Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
– Steve Jobs

Huh, it has been quite a week! Although for outsiders, our life may look like a relaxed travel life but it’s not like that all the time. We are not just lying by the pool and enjoying some beer or cocktails. We are working and trying to develop our things all the time and it’s really stressful a lot of times.

Today I woke up in the morning before seven, did some yoga and the rest of the day I sat in a restaurant with my laptop and tried to figure out how the hell I could make some things work properly. My patience and electronics are not the best combination!

Regardless of that, the week has been rewarding. I have lots of pictures from the week so this post is more about pictures and less text.

koh jum office
Our office changes daily. Sometimes it is a beautiful place with a sea view and sometimes MC Donald’s!

We were at Koh Lanta National Park which is the most southern point of the island. It costs 200 baht (5,60 euros) per person for foreigners and another 20 baht (0,60 euros) if you’re bringing a motorbike.

koh lanta national park bembalyfe

koh lanta national park

koh lanta national park

We also visit Koh Lanta Old town! There were cute little shops.

koh lanta old town

koh lanta old toen
One other day we went on a (pretty horrible!) snorkeling trip with other tourists.
Horrible because we are not huge fans of tourist trips… The trip was “4 island trip” which included 2 snorkeling stops, a “cave swim” where we swam 80 meters with life jackets (Michael was like I don’t need it but the guide forced him to put it on haha! It was a funny situation) through the dark cave. With a hundred other tourist! Last stop was a lunch break on a peaceful beach, Koh Kradan which was very beautiful and peaceful.

koh kradan

koh kradan

After Koh Lanta we took a tourist boat and went to a Koh Jum where we spent one day. We didn’t know that there was no ATM on the island, and we had not much cash, so we were forced to leave after one night.

Koh Jum was so nice and a really calm island. We were pretty sad that we had to leave only after one night. We stayed at Coral Bay resort which was very nice with clean bungalows and friendly stuff. Michael turned 32 when we were there, what would be a better place to be on a birthday?

If you’re wondering where to stay at Koh Jum, we highly recommend this. You can book your stay here*

koh jum thailand
koh jum thailand

koh jum thailand

coconut
koh jum local boat
We didn’t want to go on a tourist boat anymore, so we took a local boat which was 4 times cheaper than a tourist boat and the trip was very nice. Locals are super friendly and things work easily with them without any confusion!

From Koh Jum we went to Krabi town for one night. We stayed at Sleep Easy which was clean and nice hostel owned by an Aussie dude. One night costs only 16 euros which is not bad in that area. We had a private room because we don’t want to stay in dorms with all our electronics.

In the evening we went to the night market. I love night markets! We ate grilled seafood and of course – banana pancakes! Huh, it was super sugary for me cause I don’t eat desserts very often. Okay, I think it’s super sugary for everyone!

sleep easy hostel krabi town

From Krabi Town, we took a local bus, or more like a pickup truck with seats in the back, to Ao Nang where we are currently. We stay at Ao Nang Bamboo resort and we stay here for 6 days. We have a cute little bungalow and this place is overall nice and quiet with a pool! This place is a couple of kilometers away from the beach, away from all the tourist hassle, so we rented a scooter so we can drive around easily.

-Lotta

*This post contains affiliate links. 

MOYO ISLAND – SUMBAWA, INDONESIA

Okay, so many people have never heard about Moyo Island, Never did I before I stumbled upon it by accident when searching the web. I instantly knew that this place is going to be a paradise, and it was!

-Explore the nature, bat cave
-Visit multiple waterfalls
-Snorkeling in crystal clear water
-Diving in some of the best conditions on planet earth
-Little to none tourism

READ POST: EXPLORING MOYO ISLAND – SCUBA DIVING AND WATERFALLS

scuba diving moyo island

We went to Moyo Island in May and there were no other Western people around. You can visit the Island any time a year but December to February might be a bit more rainy, On the other side, the waterfalls will be even more spectacular if this happens.

The place we stayed at was as amazing as it gets (book your stay: Maleo Moyo Hotel & Dive resort*). The couple who owns it is one of the best-hearted people I ever met! Evert, originally from the Netherlands, is the man at the resort – and also the scuba instructor! Click for more: DJI Moyo.

