Postcard Series: Jessica Chia loves Bangkok, Thailand.
Senior Associate Beauty Editor at Women's Health
Travel- hate it, love it? Love it! I challenged myself to use my passport at least once a year, and since then I've been to Saint Lucia, Thailand, Singapore, and China. I have my sights set on Ibiza next.
It’s not a vacation unless…I get to enjoy it with family or friends.
Planes, trains or automobiles? Automobiles! I don't have a car in New York City, so I miss the flexibility of leaving whenever I feel like it and stopping at unexpected spots along the way. And the heart-to-hearts. There's no better way to get to know someone than to be stuck in a car with them for hours.
Checked bags or carry on? Carry on. The stress of traveling and being exposed to different water, weather, and pollution levels can already be pretty tough on skin, so I prioritize keeping my skincare routine consistent over TSA approval.
Travel beauty- bare or elaborate? Elaborate. I love the whole process of getting ready for the day or a dinner out, and depending on who you're traveling with, vacations can be one giant photo-op (One of my aunts doesn't go anywhere without her selfie stick). Exception: I'll only wear a tinted balm or lip stain at the beach, lake or pool. It's so much simpler than worrying about everything staying where you put it!
In general my beauty routine is….complicated. I double cleanse with an oil cleanser to remove makeup, then a clay-based cleanser to remove dirt and debris, follow up with toning pads, a brightening serum, a facial oil, and, in the am, a mineral-based SPF. My makeup routine changes daily, but I always extend and define my brows and add a little bronzer in the hollows of my cheeks for a sculpted look.
I must pack __________ when traveling? Bath salts, if I'm staying at a hotel. There is nothing more decadent than taking a long, raisin-y bath and vacation.
Best travel tip? If you're checking out foreign temples, it's smart to bring a large scarf you can easily use to cover your shoulders, head, or even wear as a sarong over shorts. Many spots have rules about respectful attire, and it's easier not to have to spring for a makeshift outfit at the gift shop.
Upon arrival at my destination….I try to find out if there's a great spot to run. It's such a good way to really experience a city, especially if I'm there for business and don't have a lot of time to myself.
Favorite travel spot? Bangkok, Thailand
What are your 3 must see/do things in this city?
Book a leg massage. I'd never heard of one before, but bigger Thai spas (I like Health Land Spa on North Sathorn road) have entire rooms of Lazyboy chairs and you just get to sink into it and have your feet, legs, and shoulders rubbed out. Absolutely incredible after the flight over, or a long day of sightseeing.
See the Ayutthaya ruins. The ancient city a short drive from Bangkok was once the country's capital, and the craftsmanship it must have taken to build the grand stone temples and walls is just awe-inspiring. It makes you feel small, in the same way that looking at an inky, starry sky does.
Order a Thai iced tea--in Thai! If you go to some of the hole-in-the-wall spots, it can be tough to order in English. I learned the name of the milky Thai tea drink, cha nom yen (nom is pronounced the same way you'd say garden gnome) so I could ask for it myself.