Cruising with Holland America from Hong Kong to Singapore with stops in Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand
  • Day21

    Flight Home, Changi Airport, Singapore

    January 5, 2019 in Singapore ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Waiting for my flight home, checked out the movie theatre and butterfly garden, bought some duty free.

    Karla, Didn't realize what a talented photographer you are. I felt as though we were all touring together again. Arlene and I were just saying we'd go back in a second. Miss you , Your American travel buddy Joanne

  • Day20

    River Safari

    January 4, 2019 in Singapore ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    Another unique animal adventure at Singapore Zoo, this time during the day and the only way to see the Giant Pandas and get up and close with a leopard.

    This tour was great, the guide was really good and while we did go through it quickly didn't feel rushed and got to see all the attractions with time to shop for souvenirs after and grab a quick bite if interested, can be combined with the Night Safari which is probably the way to do both tours and there is plenty of time between them to grab dinner and watch a show.

    This was my last tour before heading to the airport for my midnight flight.
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  • Day19

    Night Safari

    January 3, 2019 in Singapore ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    A unique experience to view the animals at night, while on a tram.

    Discovered that photographing animals while both they and you are moving at night is very difficult.

    While I really enjoyed the tour, there really wasn't enough time to enjoy everything, as dinner wasn't included ended up eating after the tram, which meant I didn't have time for the shows that were also on. Even fellow tourers who did the show ended up having to leave early to make it for our bus trip back. Maybe something that is better done independently even though that means a long wait for the tram. Public transport in Singapore is excellentRead more

  • Day19

    Singapore Round-Island Tour

    January 3, 2019 in Singapore ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    Joined 2 of the ladies I met on the ship, Joanne & Arlene, from Las Vegas, for a tour of the Island.

    Our first stop Henderson Waves, one of Singapore’s tallest pedestrian bridges. Next stop was the Kranji War Memorial a very solemn place where you could view the list of all those who died in the fall of Singapore in world war II.

    Lunch was at a local restaurant, right on the water in what used to be part of the British Navy base, where you could look across the water to Malaysia.

    Next was Bright Hill Temple, where all visiting dignitaries are taken to view Singapore's main industrial estate of which they are rightly proud of, considering that when they were kicked out of Malaysia, for asking for equal rights for all, they were a very poor and mainly rural country. Here dignitaries are invited to plant a tree, next to each tree is a plaque commemorating their visit.
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  • Day18

    Singapore, Singapore

    January 2, 2019 in Singapore ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    And so the cruise comes to an end in Singapore.

    After disembarking, took a city tour which finished in China town then shared a taxi with a couple to my Hotel, The Carlton. Which is located right in central Singapore, next door to Raffles, which is unfortunately closed for renovations, although the long bar is open so could have tried one of their famous Singapore Sling's.

    First stop was the amazing National Orchid Garden, then it was onto see the larges Mosque and few the shops in Arab. Learnt how when Singapore was a British colony it was divided into ethnicities. Final stop before chinatown was a shopping centre where you could get a great view of the Sands and the Singapore dragon, on the man made lake created by closing off the river's head to the ocean.
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  • Day16

    Nathon (Koh Samui), Thailand

    December 31, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ 🌧 30 °C

    Our only tender stop this trip the wonderful island of Koh Samui.

    My tour this stop was a waterfall hike, we started the tour by stopping at the local market to admire the fresh seafood and fruit.

    Then it was off to the waterfall, where we started off by feeding the fish and then after being given rain ponchos and warned the trail was slippery after rain that morning we started off. Not even 5 minutes into my walk my asthma started playing up, so ended up turning back.

    Once back at the base the guide hooked me up with a local who was supervising his son who was swimming in the lagoon, he found me a lovely spot where I could sit on a rock and have the flowing water over my feet. Ended up getting out when his son got cold and the timing couldn't have been better as it started to rain.

    Made my way up to the cafe and met up with another 2 hikers from my tour group who hadn't made the hike. We watched the rain absolutely pelt down, while the cafe owner fed us tea and biscuits, never been so glad to be an asthmatic.

    After the drowned rats finished their hike it was off to town for lunch, which was held in a lovely restaurant right on the water, where we had a lovely view of the ship docked just off shore.

    After lunch had some free time so did some shopping and then headed back to the the ship, was glad I wasn't on the last tender as was absolutely chock full.
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  • Day15

    Laem Chabang, Thailand

    December 30, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    After witnessing an amazing sunrise from the ship, it was off to experience a floating market and again experience how the locals use the canal system to move around Thailand. Then lunch is again a buffet at a local resort, before going on to see a local temple.

    At the markets if you wished for luck you could pay to release a turtle into the water.

    Our guide used a very unique marker to ensure we didn't lose him, a quite magnificent hat.
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  • Day14

    Bangkok, Thailand

    December 29, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    The boat dock at Laem Chabang, Thailand, then it was a 2 1/2 hour bus trip into Bangkok for a highlights and river cruise tour.

    First stop was the Wat Traimit Temple of the Golden Buddha, which has an amazing story attached to it. During the Thai war with Burma, a priest hide the statue by covering it in plaster, unfortunately the knowledge of this was lost and after the war they were moving the cement buddha to a new temple and the ropes broke and they dropped it, as it was late and they were tired the priests went to bed the next morning when they examined the broken statue the solid gold Buddha inside was revealed.

    Lunch unfortunately was at the Ramada and while it was a lovely location right on the river, lunch was an international buffet, so those of us hoping for an authentic Thai meal were disappointed.

    Next stop was the flower markets, where all manner of flowers are sold, we learnt how to fold the leaves of the lotus flower as left in temples. My attempt wasn't very successful.

    After that we went on a wonderful river cruise, including many of the canals that originally provided passage in and around Bangkok. One of the most amazing sites was one of the tallest building in Bangkok, MahaNakhon, which is designed to look like a spiral.

    Where the river cruise dropped us off, we had some free time to do a spot of shopping before heading back to the ship.
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  • Day13

    Sihanoukville, Cambodia

    December 28, 2018 in Cambodia

    Our only stop in Cambodia, Sihanoukville, where infrastructure is failing to keep up with the building boom financed by a huge influx of Chinese and Russian money. The population has over doubled in 10 years going from 145,000 to 345,000.

    Started the visit off by visiting the local temple and received a monk's blessing, then it was onto a hotel for lunch on Otres Beach where I had a foot massage. We also visited a local school and the children sang us a local song.
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