Travel Diary: Phuket, Thailand

I’m backkkkkkkkk!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Hey guys!!! How are you all doing?! I hope you’re all doing well and had an amazing past couple of weeks while I’ve been gone.

As you’ve read from the title, today’s post is going to be a travel diary all about our trip to THAILAND!!!

If you guys follow me on social media (which, if you don’t you totally should! My stuff is always left at the bottom of my posts and on my home page), you would’ve seen that Diego and I spent a week in Phuket, Thailand and were posting a TON of pictures and videos while out there.

So, if you don’t follow me on social media, go do that now and show some loveeeeee to my Thailand posts ๐Ÿค—โค๏ธ!

Sorry it’s taken me so long to finally get this post up, it was a little difficult getting back into the swing of things while dealing with jet-lag (if you’ve ever traveled a long distance and/or dealt with this, you know what I’m talking about); but I’m officially back in business, and so happy to finally be too! ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, this is a trip that I actually completely planned out for us in order to celebrate Diego’s 25th birthday (which was on April 9th). It was a surprise trip that I’ve had cooking for us for about 6 months.

I actually can’t even believe how fast time went by leading up to the trip and then how fast the trip itself went by as well…ugh tragic. Again, if you’ve traveled really anywhere before that you were super excited about, you can probably relate.

Regardless, I’m excited to be able to completely relive the trip with you guys and give you the complete 4-1-1 on Phuket!

It’s probably going to be a long one though, so grab a snack and beware! haha

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Travel Time & Layover

The first thing I want to speak about is the travel time itself and what all of that was like.

The flight in total for us was about 22 hours (more or less the same going and coming).

Our first flight, GOING, was about 15 hours to Shanghai, China. Personally, even though the flight was long, it really wasn’t that bad for me because I (by some miracle) managed to sleep through relatively the entire thing, literally have no idea how, but there are just some things I’ve learned not to question haha.

Once we landed in Shanghai, we were there for our layover for a total of 13-hours.

It was actually really cool because we had made sure to set aside extra money to be able to travel to the heart of the city and explore a bit in order to kill time. It was a really interesting, fun experience and technically means we got to travel to 2 different countries within this one trip.

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While there, like I said, we got to travel to the heart of the city and see “The Bund,” which apparently to New Yorkers would be like our Times Square. It wasn’t as lively and packed as I thought it would be in comparison to Times Square, but that’s also probably just because we got there at like 5am so everything was just opening and everyone was just waking up/starting their days.

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We really lucked out because the weather was absolutely beautiful the entire day that we were here (70 degrees more or less), and it was PERFECT for walking around and being able to explore.

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We were in Shanghai for the majority of Saturday, and I’m not exactly sure if Saturday in general is some sort of holy day for the Chinese culture or it just so happened that the specific Saturday we were there was a holy holiday or holiday in general, but SOMETHING was going on because there were crowds of people everywhere and celebrations going on for something lol.

You would think that because we’re New Yorkers we would be used to those kinds of crowds, which to some extent we were, but generally, we don’t typically like crowds so it was still kind of a lot for us.

While walking around though we were able to find this place that sold dumplings (which Diego was DYING to be able to try when we got to China), along with also finding a Starbucks!!

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As you guys know, I’m SUCH a picky eater, so my biggest stress when traveling is the food aspect, but I was very pleasantly surprised to find that I actually LOVED these dumplings, so that was pretty cool. Although as far as trying Starbucks in another country, I wasn’t the biggest fan of it to be honest.

Regardless, we somehow managed to completely walk around the city AND find our way back to our starting-point all while also having ample time to be able to get back to the airport for our flight (THANK GOD Diego is good with directions).

Before we knew it though, it was time to head back to the airport to catch our next flight to our main destination, THAILAND!!

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Hotel

The specific flight getting to Thailand was not at all bad because it was only 5 hours long, so it was a complete breeze in comparison to our first one. We ended up landing in Phuket at 10pm their time, and by the time we went through customs, found our car service and actually GOT to the hotel, it was about 11-11:30pm.