He is very professional and has a lot of experience. He and his wife who is local runs the place and they are willing to help you with anything you need.

moyo island bungalow

moyo island

There is also a 5-star resort, Amanwana*, where it’s luxury but that is for the wealthier people because it’s very expensive and did not suit us.

Where is it and how to get there?

The island is situated on the North side of Sumbawa, East of Lombok. The easiest way is to fly in with a seaplane but that will cost you a lot of money. More info here.

The second option, which is way cheaper, is to first get yourself to Bali and then fly via Lombok to Sumbawa Besar.

Book your flights here:

From there you need to take a taxi to a peer and from there with a boat. Luckily for you, Evert has this all figured out at a reasonable price, he picks you up from the airport and then you jump on his boat and will take you straight to Maleo Moyo.

moyo island scuba diving

What to do on Moyo?

Scuba diving and snorkeling is for sure the best reason to visit the island, Secondly comes nature and waterfalls it beholds.

There is also a bat cave which is very exciting. Here you can watch how we spent our time on the Island:

READ POST: MOYO ISLAND – MATA JITU WATERFALL

READ POST: BAT CAVE

READ POST HERE

READ POST HERE

READ POST HERE

Okay, so this was our journey there. Did you get excited yet? Comment below if you been to Moyo or planning to go!

We highly suggest that you visit this piece of paradise if you want some real adventure.

Oh, by the way, there is no ATM at the island so be prepared, get some cash with you and plan in advance. Also no alcohol, but you will probably not need it anyway. Enjoy!
moyo islandmata jitu moyo islandmoyo islandmoyo island sunset

-Michael

*This post contains affiliate links.

Thambili Cabanas and Thambili Cafe are both located in Hikkaduwa on the west coast of Sri Lanka.

They have a really cool spot for relaxing and really enjoying the best parts of a Sri Lankan beach stay! The water is warm and the weather is tropical. What more do you wish for? The food at Thambili Cafe is organic and fresh and there’s something for everyone – very delicious!

The Cabanas are brand new with a really great garden and swimming pool area. The staff is always friendly and smiling, always willing to help with anything you need to know about their homeland!

THAMBILI CAFE

Location:
920/1 Galle Road | ThiranagamaHikkaduwa 80240, Sri Lanka

Go check them on Facebook.
Tripadvisor is also a great place to see reviews of the place.


THAMBILI CABANAS

LOCATION:
No. 785-A Galle Road
 | ThiranagamaHikkaduwa 80240, Sri Lanka

Tripadvisor
Here* you can book your next holiday at Thambili Cabanas!

If you are in the area you better check it out, we highly recommend it!

 

*This post contains affiliate links.

Lotta: Greetings from Thailand! Here’s our weekly update with pics taken with the phone during the past week. We are currently at Koh Lanta, which is an island in Krabi. We’ve been here for six days now and just been relaxing and enjoying the beach life. My father is also here, with his girlfriend and friends, and it makes me extremely happy that I can spend quality time with them because most of the time I’m traveling and can’t spend time with my fam. We’ve had so fun together here!

We flew here through Kuala Lumpur which is the best waypoint when flying from place to place in Southeast Asia because getting there is so cheap (from Banda Aceh to Kuala Lumpur only 20 euros!) and there you can buy all the necessary stuff if needed and best of all, enjoy the super delicious food (which is always an important thing when traveling haha). We stayed at My Hotel* which is nearby the bus station. It is a good basic hotel which cost 12 euros a night.

In Kuala Lumpur, we just chilled and ate good food and went to bed early because we were pretty exhausted from traveling. The next morning we woke up at 4 am, packed the baggage, drank some coffees and took the bus to the airport. Our flight to Krabi was at 7 am and the flight took only 1.5 hours, we both slept almost the whole flight.

Read our older Kuala Lumpur post (in Finnish) here.

I’ve never been to Thailand before, so I was really excited to get to experience a new place and see the culture. The other big reason I was so excited was that I could wear bikinis and get tanned because in Sumatra I couldn’t do that because of religious reasons.

