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This is not a good year for travel. Now say that again with the voice of Dexter from Dexter’s Laboratory. So yea, it really hasn’t. We have been stuck in Bangkok and it is already mid-year! We’ve taken 1 or trips but just to Pattaya and Chonburi. We did, however, visit a new province nearby. It’s just that we have been so busy with work, friends weddings and oh yes, Music Festivals! Most of our travels for the past year or so have revolved around it so we’re making it a thing to travel for music.

Music is a big part of our life. OK, not so much for Kanika but definitely Shayan. After seeing some amazing performances, I’ve made it a mission to experience more of it. I just love the feeling of being at a concert or a music festival. So if all we can do at the moment is take a short trip to see our favorite artists, we’ll take it. Seeing the world will have to wait. We’re just too busy otherwise at the moment.

So here is what we are planning for this year.

Knock Knock Festival in Pattaya

Originally we had planned to go to this 2-day EDM festival but then it turned out one of our friends is getting married the same weekend. So we had to cancel our plan to attend. Knock Knock will feature some of the biggest names in the industry such as Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, R3hab, DubVision and much more.

Phuket for Wiz Khalifa

Our next confirmed trip is to Phuket in September to see Wiz Khalifa at Illuzion nightclub. Quite excited for this because Hip Hop artists hardly ever come to Thailand so we’ll take any opportunity. Plus, it’s an excuse for a getaway to the beach!

Wonderfruit

Wonderfruit is like the Coachella of Thailand. We have never been to one because for one it is quite expensive and the other reason was that it’s not really our vibe. However, for experiences sake, this year we might just go.

Using apps that connect travel and music

I’m part of Travel Massive and a chapter leader for Bangkok. So through some networking, I found out about a member who has a startup that combines travel and music. Gigs Guide, although only available in Europe and the US is a great way to plan travels to match concerts and festivals. I love this concept and wish there was one for Asia too. Perhaps there is so if you know, please share in the comments.

Do you like to travel for music or does it play a bit of a role, if at all? Share us your plans for the rest of the year.

The post Travel for Music appeared first on Dose of Life.

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Gadgets are some of the finest and most useful inventions in our time that make our lives so much simpler. There are gadgets to help us with our daily chores and tasks that are otherwise too time-consuming. Some gadgets bring comfort to our life, and some are so essential that it becomes hard to operate without them. Here are six portable gadgets that you will want to use every day once you try them.

Yogurt Maker

Having yogurt at breakfast is a must. You should stop buying yogurt from the market and start considering making it at your home. It will be fresh and better from a health point of view.

Mini Fridge Cooler and Warmer

How convenient and nice would it be to have a mini fridge or warmer in your room? Sometimes when there is a lot of school/office work, you just want to sit in your chair and finish your tasks. In those days it would be nice when you have everything well within your reach, especially food.

In winters of summer, you need to keep your body hydrated, and a mini fridge cooler and warmer will keep your drinks at the right temperature. You can put this fridge in your mini office and have access to chilled drinks at all times.

Fitness Tracking Watch

With our busy lives and schedules, we must not forget about our health. Doing exercise and running every day is the road to a healthy and active lifestyle. Get Fitbit Charge 2 Fitness Tracking Watch that will keep track of your activities. This watch will measure your heartbeat and the footsteps you have taken.

Product render of Fitbit Charge 3, front view, showing clock default Espresso Machine

We all need our cup of coffee daily in the morning and in the evening, but we can’t always have it. The days when you had to ask around for a coffee shop, or wait in your house to make a cup, are behind you. Handpress Auto ESE Electrical Espresso Machine is portable, and you can charge it in your car and have a cup of coffee anywhere at any time. Plug in the charger, add water and coffee beans and enjoy your coffee.

A Cordless Grass Strimmer

If you love gardening just like we do, then here is another portable tech gadget that you will want to use every day. Your garden says a lot about your home as well as personal preferences and taste; thus, maintaining it properly is crucial. Just make sure your grass strimmer is qualitative and durable. To know more about it, check out the reviews for the best cordless grass strimmer here.

Mini Mobile Robotic Printer

Every student has faced a day when s/he has gotten late in the morning, and either forgot or didn’t have time to get the printouts. During a busy work routine, forgetting to get the necessary prints before your class or meeting is normal. But, with this mini printer from Zuta Labs, you can get your necessary prints even when you are in your car.

Zuta Labs Mini Mobile Robotic Printer can print up to 1000 pages. You have to connect the printer with your smartphone or laptop/PC and start printing those pages!

