Live it Well at Bangkok’s Swissotel Nai Lert

Explore Bangkok and stay at the Swissotel
Editor’s Note: This post is in partnership with Swissotel. Bangkok. The Big Mango. Thailand’s crowded capital I’ve been to too many times to count. It’s a city I used to dislike. Crowded. Humid. But, the more I have gone, the more I have begun to like it. I could wander down the sois and discover adorable coffee shops and restaurants in the Ari neighborhood. Or, explore the trendy area of Sukhumvit with its nightclubs and world-class dining. Or, I simply could shop until I drop at the many massive shopping malls (and, let me tell you, they put American malls to shame. Shame, I say).

Of course, my last visit to Bangkok was only a few weeks ago. It was my first time returning to Thailand after more than 10 months away from what used to be my home. It’s always weird to return to a place I used to live. It’s an urban jungle, and one I am slowly … slowly … coming to love.

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History and charm: Riomaggiore’s Alla Marina

riomaggiore_alla_marina
We stand outside the cafe, a gorgeous stone terrace with little tables, overlooking the tranquil blue water of the Ligurian Sea (a far cry from the tumultuous experience the day before when attempting to take Cinque Terre’s water ferry). Mom and I stand waiting, our suitcases at our sides, when the owner of Alla Marina comes up to us. We’re renting an apartment in Riomaggiore for our last night in the gorgeous region of Italy, and moved from our Flipkey rental in Vernazza to the most southern of the five towns to enjoy a the remaining moments of our mother-daughter Italian vacation.

“Hello, hello,” Sandro Pasini greets us. He’s one of the two brothers who run the Alla Marina, a small cluster of rooms and apartments in the village. Sandro is tall, his English perfect, and his willingness to help us is apparent immediately.

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Behind bars in Ljubljana: Hostel Celica review

Ljubljana Hostel Celica

You’d think sleeping inside a former military prison would be creepy. I even ask the manager of the property as she guides me down the dark, damp stairs to where solitary confinement used to be, a stone cave-like basement, if it is haunted. She chuckles and responds with a simple “no.”

In fact, other than the darkness of that solitary confinement area, Hostel Celica, in Ljubljana, Slovenia, is anything but creepy. It is perhaps the most vibrant and energetic hostel I’ve ever rested my head.

Seriously.

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