Hot Destinations To Put On Your Bucket List: Ko Lanta, Thailand


In Audrey‘s Summer 2014 issue, we asked five tastemakers to give us a glimpse into their must-go destinations around the world. Here, Audrey EIC, Anna M. Park, shares one of her favorite places, Ko Lanta, Thailand.

Travel philosophy: Where next?

Why: An island two hours away from Krabi (an hour by car, another hour by speedboat) on the Andaman Sea, Ko Lanta has just enough amenities to make it a vacation without the massive crowds now ubiquitous in most Thailand beach spots.

ko lanta view

Stay: Pimalai Resort and Spa reigns over a stunning stretch of almost-isolated beach on a gorgeous cove. Sunsets are to die for and service is impeccable. We had just gotten off an all-day boat tour of the surrounding islands when we realized we had left our sandals in the boat. (The boat was long gone to the next hotel.) We informed the front desk and by the time we were only halfway to our villa, one of the hotel staff had our sandals in hand.

The two-bungalow villa at Pimalai Resort.

The two-bungalow villa at Pimalai Resort.

Eat: If staying at Pimalai, forgo the hotel restaurant and try the restaurant down the beach called Same Same But Different. At night, it’s dark so look out for their brightly lit bamboo sculptures in front. I’ve never seen a bartender take such care in making a mojito (a good one, too), and they’ll prepare the fresh fish of the day any way you like. Prepare for a wait if you don’t have a reservation.

Rustic beachfront restaurant Same Same But Different offering fresh fish prepared any way you like and the best mojito on the island.

Rustic beachfront restaurant Same Same But Different offering fresh fish prepared any way you like and the best mojito on the island.

Do: Rent a scooter and head over to the smaller island Ko Lanta Noi via car ferry. On the other side of the island, hire a long-tail boat to take you to Ko Talabeng, a breathtaking limestone island replete with hidden caves, deserted stretches of white sand and stunning coves. You’ll likely be the only ones around. Afterwards, get a $10 60-minute massage offered everywhere.

The deserted island of Talabeng -- pull up on your own little sandbar.

The deserted island of Talabeng — pull up on your own little sandbar.

Unforgettable: As we scooted around the island, we found a small handmade sign advertising food. After climbing down a hill, we found a rustic wooden platform perched precariously over a cliff. A young woman emerged from the adjacent shack — we could hear her kids inside — and took our order. Watching the sunset while slurping down the spicy, sour, ubiquitous tom yum goong soup in this gem of a find was heaven.



This story was originally published in our Summer 2014 issue. Get your copy here. 

Get The Celeb Look: Arden Cho

Arden Cho looked stunning at the TV Guide Magazine’s Hot List Party at Emerson Theatre on November 4, 2013 in Hollywood, California. Her quilted, white top paired with her tribal print shorts created the perfect fun and flirty, but sophisticated look.


Here’s how to get her look for less!

forever21 top

Forever 21 Street Chic Quilted Top ($19.80)



Asos Daisy Street Quilted Cropped Sweater ($24.75)



Forever 21 Striking Zigzag Shorts ($22.80)



Love Culture Tribal Color Block Shorts ($13.95)

THE ULTIMATE SUSHI GUIDE: Everything You Need To Know About Japan’s Most Iconic Food

History of Sushi

Over 2000 years ago, the first sushi was created. Of course, it was quite different back then. The original “sushi” was created in Southeast Asia simply as a way to preserve fish in fermented rice. The process of creating this original sushi, called narezushi, involved having salted fish wrapped in fermented rice for months and the rice would be thrown out when the fish was consumed.

When this became popular in Japan, the Japanese created a new dish, namanare, which involved eating both the fish and rice. The fish was consumed before it changed flavor.

Finally, a third type of sushi was created. Haya-zushi is the form of sushi we are most familiar with. The fish and rice was assembled to be eaten at the same time and the rice was not being used for fermentation.

Our modern sushi was created by Hanaya Yohei as an early form of fast food.



sushi 7

Proper Way To Eat Sushi

1) Do not rub wooden chopsticks together before use. This may insult your host by saying their chopsticks are cheap.
2) Don’t feel pressured to use your chopsticks. It is also common to eat sushi using your hands. 
3) Sushi is meant to be consumed in one bite.
4) Only a light amount of soy sauce should be used. Otherwise you may insult the chef by indicating that the sushi did not have enough flavor.
5) The fish portion of the sushi should be dipped into the soy sauce and your sushi is consumed “rice up.”
6) Although popular in America, wasabi is not supposed to be mixed into the soy sauce.
7) Use the back end of your chopsticks to grab sushi from a communal plate.
8) Do not place the ginger on your sushi pieces. Ginger is meant to be eaten between different pieces of sushi to cleanse your palette for the next taste.



