Travel Guide: Bangkok

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my recent adventures around Thailand. I am no travel writer, but I am hoping these photos can you give you a small insight into just how beautiful and vibrant this city is. I was lucky enough to visit over New Year, and although I was unable to attend any street parties as we were travelling across Thailand that evening by train, it was amazing to see the festivities out the train window. 

There are also many other ways to travel around the Bangkok either by tuc tuc, taxi or boat - you will probably find yourself trying out all three if you plan on visiting most of the major sites. I loved traveling by boat as it gave a different perspective of the city, plus if you are lucky you might even spot some wildlife. The floating market is also a must see. A lot of the floating markets printed in travel guides are very commercial and aimed for the tourists, but many small towns still have their own local floating markets that sell fresh ingredients and everyday goods such as flowers and fabric. 

The many temples and palaces are a great way to learn more about the importance of Thai culture, and see the some of the grander in the city. The Golden Palace is possibly the most regal, jewel-encrusted palace I have ever visited - I don't think I have ever been dazzled by so much gold in one place. 

Thailand is renowned for its street food which is literally everywhere, and by that I mean almost every single street you walk down. It's not the most hygienically cooked meal, which was I often opted not to try too much of it, but it's definitely very tasty and there are lots of of options to choose from. 

Ultimately, I think what inspired me the most was how colourful the city. Nothing appeared too grey or black and white. I loved the Thai's entire outlook on life to be happy and strive to be your better self, which is a frame of mind I want to take back home with me. 


The Colour Book

I live for colour and I think it plays a very important role in our daily lives. I love the simple joys that comes from catching a glimpse of bright colour in my day; from the colours of vegetables I choose to cook a meal with or noticing the splashes of blue nail polish on my finger tips while typing a new blog post. These little moments of happiness is why I am so inspired to inject bright colours into my textile work and why I am constantly on the look out for new colour combinations wherever I look. 

I like to keep a range of sketchbooks, ones that are specifically focussed on one project and ones that I continue over a long period of time. This is my colour journal where I record different colour combinations that inspire me - as you can tell I love my brights! Since starting my textiles course I have started saying that I no longer have a favourite colour, only favourite colour combinations - I know a little cheesy for a designer to say but very true. The importance of colour is one of the main reasons I am so excited by this industry, and I hope you can share this love for colour with me. 

Also have a look at my inspiration destination for colour on my Pinterest board! 


Exploring Kanchanaburi

I may have just had some of the best days of my life. This was my first trip to Asia, and Thailand was absolutely breath-taking. Life was so colourful there and felt slightly more spontaneous. Everywhere was filled with such a vibrant atmosphere; from the smells of the food being cooked along every street corner, to the hustle and bustle of the roads overcrowded by taxis and tuc tucs, to colourful markets jam-packed with beautifully patterned cloths, beads and bags. 

The first part of the holiday was spent in the relaxing destination of Kanchanaburi, a few hours drive out of Bangkok. The Thai jungle and ancient architecture nearby was beautiful such as the 13th century monastery; Prasat Mueang Sing, which is geographically aligned with the temple Angkor Wat. It was so interesting to learn about the Buddhist culture by visiting ancient ruins like these as well as appreciating active temples and Buddha statues. The Bridge on the River Kwai is another important site in the area and was my view every morning when I woke up. It was a place that you could learn about both Thai history and my own European history during the war. 

Without doubt the highlight of the trip would have to be visiting Elephant World - a sanctuary that rescues and takes care of mistreated elephants. This has been a dream of mine for years, and I can't believe I have finally experienced something I had been envisioning for such a long time. What made the sanctuary experience particularly memorable was that we worked for the elephants, unlike what it would happen if we went elephant trekking or visited an elephant show. We did everything from making their food to feeding them, washing them and watching the play. I loved seeing how happy these animals were and I wish I could have spent much longer there. 

Of course there was some time to relax and have a swim in the pool , eat some tropical fruit and enjoy an ice cream, which was well needed before our next instalment of the trip in Bangkok. 


A Time To Reflect

We may be heading into the second week of 2016, but it's still not too late to reflect on 2015 and make resolutions for the current year. 

I don't tend to go into too much detail about my personal life as I like to keep this blog my positive place, but the first half of last year was certainly filled with a few more downs than I would have liked. For quite a while I was struggling with relationship problems and problems living away from home and I really lacked in self confidence and didn't feel like my usual happy self. But, through burying myself into university course and focussing on my relationships with the important people in my life, I managed to pick myself up and now I feel better than ever. I am now excelling in my textile work and feel really positive about who I am and where I am heading in the coming years. Twenty Fifteen also brought some great opportunities my way and I was able to visit ti amazing countries like Iceland, Ireland and just recently Thailand. I have also reorganised my blog and although I haven't been able to post as often as I would like, I am really proud of the standard of quality it is at. I look forward to further pursuing my love for textiles, travelling and blogging into 2016. 

As for resolutions, I have never been one to take a resolution lightly and always try to achieve them to my highest potential. Last year my goal was to join the gym and be both consistent and persistent with this throughout the year. The year before that I aimed to focus more on my blog, which resulted in working with some great companies, and being shortlisted for the Company Magazine's Blogger Awards, which I was over the moon about. This year I really want to continue focussing on myself through diet and fitness as well as who I am as a person. Obviously improving your general self is a very large goal so I plan on creating smaller monthly goals to pursue this fully, for example one month focussing on happiness and the next focussing on gratefulness. Although this is a much more generalised goal compared to previous years, it feel like the most relevant resolution after last year. 

I wish you all a happy new year and wish you the best of luck with your own resolutions over the next twelve months. 


Winter Favourites

Having just returned from a trip to Thailand I have been clinging onto my winter warmers more than ever.  It was great to have a sunny break in the midst of such a gloomy and rainy winter but I definitely missed curling up by the fire with some fuzzy socks and a big knit over the Christmas period. My favourite this season has been this oversized white cropped jumper from Fashion Union which I have loved layering under dungarees, over pinafores or with a classic pair of high-waisted jeans. 

Of course a winter favourites can't go a miss without a mention of my party essentials. My personal highlight has to be this Topshop velvet cross body bag, which brings back so much nostalgia as its almost an exact replica to a bag I bought in a charity shop when I was five years old. Alongside that I have my favourite new fragrance, the highly coveted YSL Black Opium EDT. There is something warm and sweet yet sensual and musky about this fragrance, and I feel really sexy whenever I wear it. Plus, have you seen the bottle?! Who wouldn't want a glitter covered hip flask? 

As for my other favourites, I have continued to be a big fan of Frankie magazine. Unfortunately, I always receive a back issue as this Aussie mag never reaches the UK as an up to date issue but I continue to read it for art and lifestyle inspiration. I particularly fell in love with artwork on this months edition and has given me some ideas for new textile work. 

As for skincare, I have found these Origins minis particularly useful with all the travelling I have been doing this month. My favourite Ray Ban Clubmasters have also been regularly reached for during my sunny trip to Thailand as well as on bright winter days. 

I hope you have all had a good start to the New Year. I am currently playing a bit of catch up on my end with blog writing - life just continues to get more hectic! But expect lots more on RFP in the coming months.