So which of in these portable gadgets will you invest in so you can make your life that much easier?!

Disclaimer: this is an affiliate post but you are in no way required to make any purchase. The money we make from this post helps in running and maintaining the website.

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Imagine a community space surrounded by nature, away (but not far) from the hustle and bustle of the city. A space that combines countryside ambiance with a dash of city lifestyles. Such a place exists in Siracha district of Chonburi, Thailand and it is called FAME District.

Last week we were invited to the opening of this brand-new multifunctional event space, which left us impressed and wanting to go back with our friends.

Story behind FAME

Located within the Pattana Golf Club & Resort in Sriracha district of Chonburi, Thailand, FAME District was built to further the dream of making the resort more than just a sports and members club. To make it a place where residents from the area and close by cities can come to and enjoy a day or two in a fun and trendy environment.

FAME is literally an acronym for Food, Art, Music, and Entertainment. That is exactly what it is – a community space for people to be able to enjoy their love for sports and an active lifestyle with food, beverages, and entertainment.

FAME District highlights four restaurants, a multifunctional event space and a large al fresco lawn. Each outlet is shaped like a barn which gives it that outdoor vintage look.

While the venue is primarily open to public and anyone can go to any of the outlets, they do offer private event services.

Piazza

At the center of FAME is the Piazza, an almost circular area with alternating between grassy, wooden and concrete floor. This is the outdoor section of the venue and can be used for dining, relaxing, watching concerts or just observing the ambiance unfold through the day.

Oh and yes, you can get your food or beverage from any of the outlets served directly to you here.

The Piazza can accommodate about 200 people depending on the configuration of the event. We can imagine so many things that can happen here – birthday parties, a picnic between friends, music events or a pop-up market. Anything is possible.

A Slice

The slice is the art and other multi-purpose indoor event space. For the time being it is being used as a gallery to showcase local artwork. They may have special events where you can see a sculptor at work or even learn how to paint yourself.

A Slice can hold up to 150 guests and is perfect on a hot or rainy day for any kind of event such as private dinners, galas or simply any other event.

The Barn

No community space is complete without a coffee shop and at the barn, you get just that and more. It’s the urban hipster café of FAME District and there is plenty to chew and sip on here.

This minimalistic farm-to-barn dining offers anything from coffee, smoothies, and tea to pastries, desserts and gourmet foods. There is a good selection of organic and healthy items as well.

I’m not a coffee fan but I tried their signature orange coffee and I loved it!

It’s also quite a work friendly space as you can sit in a corner or hold small meetings. Kind of like a casual small office away from your office.

Khun P

Who doesn’t love noodles? Now imagine a place that serves just noodles. Indeed, that is the concept that makes Khun P our favorite outlet at FAME District.

This noodle gem is also as authentic as it gets when it comes to fine dining restaurants. It so happens, Khun P is the name of the owner and his recipes date back many generations, till the time the Chinese settlers first came to Thailand.

Passion. Timelessness. Tradition. This is how they define themselves.

How does one dine here? Well, it’s not just one type of noodle here. The awesome part is that you make your noodle dish exactly how you want it.

First decide what kind of noodle you want. Vermicelli, brown rice noodle, green, glass, flat and the list goes on. Then think about how you want it cooked. Soup? Wok-fried? Then choose the size and what meat and vegetables you want. Small gets you 3 of each. Regular gets you 5 and Large gets you 7 if I remember correctly.

I had the brown rice noodle in tom yum (dry) flavor with beef balls, wantons and beef slices. Of course you get your condiments after to make it sweeter, spicier or tangier.

The idea is awesome and the noodles were certainly delicious. So good that I forgot to take pictures. I was hungry! But here is one from the FAME website.

O-Ren San

Inspired by the movie Kill Bill, O-Ren San is a Japanese grill restaurant with a twist. The twist? Well, it combines tradition and authentic recipes with modern décor and cooking.

Sadly, I did not get to try anything here as all the dining rooms were full but I got a chance to try some Soju that changed my mind about whether I like it or not. I definitely do now.

The entrance of the restaurant is also something worth mentioning. First, a Japanese garden overlooking the piazza and then a walkway seeped in gold that is surely going to be a popular Instagram photo hotspot.

Other than that, I’m sure their grilled seafood, meats and vegetables are incredibly good…especially when paired with one of their fine soju.

Strings & Jugs

Every event space needs a life of the party so for those looking to liven up their night at FAME, head over to Strings & Jugs. This is a sports bar but not in a conventional way. It mixes traditional concepts with modern aesthetics.

If you walk around, you will also notice that they have a lot of sports memorabilia fitting to the theme of the bar.

