Thailand

Jungle Oasis

April 11, 2019

PhotographyHelen Janneson Bense | Lisa Hamilton

Drone Photography/EditingHelen Janneson Bense

LocationSoneva Kiri, Koh Kood, Thailand

Imagine flying on a private plane overlooking an ancient rainforest paradise surrounded by turquoise seas as far as the eye can see. This is Soneva Kiri; one of the most unique locations I’ve ever visited in Thailand. It has it’s own micro-climate and it’s own time zone. This way you will always have so much time to enjoy the the glorious sunset.

Soneva Kiri is an inspirational, eco-friendly, and sustainable resort that grows it’s own organic produce, recycles it’s own waste and reuses and repurposes it’s own waste to create the very building blocks required to maintain the resort. It’s setting the highest standards for resorts on every single level. The food quality and options are endless. The staff are always happy to accomodate any dietary need. There’s an all you can eat ice-cream and chocolate room, including a whole range of vegan sorbets that are just so refreshing in the Thailand heat.

I had the absolute pleasure of traveling here with fellow travel blogger, Lisa from @seewantshop. This is why I love traveling so much; connecting, creating precious memories, and forming beautiful friendships. Lisa and I shared so many hilarious moments on this trip, and found it so refreshing to have some real and honest chats about the ups and downs of blogger life.

The highlight of our day was our lunch trips by boat to North Beach. This beach is one of Soneva Kiri’s most hidden jewels. It’s the clearest, most beautiful, picturesque paradise that has everything you’ll ever need for a day of total relaxation, adventure and mermaiding. Head out for some stand up paddle boarding, snorkelling, kayaking, or hang on the beach for some badminton, table tennis and the most delicious array of culinary delights. Lisa and I spent many days here sipping on coconuts and enjoying the views from the swings. The water hammocks were probably the most relaxing spot on the entire island. Imagine being gently rocked by the soft waves as you cool down under the hot sun. It’s so relaxing, refreshing and it almost put me to sleep like a baby!

A must do at Soneva Kiri is book the Treetop dining in the Tree pod. It is hands down the most unique way of enjoying high tea. You can book it for any meal, though I loved the afternoon light overlooking the beautiful turquoise water. While we sipped on rose, our waiter brought our meals via a zipline! It was crazy cool how fun and exciting this was.

And when you’re tired from all the snorkelling, dining, mermaiding, and sunset cruises head back to your luxuriously appointed private villa. We stayed in the most grand 4 bedroom residence with our very own waterslide! I couldn’t believe it! It was unreal! It definitely made it hard to leave and explore the island when our room was this amazing. And when you do decide to explore again, you have your very own buggy to drive around! How fun is that! If you want to book the exact villa we stayed in check out Villa 18 :)

I’m so grateful for time in nature like this….to explore this world and live my passion capturing beautiful moments. I’ve realised how much my perspective of this world has changed since my blogging journey began. I notice so much beauty everywhere I go. I see the world through a magical lens that truly brings me into the present moment where I can deeply feel my connection to nature.

With love and gratitude,

Helen xx

All text and images copyright © Helen Janneson Bense 2020

Cape Panwa

March 21, 2016

PhotographyBobby Bense

Model/StylingHelen Janneson Bense

LocationCape Panwa, Phuket, Thailand

Outfit Details

Isla Bonita Dress

Panama Hat

Grecian Bikini

Moonstone Shard Necklace

Moments Maxi dress

Tulip one piece

Mokula bikini

Body Jewelry

Rings

Custom Denisse M Vera top skirt + macrame bodypiece

Camilla Overlay Dress

“To create art with all the passion in one’s soul is to live art with all the beauty in one’s heart” Aberjhani

My heart has been completely won over by beautiful Thailand yet again. Those friendly smiles, intoxicating flavours and scents, a colour palette that dreams are made of. Our recent stay at Cape Panwa was by far the most magnificent of all our resort visits to date. We stayed in the most luxurious penthouse suite, accessible via private elevator, with breathtaking turquoise ocean views from every room. Each morning we woke up to watch the sunrise, whilst our private chefs cooked us the most wonderful breakfast spread. We indulged in so much deliciousness as we listened to the soothing sounds of water trickling over the edge of our huge infinity pool, and the melodic tunes of the capiz shell lamps chiming in the ocean breeze.

