Border crossing: Vietnam to Cambodia

..on the Danh Danh Express. 

I heard a lot of horror stories about border crossing. More specifically of the one from Laos to Vietnam but luckily due to flying we skipped that one. 
I am happy to say we had an easy and pleasant experience on the Danh Danh Express Luxury bus, crossing from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh. 

  These buses are specifically laid out to be more spacious and comfortable for their passengers.  

This means that the bus has less seats to accommodate less people, but only charge $2 more for the luxury! Normal buses are $11, this was $13.

 It was a 6.5 hour trip all in all.

The seats were comfortable and wide. (Liam could fit his knees in front of him without squashing them against the front seat!)

Each seat came equipped with a front pocket and a reclining back rest and footrest.

   

   

For the first time in my whole Asia experience, the wifi was good enough to use the Internet properly. I spent this time very productively applying for lots of jobs for my return! 
The driver was so lovely, helpful and friendly. Yes they do exist in Vietnam contrary to our ‘Camel Tour’ experience.

The visa process was so easy! $30 for your visa but you pay $35 and the driver fills everything out for you. The only thing you have to do is get off the bus twice; once to exit Vietnam and once to enter Cambodia. Both easy, quick and stress free.

I couldn’t recommend this bus highly enough! I’ve heard that other buses make you cart all your luggage on and off through checkpoints etc. which doesn’t sound at all appealing to me. We did none of this so that alone is well worth the extra 2 dollars!

Overall our experience of this was easy and hassle free. A great way to end our Vietnam experience!

Have you done this border crossing? How was your experience?

LwL x

Lazing in Sihanoukville

We’ve recently spent 5 nights having some much needed beach time in Sihanoukville. My best friend and her boyfriend came out to meet us for a holiday which was super exciting as I haven’t seen her since I left in November! We’ve had so much fun.

     

We spent most of our time on Serendipity beach which is the tourist part. The sand is lovely and the water is clear. 

  
  Chill days, minimal activities, a few sunsets and the odd night out. We wanted to laze in the sun to try and get our tan back after Vietnam! 

   

 The only downside to this place is that there are lots of beggars, ladies offering manicures and massages and very young children selling bracelets. Unfortunately a ‘no thank you’ the first time is not enough. You have to be stern and repeat no 3 times and you’ll get this repeatedly throughout the day. I understand that this is their  living but it can get annoying! It’s also very sad to see such small children having to work, especially as a sign just up the road says not to promote this and buy from them as they can be victims of abuse and can get ill from working on the beach!

Other than that the place is lovely and lively. There are lots of restaurants and bars. We gorged on some lovely food at Porkys and Angkor beach restaurant too (even though I had food poisoning again from somewhere). Its easy to see why this seems to be a tourist hotspot!

  For one night we treated ourselves to a night at the Deluxx Boutique Hotel. Its newly opened just around the corner and cost £100 for a 2 bedroom apartment for 4 people. The hotel had a jacuzzi,pool, free tuk tuk service and included an impressive breakfast the next day. We really made the most of the facilities..

   

 Not so bad for ‘backpackers’ eh? 

   

 I would definitely recommend this place to holiday makers or travellers looking to flashback for a night. 

  I’ve also learnt a new card game called shithead – have you ever played before? We have literally played it 100 times in the last week or so ha. It is our new favourite pass time.

  
Although this is a touristy area, thankfully there are still lots of places you can stay for cheap as a traveller, drink deals on the beach are great and there’s a few places that do nice food for cheap.  

I have many more posts to come on Sihanoukville nightlife and where to stay, our night in Koh Rong and the days of Phnom Penh. I’m about a week behind I’m afraid so bare with me!

LwL X

Valentines look

So after 2 and a half months of no make up or hair styling, I thought it was about time I made some effort, especially as it was my first valentines with Liam!
Unfortunately, travelling is not the most glamorous and I am very limited, but I finally put the make up that I brought out here and have never used to good use! 

Here’s my natural valentines look..

 

before and after
 
Make up

I got a few cheap bits before I came out here or used make up I had already, just so that I could use/throw it away if need be. Some of it has really surprised me and I think I’ll be rebuying! 

 1. Seventeen CC cream in medium

2. Seventeen on the spot concealer

3/4 Seventeen contour kit: light and bronze

5. Revlon brow pencil

6. Benefit Dallas blush

7.strawberrt lip balm 

8. Maybelline volume X-press mascara

I started with CC cream. I absolutely love this one this everyday for work back home in England. It’s a factor 25, so great for protecting your skin. 

  It works as a great base/primer or you can wear it on its own. It evens out your complexion and gives a natural tan matte look. 

