How to be Cruelty-Free in Bangkok

I had an epiphany a month or two ago, that a lot of products are tested on animals. I can’t remember exactly what triggered it – but it was something I’d sort of half known but never really thought about as I got on with my daily life.

And I don’t mean putting body lotion on a rabbit’s cracked paws or brushing its teeth with toothpaste. I mean putting nail polish on a rabbit’s eyeballs, pumping its stomach full of toxic liquid. There’s some more info about animal testing here.

I googled, and began one at a time to put in the hair care products and makeup brands that I used to see if they were tested on animals or not. And, I found that basically they all were, in some way or another. Through a good few weeks of intense googling sessions it seems there are three types of brand:

1 – Those that test their products on animals or allow their products to be tested on animals (eg. if they sell in China).

2 – Those that use ingredients that are tested on animals to make their products.

3 – Those that use other forms of testing (after all it is the 21st Century, we have better and more reliable methods), or no ‘new’ chemicals or ingredients, only those that we already know are safe.

Unfortunately most of the products in Boots and Watsons or supermarkets like Tesco and Big C fall under category 1 or 2. That is to say, big brands like L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, Church & Dwight, Clorox, Colgate-Palmolive.

I resolved to try and find more products from category 3, to substitute what I’d been using up until that point. I thought it would be really difficult, or really expensive in Bangkok to do so, but the great news is, it hasn’t been difficult at all. There isn’t much on the internet though about cruelty-free brands that are available in Bangkok though, so I thought I’d put together a list to help anyone that is looking for them.

But of course, use this a a place to start. Do your own research too – a lot of blogs I’ve seen tout things as being cruelty-free, when actually if you go on the brand’s own website you can clearly see their policy on testing on animals (e.g. Younique). But, its not always clear, ‘Cruelty-Free’ is a phrase that isn’t regulated by anyone, so companies can use it to mean whatever they want it to mean. I used PETA’s website, to search their database, and also Cruelty-Free International. There are apps like Bunny-Free too, which you can even scan a barcode and it will tell you (it’s not always 100% accurate though, I’ve found). These websites typically have types 1 and 3 on them, and if they don’t come up I’ve assumed they’re type 2. Another thing that I aim to do is email a few companies and ask them. If they have nothing to hide then there should be no reason not to reply.

This list is not exhaustive, at all. There may be more brands out there in BKK and the rest of Thailand, but this is what I’ve found, what I’ve bought, and what I like. Please, if you know of more and where they are available, leave a comment!

Sephora – EmQuartier/CentralWorld/and has other branches
Though it should be pointed out that Sephora itself is not cruelty-free. I think there are likely to be other cruelty-free make-up brands at Sephora too.

NyxNyx is owned by L’Oreal, but has the ‘Leaping Bunny’ logo, so doesn’t test.

Murad – but it’s a bit pricey for me.
Face cream, sunscreen.

John Master’s Organics
Shampoo, Conditioner, hair products. (Also has pet shampoo available at Lazada, but that’s mighty pricey unless there’s an offer on.)

Zuii Organics take the escalator next to Sephora a few floors up and you’ll see the shop/stand. Their products are organic too, though some things are rather pricey.
Make-up, make-up remover.

Terminal 21/CentralWorld
The Body Shop and plenty of other branches. Again I’ll point out that it’s owned by L’Oreal.
Make-up, make-up remover, face cream, body lotion, perfume, shower/bath gel, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, lip balm.

Boots – has branches everywhere.
Burt’s Beesowned by Clorox who test on animals, but Burt’s doesn’t.
Lip balm, hand cream, moisturiser
Kiss My Face
Toothpaste (fluoride free), soap, detangler (for kids), hand soap, shower gel/body wash, hand cream, body moisturiser, face cream, foot cream.

Aubrey Organics
Shampoo, conditioner, face cream.

Desert Essence
Shampoo, conditioner (they make toothpaste too but it’s not sold at Lazada).

Pipper StandardI don’t actually know if this is strictly cruelty-free and not tested on animals. However, the brand is ‘all natural’; the main ingredient is pineapples so it’s eco-friendly.
Laundry detergent, stain remover, fabric conditioner.