Different Types of Sushi
Maki (1)
Cylinder-shaped sushi that is rolled up with a bamboo matt and typically wrapped in nori (dried seaweed) and cut into pieces. There was various types of Makizuki depending on the ingredients inside as well as the size of the roll.
Another form of Makizuki, but it doesn’t quite look like the other variations. Instead of a cylinder shape, it is created with nori in a cone shape and stuffed with ingredients.
Uramaki is a Western-style of sushi which has rice on the outside and nori/other ingredients on the inside. This was created in the United States as a way of visually hiding the seaweed.



sushi 5
Nigiri is hand formed. It is a mound of rice with a slice of fish/seafood placed on top.
sushi 6
Raw fish served without rice.
An oval mound of rice wrapped in nori and topped with soft, loose or fine-chopped ingredient. 


“World’s Best Sushi Restaurant”
Tokyo’s famed restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro is said to have the best sushi in the world. The restaurant is owned and operated by 88-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono who is the very first sushi chef in the world to receive three Michelin stars. The sushi gathered so much attention that it became the focus of a 2011 documentary called “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.”

Reservations must be made months in advance and customers must be prepared to dish out quite a bit of money. The 20-course “Chef’s Recommended Special Course” is about $300. While that’s a lot of money for one meal, customers always seem satisfied. They argue that the meal is an experience and an art.


Chopsticks Tutorial 

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DIY Sushi Plush/Pillow

Look For Less: Mason Pearson Hairbrush

Have you ever wanted to try a product, but you see the price and want to faint? That’s what happened when I saw the price of this hairbrush. It’s over $100! Who wants to pay that much for a hairbrush?


Well that’s what you’ll have to pay if you want a Mason Pearson hairbrush. The Mason Pearson line was developed and patented more than 100 years ago. They use only the finest, premium grade boar bristle, which is gentle to the hair and scalp. Boar bristles help distribute the hair’s natural oils while stimulating the hair follicles. They also use nylon bristles to help brush through thick, textured hair. The cushion of these brushes conforms to the shape of the scalp. All Mason Pearson brushes are handmade in England.

Mason Pearson Junior Mixture Hairbrush ($170)

mason pearson


Unfortunately, you may not be willing to cough up an arm and a leg for a hairbrush. Well don’t worry! We’ve found the hairbrush that can get you the look for less.

The Sonia Kashuk hairbrush is a portion of the price, and is very similar to the Mason Pearson brush. It has a mixture of boar bristles and heat resistant nylon bristles, which help fight static and keep hair shiny. The Sonia Kashuk brush detangles hair without tugging and gently massages the scalp.

Sonia Kashuk Hairbrush ($15.79)

Sonia Kashuk




Inspiring Father’s Day Gift: Menswear That Works to End Human Trafficking

Looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift? Or maybe you just want to get something special for that important man in your life. Well we have just the thing! Not only can you help your fellow dress well, you can join the fight against global human trafficking.

Urbane + Gallant recently launched The Wilberforce pocket square. Not only is the pocket square clean, simple and gorgeous, there is an important story behind each one.

The pocket squares are made from organic cotton and natural silk fabric and are sewn by survivors of human trafficking in Cambodia. Each purchase provides survivors double the average monthly income, a personal education, and empowerment to move toward their passions by their own strength. Learn how to contribute to the mission by visiting

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Urbane + Gallant is clearly working to make a difference. As mentioned, the pocket squares production specifically employs survivors of human trafficking in Cambodia and provides those survivors with double the monthly income as well as 9 hours of personal education.

To help with their mission, Urbane + Gallant has partnered with Agape International Missionsin Cambodia and the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking in Los Angeles to combat this issue on a global scale.

You can purchase this pocket square here. Learn more about Urbane + Gallant on their website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Urbane + Gallant is a lifestyle menswear brand on mission to cultivate a generation of men who live authentically masculine lives. Urbane + Gallant fulfills this mission through the creation of ethical fashion, which silhouettes how an urbane and gallant man lives. 