When we actually left our magical room, we discovered even more beauty at Cape Panwa. The private beach is lined with massive palm trees, the softest cleanest sand, and vivid turquoise water. The bamboo bar is nestled on the beach where you can laze about on sun lounges, tropical cocktail in hand. The Panwa House, just a few steps away, totally blew my mind. A Sino-portugese mansion with more character than I could even deal with. I couldn’t stop looking at ever single intricate detail in complete awe. We spent quite a few nights here enjoying the most tantalising thai cuisine. One evening we enjoyed a candlelit private dinner date right on the beach. The ultimate romantic scene was set with lanterns and candles gently illuminating the night. The setting was perfect, the food was out of this world amazing, though my dinner date was what made it one of the best nights of my life. Later that night we were lucky enough to witness some fireworks right on the beach!

We had so many special moments and magical memories though the highlight of this trip was definitely the day we went exploring the surrounding islands and beaches upon the Princess Panwa yacht. Whoever thought to put a spa on a yacht was an absolute genius! My wanderlust was on fire as we took a dinghy to shore and explored secluded beaches. We spent the day jumping off the boat into the most iridescent water I think I’ve ever seen, snorkelling through lagoons, and soaking up all that sunshine and turquoise bliss.

A few things I highly recommend for your visit to Cape Panwa – take the Thai cooking classes. We learnt how to cook our favourite Thai dishes, and now we are making them at home! And they taste so good! Take the boat out to Coral Island for the day. Or charter the yacht to celebrate a special occasion. Make sure you eat at every restaurant as the food is out of this world. Watch the sunrise over the pier…you won’t regret waking up early for this.

We are so grateful to have shared such a wonderful time together in the most idyllic setting imaginable. Special mention goes to our fabulous butler Somchai. We were completely flawed by how attentive and kind he was. He took such great care of us and made our stay at Cape Panwa next level amazing. Big thanks to Cape Panwa for their wonderful hospitality and for one the best trips of our lives. It’s not something we’ll ever forget and our beautiful memories and experiences will continue to flourish within our hearts.

With love and gratitude,

Helen xx

All text and images copyright © Helen Janneson Bense 2020

Wanderlust + Co Travel Diary

November 21, 2015

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

PhotographyBobby Bense

Model/StylingHelen Janneson Bense

LocationThe Siam, Floating Markets, Grand Palace – Bangkok, Thailand

JewelryWanderlust + Co

Constellation Story

Necklaces – Crescent & Star | Crescent & Diamonte

Cuffs/Bracelets – Spell Bound | Moon + Star

Rings – Petite Orbit Crystal | Frame Crescent | Double Box | Double bar + Chain | ConstellationIota

Clean Slate Story

Necklaces – Daydreamer Necklace | Remain Present Necklace

Cuffs/Bracelets – Breathe Bangle | Studded Pave | Dusk to Dawn Spike | Arrow

Rings – Double BarJagged Ring Set | Double Box | Triangle | Double Ring & Chain | Double Bar Wrap | V

Marble Story

Necklaces – Breathe | Crescent & Diamonte | Daydreamer Necklace

Cuffs/Bracelets – Dusk til Dawn XL | Dusk til Dawn Spike | Multi-Stud Spike

Rings – Dusk til Dawn XL | T-Bar | Double Arrow | Petite Orbit Crystal | Arrow Split | Dusk til Dawn | V Double Bar

Onyx Story

Necklaces – ArrowBreathe |  Daydreamer Necklace

Cuff/Bracelets – Multi-Stud Spike | Arrow | Dusk til Dawn XL | Dusk til Dawn | Dusk til Dawn Onyx Spike

Rings – Dusk til Dawn Onyx | Dusk til Dawn XLPetite Orbit Crystal | Triangle | Frame Tri | VDouble Ring & Chain | Trio Stack Rings | Iota

Rose Gold Story 

Necklace – Crescent & Diamonte

Cuffs/Bracelets – Box | Arrow Petite | Knot | Multi – Stud | Double Arrow

Rings – Aztec Pave | Dusk til Dawn Turquoise Wrap | Double V Bar Chain | Geo Armour XL Crystal | Orbit & Stud | Orbit