We are staying at Lanta Smile Resort* which is located at Long Beach. Koh Lanta is a peaceful island, not like a big party island. During the day it is really peaceful, no loud music at the bars etc. Here you can relax, enjoy delicious local food, go to Thai massage and in the evenings watch the sunset while sipping cocktails. There are also bars so if you want to party it’s possible of course.

Cocktails and sunset

I tried Thai massage for the first time in my life and to be honest it was the best massage I’ve ever had! It lasted almost one hour and cost 7 euros. The Thai woman threw and turned me in different positions and got all the muscle and joint tensions open and I felt like a newborn after that.

Office today.
Office today. Not bad.

Something on my mind right now:

– There’s so many Swedish here, huh. And Finns also. Pretty much like a basic tourist place.
– Locals are so friendly here. Everyone is smiling!
– The weather is amazing. +33-37 celsius and cloudless sky!
– Coconuts are not as good as in Indonesia or Sri Lanka. Why the hell do they taste like cornflakes here? 😀
– Why does every breakfast include egg or dairy?
– To see my family members happy and loved is the thing that makes me the happiest in life.

Today is my dad’s last day here so I think there will be some party tonight! Now I shut down my laptop and head to the beach, laters!

-Lotta

 

 

 

 

*This post contains affiliate links. 

When I travel I never use any makeup on my skin because I want to give it some breath and fresh air. Anyway, in the tropics, it’s also so hot that the makeup will melt away immediately.

I have had very good skin all my youth, but now, for several years I have had pimples especially in my cheeks and sometimes also in my jawline (I guess it’s for hormonal reasons). Actually, all of them are not even pimples but red scars from old pimples.

I strongly believe that diet affects the condition of the skin and therefore I, for example, don’t use dairy products anymore. I currently only use two natural productions on my skin: coconut oil and sandalwood oil which is the topic of today. These combined with a non-dairy diet have made my skin much better.

I’ve never used sandalwood oil (the REAL one!) before, but when we were in Sri Lanka, we went to the spice garden tour and the guide told us all the health benefits the oil has. One thing was that it can remove acne scars so when I heard that I was like “okay I need that!” and we bought one bottle that was a bit expensive but totally worth it.

When I first started using it I put 2- 3 drops of the oil on my face every night and washed it off the next morning. I repeated it daily. Every morning I woke up, the first thing I did was checked my skin condition and I was really convinced because it was cleaner and brighter every time! What a magical oil, I thought!

I know that many people suffer from bad skin so I want to share this and tell you about this amazing oil made from the Sandalwood tree. It helps me so it may also help you!

SANDALWOOD OIL 

Sandalwood oil comes from the wood and roots of Santalum album, or the East Indian sandalwood tree. This is one of the most valuable trees in the world.

Sandalwood and its oil are prized in the field of alternative medicine. It’s traditionally used to treat a variety of conditions. Most of its traditional uses haven’t been scientifically tested, but some research suggests sandalwood may help treat certain health problems.

In order to get the most benefit from this essential oil, the sandalwood tree must grow for at least 40–80 years before the roots can be harvested. Sandalwood oil is one of the most expensive essential oils available on the market today.

BENEFITS AND USES

Soothe blemishes and scars
Sandalwood oil can be an effective remedy for skin blemishes and be able to soothe skin inflammations. Massage the oil to your face gently and leave the mask overnight and then wash it off in the morning. You can also mix it with coconut oil if you want more moisturizing result!

Prevent the skin from aging
Sandalwood essential oil is rich in antioxidants that can help to soothe free-radicals in our body. These free-radicals are major offenders and promote aging.

Reduce wrinkles
It also helps with wrinkles. Just massage sandalwood oil mixed with coconut oil to your face and that’s it. My skin feels so much more elastic! Or buy it here: Monoi Tiare Tahiti, Coconut Oil & Sandalwood*

Relax the body
Sandalwood oil is a natural relaxant. It has relaxing properties that can soothe your nerves and calm you down instantly. This combined with its sedative properties and peaceful aroma works wonders to alleviate your stress and anxiety.

Soothes dry and weak hair
Sandalwood oil restores the shine in hair by moisturizing it deeply. Just add a few drops of sandalwood oil in your shampoo or conditioner. My hair has dried up in the sun a lot so I have to make this more often!