The seating arrangement is a mix of standing bar stools and tables, wooden benches and most interestingly a VIP section that is shaped like a boxing ring. Wow, that is pretty awesome.

You can even wear boxing robes and gloves for photos or to lounge in.

They have 10 beers on tap and over 20 bottled beers to enjoy with burgers, fries and other bar food. As entertainment, S&J rotates between live music, DJs and sports on TV.

Definitely a good place to start and end the night.

Well, what do you think? Would you visit FAME District whether you’re in Bangkok or Pattaya? It’s really not that far if you want something different from the norm.

FAME Details

Address: 99/89 Moo 9, Khaokhunsong District, Sriracha City, Chonburi Province, Thailand 20110

Web: http://fame-district.com/  
Phone: 038 318 999 Ext. 11919, +66 65 524 9199
fame@fame-district.com


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A year ago we decided that we want to visit every province in Thailand. Since then we have managed to tick off quite a few but there are still so many to go (76 to be exact). It’s not always easy because of work while other times we end up visiting places we have already been to like Chonburi (Pattaya), Rayong, Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin) and Phuket. So last weekend on our way back from Chonburi, we decided to take a little detour and visit Chachoengsao.

Our plan was not to stay over but to see one or two attractions the province has to offer. That would be enough for us to say, yea we have been there.

Rule of thumb: we consider visiting a province if we visited at least 1 attraction and spent a few hours there. Driving through doesn’t count. Eating at a restaurant also does not count.

A little bit about the Chachoengsao

Located in the eastern central part of Thailand, Chachoengsao is a neighboring province of Bangkok. Despite its close proximity to the capital city, it is not often visited by travelers. It is mostly known as an agricultural hub but with very little infrastructure for tourism.

However, there are plenty of cultural and religious attractions here worth visiting such as Wat Sothon Wararam Worawihan temple and Wat Saman Rattanaram.

Wat Saman Rattanaram

We googled what is there to see in this province and a few temples showed up. After just a few minutes, Wat Saman Rattanaram caught our eye. It was different. Peculiar in fact. We had to go there and very glad we did because it was definitely an interesting experience.

Located in sort of an island, surrounded by a river (Bang Pakong), Wat Saman Ratanaram is a multi-belief temple ground with a variety of Hindu and Buddhist statues.

If there is no other reason for you to visit this province, perhaps this temple would convince you otherwise. Here’s why.

Lord Ganesha statue(s)

The main attraction and feature of the temple is a giant reclining Lord Ganesha statue. It is certainly one of the biggest ones I have seen. You can’t miss it as it’s the first thing you will see from a distance. A striking attraction due to its sheer size and bright pink color.

Apparently, there are two other Lord Ganesha statues in Chachoengsao. A seated one can be found at Wat Phrong Akat and another standing one is at the Khlong Khuean Ganesh international park. We only saw the one at Wat Saman Ratanaram.

Statues of Mythical creatures & Gods

If you are into stories of mythical creatures and icons, then you should definitely visit this temple. Here you will find awe-inspiring statues such as the three-headed Erawan, multicolored Nagas and Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy.

This stretched Naga by the river is one of my favorites. Lots of awesome photo opportunities here for the gram. The double Naga is also another popular spot to take lots of pictures and enjoy the river view.

Another statue that you can see from away is of this…umm, not of what but definitely looks like a Goddess.

Quirky figurines

Perhaps the most interesting thing at the temple is that there are all these cute cartoon and anime figurines spread around. They have everything from superheroes and Asian anime to popular cartoons and animals.

There are also bunch of original and multi-colored Pikachus. So cute!

It was really quite interesting to see all these statues but more importantly, you ask yourself…why? Why are they here? How they do belong in a place meant for faith and religion?

Probably for touristic and attraction purposes because it’s definitely working.

Beautiful temple and shrines

As any temple in Thailand, the architecture of religious buildings and shrines here are beautiful. A white and gold temple next to the main parking lot is definitely one of the most alluring ones I have seen. It is minimalistic yet quite appealing.

Other shrines and smaller structures exist throughout the grounds and need to be observed closely. As we were now a bit late to get home, we quickly took some photos and headed on our way back.

Wait, there’s more

Other than the statues, Wat Saman Ratanaram has a floating market for shopping and lots of food stalls.

It was quite lively and busy with people making merits, giving alms, taking photos, shopping, and eating. All in one place.

If we had more time, we would have done a bit of shopping and have a big feast.

The post A reason to visit Chachoengsao appeared first on Dose of Life.