Outfit Details

Spell Isla Bonita Embroidered Dress

Paisley Tunic

His Touch Dress

Bikini

Spell Lace top | Shorts | Shirt | Bag

OOAK Lace Dress

Crochet Maxi

Silk Playsuit

Beaded Top | Shorts | Shirt | Bag

Sunglasses

Straw Hat

Thailand has to be one of my favourites places ever. I feel so grateful to have experienced another amazing adventure to this beautiful country once again. During your vacation, you may want to spend time traveling with online locations, click here to kill your boredom. This time, we were lucky enough to journey through Bangkok and stay at The Siam Hotel, which has to be in my Top 10 all time best hotels I’ve ever stayed at. I’m so grateful to the wonderful Wanderlust + Co, who organised so many beautiful relaxing, pampering and adventure filled experiences for us on this trip, making it one we’ll never forget.

These few days away gave both Bobby and I an opportunity to really spend precious time together. Time to connect and time to create magic. We were continually inspired by our surrounds. There was so much culture and beauty everywhere we went. We spent our first day relaxing and catching our breath after leaving our busy home and daily routines. That first massage was all it took and we completely melted into holiday mode. It was hands down one of the best massages I’ve ever had. Big thanks to the Opium Spa at the The Siam for a job well done. We basically walked out of the spa with the hugest grins on our faces. The rest of our pamper day was well spent relaxing by the pool, exploring the hotel and all the incredible collectibles they have, chatting with locals, and simply being in the moment, enjoying all that life has to offer.

A perfect day in paradise was followed by an amazing dinner at Le Du restaurant. If you love seafood this place is so for you. Each plate was beautifully presented and the flavours and textures of each dish were perfectly balanced. My favourite was definitely dessert! Thai desserts are simply the best!

The next part of our journey led us to the floating markets in Bangkok. As we floated through the markets, sipping on fresh coconuts, we had the opportunity to see some traditional thai handicrafts and experience the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. We then ventured to the Grand Palace and enjoyed a serene walk throughout the grounds, admiring all the incredible architecture and detail of this sacred place. It’s simply something you have to see with your own eyes.

Until the next wanderlust adventure!

With love and gratitude,

Helen xx

All text and images copyright © Helen Janneson Bense 2020

Six Senses

October 11, 2015

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PhotographyBobby Bense

Model/Styling/PhotographyHelen Janneson Bense

LocationSix Senses Yao Noi, Thailand

Outfit Details 

Six Senses Yao Noi was by far one of the very best resorts we have ever stayed at. Bobby and I have done our fair share of travel to luxury resorts, though after our stay here, we have been catapulted to a new level of standard. The attention to detail is definitely their most astounding quality. And for someone like me, who is so into details, nothing was missed.

As you step off the boat and onto this island paradise the landscape will instantly awe you. Breathtaking panoramic views of limestone karsts sit on the horizon in Phang Nga bay that can be seen from your villa or the main pool at the Hilltop Reserve. The entire design of the resort flows so seamlessly with the natural mangrove surrounds, with all structures built around the trees and into the landscape. The interior spaces particularly appealed to my Scandinavian roots and my love of neutral and natural decor. They have created such a clear and easy space that evokes relaxation right away.

Their focus on sustainability, and commitment to social and environmentally responsible practices is commendable. They are so genuine at Six Senses and you can feel how much they really care. The passion in all the staff is not only evident in their smiles, but in the positive energy they all radiant. We felt instantly taken care of the moment we arrived. I can really see why people come here for months at a time for retreat. The whole resort is abuzz with such a high vibrational energy. It ticks all the boxes and then some.

As a couple of foodies, Bobby and I were thoroughly impressed with the quality, variety and divine flavour of absolutely everything. The standard the chefs adhere to is in a league of their own. They only accept the freshest and best produce in their kitchen. They grow so much of their food in beautiful organic gardens spread across the property. They have their own mushroom shed, and an organic egg farm, where you can choose your own eggs for breakfast. But by far the biggest culinary treat they have is the Ice cream shop where they create yummy flavours and bake all kinds of assorted deliciouness. But wait….seriously it gets better….. you can actually go and eat ice cream for free all day long at the ice cream shop right by mai tai beach! Yes, this place is heaven!