Hot Destinations To Put On Your Bucket List: Catherine Choi’s Algonquin Park, Canada

In Audrey‘s Summer 2014 issue, we asked five tastemakers to give us a glimpse into their must-go destinations around the world. Here, Catherine Choi, founder of family-oriented bags and accessories line SoYoung, shares her favorite place, Algonquin Park, Canada.

algonquin park

Travel philosophy: If you think you might need it, bring it.

Why: At this time in my life, with three kids under 10, a full-time business and a husband who also runs a full-time business while studying for an MBA, we need peace over excitement. So while we love architecture, shopping and exploring cities, getting away somewhere where we can unwind and unplug is the hands-down choice.

Stay: I am not an outdoorsy type, but I make an exception for Bartlett Lodge in Algonquin Park. It’s just magical: from the solar-powered pontoon that takes you to the lodge to the luxury platform tents where you sleep. And no eating out of cans here — they offer five-course fine dining at their restaurant. We’re totally unplugged there.

Eat: Incredible desserts at the lodge’s fine dining restaurant. I recall feeling frustrated at having to choose only one.

Do: Jump off the dock into the cool, clear water, dry off, lie there like vegetables, repeat. Bring a pile of great reads, sit in a Muskoka chair and read to oblivion with no interruptions.

Bring: I take my SoYoung large cooler bag with me on every trip as I am a big snacker. My current go-to snacks are kombucha gingerade tea with Snapea Crisps.

Unforgettable: My husband and I decided to take a canoe out one evening. The water was so still and clear and there was silence all around us except for the sounds of nature. We stopped paddling at one point and watched the sky turn a beautiful orange-pink while the sun disappeared into the water. It was breathtaking and perfect.


This story was originally published in our Summer 2014 issue. Get your copy here

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Catherine SoYoung Choi, founder of SoYoung, a Canadian line of urban, family-oriented bags and accessories, became an expert on children’s products through the tribulations experienced while carting around three young children and their associated paraphernalia. Choi holds a degree in commerce from McGill University and a master’s in things-to-bring-with-you-on-outings-with-children. 

Fall In Love With Japanese Model Kiko Mizuhara

If you don’t know who Kiko Mizuhara is, you’re definitely missing out on one of Japan’s cutest and most lovable celebs.

23-year-old Mizuhara was born in Dallas, Texas to an American father and a Korean mother. At the age of one, the family moved to Japan where Mizuhara spent her childhood. By the age of 13, Mizuhara discovered her love for modeling and in 2003, she auditioned for the Japanese edition of Seventeen.

Clearly, the modeling world loved her right back. She became an exclusive model for Seventeen and then for fashion magazine ViVi. In addition to modeling, Mizuhara has acted in a number of films and a few television shows.

So what’s so special about this girl? Take even a brief glimpse at Mizuhara and you can feel something special about her. Her cuteness is so radiant that Buzzfeed has named her the “Zooey Deschanel of Asia.”

Check out some of our favorite photos and gifs of the model. You’ll be sure to have fallen in love with her by the end of this.

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Lies You’ve Heard About Asian Glow

Story by Teena Apeles.

All Asians turn red when they drink.
False. It’s estimated that 36 percent of East Asians have the genetic variance that causes facial flushing, according to Dr. Philip Brooks and his colleagues. Other studies suggest this genetic variant in Southeast Asians as well, such as Vietnamese and Indonesians, and there is a considerably low occurrence of the ALDH2 deficiency in the Filipino population compared to Japanese, Chinese and Koreans.

Only Asians have the ALDH2 deficiency.
False. It is estimated that 8 percent of the general population has this genetic condition. It has also been observed in South American, North American and Mexican Indian populations, but the deficiency, according to many published works, occurs “rarely” or is “virtually never seen” in Caucasians or Africans. “For the most part, we don’t think that the flushing you see in Caucasian people is the same ALDH2 deficiency that you see in the East Asian population,” says Brooks.

If you are Asian and get flushed after drinking alcohol, you definitely have the deficiency.
False. While it’s a pretty solid biomarker for the genetic condition among East Asians, Brooks says the only way to know for certain that you have the deficiency is to have genotyping done. In the Japanese study by Dr. Yokoyama, participants were given a questionnaire that was designed to be almost 99 percent accurate in identifying people with the ALDH2 deficiency, and an ethanol patch test was also suggested as fairly accurate.