I’m actually SO disappointed in myself for not taking NEARLY as many hotel pictures as I should have.

Normally I would take like a zillion of the room itself, the surroundings of the hotel, etc., but for some reason this time around, I barely got ANY. I suppose it was from all the excitement and fun we were having, but still…UGH!!

Anyway, because I wasn’t able to take that many pictures of the hotel and its surroundings, I’m going to be using some images of them from the actual hotel site to give you guys an idea (which I obviously do not own).

I do have a few pictures of my own, that which I’ll be sure to pinpoint for you guys.

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I do not own this image.
I do not own this image.
I do not own this image.

I literally don’t think I can say enough amazing things about this place. But for starters, I guess I should tell you guys the name of it right? Haha. The name of the hotel was Novotel Phuket Karon Beach Resort And Spa.ย 

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This is my image.
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This is my image.

The pools, the food, the drinks, the surroundings, the PEOPLE, the workers, the service?! All AMAZING. Checking in and out was SO quick and easy. All of the staff members were so nice and accommodating for anything/everything we needed; it was really a great all around experience.

Karon beach was also located directly across the street from the hotel, so that was super fun and convenient (although the waves at the beach were kinda ridiculously strong!! ๐Ÿ˜ญ).

For our particular trip package, I had chosen to get a Romantic Room, with a private plunge pool (a.k.a. Jacuzzi), pictures of which are shown above. The room was pretty spacious and comfy, and was cleaned daily.

As I had mentioned earlier on in the post, the main purpose of this trip was to be able to celebrate Diego and his 25th birthday, so you guys KNOW I had to do a little something extra for him, especially since we were out of the country and I couldn’t get him any balloons or cake like I typically would.

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So, I coordinated with one of the ladies at the front desk (who was SO sweet and helpful the entire time we were here and I really wish I had gotten her name to be able to give her a special shout-out ๐Ÿ˜ฉ), and managed to be able to get them to decorate our room a bit for him AND accommodate us with a steak dinner and complimentary wine (which he LOVED).

It wasn’t much, but it was all SO perfect, and he was so surprised and loved every minute of it, which made me very happy to see.

We met so many amazing people in the hotel alone that it was actually really bittersweet when we left (for more reasons then one obviously, but one of the biggest was because of the people). SO many that came up to us personally to say goodbye and wish us safe travels back home, and some that even asked if we would be back next year to celebrate their new year with them (which we were literally JUST missing by like a day or 2).

They were all just so friendly and genuine that it just made our trip THAT much better honestly.

100% recommend this hotel to anyone that is looking to travel to Thailand.

And for those wondering, we booked our package (which included flights going & coming, hotel, car service and an excursion) through travelocity.com.

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Excursions

While on our trip we actually managed to do and see A LOT which was great because we were both a little worried about what the jet-lag may or may not do to us throughout the trip; BUT luckily, it really didn’t affect us much during the day so we definitely took advantage of that.

I’m going to breakdown everything we did and saw by the days that we were there since we did something new every single day.

Day 1, Monday, April 8th: Wat Chalong Temple & Big Buddha!

This was technically our first official day out and about on the town. I didn’t have much planned for us because like I said, we weren’t sure how jet-lagged we were going to be, so I figure, why not do some sight-seeing? So that’s exactly what we did.

We went to see 2 of the biggest and most famous Buddhist landmarks (so to speak) in Thailand. They were also both free which was a plus.

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As fun as both of these things were to see and learn about, I actually felt REALLY bad because I went into this wearing a tank top and shorts (what did I know?), and once I got there was asked to put these longer garments on to cover-up out of respect for the Temples and Buddha.

Now as I said, what did I know? But I just felt bad because had I known, or someone told me, I would’ve gone into this much more covered up. What was good was that they had these garments on hand for all women that were showing too much skin, so I obviously was not the first and would not be the last, but nonetheless, me being how I am I just wish I would’ve known.

Overall though it was a really great time and great way to soak in some Thai culture.

