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Category: ..Thailand

Sandy reporting from Bangkok

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**report written by Sandy from the Cookie Cutter

If you live in this part of the world, you might have visited Bangkok over a long weekend or for a short getaway. Due to the proximity, I’m fortunate to have visited this vibrant city quite a number of times. Recent trips this year saw me steering away from the usual shopping haunts and street food (they are still awesome, of course). I've been uncovering interesting cafes with beautiful decor that are off the beaten tracks. I’m happy to be sharing two of my favourites from my recent sojourn with you.

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Away from the maddening traffic and smell of deep fried street hawker food, I discovered a little oasis called Parden Cafe & Zakka. Helmed by a friendly Japanese lady who has made Bangkok her home, this cafe is such a gem I almost wanted to keep it under wraps! Once inside, I forgot temporarily that I was in Bangkok.

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Parden4  Library1  Library4

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Category: ..USA

Fenny reporting from San Diego

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**report written by Fenny from F for Fabulous

I was in Los Angeles last month joining my husband to a conference. While being there I got a headache of how big LA is. It is way too big or maybe I am just not so city girl :) While I was having a headache in LA I suddenly thought maybe it's better for me to do road trip to smaller city, I saw San Diego brochures and they caught at my eyes, the town that rich with color and influence of Mexican culture. I love colors, I love spices and I love cultures, so here we (me and my husband friend who turned out to be a good buddy trip) were, drove our rented Ford to the big freeway to San Diego.

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Well, we got lost and end up parking our car at Target and we took red trolley to the San Diego Old Town, our first spot.  My daughter wasn’t traveling with me, so we skipped the famous San Diego Zoo, Sea World and Lego Land. You may opt for this if you have a vacation with family though, and definitely need more days to stay at the town as the Zoo alone is huge to explore. We only did a day trip and me being my self, I always love to explore the old town part, so we skipped downtown and few touristy places. ...................READ MORE>>>

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Category: ..China

Marie reporting from Hong Kong

{image above, A building in Causeway Bay area & world-famous Pacific Place mall}

 

**This report is written by Marie from Etincelle Creative Studio

If you live in South East Asia {I live in Singapore}, Hong Kong is a great getaway over the weekend... I happened to spend three days there last month {without my two children}and I loved it!

I had been to Hong Kong once beforehand so I didn't feel the urge to visit all the great touristy spots {aka Victoria Peak, Lan Kwai Fong etc....}{but do include a trip to the Victoria Peak if the sky is clear}. Instead I focused on exploring various areas in both Hong Kong island and Kowloon {mainland} which I will share with you here. But first beware that Hong Kong is very chaotic and has a dense population of more than 7 millions people!

Street sign and a fabric shop in Sham Shui Po

On day 1 I went by myself to explore the Sam Shui Po area as I had been told I could find fabrics there. #1 Sham Shui Po Mtr {Kowloon} What an amazing place! Streets after streets with shops selling everything from beads, lace and ribbons to sequins, fabrics, leather, metal parts and much more... a creative heaven!

Kilometers of ribbons at the Flying Dragon shop
92 Nam Cheong Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon

It's completely off the touristy path so expect to see mostly locals and not much English spoken there, but if you are into that stuff, it's well worth a visit {and it's very manageable}. Explore the following streets: Tai Nam St, Nam Cheong St, Ki Lung St and Yu Chau St. * Tip: It's worth knowing that shops selling fabrics mainly have samples in store {feel free to grab as many as you want}. If you wish to purchase a couple of yards, expect to come back the day after to pick them up. Warehouses are not located nearby shops...                                                                                   READ MORE>>>

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Category: ..Norway

Judith reporting from the Nordics, today .. Norway

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This report is written by Judith de Graaff from Joelix and all images are by Judith.

 After a week of Swedish countryside and Norwegian fjords, we reached Oslo where we stayed in theComfort Xpress Hotel. A so called "Social Media Hotel"... which meant so much as: cool lobby & brekkie hangout, with super fast internet. And nice staff too!

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Oslo is a big city with quite a compact city center. Some of my favorite stores were Elm Design(Icelandic fashion design, in the same street as Acne and Filippa K) and Clas Ohlsen. The latter is a part of chain store where you can buy everything from a lightbulb to a fridge. They mainly sell electrical stuff, hardware, everything for your home, leisure and multimedia. Not a very special store, but it's so complete that I liked it. 

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The area we explored outside the city center is called Grünerløkka. Here you'll find small shops and lots of great vintage stores as well.

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I simply LOVE the Granit stores. We already visited a big Granit shop in Stockholm, but again the Granit Grünerløkka store didn't let me down. Granit sells basic storage solutions and other functional products for home, office and garden. There is nearly any branding on the products (which reminds a bit of Muji) which makes it super easy to personalize the products in your own way.

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Category: ..Sweden

Judith reporting from the Nordics, today .. Sweden

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This report is written by Judith de Graaff from Joelix and all images are by Judith.

When heading to Stockholm we stopped at Gränna. This is where the typical Swedish candy is made. It is a bit of a tourist trap, however it is so nice to see how the peppermint rocks are actually created. Great for kids too! Of course you'll have to treat them (and yourself) on some red&white polkagris afterwards.

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Stockholm is often referred to as the Venice of the North. And, indeed, there is water everywhere but... you don’t need a gondola to get around. The underground system works perfectly well and gets you everywhere. It is a very green city too; there are lot of parks which fill up rather fast when the sun comes out. At the end of the day we were so exhausted by the extremely extensive exhibitions at the Moderna Museet that we decided to go on a refreshing boat trip. Unfortunately there were no boats going to the Stockholm Archipelago (Skärgården) anymore. We were told by many Swedes that this is one of the most magical places of Stockholm.

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Instead of starting our day in the city center, we decided to walk through the Södermalm area, which was very quiet when we visited. You'll find another hairdresser on every streetcorner. Which makes sense when you see all the well cut Swedish people around. Some of the shops we visited were Acne(of course! Nytorgsgatan 36), 6/5/4 (Nytorgsgatan 27) and Regn (Högbergsgatan 30). At Regn you can buy an updated version of the traditional Swedish raincoat. A very very good looking raincoat.
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When you visit Stockholm you should absolutely drop by Kon-stig (Åsögatan 124). It's the very best art bookshop I've ever been to. Here you'll find a superb collection of art books, limited editions, one-of-a-kinds and out-of-print books. It is one of this places you don't leave empty handed.

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