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So there I was stuck in traffic, already late for the most anticipated music festival of the year. It had started at 3 pm and it was hitting close to 8 pm now. I had to get to Chang Chui soon so I wouldn’t feel like I had missed out the entire event. Having been to the press conference a few weeks earlier, I knew Dontri Festival was going to be incredible.

Dontri Festival is Thailand’s first locally inspired electronic music lifestyle that merges art, music, and food. Unlike other festivals, this one is truly different as it not only highlights 8 music genres and 80 local DJs but also because of the venue (Chang Chui), it is an inclusive event. This means that anybody can come to Chang Chui but to enjoy the music, you had to buy the wristband, which was worth just 600 Baht (700 at the door).

Related article: all you need to know about Dontri Festival

Luckily the taxi driver knew a different way and we managed to reach shortly after. As soon as we got there, I went to get the wristband that would give me access to all the music stages. Even though I had been to this space before, I had never seen it transformed for this event. Lights, music, banners, more food stalls, and an exciting vibe. I couldn’t wait to check it all out.

My night in a nutshell

Before going to Dontri Festival, I checked out the DJ set times and decided on who wanted to see. I knew it would change and I would have to go with the flow but it was a good idea to have a game plan. I’d see my friend DJing at Bass then I would move on to check out house, trance, and psytrance. I would then bounce around between the main stage, hip hop, and trap/hardstyle.

I would say I stuck to that plan 70% as I ended up trance stage a few times. It was surprisingly pretty good! Hip hop was good too but when I got there, it had died down. Rest of the time I spent with my friends chatting, drinking and just having a good time.

What I liked Music…duh

Obviously, I loved the music. Since there are 8 different stages focusing on a genre, everyone was happy. I know many friends who go to music festivals and not enjoy because it is not their type of music. That wasn’t the problem here. No one could complain because if they didn’t like a DJ or type of music, they could go to another stage.

As I said, I mostly liked trap, hip hop, and the main stage. My favorite DJs for the night was Make you Freak! They had a crazy and interactive set that got us hyped and dancing.

Affordable stuff

Festivals can be expensive when it comes to food, drinks, and merchandise. It was pretty affordable at Dontri with Leo beers at 100 baht and cocktail buckets at 400 baht. Since 3 of us shared the buckets, it was really good value. The only thing is that you could only take or buy beer inside the music halls. Anything else had to be consumed around the venue space. Fair enough!

Food also wasn’t expensive except for stalls that were selling seafood. There was also plenty of variety – burgers, seafood, meat on sticks, rice dishes and much more. To be honest, I was running around so much between the stages, I didn’t get to focus on the food or even eat much.

Great crowd

One thing I always complain about commercial music festivals is the crowd. Pretentious “fans” that come just to be seen or take photos. At Dontri, it felt like people who actually enjoy music were there. Everyone was also friendly (well, mostly). I met a lot of people and danced with plenty too. It was an awesome scene.

The word out there

I reached out to some of my friends and people I met there and asked what they thought of Dontri Festival. Here’s what they had to say.

คุ้มเกินคุ้ม มันส์มาก! (Worth the money, awesome!)

– Pat Promtu

The event was a perfect combination of art and music. Having so many different types of music to choose from made it so I was never bored.

– Doug Yates

Great venue choice! The venue was big yet somehow intimate. Loved that there was a stage for different genres of music! Jumped from different stages! Looking forward to the next Dontri festival!

– Nicky S.

Dontri festival was one of the greatest festivals I have done so far. The venue and the setting were amazing with a diverse atmosphere, music, art, and food stalls, all for an incredibly cheap price! Wish there was a Dontri festival every month.

– Ronan Greff

So much fun. I like the place; it has the potential to build a cool festival. My favorite was the techno and trance stages.

– runrunworawaran

I think Dontri Festival was a great success. Not much I can say bad or wrong about it, just that I felt FOMO when I was at one stage. Always thinking what is happening at the other and if the music was better. But that’s the fun of it I think. Maybe have 4 stages next time?

Still, I can’t wait for the next one!

The post Dontri Festival appeared first on Dose of Life.

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You hear it all the time. “I quit my 9-5 job and traveled the world!” While it sounds amazing, it is not a luxury everyone has. Not all of us can do that and that’s for many reasons – nationality, visa issues, cultural differences or whatever. For most of us, traveling more with a full-time job is challenging, That being said, it’s not impossible. Many people do it. We do it.

It’s not all the time but we do travel quite a bit. We wouldn’t have this blog, otherwise would we? But how can we travel more you may be asking?