We also even got to sign these tiles (which were extra, we paid to do this part)!! So within The Big Buddha, I suppose they’re still doing a ton of construction of some sort, so right outside of it they were selling these plain white tiles to be able to sign and eventually it will be used to continue construction IN the Buddha. I mean yeah, who’s to say it’ll actual happen and who knows if we’ll ever get to go back and see this at all, but it was still a cute little thing for us to be able to do to leave our “mark” in Thailand ๐Ÿ˜…โค๏ธ

Day 2, Tuesday, April 9th (A.K.A. Diego’s birthday!! โค ): Tiger Kingdom!!

Although I knew that he would end up loving EVERYTHING I had planned for us throughout this trip, I thought that, out of everything, Tiger Kingdom particularly would be his favorite on his birthday.

THAT was definitely an experience.

100% recommend to anyone that is interested in doing this but may be a little on the fence about it for one reason or another.

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This little nugget was only 3 months old!!

As I mentioned in my Instagram post when I posted some of these, please keep any and all comments about animal cruelty away and out of this post. If for whatever reason you do have a comment or concern about these, feel free to DM and/or email me privately for us to discuss it.

I hear it all the time, and I heard it during our time here about these Tigers being beaten, starved, and/or drugged and I just want to let you guys know that me of all people would NEVER in a million years ever go to a place like this that may be harming in any way, shape, or form these creatures.

I made sure to do a LOT of research beforehand, read a lot of reviews and ask a lot of questions. The entire time we were here, all of the caretakers were very caring/loving towards the tigers, giving them treats when they wanted, playing with them very much, etc. AND they were very much active. Obviously they are tigers which are wild animals, so they may not be as active as they would be in the wild, HOWEVER, that doesn’t actually mean that because of that, they are being harmed and/or mistreated.

As I say about everything I experience and share/recommend to you guys, come to your own judgments about this, but we both really enjoyed our time when we were here and never once felt unsafe or uncomfortable because of how the tigers were being treated.

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Day 3, Wednesday, April 10th: The Elephant Sanctuary!

This was really an amazing and eye-opening experience for both of us, and was not at all what either of us expected (in the best way possible).

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We both went into this thinking we were going to be SUPER interactive with the elephants; feeding them, cleaning them, even riding them, because that’s what we had seen and heard about other places in Thailand that had elephants like this.

It ended up being the complete opposite, I mean, we got to feed and learn about them, but that was it.

Ultimately, this place is exactly what it says in the name, a sanctuary for elephants. In fact, it’s actually a place that rescues elephants from certain places (some, not all) that allows you to do the things that I just mentioned.

Again, make your own judgments about this place and the others, but we did learn a lot about how some of these places actually harm the elephants to be cooperative and actually do these things for us, in subtle ways that we would never really see and/or notice.

And you’re probably thinking, well what’s the difference between this and Tiger Kingdom, and how do you know that’s not the same thing? Truth be told, I don’t, but again, I’m going based off of my own judgments and everything that I saw and learned this day.

By the end of it, we were both SO glad that it didn’t turn out anything like what we originally expected.ย  We did have a great time and learned a lot though, which was enough for us.

Oh, and this particular excursion had lunch included as well, which was just an added bonus ๐Ÿ˜€

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And finally Day 4, Thursday, April 11th: Phi Phi Islands (our last day)

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This was another excursion that we were pleasantly surprised about. I don’t really know what we thought or expected, but it ended up being pretty much an all-day thing, from 11am-6pm. We were on a speedboat that was taking us around, and we ended up island hopping to like 4-5 different islands, all in relation to ‘Phi Phi Island’ (which is not just ONE particular island, but in fact several).

There was one island where we got to do some snorkeling, one that had the monkeys on them where we didn’t actually get off the boat, but we got close enough to see the monkeys and have an interaction with them, and 2 that we got to get off and wander on for a while.

All of the islands were absolutely beautiful; white sand and crystal clear blue water….absolutely stunning.

This excursion also had lunch included in it and was actually the one that I had booked with my entire vacation package that I mentioned earlier.

