8th, October, 2017

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The weekend after visiting Wat Pa Phu Kon, we set out on our next temple-filled adventure. Unlike our previous trip, which was a two hour drive, this giant Buddha was only 45 or so minutes from home.

The biggest problem I actually had was finding out what this place was called. I’d seen photos of it around Udon, but nowhere seemed to say it’s name. It took a whole lot of Googling (I’m talking 20+ minutes here!) and visiting all kinds of weird Thailand forums. Just to find the name. The coordinates were really vague too, so I just kind of crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. And we totally made it (which you’ve no doubt figured out).

And just so you happen to be cruising around Northern Thailand and want to visit: it’s called Wat Phu Thong Thep Nimit. Oh, and to save you on Googling, there’s a map here.

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It was so exciting when we first approached the hill and spotted Buddha right on top. It truly is enormous; even bigger than it appears in the photos. We drove our car as high up as we could, and parked at the bottom an extremely grand staircase adorned with sparkly green detailing.

Oh, and if you’re wondering – yes, I totally did count the steps. I can’t quite remember how many there were, but it was upwards of 150. 158 possibly.

It felt truly humbling being a part of something so impressive. Locals were paying their respects and making offerings. We did the same and lit some candles before bowing in front of Buddha.

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I think what was most surprising, was this incredible structure has been so close to us this entire time. I genuinely had no idea it was so close! 45 minutes isn’t far at all, so if you’re heading to Udon Thani in Northern Thailand, you should absolutely make the drive. It really does have to be seen to be believed.

And of course, it’s already got me excited for our next temple adventure. I’ve heard rumours of a temple in a cave and you can only enter by a small beam of daylight peaking through a hole. It sounds intriguing.. Time to get Googling again, I suppose!

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12th, September, 2017

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Around eight or so months ago, I moved to Thailand. When I picture Thailand I basically imagine temples and brilliant weather, so it’s a bit ridiculous that I haven’t actually visited any temples since I’ve been here. Aside from when I went to Laos. But that’s not Thailand. So that’s a whole different story.

We rented a car a few weeks ago, with the mission being to explore some of the grand temples around Udon Thani, the province I live in. Grand doesn’t even begin to cover it.

First up, we visited Wa Pa Phu Kon – otherwise known as ‘Heaven on Earth’. And it’s pretty darn easy to see why!

This temple is relatively new, being built only a couple of years ago. The exterior is obviously beautiful – and it’s massively exciting when you get the first glimpse of it peeking out from the trees as you approach. The province I live in, Udon Thani is generally pretty flat, so it’s even more impressive that it’s located on one of the big hills around here. The views are seriously INSANE.

Even more grand than the views was what lies (literally!) inside the temple itself. An enormous reclining Buddha, made from Italian marble takes up the majority of the space. It’s so (so!) big we could barely even fit it in the photo – and we were using a wide angle lens.

I took a whole bunch of footage of this place too, so I’ll definitely be putting up a video sometime soon, when my laptop is sorted.

In the meantime, if you happen to be passing through Northern Thailand (Udon Thani specifically) the address of Wat Pa Phu Kon is here. So, so, SO ridiculously worth the visit!

Jumpsuit – Trashy Diva

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8th, June, 2017

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You know when you fall completely out of love with your wardrobe? Yeah, well, the dreaded curse definitely got the better of me a month or so ago. Before moving to Thailand I had the biggest purge and sold or threw out pretty much all the clothing I owned. Ya know, except for my wedding dress and a few sentimental favourites. I took a few tropical kind of maxi dresses with me, thinking I’d get into them once I arrived here.. but turns out that I am WAY more twee than I am boho. And I’m totally one hundred percent absolutely fine about that!

I’ve been steadily adding more pieces I truly love to my clothing collection and it’s safe to say that ruffles and off-the-shoulder fits are right up my (garment) alley. Luckily Thailand completely feels the same so I’m able to buy a lot of the stuff I love straight from the market! ..Well, when they fit anyway! I’m an L here, compared to being an S back in New Zealand (although the mango and sticky rice consumption may be having a bit of an influence on that too!)

Online shopping doesn’t happen quite as much as it used to and I have to be completely head over heels over something to click on that glorious ‘add to cart.’ This dress totally checked all the boxes. I actually love a whole bunch of stuff by the brand (Line & Dot, dontcha know!) so think there will be a purchase (or three!) before I head off to Europe next month. Because if a holiday doesn’t deserve a cute new outfit, then I definitely don’t know what does!

DressLine & Dot / Hat – Vintage / Flamingo FlatsCocoRose London

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28th, May, 2017

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Guys. There is a giant dinosaur themed playground right in the middle of Udon Thani, Thailand. How have I lived here for five months and not known of it’s existence?! Gah, I’m so disappointed in myself. Either way, I am so, so happy we found it and love how these colourful guys look stomping around in the background of the photos. After taking some snaps on my Instax camera and looking at the washed out colours, I realised how much they remind me of the dinosaurs from Palm Springs (even though I’ve only seen them in photos).

