relaxing. The staff were courteous and professional and we were immediately greeted by Pierre and Saurab who had relocated to Bali from Singapore and Dubai respectively to look after ilLido Bali. Having spent some time at ilLido group overseas, the duo have a breadth of experience to offer to this new Seminyak gem.
Upon not being able to decide what to order as it all looked so enticing, we decided to try the very reasonably priced Tasting menu. At around 50,000 Rupiah, which translates to roughly $52-53 AUD per person, includes 6x courses and desserts. In Sydney, you can easily spend up to $150 per person on a meal like this one, without dessert/coffees and drinks.
The dishes on the night included:
Grilled Octopus with Nduja (5 stars)
Grilled Asparagus with Beetroot, Garlic and Almonds
Linguine with Crab and Mascarpone (5 stars)
Ricotta Cheese Tortelli with Amatriciana
Duck Leg Confit with Smoked Breast (5 stars)
Snapper with Fennel and Beetroot
White wine and Chianti
A tasting plate of fantastic desserts – the Pannacotta is divine.
Pannacotta and Coulant with Chocolate Gelato
I have tagged the dishes I would recommend as favourites with ’5 stars’, however, I would recommend all items on that tasting menu and would order it all again.
I don’t usually eat duck but the Duck Leg Confit with Smoked Breast was incredibly delicious. There were a lot of flavours to the meat, but not overpowering and with enough of a softness and crisp.
Snapper with Fennel and Duck Leg Confit with Smoked Breast
The Linguine with Crab had the most delicious light sauce with crab meat, both delicate and incredibly flavoursome.
My mum also enjoyed the Grilled Asparagus with Beetroot. This dish would suit even those who are not massive fans of beetroot because the asparagus is placed on a bed of sauce which is rich with beetroot puree, so it is more of a dressing rather than the full vegetable.
Grilled Octopus with Nduja and Asparagus with Beetroot
For restaurant bookings go directly to ilLido Bali Website
Menu can be found on there also, just click on MENU section of the website and then scroll down below the pretty dish pictures to click on the PDF links to download. (That part of the website is a bit tricky).
11:30AM TO MIDNIGHT
Jalan Raya Kerobokan No 38
Banjar Taman, Kuta
Bali 80361, Indonesia
Parking is available
+62 361 731175
The dress I wore out to dinner is by Boohoo Australia.
Details of the Ida Beaded Maxi Dress in Black
Photos taken on location at Fairmont Sanur Resort, Sanur Beach, Bali.
Photography by Theo Widharto (one of the two cool photographers I had a chance to do photoshoots with in Bali)
Theo’s work can be seen on his website or on Instagram.
I must be very lucky but the work of photographers I met in Bali is just superb!
Additional reviews on ilLido Bali:
I went out on a limb to title this post “Bali, Aussies favourite destination” but then having googled around, it turns out that Bali is the number one destination for Australians to visit. Aussie tourists are staying on the island longer than any other island holiday destination, and there is no sign of a deterrent from this choice. Bali is trying to attract more premium end holiday crowds and there are multiple luxury resorts popping up here and there.
This travel and lifestyle blogger is currently reporting from a 5 star resort on Australia’s favourite holiday island. I have never been to Bali before and this is just a quick 5 day getaway. This trip is a bit last minute, as are all my recent travels. I can’t seem to plan my life that far ahead any more which is both stressful and exciting. To alleviate the stress of last minute plane hopping, I booked direct flights Sydney to Densapar (Bali’s international airport). After all, a 6.5 hour flight from Sydney to another country is nothing! Sorry New Zealand, I don’t see you as an international destination any more
I am also travelling with my mum. I decided that it’s a great idea for us to spend some time together, relax and unwind, and neither of us have ever been to Bali before. Usually I wouldn’t always go for a 5 star resort, but since its just me and mum and we are not going to doing too much venturing out, I wanted to pick a nice resort that had everything we needed for the 5 days.
I booked a Direct flight with Jetstar to Bali and on the way back we are also flying directly but with Virgin. I used Skyscanner app first to see what the lowest rate would be to go direct, and the best price was through Expedia. There is also IWantThatFlight.com.au but I found their system confusing and I couldn’t sort by direct flights, only by price. You should have seen some of the options that were available e.g. a 7 stopover via the rest of the world haha – that would have been interesting! I would recommend using IWantThatFlight.com.au for direct route destinations or if you know you have to have a layover somewhere anyway.
