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  • The Wong Shop

    #ProjectMVietnam | Homestay

    I highly recommend a Homestay experience.


    It’s an opportunity to meet a family who will guide you through what it’s truly like to live in the heart of the destination you’re visiting. Oh, and the locals are waiting to share their inspiring stories with you.

    To embrace a real travel experience, you have to stay somewhere that’s completely different to home. I never been to Vietnam before my travels and I learnt how much we take for granted in the UK.

    I got used to sleeping next to a mouse that I caught scoffing my Oreos (to be fair, it was my fault for leaving them in my bag). When an animal discovers snacks, they invite their mates in for a rave. After a few days, medium-sized creatures just didn’t bother me anymore.

    I forgave the mouse in the end; we named him Bob.

    Let’s go and meet our hosts.

    I can’t tell you how wonderful it felt to walk across a breezy walkway surrounded by fresh green taro.

    And I wish you saw my face when they served this taro to us later in spring rolls!

    This was my bed; the pink net was to keep those jammy mosquitos from biting my bum (they loved going to that area of my body for some reason).

    Our host ran through our dishes for the evening.
    I can still remember the charcoal smell as I write this post.

    Banh Xeo is a Vietnamese pancake wrapped filled with minced pork, onions, carrots & spices served with a fish sauce dip.

    I said goodbye to the chief mouse, Bob, as it was time to head to Saigon / Ho Chi Minh.

    Before saying goodbye, look at this view.

    I could just watch the sun melt into the sea all day — but it was time to float across the Mekong Delta.

    The Mekong Delta is a river where the locals ride their boats to buy and sell fresh fruit, vegetables or, wait for it, iced coffee?!

    This man rocks up on a boat selling his coffee, I was like, what the…?

    I had a sip out of a fellow travellers cup. Best. Coffee. Ever.

    Nice work coffee man and wife.

    Then our Mekong Delta tour guide whipped out his microphone and started singing Lionel Richie’s ‘Hello’.

    We had too much fun jumping up and down on the boat edge.

    We were careful not to fall in, though; the tour guide told us that in some parts of Vietnam, they have poor water sanitisation. You can read about that here.


    Pineapples anyone? Yes, I did pretend to be a boat shopkeeper.

    Keen to visit a homestay and see the Mekong River? Hop on a boat here.

    Location: Vietnam – Phường Thượng Thanh

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    #ProjectMCambodia | Sihanoukville

    Welcome to Sihanoukville, the beach town in Cambodia. All hail the beach.

     We spotted a lovely seafront shack called Angkor Beach. They make yummy fruit shakes. I might have mentioned this, but Pineapple shakes are my favourite. I had about ten shakes by this stage, if they were those protein ones, I’d be super Hench.

    A word of warning to anyone going to Cambodia, do not order Western food. I know I know, while travelling, you end up missing home and you just want a burger. I had the worst burger which I’m sure was made of soy sauce and mince.

    On the other hand, local Khmer food is ridiculously delicious. Opt for that option.

    Being British, we, of course, couldn’t resist getting our kit off and going for a dip.

    I give the Sihanoukville beach a rating of 3 out of 5 because, even though the water is super warm and clear, it’s over flooded beach with tourists & floating trash. Children surround you selling bracelets, fake Ray Ban sunglasses and then you have ladies offering to thread your eyebrows, legs, and, *ahem* bikini line (I’m being deadly serious). If you want peace, don’t expect it at this beach.

    On the bright side, (like my sunny yellow bikini) all souvenirs & services are super cheap. The nightlife is insane. Similar to the Thai islands, there’s a wild beach party every night.

    I’m about to write about one of the favourite moments. Ah, gosh, when I think about it now, I just daydream about how heavenly the whole experience was.

    We told a small private boat to Bamboo Island.

    Floating on top of the waves, the ticking of the engine and the ocean beneath me, our boat pushed Sihanoukville further and further behind. We were surrounded by layers upon layers of endless shades of blue in the sea and into the sky.

    On the way, we brought crabs from another boat who went fishing that day. They’re so pretty right?

    Here’re me and my crabs, I mean erm, crab… Oh, you know what I’m saying.

    One of the things on my bucket list was to go snorkelling in the sea. If it’s on your list too, do it. You’ll wander around all sorts of exotic fish and plant life, plus, just look at that water. Beautiful.

    Welcome to Bamboo Island. A secluded island where a handful of people reside.

    One of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. Beach Rating: 5 out of 5. I don’t think I need to explain why…

    I couldn’t spot any crabs on this island so I thought I’d do my own. #yoga

    The locals on the island made dinner for us, a choice between BBQ chicken or barracuda, after being photo bombed by a rooster earlier, my inner cave woman went for the chicken.

    Would I recommend Cambodia? Erm, yes!

    You will see a lot of hardship which will change the way you see life. I recommend it to anyone (in an organised tour group).

    Besides the people, It’s absolutely beautiful. Vibrant and humid. Delicious food, beautiful coastline, cultural treasures, all for ridiculous prices.

    On our last night, the girls set off a lantern into the sky.

    A wonderful way to say goodbye to Cambodia.


    Location: Cambodia – Sihanoukville

    Sihanoukville beach rating: ***

    Bamboo Island beach rating: *****

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    #ProjectMCambodia | Phnom Penh

    Cambodian roads are not the smoothest; there were moments when we thought we were going to die.