Radiance Wholefoods has a few other things that I haven’t included. Also has fresh produce, check them out!
Conscious LivingThey also have their own website where you can buy. Again, I don’t actually know if this strictly cruelty-free, however, the brand is ‘100% all natural’ and it looks to be eco-friendly.
All in one cleaner, laundry detergent, dish soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash.
Shipping could become a little expensive, but Etsy is a wonderful website full of shops selling homemade things. Lots of organic stuff, though not necessarily guaranteed that the ingredients aren’t tested on animals. Also a great place to buy reusable menstrual pads. A lot of companies that test on animals also make disposable pads and tampons, so if you really can’t face giving them money and want to be environmentally friendly too, I recommend re-usables. Anyway, re-usables are much comfier and quite easy to deal with in Thailand. (Tip: Shipping is cheaper from Australia than America to Thailand.)

For now that’s all. I’ll add a post or update as and when I find any more brands.

Don’t forget to comment if you know anything I’ve missed :)

Sorry I’m late…


No, thank you.

My students had 2 exams, both around 30 minutes long and together worth 40% of their final grade. The exams were to be taken in class time, at the same time we usually have class… that is to say, at 9am on Thursday. There are 15 students in the class.

At 9am I had about 8 students. 9.05 I had 10 and at 9.15 I had 12. Because I am probably far too kind I waited and we started the exam at 9.20. Between then and 9.30 the total number of students present rose to 14. The 2 last students said ‘sorry I’m late’ and began their tests.

At 9.43am, in walks the final student. ‘Sorry I’m late.’ The first exam will finish at 9.50.

Another class. Same 2 exams. Class starts at 1pm.  Class always starts at 1pm. At 1.10 I have 16 out of 35 students. The last 4 students come at 2.20 pm. That’s an hour and twenty minutes late for an hour long exam. They looked incredibly baffled when I said they had missed it.

I’m not going to pretend that I was never late at university level. In fact I remember having a 2 hour Spanish exam unusually on a Saturday morning and jumping out of bed just as it started. But the thing that gets me is…. These are their FINALS. Of course, the majority of my students turned up on time, or a few minutes late, and studied hard. But with every class the pattern of at least one student being more than half an hour late or over an hour late has repeated.

Am I… Is this… just… What?!

You know what the icing on the cake is? I had to reschedule the exam for the 4 students that came at 2.20 pm.

There’s more.

I asked them what time they could do. They said 1 pm. They came at about 2 pm, smiling sweetly.


Where I live

I’ve found myself watching lots of ‘My apartment tour’ videos on YouTube from people in various countries. It’s interesting to consider how different people live when they move abroad, I suppose. I figured people might be interested in where I live, too.

And so, without further adieu, here is a description accompanied by a few pictures, of my lovely apartment in Bangkok for you to feast your eyes on.

I live about a ten minute bus ride from the nearest MRT stop (subway), and in the north of the city, near to Nonthaburi, the next province. This is undoubtedly the reason why my apartment is a little cheaper than what I’ve found nearer the BTS or MRT or on Sukhumvit road. I pay 6,500 baht a month. I have a bedroom, a living room with balcony, and a bathroom. It’s quite a new building too, quiet and clean and I really like living here!

*Messy apartment alert*… Only downside is there’s not quite enough storage…



I bought the sofa and fridge myself, though they weren’t expensive at all. Some apartments in the past have asked me to rent the fridge/TV for 500-1000 baht a month which I have always thought was a little crazy! I was given the microwave and TV for free courtesy of my other half (who doesn’t live with me).


No, I don’t have a kitchen. I’ve never had a kitchen while I’ve been living in Bangkok. Food stalls are everywhere outside, and very cheap too. Nearly every supermarket and shopping mall also has a food court where the food isn’t expensive. There is also a restaurant in the apartment building itself which again, isn’t pricey, so I have quite a lot of options. I’ve recently been perfecting the art of microwave cooking too… though so far I’ve managed to explode around 4 eggs while trying to poach them. I recommend scrambled eggs as a far better option for those who would like to try it.

The view from the balcony.

The view from the balcony.

Oh, another thing that may be different in other countries, there’s a main door at the front of the building where I have a keycard to get in (and then once I go up in the lift I have keys to my door), and there’s also a reception where I pay my rent or tell them when my lightbulb’s blown etc. It’s quite convenient.

Well, I hope you liked my little tour. :)

For those who’ve slept…




So I guess I am a morning person. Here I am enjoying a beautiful early Sunday morning.