A few other highlights of our stay that all added up to one beyond amazing adventure – being surprised with my very own specially made gluten free desserts by the pool. Dinner with management that was more like dinner with old friends…and they served gemstone water {an amazing water containing high vibrational crystals to amplify and vitalise your energy}. Finding an awesome old school wooden rope swing on the beach and no one on it! Swimming in the warm, tropical rain showers without a care in the world. Waking up at sunrise to a magical purple haze sky that lasted all of a few minutes but was so worth waking up for. Day spa pampering and discovering they use Tibetan Singing bowls. And of course lazing by the pool with a cocktail in hand (with lemongrass for a straw) …basically we were in heaven for a few days and I’m still dreaming of going back.

I can’t recommend this place enough to my fellow wanderlust travellers out there. I know that every experience in life is a matter of perspective based on each individual’s view of themselves and their world. I always try to find the good in everything. This was like finding gold at the end of the rainbow. The jackpot!

I hope you guys go visit Six Senses Yao Noi and please share with me your experiences of this utterly magical sanctuary.

With love and gratitude,

Helen xx

Travel Tips –

  • Definitely take a long tail boat out and go island hopping….the limestone karsts are so beautiful in the bay and a must see close up!
  • The rooms are all absolutely incredible. If you are a beach lover like me opt for the beachfront villa so you can have direct access to the beach. It’s perfect for swimming and so private and pristine.
  • Check out the day spa and the wonderful healing massages.
  • Their take on a margarita is the bomb! Must have!
  • Everything is actually so amazing so you won’t be disappointed ;)
  • I’d suggest arriving during the daylight hours as you will need to transfer from car to boat to get to Yao Noi Island. It’s a smooth ride though and nice to enjoy the view of the turquoise sea and snap pics :) Aim to arrive before 6pm and you should be all good.

All text and images copyright © Helen Janneson Bense 2020

Dancing in the Rain

September 30, 2015



PhotographyBobby Bense & Helen Janneson Bense

Model/StylingHelen Janneson Bense

LocationCentara Grand Resort & Spa – Krabi, Thailand

Outfit Details

Sea Urchin Crochet Dress | Hat

Crochet Bikini + Halter Top | Necklace | Sunglasses | Hat

Kimono | Sundress (similar) | Hat

Tanzania Bikini | Hat

Innika One piece Swimsuit | Hat

Kiss the Sky Gown

Sundress (similar) | Hat | Necklace | Rings | Clutch

Arizona Chain Necklace | Kimono

Gold Leg Chain

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass….It’s about learning to dance in the rain” – Vivian Greene

This quote has never been as relevant as it was for our recent wanderlust adventures to beautiful Thailand. The day we arrived, so did a crazy monsoon. I must say even though I envisioned my time away with never-ending sunshine, it was a wonderful opportunity for both Bobby and I to embrace the uncertainty of life and find gratitude for all the unexpected blessings. It forced us deeper into ourselves, to reflect and discover what we actually love most about holidays is connection. We still had many pockets of sunshine where the rain and wind slipped away momentarily and we made the absolute most out of it.

We ventured to Krabi first, and discovered this stunning region walled with grand size limestone karsts providing a completely majestic and breathtaking backdrop. It’s a rock climbers paradise and feels a little like a scene from Jurassic Park. We stayed at the luxurious Centara Grand Resort with it’s own pristine private beach. Accessible only by boat or a jungle monkey trail from the nearby town, it’s surrounded by giant awe inspiring cliffs, clear turquoise waters and some of the softest sand I’ve ever felt. It’s a completely magical setting that instantly evokes a relaxed, holiday vibe. We enjoyed the privacy and seclusion of the location, whilst just a short boat ride or hike, you can venture out to the bustling markets, cafes and bars of Krabi. We never felt the urge to leave though as the resort had so much to offer. You can literally jump in a kayak straight from the beach and head out and explore the limestone karsts and turquoise lagoons. The whole area is surrounded by the most amazing beaches, abundant with incredible underwater life. You can take a boat tour to the surrounding islands, or head out for some scuba diving or snorkelling. Enjoy sunset dinners on the beach, jungle hikes, or laze by the multi level pool and spa with a cocktail in hand as you watch the immaculate view of the Andaman sea.