In addition to these, sandalwood oil has lots of other benefits also but these are my own favorites.

 

PS. If you buy sandalwood, make sure it’s 100% pure to get the best benefits!  For example, iHerb is an online shop where you can buy 100% pure essential oils:

Healing Solutions, 100% Pure Sandalwood Essential Oil(10 ml)*

 

-Lotta

*This post contains affiliate links


Michael: So, this is my first blog text EVER. Nevertheless, life is about doing things you don’t know because that’s the way you learn and progress.  I’ll do my best! 

We got to Kandy by train in the late afternoon. We had booked a place to stay in advance just to make it easier for us to get a room and relax after a long trip. So first we took a tuk tuk and told the driver the name of the place. He said that it was about 15 min drive away, okay we thought it would have been in the city but it was actually quite nice to have a small trip thru the city to the next suburb called Lewella.

The place we stayed at in Lewella is called Nook Rest* and it was a really nice place with super friendly staff and amazing views from the balcony.

The only thing we realized the first evening was that we needed to take a tuk tuk back to town to get something decent to eat, so we did. That trip with the tuk tuk was hilarious! The driver was very interested in where we are from and what we are doing.

He told us some good advices for our next stop Sigiriya and also told us about the best things to do in Kandy. He suggested that the Temple of the Tooth Relic and the Botanical Gardens were the best things to see in Kandy. In my opinion, the tuk tuk drivers are some of the best tour guides in Sri Lanka, and they don’t charge much!

The funniest thing occurred when he asked me if I speak any Sinhalese, and I told him “bebadda and the man started laughing hysterically. The word basically means “alcoholic” or “one who is drunk all the time” and the driver thought it was the funniest thing he ever heard that a foreigner knew that word.

“Naturally there is a dress code to get in so we had to buy some pants for Lotta from a street vendor”

The next day we woke up pretty early and packed our stuff and once again, took a tuk tuk and headed to the city center to explore what it had to offer at daytime. We had breakfast and after that decided to go explore the famous Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Also called “Sri Dalada Maligawa”. 

Naturally, there is a dress code to get in so we had to buy some pants for Lotta from a street vendor and after that, we managed to get into the temple area where the tickets are sold. The price for foreigners is 1500rps (7,20€) and for locals it’s free. Even after we bought the ticket there was an additional security check to get inside the actual temple.

The inside of the temples are very beautiful and there are a lot of different rooms to explore. You can either take a tour guide that shows you all the different parts or you can just go on your own which we did. It takes about 2 hours to go around all the different places but it’s well worth the time.

The ones we think were the coolest: The Main Temple, Sri Lankan History Museum, The Elephant Museum, and The Old World Museum. If you like to read more about the place, go visit the official website here.

There is also The world Buddhist Museum that is right next to the sight and is also included in the price. This place was really interesting. A big building with two floors that tell the stories of how and where the Buddha has walked and the Buddhist teachings have spread. We highly recommend you visit this place also.

After we finished our tour in the temples we were exhausted because it was super hot during the day (we went from 11am-1pm). If you are smart and want a more comfortable tour you should visit the temples in the morning or afternoon, not like we did!

At this point, we needed some food so we started walking the streets of Kandy and we pretty quickly found a local restaurant that seemed pretty good. There are a lot of restaurants that have a kind of a bakery or snack bar downstairs and the actual restaurant is on the second floor. These are usually very cheap and good.

Then we headed to the bus station. The station in Kandy is pretty big and the easiest way to find the bus you need is to ask the locals or a bus driver, they will tell you where to go. We were going to Dambulla, a city next to the famous Sigiriya Rock, and when we found our bus that was already moving we basically jumped in on a moving bus. Things happens fast in Sri Lanka!

The bus took 1,5 hours and cost 120rps (0,60€) per person, super cheap! When we got to Dambulla our exit from the bus was even quicker than the entry and suddenly we were standing on the side of the road probably looking like easy target tourists.

That’s when an older local guy started talking to us and we told him we need to go to Sigiriya that we have a room booked at a place called Blue Water Villa*. He told us that we have two options, we could take the local bus (50rps, 0,25€) that takes about 30min and after that a tuk tuk to the homestay, or we could take a tuk tuk from him at 500rps (2,40€) and on the way we visit a spice garden for free. So we decided to take the tuk tuk because it was the easier way.