We are very lucky to be in Bali at all, as there was a volcanic eruption which caused flight cancellations from Thursday 2nd July. There was a 2 hour delay in the airport on Sunday night as we were waiting to depart. People started to cheer when there was a final clearance announcement and we hurriedly boarded the plane. Jetstar flights are generally just ok and that is what you pay for. A Jetstar flight is really a glorified busride.
Since I booked flights with Expedia, I presumably could get up to 55% OFF deal on any hotel I booked in Bali through Expedia too. I narrowed it down to a few places with the following criteria:
Star rating: 4-5
Price range: $100-$250/night
Location: 30-40 min from airport (I don’t think this was a selection criteria on the website, but this was definitely incorporated into my decision making)
The hotel I chose is Fairmont Bali located in Sanur. Well within the budget and located in a pristine quiet area of Bali. Fairmont is a 5 star hotel with 2x swimming pools (one family and the other a beautiful infinity pool), 2x restaurants and some of the most amazing garden/fountain and water lights I’ve ever seen.
(Some snaps from the upper deck and garden areas)
So far, this short holiday has been quite relaxing, the staff at the resort have been amazing and generally the locals are a bunch of very good natured people. The island is really beautiful. I am very excited to detail more shortly.
Have you been following on Snapchat: LIVESHOPTRAVEL
Beautiful photography by Dhika Wilama
Follow him on Instagram
If you’re thinking of your next travel destination for a getaway, have a think about receiving a premium spa treatment with luxurious Parisian range of skincare products form La Biosthetique at an exclusive island resort with a cool name.
Lizard Island had officially reopened its doors to guests this month. The Essentia Day Spa is going to be providing signature treatments for guests and as there is only one resort on the island, you can completely relax in the tranquility of North Queensland tropics and enjoy all the Day spa has to offer.
Lizard Island Paradise
A bit of history on Lizard Island -
It was named Lizard Island by captain Cook because lots of large lizards aka iguanas were spotted living on this remote piece of land in the Pacific Ocean.
Due to cyclone damage earlier this year the resort had to be rebuilt and fixed up. A multi million dollar investment went into the island to make it pristine, beautiful and superbly luxurious again. With all that work, Lizard Island is set to reclaim its position as one of the World’s leading premium resort.
Now although I haven’t been to the resort yet, I have been able to try out the signature spa treatment at the Sydney HQ for La Biosthetique – Bauhaus Hair in Waterloo.
Bauhaus Hair: Entry, Lobby and Salon
This treatment is now available at Essentia, the island spa. It’s a 2 hour treatment that lets your tension melt away and gives your body a full nourishment and relaxation.
The treatment I had was a full body exfoliation and a customised facial using La Biosthetique products inspired by a Nobel Prize discovery in age management.
Bauhaus Hair is a great salon. I’ve walked passed a few times but didn’t realise how big it was on the inside. It’s mainly a hair salon but they also do body and facial treatments.
For the first time in my life I was going through a La Biosthetique skin test with special colourful serums which upon wiping the side of my jaw and nose, could tell me which type of skin I had – oily vs dry, dehydrated or normal. It turns out I have dehydrated skin, so I’ll be extra careful from now on with nourishing my body with enough water during the day and then also using skincare products to moisturise my skin really well.
La Biosthetique Skin Testing
Sarah, who was my beauty and spa therapist, walked me through the treatment after doing the skin consultation.
The scrub was extremely gentle and the wrap relaxed me so much I wanted to fall asleep immediately. Talk about complete relaxation!
When I was all wrapped up and cozy Sarah started the facial.
La Biosthetique Essentia Spa Brushes
I loved it so much and my skin is still glowing with radiance from all the beautiful products that were put on my skin. The whole procedure starts with a ritualistic brush massage which welcomes you to the signature treatment at the spa and helps release any tension. It’s easy to continue chatting away, but after the soft bristles started to swirl around my complexion, all I wanted to do was be quite and very still and just enjoy the experience.
My favourite part was the masque that was applied and also I think vitamin capsules! Sarah explained to me that the vitamin capsules were like multivitamins for your skin. To be used especially in times of stress or lack of rest. Just like our body, our skin needs nourishment and this treatment surely delivers all the goodness in one little capsule, like a serum, but in a little silicon pill.
I might do a cheeky getaway to Lizard Island soon just to experience the spa treatments in this amazing resort, since I am already sold on the treatments!
Lizard Island Bookings
More on Essentia Spa
La Biosthetique Products