Next I applied the concealer. I’m not the biggest fan of this. It’s dewy and wet which I think affects it ability to cover, but hey it’s all I have for now.

  
Luckily I had the light contour powder to dust over the top of my eyes to lighten the eye bags. I love this kit! It’s the only mirror I own too which is really helpful. This one will be on my repurchase list. 

  
I then applied the light powder to my T zone, chin and upper lip

With the bronzing powder I dusted just under the cheekbone to my temples, the sides of my nose, the skin around my hairline and my jaw bones.   

With a final brush of Dallas blush under the cheekbones sweeping up to the temples 
   

After the face I did my eyebrows. 

 I will post an eyebrow tutorial separately when I return from travelling, so that I can use proper a proper brow kit. You are limited with a pencil, even though it’s still possible to achieve a relatively good look.

I finished the look with a coat of mascara and some lip balm

  
After throwing on my dress and some sparkly sandals, here’s the final product..

  
 I bought this dress for $3 from a stall near Bayon Temple. What do you think?

LwL x 

Eliminating dark circles: Test 1

Hi guys!
So here’s blitz the bags Test one: The coconut oil remedy.

After reading up on this method I headed to a supermarket in Vietnam and purchased a small bottle of pure coconut oil. It was only 90000 dong. Winning. A small price to pay for super rejuvenated eyes (if it works that is)
So here’s the deets of this remedy:

  • Massage pure coconut oil under the eye area 2-3 times a day
  • You should notice a difference over a few weeks. 

So let’s start with a before pic:

 
I know, my eyes are terrible right? 
Here is a picture of my eyes before/after trying this method for about 14 days.

  
Slightly less puffy, but still signs of lots of darkness. However the thick lining of the eye bag on the right is also smaller.

A very small improvement. 

Over the past few days I’ve had a terrible bout of food poisoning again! So I’ve been being sick, then starving the bug and I’ve had a serious lack of sleep which is probably unfair to judge this method on. 

I am therefore going to extend the test a further 14 days instead of 7. So keep an eye out for the results of day 21 and 28!

LwL X 

Happy Valentines Day! 

I can’t believe how fast this year is flying by. 

Most of my Valentine’s Days I’ve been single but I still love the concept. 

I mean true, it is soo annoying on Facebook on the 14th Feb where everyone posts ‘the boy did good’ photos and statuses. Valentines is about spending time with loved ones not how much money someone spends on you. 

I’ve had some great v.days with my girl pals. It doesn’t have to be a boyfriend/husband/partner! So please don’t get depressed if you’re single I hate that. 

Last year I had the best valentines! I went ice skating over Canary Wharf and then to see 50 shades of gray with my other single girl friends. 
  
We had a blast.

This year I’m with Liam in Cambodia and tonight we’re going to Dine in the Dark, how times change.
What are you doing for valentines?

Whether you are celebrating with a love interest of having some fun with your friends, make it a good one!
LwL x 

Cycling through Siem Reap

On our last full day in Siem Reap we cycled over 20km around the city. Yes really, my bum was hurting for days!

Well technically we cycled to and back from the Bayon Temple, not really ‘around’, but we see some lovely scenery along the way. 

The good news is you pass Angkor Wat to get there. There’s also around 10 other temples and ruins to see just past Bayon so we really made a day of it.
I’d definitely recommend the cycling option. It’s too far to walk and there’s always the tuk tuk option but it’s nicer to be on your own time schedule. It’s also good exercise!

  
  Bikes are also only $1.5 to rent, or $3 if you prefer mountain bikes like us. 

 Paying to see the attractions

What no one seems to tell you in other posts, and what I haven’t seen on websites, (though it may be advertised and I’ve missed it?) is that a ‘1 day pass’ costs $20! This is an entrance fee you pay to get in the grounds. This does cover all the temples and area but Liam and I was still both surprised and slightly annoyed by this.

We have a £20 each per day budget (though we’ve exceeded this most days in Cambodia) and this entrance would cost almost 3/4 of our daily allowance. 

Reluctantly we paid. After all, Angkor Wat is the biggest religious grounds in the world so I felt that I needed to see it. 

We had some amazing views and took a fair few selfies along the way.

So here are a few pictures…

Angkor Wat 

  
  
  

Bayon Temple

  

  
Various

  

LwL X

First beauty post: Blitz the bags! 

Hi guys, this is my first beauty post in the new category on my site. How exciting!

All feedback, comments and advice are welcome as I’m super new to this area. If there is something you want added, let me know and I’ll do my best to provide some material.
Ok so as you’ve probably seen from many of my pics, I have an ongoing problem with terrible dark circles and eye bags. I constantly look tired, miserable, and about 20 years older than I am. Its really depressing.