The lovely thing about Thailand is that when the sun rises, it rises very fast, so it’s always bright and sunny at about 6-7am. I like getting up at that time, and enjoying the few precious hours to relax before I feel like I should do anything. It’s still early, there’s no rush. I’ve had a long week. I can do everything later on. 

This morning I’ve climbed around drying washing to water my orchids on the balcony, which made me think about how I should post some pictures of my new ones. The purple one (Denrobium), I’ve actually had it for at least a year now, but it’s only just flowered. And so many flowers! I’m very happy.

Now I’m eating breakfast, drinking ‘Sweet Chai Yogi Tea’, and listening to BBC  Radio 4. I enjoy listening to voices sometimes, instead of music.

Having said that… here is a wonderful song from Sia Furler, one of my, if not my favourite artist. I always think of this song on Sundays. Video. Live.

Happy Sunday :)

How to be… cheerful

Pretty necklaces-pola delicious cakes-pola

I’ve been feeling a little down since coming back from my Russian adventure. I think there are always times in life where I feel a little lost, but I have to remember that it’s not just me, and I’ve been through times like this before and come out fine the other side. I feel a little homesick, I suppose, I feel like I’m a bit out of touch with what’s going on in England and my family, and that saddens me. Plus, I’m without a full-time job right now, and it’s scary not knowing what will happen in the future, and feeling out of control with applications. But – let it be, right? I can’t control what I can’t control.

What better to cheer me up than cake, and new necklaces? Haha ;)

Words of encouragement appreciated! :)

Move out of the way! I’m climbing up! – Weekly Photo Challenge


In the park, watching the terrapins/turtles (which ones are they?) climb up, out of the water to sunbathe…

(To find out more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.)

Under frozen soles

Drawing Cows in Bruges

Woops I haven’t written a post in an awfully long time. Sometimes life just runs away with me. I have no idea what I’ve been doing in the time to be honest. Working and sleeping mostly. Life can get kind of mundane sometimes, even in Bangkok.

Come to think of it, I have moved apartments, which I suppose is a pretty major event. Just over a year ago I found a cosy apartment on Sukhumvit Road, and moved in with 1 suitcase, and 1 back pack. Moving out I used 3 suitcases, 3 backpacks, and numerous other plastic bags of bits and pieces.

I’ve collected a lot of ‘stuff’. Oh stuff. How I wish I didn’t need you, yet I always seem to want more of you. I suppose it’s not too bad, though. Most of my acquired ‘stuff’ is books, bottles of wine… fairy lights, water guns and orchids.

November is fast approaching, and I’ve been reflecting on how much I miss autumn – even though as my friends and family in England point out to me ‘it’s cold!!’. But I miss the (ok I think this is pretty clichéd …) colours of the leaves and stuff. Plus I get to wrap up in a coat and scarf and drink gingerbread lattes and think of Christmas.  And make apple crumble. And I make a ruddy good apple crumble.

The main thing I miss is the sea. Living in Brighton, the seafront was my thinking spot. I often paced up and down, sometimes walking vast stretches, emptier – apart from the odd runner – with the onslaught of winter approaching. The waves’ mood became unpredictable, changing day by day from calm and pleasant with reflections of cobalt and an amber sun, to heavy and crashing, the colour of a dull, mottled sky. I often associate music with memories, and ‘Foals’ is my music of choice for this one, specifically ‘Total life Forever‘. It helps me recreate narrow streets and very steep hills, crunchy orange leaves on the ground against a backdrop of white terraced houses, pebbles, seagulls, and relinquishing the achingly long days of summer sun.

In Thailand, people look forward to less rain, less humidity, slightly cooler weather, and clear blue cloudless skies. It’s refreshing, and weather I look forward to immensely. Inevitably though, I will be caught wistfully thinking of gloved hands and cold noses, being given hot cups of tea by friends, wearing fluffy socks and going inside because it’s warmer, not cooler.

A bit of Lumpini

Despite the heat, Bangkok is actually quite gloomy most of the time! Here are a couple of pics from my lunch break :)

There are huge Monitor lizards in this park, one day I will actually have my camera with me when I see one….

Everyday Life

Silom Road. A busy area with a drastic juxtaposition of rich and poor; It’s in the business district, where ‘High-So’ people work and also home to Patpong; Go-Go bars and Ping-Pong shows. The shadows of the looming concrete BTS tracks cannot easily be avoided, either.

For more information about the challenge, click here.