There are certain types of alcohol that don’t cause facial flushing.
False. Some Asians have speculated that rice-based liquor does not cause flushing. “I found I don’t get red if I drink sake or Korean drinks like soju or makgeolli,” says Jeannie. “Engineered for Asian people!” And Faith believes that a little lemon or lime with liquor goes a long way for her: “Tequila is my drink of choice because it always settles best with my body. I think part of the reason tequila settles better with me is because I usually chase shots with a slice of lime or lemon, and something about the acidity in them helps the al- cohol digest better or something.” She adds, “I know for a fact that when lemons or limes are involved, I have way less of a chance of getting the Asian glow or any of the side symptoms.” But Brooks says there is no basis — and he’s not aware of any data — for ALDH2-deficient people to assume that different kinds of alcohol won’t cause facial flushing, and if it does, on occasion, that that in any way decreases one’s risk for esophageal cancer.



This story was originally published in out Summer 2014 issue. WANT TO LEARN MORE? Be on the lookout for our feature story coming soon! You can also purchase the issue TODAY.

Americans Overreacting to Asian Food

Recently, Buzzfeed released a video called “Asians Taste Exotic Asian Food.” It’s pretty easy to guess what happens in the video, but we ended up rolling our eyes while watching it anyway.

As expected, the Asian food chosen were some of the most intimidating options imaginable. They clearly had the goal of scaring the unsuspecting food-tasters. In fact, almost all of the dishes in this video were part of our list of “Top 10 “Scary” Asian Dishes We Love.” Admittedly, we’d be pretty hesitant to try some of these too. We definitely don’t blame anyone for reacting with shock when they realize their food can still move.

No, shock was not the reason we ended up rolling our eyes.

We understand hesitance and even dislike for unfamiliar food, but based on the reactions from this video, you would think Asian food is the most horrible thing imaginable. It’s an understatement to say that the food-tasters showed disliked for the Asian food. They gagged, spit it out and called it “rotten” and “gross.”

A few of the tasters were able to show some courtesy. They ate the food no matter how intimidating it looked and even admitted when it tasted better than expected. After all, these dishes are delicacies in many Asian cultures.

The rest of the tasters? Watch the video and see their reactions for yourself.

Hot Destinations To Put On Your Bucket List: Geena Dabadghav’s Florence, Italy

In Audrey‘s Summer 2014 issue, we asked five tastemakers to give us a glimpse into their must-go destinations around the world. Here, chief technology officer of the online women’s travel magazine and community Girls That Roam Geena “Super G” Dabadghav shares her favorite place, Florence, Italy.


Travel philosophy: Land somewhere and explore everything.

Why: The experience of Florence — the food, the people, the markets — is so unique that the combination of it all makes me want to return to live there.

Do: Florence is one of Italy’s bas- tions of art and culture. Here you can take in where sculptor Michelangelo and poet Dante Alighieri lived and are laid to rest. Marvel at the impressive artwork at Il Duomo di Firenze, Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore and the Uffizi Gallery. Explore the local boutiques and galleries along the Ponte Vecchio bridge. Eat and drink your way through Florence and work off the calories climbing the steps up Giotto’s Bell Tower.

Stay: Hotel Dante, a charming yet modern place to stay, tucked away just off Piazza Santa Croce. If you want to please your literary friend in love with E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View (and Merchant Ivory’s acclaimed adaptation thereof), the Villa di Maiano, which has been the location of several notable films, is the place to stay.

Eat: Ristorante Osteria Zio Gigi. I couldn’t get enough of their spaghetti and veal and beef meatballs, lightly covered in a tomato sauce. It’s indescribable — you just have to taste it.

Bring: To really get to know Florence, you must walk around and discover things on your own, as guidebooks and online research barely scratch the surface. Learn Italian enough to travel comfortably since only some of the locals speak a little English. Most of the locals are nice, so bring your sense of humor and adventure, especially when it comes to communicating, and expect to slow down. A meal in Italy is an experience and an art form that lasts for hours, topped off by some of the best gelato in the world.

This story was originally published in our Summer 2014 issue. Get your copy here

Jamaica-born Geena “Super G” Dabadghav is the chief technology officer of the online women’s travel magazine and community Girls That Roam. Dabadghav has tra- versed all over the world, from India, where her family originated and she lived briefly, to more than 15 countries, including Ethiopia, Japan and Honduras. An admirer of Middle Eastern food, she still wants to see Greece and hopes to live in Italy one day. geena