Where else in Asia can I go?
I've been to China and Japan...what about Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong?
Great idea!! Let's Go!!!
I started my Asia adventure on EVA Airways from Vancouver to Singapore via Taipei.
Very nice airline, I sat in the Uppper Deck of the 747, good legroom, blanket, pillow, headset, good food...even slippers...off to a great start.
The stopover in Taipei was a couple of hours and I was impressed with the airport. Beautiful, clean with lots of plants and calm areas to wait for your next flight.
Taiwan is now on my bucket list to check out!
The arrival in Singapore went well, customs were quick and efficient. It is a gorgeous modern airport, easy to get around and a lot of English signs. After waiting in an organized queue for a taxi I was on my way to the hotel.
The taxi driver was very informative, 3rd generation Chinese. Spoke about the history of Singapore, how rich and progressive the country is, little to no unemployment, no street people and most important, how safe the country is.
After a smooth check in at the Orchard Parade Hotel, right on Orchard Street, I started to explore. Singapore is an awesome place to visit. The Merlion down at the Harbour is beautiful, as well as all the modern architecture.
There is a beautiful garden in the centre of Singapore, I even had a chance to visit the Orchid Gard, incredible!
Orchard Street where the hotel was located. Lovely shopping area with all the designer shops, Gucci, Prada, Chanel. Very lush and green
View of Orchard Street from one of the numerous Starbucks in Singapore
Orchard Parade Hotel where I stayed, lovely spot, clean rooms, great staff!
Singapore is a melting pot of all cultures, you can visit China Town, Little India and experience the British influence as well. A trip to Clark's Quay on the waterfront is well worthwhile. Shopping at the night market will find you some treasures.
Below is the Temple in Little India
Oldest Chinese Temple in Singapore
There is always time to meet new friends when travelling. My Chinese friend from Shanghai
and the band at the legendary Raffles Hotel. A trip to Singapore is not complete unless you visit the Raffles Hotel and have a Singapore Sling. I went on a night tour and it was included in the package for CAD20.00 If you purchase the Sling at Raffles without the package it is US35.00
After 2 days in beautiful Singapore it was time to board The Voyageur of the Seas cruise ship and head out to Thailand!
The verandah stateroom was just lovely! No cooking, cleaning or laundry for a week was Heaven! As well as sailing and being entertained by the fabulous entertainers onboard. Just a few perks of cruising!!
Tuesday, 10 May 2016
Verandah is the way to go!
Beautiful Dining Room and wonderful food!
Glass Elevators, quite the ride!
Thursday, 12 May 2016
1st Stop Thailand!
We docked at Laem Chabang, Thailand approximately a 2 hour drive from the city of Bangkok.
Royal Caribbean offered all kinds of packages and transfers, advisable to do so. There were some packages that included an overnight in Bangkok (hotel accommodation on your own). I chose to do a tour that included the lovely village of Nong Nooch in Pattaya. This tour included a Kickboxing, Dance and Elephant Show.
This is the entrance to the Nong Nooch Village
Kickboxing in Pattaya, quite a show to see!
Local traditional dance show complete with elephants. The Thai costumes and dancers were stunning.
After the elephant show we visited a jewellery factory. Such incredible jewellery to have a look at!
Friday, 13 May 2016
Local pottery complete with Macaws at the Nong Nooch Village
Local bus in Pattaya. There is a beautiful beach as well as restaurants, shops, nightlife.
My time in Thailand was short, just 2 days, so I thought I would take a tour of the Ancient City. It was fascinating and very enjoyable. A tram took us around and stopped at the various sites. Here is abit more info on the Ancient City.
Ancient Siam (also known as Ancient City)(Thai: เมืองโบราณ, Mueang Boran) is a park constructed under the patronage of Lek Viriyaphant and spreading over 200 acres (0.81 km2) in the shape of Thailand.
The founder's original idea was to create a golf course with miniatures of Thailand's historically significant structures spread around the course. During his research he found most structures being severely damaged over time and decided instead of creating new miniatures to save the original structures when possible or re-creating them full size or scaled down.
Ancient Siam is dubbed as the world's largest outdoor museum. Situated close to the Crocodile Farm in Samut Prakan Province, the 320-hectare city features 116 structures of Thailand's famous monuments and architectural attractions. The grounds of Ancient Siam correspond roughly to the shape of the Kingdom, with each of the monuments lying at their correct places geographically. Some of the buildings are life-size replicas of existing or former sites, while others are scaled down.
This temple I remember from Expo 67 in Montreal. So beautiful!! The guide told me that is the temple model they use for all the world fairs.
Inside of the beautiful temple
Inside of temple, shoes always off
Sanctuary of Truth replica
Market in the Ancient City
I even experienced the Floating Markets which are very popular in Thailand. At the markets, you can eat and purchase local treasures.