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* * * * * *

Diego and I had the most AMAZING time while in Thailand. It was literally probably some of the best experiences of our lives thus far and I hope you guys enjoyed this post of me/us being able to somewhat relive the trip while also having it be as informative as possible (without being TOO long, although that part was probably inevitable haha).

It feels SO good to be back to writing and blogging! ๐Ÿ˜„

Let me know in the comments what you guys thought about our trip, and if you have any questions or want to see any other separate, detailed posts about the trip and vacations in general!

Thank you guys so much for reading, please like, share, follow and comment and I’ll see you guys in the next one!

-Xoxo, LeoGirl โค
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What’s In My Travel Bag?

Hi Guys!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Today’s post is going to be all about what’s in my travel (cosmetic) bag!

I cannot BELIEVE how fast time is flying by, and how close we’re getting to the trip now. T-minus 7 days!! Ahhh we’re so excited, and kind of nervous about it too for some reason.

But anyway, because of how fast the trip is now approaching, I thought it would be fun to share with you guys some of the things (makeup related and otherwise), that I’ll be bringing with me in my travel bag.

Although I consider it more of a cosmetic bag then anything, let’s be real, the place we’re going to will be RIDICULOUSLY hot so I’m really not going to be wearing that much makeup; that being said, I’m also going to be using it to pack other forms of toiletries that I’m going to need over there.

HOWEVER, before we actually talk about the contents WITHIN the bag, let’s talk a little bit about the bag itself….

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The Travel Bag

The name of the brand where I got the bag from is calledย Beis, and was actually created by actress Shay Mitchell (some of you may predominantly know her as Emily Fields from Pretty Little Liars).

I actually recently stumbled upon this on her page, and I figure why not check out her website since I was going to be traveling soon as well and wanted/needed a nice, decent sized travel bag to hold not only my cosmetics, but possibly other things as well?

Sure enough, when I got on the site they had all sorts of things from duffel bags to back packs, to even cosmetic bags like the one shown below (that I ended up getting).

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I ended up settling on “The Cosmetic Case”. This bag in particular goes for $48, and comes in 2 different colors, beige and black. I decided on beige because it generally matches well with my suitcase too.

I ordered it on the 27th of February, it took about a week to officially ship, and then within 3-4 days I had it in my possession. So generally, it really wasn’t bad of a wait time at all.

I was SO excited when I finally received this in the mail, and also SO surprised at how big/deep it was. I mean it did look pretty spacious in the pictures on the website, but in person is always different, you know?

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Guys, it’s pretty freakin’ big for a makeup bag (in a good way, I’m not at all complaining about it). Plus, as soon as you open it, you see that there’s this part that goes inside the bag that’s meant to hold any and all of your makeup brushes! I won’t be carrying that many brushes, so either I’ll leave that part out of the bag, or I’ll see if I can fit other things in there (see below).

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Another thing that I thought was cool , was the fact that on the other side of where the brushes are held, there’s a little zipper/separate compartment to be able to fit other things. BUT, when you first open it, that compartment is actually holding a FULL-SIZED mirror, and the mirror is pretty good too (see below).

Now, it’s a pretty large-sized mirror, so I don’t know if it’s something I’m actually going to be using and/or needing, BUT it’s always good to have a mirror somewhere in your bag, no?

I’ll leave their site linkedย hereย if you guys wanted to check it out, which I 100% recommend that you do!

Now for more of the actual FUN stuff……

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What’s Actually Going In The Bag?!

So, obviously as is in the title of the bag itself (cosmetic case), I’m going to be putting my makeup in there; but as you can see from the size of the bag, it’s big enough that if I pack all my stuff right, I think I’ll be able to fit as much of my general travel-sized toiletries in there as possible as well.

As I said earlier, where we’re going for our trip is going to be ridiculously hot and I won’t be wearing and/or bringing that much makeup, so because of that, I think I’ll start with what makeup I’m going to be bringing.

