le meridien bangkok
I have been romanced by Le Meridien Bangkok.

It all started – in their gorgeous and expansive lobby – with the incredibly kind staff (the concierge assisted us in every aspect of our upcoming VIP bus bookings to Koh Samui, meaning all we had to worry about was exchanging baht for tickets).

Then, with the room. Though The Manfriend and I were booked in the most affordable room choice – The ‘Vista’ – the quality didn’t wane for a second. The large, contemporary, and Thai-influenced Vista had bottles of water tucked in every corner (a Thai essential), a King-sized bed of clouds, a decadent marble bathroom with an oversized tub and separate rain shower, a large closet (with all the amenities), a work-space, and a sofa that backed on to floor-to-ceiling windows which overlooked the city.

If we hadn’t already made dinner plans, I would have holed myself away for a good 24 hours.

After a fun night across the city – through Patpong and home again – we awoke to a doorbell ring the following morning. Ahhhh…food!

Donning robes and happy yawns, we opened the door to our cheerful breakfast delivery man and the feast he carted towards us. Between us, we managed to fill the entire tablecloth (and the heated drawer below it) with bacon, scrambled egg, hash browns, little strips of French toast, salmon, more eggs, cinnamon rolls, sausage, charcuterie, cheese, fresh fruit, coffee, juice, sparkling wine, and…I think that’s it?

We made it last through lunch.

I did order room service under the impression it was part and parcel of our ‘free breakfast’ (it wasn’t) but c’est la vie – it was absolutely worth a few extra pounds.

With a few hours to kill between checking out and setting off for Koh Samui, the hotel kindly guarded our bags and let us enjoy the gym, spa, and showers until we were ready to leave. I couldn’t have hoped for an easier or more hospitable hotel experience.

(There is quite a bit of Le Meridien featured in my first Bangkok vlog, so be sure to click the play button at the bottom of this post if you have yet to do so!)

A photo posted by Lela London (@lelalondon) on

le meridien bangkok
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Whenever someone finds out I used to live in Bangkok, I am met with one of two reactions:
1. Being questioned as something of a Thai tourist guide
2. An excitable conversation of shared experiences.

I much prefer the latter.

Truth is, most of the questions I get asked have extremely subjective answers. The most difficult of which has always been ‘What do I do if I’m only spending one day in Bangkok?’. Obviously, the answer depends on what you’re hoping to get out of the city (culture, food, shopping, ping pong bars?) and how much you’re hoping to fit in.

A truthful cop out. I decided I needed something better.

For our first full day in Bangkok, The Manfriend and I decided to answer the question (in the touristy sense) once and for all. (Making up the first part of my jazzy travel vlog, to boot. Click above to watch!)

What to do in Bangkok

The Grand Palace. Its an absolute circus but a must-do if you have ‘temples’ on your list. It is golden, magical, wonderfully religious (not a phrase I use lightly), and – indeed – grand. As a tourist, I would simply advise going as early as possible (the crowds are insane) and ensuring you approach the main entrance if you’re in a taxi as some drivers are known to approach private gates and pretend it is shut to drive you elsewhere.
Wat Pho. The temple is less than a five minute walk from The Grand Palace and gives you much more room to breathe and explore – even offering a free bottle of water with your ticket. It is the birthplace of Thai massage (as the walls’ detailed inscriptions show) and home to a 15m-tall and 43m-long gold reclining Buddha; a sight to be seen.
A tuk tuk ride. A chance to barter! In my experience, a 20-minute journey costs around 50 baht and I would base your final agreed rates on this before you get in the tuk tuk. As there are quite a few situated outside Wat Pho, I would use it as an excuse to get to your next activity a little faster…
Thai food. Along the road that connects the temples, there are many local restaurants sitting next to the river. Avoid anything too English-looking. I find it is best to get as far away from street food as possible and follow well-dressed Thai people around 12pm (the national lunch hour) to be led to amazing, cheap Thai food.
A long tail boat on the Chao Phraya River. If you head back towards the Grand Palace, head for the pier adjacent from it at the cross-section (Tha Chang). If you walk through the market, you get to the pier and can secure your own little long tail boat to take you along the Chao Phraya and into the riverside homes and shacks of nearby floating villages. It is wondrous. Our ride disembarked at the Flower Market which – while not an ‘essential’ – is also a very immersive, traditional-feeling experience (and ideal for souvenir purchasing, if that’s your bag).

From there I would hail one of Bangkok’s colourful taxis (request the meter or be charged tourist prices!) and head to Siam, but I wouldn’t pass judgement if you’d rather hit the hay! In 37-degree heat, not even a cup of superstrong Thai coffee could keep us awake.

* All photos and video taken with the Canon Powershot SX60, especially for this trip! Review coming very soon.

Grand Palace
Thai food
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what to pack for thailand

What to Wear in Thailand

I’ve got a vlog for you, babefaces. Though I am technically now in Thailand, I filmed this little holiday-themed ‘What’s In My Bag’ last week and have inserted the video (as well as the links to all featured products) below.

As I mentioned in the video, I didn’t want to overload you with past-season fashion purchases so have also compiled the inspiration board as follows:

Shoes that slip on and off easily
You will only need trousers and sleeved tops when visiting temples, you

For the more conservative beach babe: The black first point Maillot from Marysia Swim
For the sunbather’s uniform: The adjustable halter bikini in Xadrez from Saltresortwear
For your cameras, tablets, sunscreens, et al: The Canvas leather backpack from KateCo.
For everyday comfort: The cream textured top from Splendid
For your temple visits (where you have to wear trousers and sleeved tops): Floral silk trousers from Alice + Olivia
For silky style that doesn’t stop: The Cobolt leopard shorts from Help Me
For something a tad more ‘dressed up’: The textured skater skirt from Oasap
For good-lookng hair and skin protection: The pink wide-brim hat from Light in the Box

clothes in thailand
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view from the shard
I’m not sure any view of London is better than The View From The Shard. Even a helicopter ride would have trouble competing.

On a slightly nippy night in December, The Manfriend and I decided to play tourist and zoom sixty-nine floors into London’s skyline for a glass of bubbles. Natch.

Having visited the Empire State building at the start of our courtship, our expectations weren’t set all that high (views of a major city = pushy, camera phone-wielding crowds in my mind) but knew we would enjoy the ‘scene’ at the very least.

After ascending 800ft, our minds were blown. The 360-degree view is more breathtaking than words could do justice. With London’s major landmarks the size of Monopoly pieces beneath us, our small lift-riding group of four fell silent the second the city came into periphery.

Check out our full experience in the Youtube video, below!

– Go on a clear day or night to ensure you see the full 40 mile stretch.
– For crowd control, head straight up to floor 72 when you step out of the final lift as the majority will start on 69 and discover the staircase to floor 72 later on.
– Turn your flash off if you’re taking photos.
– Though we went at night (and it was stunning), I would recommend a time slot near sunset to get the best of both worlds.
– The View From The Shard is open-air, so dress for the weather.
– Go to the toilet (the video will explain all).