    We all waddled off the bus. Never felt sexier.

    Dizzy, bleary-eyed while bashing into the coach struggling to carry my bag pack, I noticed the others point to the direction of the swimming pool. Ah, now we’re talking.

    Welcome to Phnom Penh. The capital of Cambodia.

    Black Cami


    I & Claire hopped into a Tuk to explore what Phnom Penh could offer us.

    We found a nice little hut restaurant called Aniali. We, of course, ordered our favourite drink of refreshment, fresh coconut juice. The perfect way to cool down.

     Oh wise words, Aniali. I like this place.

    After we had finished playing with our lovely bunch of coconuts (oh behave), we took a walk through the market.

    This was a fresh foods local market, so, fried insects anyone?

    There’s something wonderful about walking through fresh veg, knowing that it has probably been plucked that morning.

    I love how they slap-dash hot or cold food into a plastic bag for you in Asia. It’s great.

    As soon as we walked into the fish section, we slowly walked backwards, and both looked at each like, ‘erm, yeah, let’s get out of ere’.

    The grand Royal Palace caught our attention. Full name: The Khmer language is Preah Barum Reachea Veang Chaktomuk Serei Mongkol. We were pleased with ourselves that we didn’t have to ask for directions.

    Yellow Bikini


    After a long hard day of sightseeing, we all went for a dip in the hotel rooftop pool.

    Location: Cambodia – Phnom Penh

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    #ProjectMCambodia | Siem Reap

    After passing through immigration, we secretly thanked ourselves for making it alive. (Sorry mother if you ever read this).

    Cambodia is hectic, corrupt, flawed, and barren, but it’s the incredible spirit of the Khmer people, that will make you fall in love with the country. It’s a place where you can still see the rawness from decades of blood, war, violence, genocide and death, yet the people are so warm and kind. You will notice that the locals are always smiling and will always greet you with open arms. With limited resources, they have strong communities. Leaving their homes open, when one family has food, the whole community has food. They live by a genuine, ‘what’s yours, is mine’, mentality. That’s what I love about Cambodia.

    The first place we headed to was Siem Reap: a town of tranquillity, green rice fields and almost everything made of bamboo.

    Our tour guide PC took us to probably the most scenic restaurant I’ve ever been to in my life.


    Yep, that’s right. We had dinner here. It was so ridiculous that I couldn’t resist having a snap taken by it.

    Not to sound like a weirdo, but check out the entrance to the toilet.


    I had sweet & sour chicken (no, not the Saturday night takeaway kind) and for dessert, I was given a star shaped goodie.

    It was crunchy and sweet, and, tasted like sugar heaven. I have no idea what it’s called, but I liked it.

    The next morning we headed to a local orphanage located in a small village.

    I befriended a cow. I named him Angus.





    The children of Spean Cheav is a home for underprivileged children and are taught English to increase their prospects, which is so fundamental in a popular tourist country.

    William, aged seven, kept picking up flowers for me, he could do with teaching a few men at home on how to charm the ladies.

    Panni, aged nine (the girl waving a dollar), is adorable. We counted to 100 together in English. I was inspired; the founder looks after fifteen children to help them towards a better, brighter future.

    The next day, we woke up at 5 am to make the sunrise (my friends know how I feel about waking up), but it was totally worth it. Just look at that view of Angkor Watt.




    The Buddhist monument was originally a Hindu temple. Built on water, mysterious and captivating — It’s the Khmer King’s legacy. His face sculptured on almost every wall, with his slaves bowing down to him.

    This historical temple has survived invasions and wars yet is the most beautiful building I’ve ever seen.

    I could happily have spent the rest of the day in the darkness, drinking in the history and gilded artworks, but there were more temples to check out.



    Temple hopping, we landed at Ta Phrom — the movie set of Tomb Raider. Pretending to be Lara Croft, we had way too much fun jumping through the maze and discovering treasured ancient rocks. I even got the gun fingers out… I can’t believe I just admitted that.

    Ridiculously spoilt, another scenic restaurant came our way. It’s Batchum Khmer Kitchen Food; I thought the first one was my favourite, but this one became a good contender.

    What I loved about this restaurant is that they had hammocks outside. IT’S LIKE THEY KNOW ME.

    The next day we went quad biking to fuel our adrenaline thirst.

    We then headed to the famous Pub Street for a delicious meal (I think you can see a trend here #foodie).

    Before heading home, I spotted my very own cocktail bar!


    We hopped on a Tuk to catch our coach for our 7-hour journey to Phnom Penh.
    Siem Reap, you were incredible.

    Location: Cambodia – Siem Reap

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    There’s something to be said for a little salt water therapy. This was a beautiful day and one I won’t forget. The sun was fearless.

    I escaped the sirens of Manhattan to swap it for the sound of the ocean and the scent of the salty sea breeze.

    In preparation for this shoot, I gave my Waterproof Mascara a whizz and headed to Coney Island: New York.

    Sometimes you just need to get away. This Aqua post is for you to escape to, whether during a shitty day at work, between uni’ exams on a Monday or just basically if you’re bored and uninspired. See you in Paradise amigos.

    Location: Coney Island, New York
    Philip Kingsley Swimcap | Nivea Suncream | Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser | Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder | Waterproof Mascara  | Palmers Lipbalm | Victoria Secret EAU DE PARFUM |

    Photographer: Laura Marie