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* I am well aware that some of these brushes and my beauty blender need to be washed before I go, which I will be doing in the next few days, but I’ve been so busy getting things together that I haven’t really had the time to…*

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Nothing TOO special or different from my day-to-day makeup looks I tend to do, but there are a few new products I’m going to be bringing and trying out while I’m over there *hint hint Fenty Beauty Body Lava ๐Ÿ˜‰ *

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In the picture shown above is some of the toiletries and medicines I’m bringing with us. Now, the likelihood that we’re going to be using and/or needing all or ANY of these things are slim, BUT I’d rather be safe then sorry. You really never know what could happen, especially when you go out of the country. I read up a lot on the place we’re going to and many, many people, websites, etc. suggested to bring a lot of these things, so again, rather be safe then sorry.

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And finally, this is what the general bag looks like when it’s completely packed. Obviously not every single thing that I showed before was able to fit, BUT, a good portion of it did which is pretty great in itself; and I didn’t even have any issues zippering it up, so that was a win/win!

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I hope you guys enjoyed this post and are as excited as we are to see how this trip plays out!! I don’t know or think that I will have enough time to put up another post before the trip, and will not be able to post anything until after we get back, so please bare with me.

BUT if you are not following me on social media, be sure to do so to keep up to date with everything we’re up to while on our trip. I’m going to try to post regularly on that. All of my social media information is always shown at the bottom of my posts, as well as linked on the home page of my site.

Let me know if there are any particular posts you guys would want to see in reference to the trip, and I’ll be sure to make them happen! ๐Ÿ™‚

As always, thank you guys so much for reading; please follow, like, share and comment and I’ll see you guys when we get back! ๐Ÿ˜€

-Xoxo, LeoGirl โค

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My Travel Bucket List

Hi Guys!

The other day on my Instagram account, I put up a few polls for some possible future posts that you guys may want to see, and one of the most requested/voted on post was to see my travel bucket list, so that’s what I’m actually going to be doing for you guys today! ๐Ÿ™‚

(*If you don’t follow me on social media, you should definitely go ahead and do so to stay updated on any/all posts, polls, etc. that I may put so you can be apart of them! My social media accounts are all always listed below. ๐Ÿ™‚ *)

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So, without further adieu, scroll down to see my official travel bucket list (in no particular order)….

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  1. Spain
  2. Greece
  3. Italy
  4. California
  5. Chicago
  6. Netherlands
  7. France
  8. Canada
  9. Bora Bora
  10. Turks & Caicos
  11. Dominican Republic
  12. England
  13. New Orleans
  14. Maldives
  15. Japan
  16. Bahamas
  17. Buenos Aires, Argentina
  18. Brazil
  19. Dubai
  20. Washington
  21. Bali
  22. Hawaii
  23. Thailand
  24. Puerto Rico
  25. Iceland
  26. Colombia
  27. Cuba
  28. Curaco
  29. Aruba
  30. South Dakota
  31. Texas
  32. Tennessee
  33. Wyoming
  34. Nevada
  35. Arizona
  36. Alaska
  37. Georgia
  38. North Carolina
  39. Maine
  40. Berlin
  41. Prague
  42. Istanbul
  43. Chile
  44. South Carolina
  45. Budapest
  46. Bermuda
  47. Egypt
  48. Croatia
  49. China
  50. Australia

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I’m sure that along the way I’m somehow or another going to end up adding on to this list, but for now, these are the ones I could think of off the top of my head; some that are somewhat local, and some that are obviously much further away.

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Before I end this post I wanna leave you guys with a few things for you to think and comment below about….

  1. Diego and I are actually going away on our first baecation together in almost 3 years, in April for his birthday, AND it’s to one of the places I actually just mentioned above….where do you guys think it is that we’re going?! ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ

2. Let me know if we have any of the same places on our lists, or you have any other ones that I might’ve missed.

3. Also let me know, if you had to choose out of any/all of the places on your list, what would be your absolute favorite and top place that you can’t wait to visit?!

I’d love to hear from you guys about these things! ๐Ÿ™‚

As always, thank you guys so much for reading; please follow, like, share and comment and I’ll see you guys in my next post.

-Xoxo, Leo Girl โค

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