One of the first things I noticed when I moved to Northern Thailand is the abundance of dinosaur statues. They’re littered all over the place – particularly around the central city. I asked a co-worker about it and it turns out the answer is pretty simple: a lot of dinosaurs lived around these parts! They still find heaps of fossils all over the place, and there is even a dinosaur museum a couple of hours away. We don’t own a car, we just rent every month or so, and I think this definitely needs to get added to ‘the list.’ And don’t worry, I’ll totally have my camera in tow.

As for now, I’ll just be stompin’ around with all of these big guys. What can I say, just call me Jurassic Jo!

Top & Dress – H&M / Glasses – Miu Miu / Shoes – CocoRose London

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15th, May, 2017

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When I left New Zealand to move to Thailand, I gave up most of my beloved bag collection. Sure, I felt all good about myself giving them to my nieces to play with (I would’ve gone nuts for them at that age. Or at my present age, for that matter), but man, some of those bags I really, really loved.

I suppose this lemon is my first foray into a comeback, of sorts, and BOY AM I GLAD. It’s hard only having two bags, guys, especially when they’re more along the lines of ‘serious’, instead of novelty It was my birthday last week (28 now, dontcha know!) and sweet Barnaby, who knows me super well, duh, gifted this little lemon number. Kind of the perfect present really! It reminds me of my beloved watermelon bag (it’s here, to jog your memory!) and in my favourite shade ever – YELLOW!

Another thing I’m mighty keen on – as is everyone in the world – is gingham. I have a pretty limited collection of clothing (so far) here with me in Thailand, and I’ve noticed that gingham is not-so-slowly becoming the majority shareholder. This romper is no exception. The off-the-shoulder fit is really cute, and I’m really into anything with ruffles and bows, so it really does check all the boxes. Yep, I’m a happy lady.

Right, now if I remember clearly, the bag shop also had a rocket ship and a watermelon a little bit like my last one… Time for a shopping trip, perhaps?

Playsuit – Shopbop / Lemon Bag – A gift / Shoes – Cocorose London / Glasses – Ray Ban RB5226

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6th, February, 2017

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Um, so the past couple of months have been slightly hectic (to say the least!) In short; I got married (will post photos from this so super soon!), quit my job, and migrated all the way over to Thailand. Northern Thailand, to be specific. Welllll, Udon Thani, Northern Thailand to be really specific. I haven’t been exactly sure how to even write all of this down – namely as so much really as happened. So I suppose I’ll start with why I decided to move to Thailand..

In June 2016 my Nana passed away and I have been really, massively, enormously struggling with coming to terms with it. I didn’t have a lot of family support in New Zealand. My parents live in Brunei, in South-East Asia, and my brother and his wife live in the UK. My Aunt, who I am close with lives in the North Island of New Zealand. So basically, no immediate on-site family support – from my side, anyway. Barnaby’s Mum, Jane was massively kind; taking us into her house and buying me a gym membership to help ease the pain. But oh my gosh, there was (and still is) SO MUCH PAIN. I have never lost anyone before – let alone someone so close to me (Nana and I emailed multiple times a day and had set weekly coffee dates). Around the time of the funeral all of my family was there, but when they left… it was just me. And I could see my Nana everywhere. I drove past all our favourite coffee places, vintage shops we would visit together, and to get to work I had to drive alongside the church where her funeral service took place. It was the absolute pits. And I didn’t know how I was going to be able to stay there.

But I stayed. And the pain eased a little.

But then I hit the point where I knew it was going to keep hurting for a long time, and I just wasn’t happy in Christchurch anymore. After all, we moved there from Wellington so I could be closer to my Nana, who had just started to get sick.

Sorry if this has caused any tears (eep, it has for me!) so lets get onto some happier stuff!

First up – I got married in December – as I mentioned earlier ! To the love of my life – my man for well over ten years; Barnaby. I will share some photos soon! It was a little intense planning a wedding in just over a week – but so, so wonderful!

You might not know that I actually grew up in Asia! From the age of 4-16 I was raised in Brunei. Since arriving in New Zealand I had been desperate to get overseas again! And luckily my love, Barnaby, felt the same way. We had had so many ‘what if?’ conversations over the past few years, and this time it all seemed just right. Right down to the fact that my car in Christchurch literally exploded the day after I signed the contract! Talk about meant to be!

So here I am! Udon Thani! Visiting the giant ducks – my favourite landmark. I hope you enjoy following along my Northern Hemisphere adventures – it sure is lovely having you here!

Dress – Shopbop / Freda Jelly Sandals – Kate Spade

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