Sunday, 25 August 2013

Giveaway the summer!

Your chance to win a beautybox!
Happy Sunday!

There are photos on my laptop that I constantly put aside, always thinking that one day I will post them on a Sunday morning. The next moment I wonder why I should stick to my self-imposed rule, instead of writing whenever I have to share something with you. There are two simple explanations: self-discipline to write regularly and my anticipation until Sunday morning.

One of these remains is the photo with two new pair of shoes that I acquired during the hot months. My new GEOX high heels and some slippers that I got for only a few bucks on a Vietnamese market. 
Vietnamese slippers & GEOX High Heels
One recent surprise that arrived a few days ago, was a beautybox. It consisted of two alessandro nail polishes (Flaming Spirit & Precious Treasure), a NUXE hair oil, a swisscare mascara, a moroccanoil treatment and the ME eau de toilette by Lanvin. Since I have some issues with broken hair, I was very excited about the hair treatments and currently try the NUXE one first. After only five days of treatment my generally split ends begin to recover, thus thumbs up for the product! Same applies to the nail polishes that have been lasting for four days now and don't have any scratches yet.
Do you also want to try these products? Then it's your chance now: I give away a beautybox! Just leave me a comment with your name and mail address until the 31st of August 2013, 23.59 PM. The winner will be announced in the next post, 1st September. Good luck!
Summer surprise from beautybox
Enjoy your week & all the best!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Change ahead

Beach time
Good morning my dears,

Tomorrow it's time again. Time again for moving. Since I consider myself as a quite experienced person on this topic (herehere, here and here), I haven't started packing yet - but will today. This time it is because my second half of my bachelor's degree begins in September. And of course, I will share all my experiences at the new place as I have done until now.

Since I have been back from Asia I spent most of the time at my family's place, enjoying the summer weather while relaxing at the lake, hiking in the mountains, trying new food recipes, shopping in the summer sale and organizing all the crazy things for my new apartment (so much to think of!). On Thursday my mother and me went out for a ladies night which consisted of "Dirty Dancing" in the open-air cinema situated at the lake and a wine tasting. What a blast with all the shrieking women glancing at Patrick Swayze's body!

Speaking of family activities, I feel very sad today: My brother leaves to New Zealand in a few hours and will stay there for the next seven months. Literally, this place is the end of the world. Yesterday we had a family night together, with home-made pizza, special cocktails and a goodbye-cake. I certainly will miss my little brother and so will my parents as now even the last of us flies the nest. Take care and enjoy this unforgettable period of your life.

Thank you very much for reading and have a great week!
Low calorie summer snack: raspberry sorbet, prunes & cookie
Turtles bathing in the sun
On the court
My brother's favourite strawberry-cream cake
Before the open-air cinema with a glass of Rosé
No better than a dancing movie at the harbour and under the stars

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Kingdoms on the travel route

Happy Sunday!

The Golden Triangle
After a long brunch with my family, I now find the time to post about my second part (first part here) of the South-East Asia experience: Thailand & Cambodia.

We entered Thailand at the Golden Triangle that is famous for drug smuggling (no, we didn't!) and then continued our route to Chiang Mai, in the northern part of the kingdom. On our way we passed Chiang Rai with its famous white temple that I adored: more an artwork than a religious site, the temple is all in white and the painting in the inside consist of comic figures such as Superman or Jack Sparrow.
As I love cooking I enrolled for a cooking class in Chiang Mai, where I cooked a spicy prawn soup, red curry (favourite!), hot papaya salad and pad thai. Everything was very tasty and I got an insight how the delicious Asian dishes are prepared. Just be careful when it comes to the term "spicy": our chef told us that 1 chili is soft, 2-5 is medium and more than 5 is hot. Since my friend and I were up for medium, we chose to put 2 chili. Believe me, I hardly couldn't finish my dish.
After only a short stay in northern Thailand, we headed towards the South, to the famous capital of Bangkok. We stayed in the middle of the centre, next to lively Koh Sun Road. In Bangkok I visited the overcrowded Grand Palace, was overwhelmed by the great shopping malls in downtown, did a boat trip through the canals and walked around the city for more than four hours. Actually, after two weeks of travelling, Bangkok was the place I felt really exhausted at. Within the three day I relaxed a lot at the pool, in the hotel room or in small cafes to write postcards. The unquestioned highlight was the skybar where Hangover 2 was filmed and that has an spectacular view over the city!
White Temple
Spicy Papaya Salad
Street market
Canal tour
In Bangkok lots of the other travelers left us, so that my roomie and I were put together with an entire new group. Together we went for the kingdom of Cambodia, the last country on my travel route. Arrived in Siem Reap quite late in the night, we concentrated on the next day: Angkor Wat, the biggest temple town in the world. With a small group of three others and a Cambodian guide, we went up at 4AM and spent 10 hours at places where Lara Croft was filmed and where Buddhism and Hinduism converge. Our guide was a very intelligent person who not only told us something about the temples and symbols, but also about Cambodian life itself.
First thing back in hotel was a three hours nap.
The next day we went to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, situated next to the Mekong River. The first night we had dinner in a restaurant where I ate a tarantula spider (my mom thinks I am crazy - but it tasted like chicken). The following day I fully dedicated to the horrible genocide that happened 35 years ago when one third of Cambodia's population was killed by the Khmer Rouge,. After having visited the genocide museum S21 (a prison at that time), we went to the so-called killing fields where more than 80 mass graves where found after the regime had stopped. I have never heard of this tragedy before and was therefore very touched by all the stories, places and relics. Currently reading a book - three weeks after visiting - I nearly cry on every page.