More and more of today’s young employees are looking for job opportunities that let them go on business trips and vacations, with 39% of them actually turning down job offers that don’t let them travel. These younger generations, while being low on cash are still loaded with time, allowing them to snatch up good deals that may not be available to everyone out there. Full-time employees don’t always have these advantages, but there are ways you still can go traveling while keeping your 9 to 5 job.

Here are some you can travel more with a full-time job.

Add on to your business trips Photo by Guilherme Stecanella on Unsplash

Business trips aren’t usually a lot of fun. Most of these trips involve you traveling into and from airports, conference rooms, and hotels for the duration of your stay. There likely won’t be any time to do any sightseeing, but you can enjoy some personal time by taking a couple of days off before or after the conferences are over. This way, you get to experience a little pleasure with business and even save money on flights. Many corporations also allow their employees to take time off in lieu if business travels cut into weekends, so try to take advantage of this when possible.

Extend public holidays

One way to make sure that your paid leave goes a long way is to combine paid leave with public holidays and weekends. You can do this by doing a little research before you actually book your trip. Simply take one or two days off before or after a bank holiday weekend, and now you’ve got five days off to enjoy a little blissful adventure. The smarter thing to do is to book the dates you need some time in advance before too many of your office mates start doing the same. This is particularly important if you’re trying to go away on a trip during popular holiday seasons like Christmas or Easter.

Travel for the weekend

A fantastic holiday doesn’t always have to take two weeks at a remote, exotic island. In fact, a short break in a trendy city could be just what you need to forget your troubles and refresh yourself for yet another week at work. So why not book a romantic (or adventurous) weekend trip to a nearby city, beach or mountain that’s only a couple of hours away from home? Since we never miss an opportunity to get away for a long weekend or even just a weekend, there are loads of great options for couples.

Depending on where you live, with just a short flight, you could be in the heart of Paris or the gorgeous Portugal shores, reveling in a completely different experience far from your daily woes. Book your trip from Friday evening to Sunday and you can enjoy a mini-holiday packed with adventure, without dipping into your holiday allowance.

Consider taking a sabbatical

Many corporations offer their employees the opportunity to take a sabbatical, or an extended holiday leave once they’ve completed several years of service. The duration of the sabbatical can vary among companies, but you’re sure to get in a healthy number of weeks, or sometimes even months.

Check if your company provides paid sabbaticals to employees as part of their contract. If so, make sure that you book yourself a long, fun-filled holiday several weeks in advance, so your teammates and superiors will have enough time to prepare for your extended absence.

Work as a freelance and travel anytime you want

Full time job doesn’t have to be at a company or working under a boss. You could opt to work remotely as a freelance. It’s still a fulltime job, in fact in some cases it goes beyond the 9 to 5 but the thing is you get to make your own hours. You can work more one day and not at all another.

This allows more flexibility to travel or work from beautiful locations. This isn’t possible for everyone that is for sure. In the case of Shayan for example, as we are based in Bangkok, he needs a visa to stay here. That visa is dependent on having a job. It might be easier for you and if it is, you should definitely consider it.

I’m generally not a fan of travel quotes but I’ll end this with one.

Adventure may hurt you but monotony will kill you

The post 4 tips for traveling more with a full-time job appeared first on Dose of Life.

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We go to a lot of music festivals and to be honest, a lot of them are the same. Few are great, some are OK and most are just a waste of time. This might all change with Dontri Festival, which could be the next big music festival in Bangkok.

In Thai, Dontri means music so therefore it’s simply called Music Festival. Pretty simple but effective, I’d say. It’s Thailand’s newest brand of music festival that brings music, food, and art in one place.

So why do we think that it’s going to be the next big thing? Here are 3 big reasons.

Sick venue

Imagine an abandoned plane that has been converted into a restaurant/bar surrounded by tons of arts, food stalls, and creative markets. That is Changchui. That is where Dontri Festival will be held.

If you’ve never heard of or been to Changchui, well you’ll be in for a full treat. Set the music aside, the venue itself will blow you away.

There are dozens of tiny restaurants and pieces of artwork around the space so while you’re taking a break from the music, you should definitely check them out.

8 stages!

Yes, you heard us right. They are going to have 8 stages, each featuring their own style/genre of music. There is the main stage (variety of EDM), hip hop, house/techno, trap/hardstyle, Bass, trance, Psy-trance and showcase (up and coming underground).

This is a pretty impressive setup and there is a place for everyone to enjoy their kind of music.