I was lucky enough to celebrate my 39th!! birthday here and indulge in one of the best massages I’ve ever had at their divine day spa. I was lulled into a deep trance and quite possibly this moment was one of the most relaxed I’ve ever felt. Later this evening we were then treated to an amazing Teppenyaki dinner, as we were serenaded with live music, a super friendly atmosphere, creating the perfect holiday ambience we were looking for. We were lucky enough to meet so many amazing travellers here, ending the night with one two many cocktails at the very cool Blu bar. One of the best parts about travelling is all the awesome people you meet and wonderful connections you make. No matter how transient these may be, they are a huge highlight of any adventure abroad.

I’m so excited to explore more of Krabi next time I head back to Thailand. More adventure awaits! ;)

With love and gratitude,

Helen xx

Travel Tips :

  • Rainy season in Thailand is typically from May-November though I’ve been in June and it was sunshine and blue skies with just a light misting so you never know. And it’s still so wonderful even when it is raining :)
  • When travelling to Krabi or any of the islands by boat, I’d suggest arriving in the daylight hours, so the transfer from car, boat to resort is seamless.
  • The monkeys here are some the bravest I’ve encountered so watch your stuff, they will take it if you leave it unattended.
  • If you stay at Centara Grand Resort in Krabi definitely opt for a club room. The extra is well worth all the additional advantages that come with this room type. There is an almost non stop serving of food and drink from the Club lounge and happy hour is so amazing you might not even be able to fit in dinner!
  • Also make sure you order Strawberry Margaritas here…they are the BEST! ;)

All text and images copyright © Helen Janneson Bense 2020

Lucid

June 28, 2015

PhotographyHelen Janneson Bense & Jasmin Howell from Friend in Fashion

Model/StylingHelen Janneson Bense

LocationSri Panwa, Phuket, Thailand

Details

Pool Ocean View Villa – Sri Panwa

Jewelry – Tipi Necklace | Luna Necklace | Aquila Crystal Ring | Double Moons Ring 

Love Affair Combi Playsuit – Magali Pascal | Bralette | Arizona Black Hat

Yoga wear – Alo Yoga | Luna Necklace

Rings – Kasané | Bahagia Larimar | Nicole Fendel | Strong midi

New Age Dress | Blue Heaven Shake Hat | Bralette | Nicole Fendel Cuff

Clementine Romper

White Sands Shift Dress

There’s something about those tropical island getaways…the colours, the scents, the vibes. Food tastes better, the air is clearer, and everything around you is magnified, rich in colour, texture, meaning. A palpable and enriched vitality resonates in every single little thing and it’s amazing!

I had such an incredible stay recently at Sri Panwa in Thailand, so I wanted to share a little more about this beautiful location, and some of my precious moments there.

Perched upon Cape Panwa, Sri Panwa resort boasts the most idyllic 360 ocean views. Sunset cocktails at Baba’s Nest are a must, followed by some authentic thai food at Baba Soul. Each day I awoke before the sun, did a few morning sun salutations, and watched from my bed as the sun rose and painted the sky. Every morning was a stunning light show and I had the best seats in the house. My bedroom opened up to my pool on all 3 sides with an ocean vista to ignite all your wildest dreams. It was in this moment as I gazed upon this glorious view, that I felt nothing was beyond my grasp. All that I could imagine was possible. The veil between my dream world and reality were somehow merging. I was reminded of one of my many lucid dreams of flying high in the sky like an eagle. It was pure and utter magic.

Fuelled by the energy of each sunrise and sunset, I moved through my days in harmony with nature’s rhythm. I was filled with so many perfect moments of peace, joy and contentment. Sharing this amazing journey with the gorgeous Jasmin was the highlight of the trip. There’s nothing better than having the time of your life and sharing it with another kindred sister.

Next stop California! I’m so excited for a month long family holiday in the summer sunshine, exploring rivers and redwoods, and magical scenic coastlines.

With love and gratitude,

Helen xx

All text and images copyright © Helen Janneson Bense 2020

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