Despite only four weeks in this different world, I learnt so much about history, culture and life that I don't want to miss. I saw lots of poorness and know why I donate my clothes and money to charity organisations and realise how blessed I am. During my trip I met so many people who traveled much more than I did so far and who inspired my to see lots of different places in our diverse world.
That's been all to my trip, but if you have any further questions to my trip, just leave me a comment. I will be happy to reply!

Enjoy your week!
Angkor Wat
Ta Prohm (Tomb Raider temple)

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Chào & Sabaidee

Happy Sunday!

And here I am. Back with a huge backpack of memories, stories, experiences, photos, souvenirs. Today's and next week's posts I therefore dedicate to my trip to South-East Asia.

All in all, South-East Asia was great. I only want to describe shortly what I have experienced and underline my descriptions with some pictures. For all of you who are interested in more information and detailed addresses, I recommend travitips.

Since I started (Hanoi) and finished (Ho Chi Minh City) my trip in Vietnam, I want to start off by these two cities. Dropped off in Hanoi, I was overwhelmed by the heat, the people, the busy streets and the 1 million motorbikes that made it sometimes impossible for me to cross a street. Obviously, there are only few traffic lights that no one respects. The cultural program in Hanoi consisted of the mausoleum of the former president Ho Chi Minh (looked more like a wax figure), the temple of literature (first Vietnamese university), US-war relics, the old town, Houn Kiem Lake and the Hoa Lo Prison. On my way through the city I was asked at each corner whether I want a ride on a motorbike (NO!) and while once crossing a street, I was even slightly hit by one. In Hanoi I also met the group that was with me on tour until Ho Chi Minh City.
Compared to my 4 days in Hanoi, my 1.5 days in HCMC flew by. I managed to visit the central market - bought new shoes here -, to crawl the famous Cu Chi tunnels and to end my stay at the Independence Palace. And I also had to say goodbye to all the people that I spent so much time with. I will certainly miss them!

The other country I want to present today is Laos, my favourite country on the tour. We stopped in Vientiane, Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang before we spent two days on the Mekong river in order to reach the border to Thailand. Vientiane was pretty dull whereas Vang Vieng was a lot of fun: river tubing, Friends-watching, bike tour, swimming in the blue lagoon and partying with other backpackers. The village with two streets was such a relaxed place that I recommend to everyone. It was only topped by Luang Prabang. Here I did elephant trekking and could even sit on the elephant's neck and bath the elephant afterwards. Then I visited the Kung Si Waterfalls and went up early the next morning to see the monks for their daily ritual: monks only eat once a day and food is then provided by village people. As Laos is a very poor country family send their children to become a monk in early age to have a better future.
Houn Kiem Lake, Hanoi
Hanoi Houses
Lemonade on my favourite terrace
Blue lagoon
Vang Vieng
Monks' ritual
Kung Si Waterfalls I
Kung Si Waterfalls II
Before finishing I have one question to ask: I need a new mobile phone. What do you think? Is an iPhone 5 its money worth or should I rather invest into a different model? I prefer to gather your trustworthy opinions on that topic because all the reviews make me crazy.

See you next week with the report about Thailand & Cambodia. Enjoy your time!

P.S. This is actually my 100th post since I started this blog two years ago. Thank you for all your support during that time, I appreciate all of your comments a lot. And now: Time to celebrate!