The venue isn’t massive and as you can see from the layout, the stages aren’t too far from each other. We were told by management that are using the best sound technology so there is little feedback and that music from different stages won’t interfere with each other.

Where will we be mostly? Expect us in Trap/Hardstyle, Hip Hop Bass and main stage. We will, however, check out all of the stages as much as we can. At an event like this, it’s important to experience all of it.

It highlights local talent

If there are no big-name international artists, people usually don’t bother with music festivals. Dontri Festival is breaking that barrier and is ONLY bringing in the best and upcoming LOCAL artists who create electronic music. Now by local, we don’t just mean Thais. It also includes expats such as Dan Buri who have been part of the electronic music industry in Thailand for years.

This is something that is very important to not only the Thais and local economy but also to promote these talents to the international community.

There are going to be over 80 DJs playing throughout the course of the day and night. That is an impressive number! Even a few of our friends who DJ at hotels, bars and clubs are scheduled to play a few sets at the festival. We are totally excited about it.

For the full lineup of artists, you can see the Facebook page.

Event details
Date: June 1, 3pm onwards
Ticket price: 600 THB, 700 THB at the door
Location: Changchui Creative Park

How to get there:
A: Take a Grab and enter the location. It’s just 25-30 minutes from downtown
B: Take BTS to Bang Wa and then you can take their shuttle bus (every 30 mins)
C: Shuttle bus from Khao San

* For B&C, updates will be given on the Facebook event page, so keep an eye out there.

So, these are just some of the reasons why we are going to Dontri Festival. Will you go? We really think you should. Go and support our local talents, listen to good music, drink Leo (or just water) and have a great time. See ya there!

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Whether or not it’s your first time traveling out of the country, you still have to go through the tedious and mind-boggling process that is packing. Indeed, nothing else is as time-consuming as choosing the items you need for the journey and making sure you have ample space in your luggage.

Then again, packing your bags is probably the most fulfilling part of preparing for long-distance travel. You just have to know the right approach.

Here are some of the best (mostly known) tips you might want to consider.

Make a list

This one’s an obvious tip any first-time traveler will have to learn by heart. And that’s because anyone can make the mistake of packing the wrong stuff in a bag with limited capacity. By making a list, you eliminate the risk of including items you don’t actually need or forgetting the items you do! That said, it always helps to have a checklist so you don’t accidentally forget your toothbrush.

Wear your heaviest clothing

Especially if you’re going somewhere that’s cold, you might want to wear layered clothing before you head for the airport. This will significantly lighten the load so you won’t have to worry about packing scarves and winter jackets in your already packed luggage.

This is a mistake we made when we went on our honeymoon to South Africa and forgot to wear our heaviest clothes. We clearly overpacked that we actually had to remove items at the airport as we went overweight. Don’t be that guy, girl or couple.

Carry only the grooming essentials you need

As per TSA regulations, you can bring a handful of grooming items with you in a carry-on bag. Safety razors are also acceptable, so you might want to organize them by keeping them in a ziplock bag.  Make sure to pack your Edwin Jagger shaving essentials to keep your beard looking good throughout your stay. Still, there are certain products you just can’t bring, so you might as well buy shampoo and moisturizer in the place you’re traveling to. Who knows, you might discover a new favorite fragrance on your travels!

Roll your clothes

When packing your clothes, folding them simply won’t do as they take up too much space. We all know the technique of rolling clothes by now. But even to that, there is a trick and the right way of rolling your clothes. That way, you are left with enough free space for other important items.

This is one that we try to do sometimes but its typically hard on the return journey. Our return packing is usually very chaotic. It helps to plan or start packing the night before.

Keep your essentials in your carry-on

So, you’re in the airport lounge and you accidentally spill coffee on your suit. You rummage your suitcase and spend a lot of time looking for a spare until you realize that you only have minutes left to board the plane as you desperately repack everything you have taken out. Indeed, this is one of those worst-case scenarios that travelers wouldn’t want to experience. Obviously, the best way to get around this problem is to pack extra clothes in your carry-on for easy access. It saves you a lot of time trying to find an emergency shirt whenever you need it.

One thing’s for sure, common sense is always an important factor when it comes to packing your luggage. You just have to be practical and learn how to manage space wisely. It’s easy to forget these tips but hopefully, this post will be a constant reminder. Even for us.

The post Travel Packing Essentials appeared first on Dose of Life.

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So I finally made it. After months of internal debate and planning, I was able to visit one of Bangkok’s most recent iconic building – the King Power MahaNakhon. Not only is it Thailand’s newest tallest building, but it also has a unique design. Some call it the pixel building because…well, you can see why.