I have therefore done some research into the cause of this popular issue amongst us women, including A star celebrities, and with my new found knowledge, I’m taking action and testing some DIY remedies.Without having to risk hundreds of pounds on creams that may or may not work. It’s time to affordably blitz the bags!

 

Eva Mendez is a sufferer

So here’s what I learnt and some tips that I’ve incorporated into my daily routine.

Dark circles and puffiness can be caused by a number of different things, not just the obvious ‘lack of sleep’. The eye area has super thin skin and is really sensitive, making it prone to exposing blood vessels a lot more clearly than any other part of the body. 

  

  • It’s so important to protect it from the sun, so always wear sunscreen (even in winter)
  • Keep the skin moisturised to avoid wrinkling.
  • Avoid dragging the skin too, this is common when you use rough make up wipes around the eyes. I now use miscellar water instead.  

Did you know that dark circles can be because of your genetics? What a liberty. I love my mum bless her, but I seem to inherit everything bad from her. My older sister got her clear skin and tiny legs and you know what I got? Varicose veins, wide feet and now dark circles too? Give me a break already. 
Other causes of dark circles include: 

  • Tiredness: the most obvious one. Those party years and weekly all nighters have really come back to haunt me. I also can’t remember the last time I had an uninterrupted night sleep
  • Age: I like to think this isn’t my cause. I’m only 23!

Puffy eyes are caused by fluid retention.

The main causes of puffy eyes are:

  • crying before bed: It’s best to avoid those late night soppy movies.
  • High salt intake: Put the popcorn down. 
  • The way you sleep: Wierd aye? Apparently sleeping on your side or stomach causes the particular eye to gather extra water, resulting in puffiness the following morning.
  • Stress
  • Rubbing your eyes a lot, including taking off your make up: we’re all guilty of it! Use a sensitive eye make up remover and never drag your skin!

So in addition to these new found tips, I am going to try 3 remedies that I have found online that claim to banish dark circles and puffiness. These will be tried and tested and best of all I’m going to documen how well they work, using myself as the subject, if they work at all that is.

As I’m very limited to things, being travel and all, I am going to try the easiest remedy I have found first.

The coconut oil method.

Watch this space!

LwL X 

Life after a Cambodian Landmine

One day in Siem Reap, we came across a book in a supermarket called ‘Welcome to Hell’

After reading a few paragraphs online, Liam later decided he wanted to get it. On the way back to the supermarket we came across a Cambodian local, with no hands, running a book stall.

He just happened to have the book we were after. Winning.

It was with our $4 purchase that he gave us this piece of paper, his compelling story that I feel the need to share with my fellow bloggers.

What a guy! I’m so glad that we bought this book from his stall. Definitely $4 well spent.

LwL x

Happy Chinese New Year 2016!

Yay it’s the year of the monkey, that’s me!

“Each Chinese New Year is characterised by one of 12 animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac. The Chinese zodiac is divided into 12 blocks (or houses) just like its western counterpart, but with the major difference being that each house has a time-length of one year instead of one month.
This year it’s the Year of the Monkey, the ninth animal in the cycle. The next Year of the Monkey will be in 2028.”

“The personality of the Monkey:

People born in the Year of the Monkey are characterised as lively, quick-witted, curious, innovative and mischievous, but it is also believed to be one of the most unlucky years in the Chinese calendar.

The general image of people in this zodiac sign is of always being smart, clever and intelligent, especially in their career and wealth.

In addition, their gentleness and honesty bring them an everlasting love life. Although they were born with enviable skills, they still have several shortcomings, such as an impetuous temper and a tendency to look down upon others.

Strengths: sociable, innovative, enthusiastic, self-assured

Weaknesses: suspicious, cunning, selfish, arrogant, jealous”

.. Taken from thetelegraph.co.uk

This is all pretty spot on! It’s a shame I’m apparently unlucky though ha.

We will be celebrating the New Year at a few beach parties tonight in Sihoukanville.

Hope you all have a good’un

LwL x

Siem Reap nightlife

There’s a Pub Street, oh yes.  

 A whole street dedicated to getting you super drunk. You can also try a crocodile burger from one of the restaurants here too!

Here were my favourite 2 bars..

Angkor what? Bar

 
This is seriously cool. The whole bar is decorated in graffiti and inside its glow in the dark.

  Try the cocktail ‘aspara’s blush’ for $3, it’s strong and slushy and was one of my favourite drinks 
  
Cheers

  This place is just passed the exit of Pub Street and it has a great mix of locals and tourists. 

Beers are $1 and strong house vodka is $3.

  Music is like a throwback to the 00’s, its serious cheese and they even have strobe lights. Winning. 

There are also lots of street vendor bars which are super cool if you fancy a rave in the road! 

  

LwL x