The Ancient City was beautiful and so worth the bus trip to get there. Good way to see the local countryside. The tour guide was very informative. The Thai people are so proud of their country and their accomplishments. The country is mostly Buddhist and the people are kind and gentle.
Sadly, after just a short 2 days it was time to Sail Away!!
Next stop VIETNAM!!!
Sunday, 15 May 2016
Arrived in the waters of Vietnam early in the am. There were fishing boats everywhere, lovely sight. The ship was unable to dock so we had to be tendered to shore. It was about a 10 minute tender ride from the ship and we were let off about 10 minutes from the centre of Nha Tran.
Nha Tran is a beautiful city, located next to an incredible beach. There are all the chain hotels, lots of eating spots and a local market. There was a cool wind blowing bringing the surf crashing in. Beach chairs under palapas could be rented for the day.
Lots of interesting things to buy and see at the local market, don't forget to bring water
A taste of North America, right by the beach, KFC
There was a cool wind blowing all day
Tender back to the ship, approximately 10 minutes
Scooters are the main means of transportation. They are inexpensive to buy and good on gas. The Vietnamese people cover themselves totally from the sun. Hats, masks, arm shields, long pants, covered shoes. The people were very friendly. Our guide explained to us how most people live in their family homes with 3 generations, grandparents, parents and children. Condo living is extremely expensive even in Vietnam. It was a very brief stop, but it sure peaked my interest in returning to Vietnam and exploring more of the country.
TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2016
The view coming into Hong Kong from the ship was breathtaking!! What a vibrant city, surrounded by water and mountains. Couldn't wait for the next adventure to begin!
After getting settled in the awesome room with a view at the Panorama by Rhombus (Kowloon) it was time to start exploring. What better way then to go by subway. The subway is very easy to use in Hong Kong, inexpensive and quick. There is a customer service booth at each stop and they are more than helpful with directing the lost travellers :-) First stop, the Ladies Market, what a fun time and lots to see and buy!
There is so much to do and see in Hong Kong. A half day city tour is a good idea. You will be picked up from your hotel and shown the sights, which include Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay, Floating Restaurant as well as a stop at a local jewellery factory.
Taxis are an easy way as well to get around Hong Kong, fast and quite inexpensive. The drivers may not always speak English, but they seem to know the names of where one wants to go.
Every evening there is a Symphony of Lights, the buildings are all lit up on Hong Kong Island, well worthwhile to take a boat tour around and see the show!
Victoria Peak and Repulse Bay are something to see as well. As the tour bus made it's way up the winding road to Victoria Peak I was amazed at all the condominiums and bus stops along the way. With an elevation of 552 m (1,811 ft), it is the highest mountain on Hong Kong island and the view is spectacular!
Repulse Bay is a beautiful beach in the heart of Hong Kong Island, good place to go spend some time on a hot summer day. The temperature that day was a balmy 28 degrees but felt much cooler with the breeze.
Goddess of Happiness, don't forget to smile!
Wednesday, 18 May 2016
Taking a tour of the Hong Kong harbor with all the fishing boats was interesting...may as well take the San Pan boat for a tour...close up :-)
Thursday, 19 May 2016
Next Stop Macau!!
After an hour ride on the Turbojet, I was in Macau. Macau is still under the Republic Of China, so a passport is necessary to enter. The ride was very comfy, seats were assigned prior to boarding.
Macau was under Portuguese rule until December20, 1999 when it was returned to China. The Portuguese influence is still there, with the buildings and food.
Casinos are the main draw in Macau, and there are a lot of them. Everything from the MGM to the Venetian. Here is a picture of the Hotel Lisboa which was one of the original casinos.
The Portuguese almond cookies as well as their egg custard tarts are a big hit and sure are delicious. The bakery is just down this cobblestone lane. The heavenly smells waft into the square.
Temple in Macau
From 223m up, the view from the top of the Macau Tower is a spectacular 360° experience! It was well worth the ride up!
Quite the scenery as well as watching the bungee jumpers! Yes, they bungee jump from the Macau Tower and there is the Sky Walk as well.
Friday, 20 May 2016
After a wonderful time in South East Asia it was time to return to reality. The Hong Kong Airport was lovely, easy to check in, go through security. There is a big food court on the top floor the departures lounge and the gates are on the ground floor, very organized.
And there is always time to make more friends. Here is a group from Beijing, China. They were on their way home after spending some time in Hong Kong
I returned to Canada amazed and so impressed with South East Asia. There is something there for everybody, shopping, historic sites, good food, spectacular beaches and even gambling.
Try a trip "out of the ordinary" and prepare to be impressed!
Please give me a call or email if you have any questions, I'd love to help you plan your next adventure!! You can reach me at Square 1 Travel, 250 334 0355, square1travel.com or