Photo credit: @heartpatrick

On a clear blue-sky day (which have been hard to come by these days in Bangkok), I made my way to the tower. I was pretty excited as it had been on my bucket list for a while, especially having been living in the city.

This was my experience.

Before the views

The Mahanakhon experience starts even before you get to the top. As soon as you buy your tickets, (after going through security), there is a corridor of digital walls that await you. The graphics showcase some of Bangkok’s iconic attractions and culture. Unfortunately, because of the line behind me, I was unable to capture them.

If this wasn’t cool enough, even the elevator is a giant screen from inside. There are no views from the elevator except for the awesome audio-visuals that last for the entire 50-second ride. Take photos/videos or just soak in the experience – it’s definitely a sensory treat.

Also, maybe it is just me but it almost feels like the elevator is moving in more directions than up/down. Maybe it’s the audio-visuals messing with the brain. I honestly don’t know.

Observation Deck

The elevator takes you to the 74th floor first. This is the airconditioned observation deck that has a 360 view of the city. However, the room mazes around with several corners so you don’t get the full 360 panoramic views. You get bit pieces as you walk around.

There is plenty of light coming in through the ceiling-t0-ceiling glass walls so there are plenty of photo opportunities from the get-go. As you walk around you can buy drinks at the bar (open till 5 pm only), buy a souvenir through vending machines or look through a binocular to see things up close. All these are NOT included in the entrance ticket fee.

Since I was here around 4 pm, it was still pretty hot and I had a long way to go to 6:30 (when the sun sets). So this is a good place to hang around since it is air-conditioned and there are a few benches to sit on. Still, I had a lot of time to kill. Luckily, there is another cool feature at Mahanakhon skywalk – their augmented reality app.

Augmented reality

WiFi is available and free throughout the area. At the observation deck on the 74th floor, you will notice some signs for the WiFi. Simply scan the QR code and then on prompt, connect to the network. Easy!

On the same notice, there is a QR code for an app that you can download. The app is called Mahanakhon Skywalk AR. This is their AR application that allows you to interact with the view around you from the King Power Mahanakhon Tower.

The app can be used from both 74th and 78th floor but each floor has its own “game” or features.

From the 74th, it allows you to look at local attractions, world landmarks, tallest buildings in the world and Thai cities through the app camera view. Click on any of the attractions and you can learn more about them including how far they are from your location. This is a pretty cool use of technology, I would say.

Up on the 78th floor, the app lets you find cool spots around Bangkok and collect them as badges or icons. You can also learn more about these places. However, I think the location of all, if not some of these spots relative to the view from the app camera are incorrect. For example, it was showing China Town at a completely opposite direction from where it actually is. In any case, quite interesting.

Glass Tray Experience

There are lots of reasons to visit Mahanakhon Skywalk but the main highlight here has got to be the glass tray. It is basically a glass platform on the 78th floor that lets you look straight down! It’s definitely not for the faint-hearted and those with vertigo.

For our safety, they have a few rules to go on the glass tray. First, we had to queue up and pick up these cloth booties to cover our shoes. I guess this is to make sure we don’t scratch or crack the glass. We also could not bring any sharp objects, bags or mobile phones with us on the glass. They have to be left behind the barrier. So you can’t take any selfies on the glass. You can, however, ask your friends to take your photos from behind the ribboned barried.

Now I saw all these people taking photos and since I had come alone I was wondering how I will get any photos. That’s when I noticed another person (who was also alone) getting her pictures taken from one of the staff. Naturally, I did the same. I went up to him and asked if he could take my photos. Without hesitation, he said of course.

Now, I have to say I think his main job is this. He was pretty good at it as he knew the right angles and suggest poses and what not.

Now I don’t have a fear of heights but it was a bit weird being on top of the glass. My legs buckled as soon as I got on fell backward. Luckily, I was able to manage my composure and walk around. It was an awesome feeling now. 

Rooftop 360 view

In front of the glass platform is the rooftop 360-degree rooftop deck where the view is completely unobstructed and you can see the entire city and beyond. It is the highest point after all. From here it’s a fun game to try to figure what is what and where.

For example, I found Bang Krachao – the green lung of Bangkok. Do you see that spot of green in the center of the picture below? That’s it. I was also noticing how the river snakes around the city and finally goes into the sea. It was pretty cool to see that. I don’t think you can see it anywhere else.

The 78th floor also has a bar, places to sit, have a drink, listen to some music and watch the skyline as the sun sets. By sunset, however, it gets pretty crowded here with local photographers and tourists.