Soon it became clear that the old man was just the guy who sells these rides because there was soon a tuk tuk with a young driver that was our ride, that was okay. So we got to the spice garden and there was a tour guide waiting for us. We started walking around the garden, there was a lot of different spices and plants and the guide told us some info about almost all of them. We got to test some chocolate vanilla tea and also a small massage with some herbal oil. Free of charge but suggested to pay if you like it, so we paid some realized money.

After this, they took us to the shop where you can buy all kinds of oils and products that they make on the sight. All the products were super expensive but we ended up buying some pure sandalwood oil because of its quality. 2500rps (12€) for 100ml.

Then it was finally time for us to go to our guest-house and relax. The driver took us all the way to the house and was really nice to us. The guest house was pretty new and comfortable. It was close to sunset time when we arrived and we were pretty tired after a long day. They offered some local Kottu Roti food for us and we just sat and enjoyed the evening with the family talking about life.

It was a really good day overall!
– Michael

*This post contains affiliate links.

What a peaceful Saturday evening here in Pulau Weh. I’m sitting on a balcony and enjoy the sunset and ocean breeze (and try to kill the goddamn mosquitos!).

We arrived here yesterday just before dark. The night was quite windy so the noise of the sea was pretty loud but we still slept very well. We are staying in a bungalow in the middle of the soothing nature!

The wake up this morning wasn’t so nice because someone started praying through a speaker at 6 am. The sound was so fucking annoying and made us almost crazy. He kept on going for only 15 minutes but still 15 minutes too long if you ask me! 😀

Today after breakfast we drove around the island with a scooter. The nature here is INCREDIBLY beautiful! The original plan was to stay here only two nights but we found a super nice new place and decided to stay one extra night so we’re here until Monday.

We are super excited about tomorrow because the new place we found is located right next to amazing coral reefs that are supposed to be the best in the area. Sooo tomorrow is a snorkeling day for sure!

Michael enjoying the heat!
Palm trees
Pulau Weh
Amazing view
Mountain view in Pulau Weh
Happiness

Laters, Lotta

Happy new year for everyone! Hope your 2018 was great. Mine was amazing with lots of new experiences. But now it’s time to wipe the slate clean and make this year 2019 even better! I don’t actually like New Year’s resolutions but I still made a few for myself yesterday and wrote them up. I’m so excited to start this new year with new goals!

We are currently in Sumatra, Indonesia. The place is quite small, but we have enjoyed it well. We’ve been surfing, working, doing yoga and being really relaxed. We are here two more weeks and then we fly to Thailand through Kuala Lumpur. I’ve never been to Thailand, so I’m looking forward to it!

Yesterday was New Year’s Eve but we didn’t celebrate much. This place is under sharia law so there’s no big parties. We just relaxed and ate Finnish lollies which we have saved since we left Finland 1,5 months ago. Guess how many times I touched and craved the candy bag during it, haha! We have the worlds best candies in Finland for sure.

Here’s some pics from the past week taken with my phone!

Banda Aceh, Sumatra
Tofu tempe tumis - the best meal for sure!
I’ve been eating this same meal almost every day. It’s just too delicious! Tofu tempe tumis.

-Lotta

Welcome to a renewed BEMBALYFE! Hope you like our new look!
When we started this site, we didn’t know exactly what kind of site this is going to be. We started this in Finnish, but now we want to make things more worldwide so we decided to changes this whole site to English. 

The older posts are still in Finnish, but for now, all the posts are going to be in English. English is not my mother language so I’m sorry if there are some grammatical faults! 

What’s new?

– In addition to the new writing language and layout, we also have this new blog section where you can come closer to us and read about our everyday life.

– Before that innovation, I was the only writer on this site. Now we want to make things more interesting so you can also read posts and travel articles by Michael! If you have some post ideas that you want to read by Michael, you can send your suggestions here: miz@bembalyfe.com

– We made an update on the About us page, go and read!

Feel free to ask me anything!
lotta@bembalyfe.com

-Lotta