Overall thoughts

All in all, it is definitely worth a visit but just once. It’s a bit expensive to start with and I’m not talking about just the entry fee. Drinks are mad expensive as local beer starts at 270 and goes up to 430 THB. Classic cocktails are 480 and signature champagne drinks go up to 940 THB.

It’s also very touristy so for locals to come here for a drink does not make sense. There are plenty of rooftop bars to enjoy sunsets with more affordable drinks. I also wish Kanika had joined me or some friends came along because going alone can be a bit boring.

Having said this, it was a fun experience and I’m glad I got to tick off the “to-do” list. I wouldn’t tell you not to go.

General info

Ticket price: promotional price of THB 765 (original price is THB 965) for adults. For children/seniors, it is THB 250 (from THB 450). This promotion ends on June 30, 2019.

Opening hours: daily from 10.00 – 24.00 hrs.
Last admission 23.00 hrs

Address: 114 Narathiwas Road, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok

For more information, visit their website.

The post Experiencing Mahanakhon appeared first on Dose of Life.

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Songkran is a great time to be in Thailand. We actually prefer to stay in the country during this holiday, which is the Thai New Year and a time when locals and foreigners partake in water fights under the hot sun. One of the days, we decided to go to a music festival with the Songkran and Thai culture theme called Siam Songkran.

It was the first of its kind but we are sure they will be back next year. So if you’re curious, read on and find out how our experience was and maybe you would want to try it next time.

The Ambiance & Setup

Siam Songkran was organized and set up quite interestingly. Immediately as we entered, we got the festival vibe. But it wasn’t in your face. Everything came in phases. First, the main entrance followed by the ticketing gates.

Once through you experience the true uniqueness of the festival with the SOUL stage, food stalls, cultural shows and themed props all around such as the boxing ring.

One really cool thing we found was that under the soul stage, there were all these hammocks to lounge in.  Well, we’re not sure how anyone could sleep in them with music all around but a cool concept nonetheless.

Finally, further in you reach the Siam stage where all the Songkran fun and main music performances were being held.

Food & Drinks

Siam Songkran really did well with keeping to the theme. Even the food and beverages focused on what Siam is all about. They served all types of Thai staple and popular Thai food items. You could order from any of the dozen stalls and eat them at the tables in front. Just Another great example of the entire setup of the music festival. It all really went with the theme.

The highlight was the Kapao (basil) chicken or beef stall. This is our absolute favorite dish and were so glad that they had it there. Top it off with a fried egg and some rice and the dish is heaven.

As for drinks, the main sponsors were Chang beer and Bacardi Rum – very much popular brands in Thailand. The main setup for each was outside the Siam stage but smaller stalls could be found inside as well. The outside setup felt more lounge-like for those who want to relax and take a break from all the dance-music-Songkran action inside.

The Music Highlights

The lineup for April 14 consisted of Afrojack and Seven Lions as the headliners with 6 supporting DJs on the main stage. The first set was by  Spixzy at 5 pm. We got there around 6 at the time at which DJ Junior was playing. However, since we were walking around the music festival grounds, eating food and checking out the SOUL stage.

By 7 we made our way to the main SIAM stage and immediately got soaked by the water cannons splashing in all directions. It was a hot day so we did not mind getting wet. In fact, that is the point of Songkran. Isn’t it?

At this time, Ephwurd was just coming on. He played a decent mixed set of Trap, Hardstyle, hip hop, and EDM. He leaned towards the former 2 styles, however.

As soon as he finished, we made our way back to the soul stage to listen to some less commercial music. It was a mix of hip hop, house, and techno. Quite different from the Siam stage. We didn’t keep track of what artists were playing here though.

Next up, back at the main stage, Ekali was starting his set. It seems he was an underrated artist as his mixed were pretty dope. It had us dancing and having a great time. The same went for Mija who was excellent! She had some great skills and talent. There was never a time that we got bored. Definitely would want to hear more from these two artists.

Finally, Afrojack was next. Most people had come for him I am guessing as we quickly noticed that the space between us was getting tighter. It got crowded fast and continuously got pushed back and forth. However, to be honest, Afrojack did not deliver in my opinion. Perhaps we were getting tired by now or his music sounded too commercial compared to the previous DJs. We didn’t even finish the set and decided to go home early so also missed out on Seven Lions.

Overall, it was a great music festival. If I wasn’t sick I would have stayed the entire night and maybe even gone a second day. It was a four-day event!

If you’re interested for the next one (which we think there will be) keep an eye on their Facebook page

The post Siam Songkran Music Festival appeared first on Dose of Life.

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