May, 2009:


The last 2 days have been spent in Singapore.  Once we departed the ship we went on a quick tour of the island before checking into our hotel which is excellent.

We’ve done the hop-on hop-off tour for a day and a half and have seen loads.  A nice feature is many of the hotels and malls are all interlinked so you can get around without leaving the comforts of aircon.

We’ve eaten well too and last night went to a fancy restaurant where you get served your steak (or in K’s case tuna) and they give you a hot stone for you to cook the meat yourself.  It was very good and the starters and desserts were excellent.

Singapore is probably our favourite place on the whole trip and a place we’d certainly consider returning too – Kathryn’s even looked up the Singapore Marathon as a good excuse to come back.  Incidentally our hotel is smack bang in the middle of the F1 track – the track goes past the front and back of the hotel and we’re about a 3 minute walk to the pit buildings.

We’ll be leaving the room soon to checkout but we’ve still got 6 hours till the airport transfer so we’re going to continue to enjoy.  Ciao!

All Thai-ed up

This is the last of our at sea blogs as we depart Cambodia for our final destination of Singapore.

After I last posted we went to watch the magicians escape act and in my eagerness to get a front row seat I ended up being dragged up front to help with the chaining and checking of the padlocks.  They were definitely proper padlocks and the chain was very heavy.  Having seen him get our of a straight jacket though I don’t think it was any more difficult except perhaps that he was at the bottom of a 6 foot deep pool.  He escaped after 2 and a half minutes underwater but in all honesty I think he was out within the first 90 seconds and staying down for effect.

The next day we got to Thailand near the beach town of Pattaya and from there we got a bus ride to Bangkok where we decided to do the city on foot.  Bad call on my part that as by the time we got to the Emerald Temple and Giant Buddha everything was closed up to tourists – we were even given a friendly warning by a tourist policeman that we shouldn’t hang around that area too long.  We had managed to see one of the main temples though and went back to the shopping!

Many people were staying overnight in Bangkok but we headed back on the bus and the next day stayed more local to the port and visited the Tiger Zoo.  The Tiger Zoo is home to hundreds of tigers, over 100K crocodiles, elephants and a mix of other animals.  There were some demonstrations of the animals, Kathryn wasn’t keen on the guy who spent most of his time trying to get bitten by crocodiles, I was quite impressed by the elephant who could play darts!  The tigers were the stars though and I even got to hold and feed a tiger cub.  Special mention should go to Kathryn’s favourite animal – the flag waving pig.

That afternoon we had a relax by the pool which was rudely interrupted when Kathryn wrenched my book from my hands and entered me into the “Mr Legend” competition.  Despite 2 Welsh girls on the judging panel I still didn’t win – I can only assume it was down to my reluctance to be there. That and the fact I can’t dance or do press-ups!  I will have my revenge on Kathryn for that one!

In Cambodia we visited a beach town and had a mill around the local market – think Splott Market but with twice as many stalls crammed in and add numerous sewing machines and scorpions on sticks.  From there we hopped on a Tuk Tuk to one of the many beaches and spent a couple of hours just walking in the surf and sitting back watching the world go by.

Tomorrow we’re at sea before we arrive in SIngapore.  Straight off the ship we’re having a tour of the place which should help us we’ll get to know the place before exploring solo and we’d probably be too early for check in anyway.

Good Morning Vietnam!

Long overdue blog this one but we’ve just been so busy the last few days – breakfast, pick up trip ticket, get off ship, get on bus, drive, race around city, take photos, back on bus and repeat. back on bus, drive back to ship. get ready for evening, watch show, eat dinner, bed – and then do it all again on the next day in a whole other city!

Since we left Hong Kong we sailed to the Chinese town of Sanya where our activity for the day was to the hot spa resort – a park full of loads of hot water pools.  Highlight of the day for me was the Fish therapy pools , otherwise known as the nibble fish ponds.  You sit in a big pool of water filled with various fish from 2-4 inches long and they proceed to eat your dead skin until it’s all gone or you decide you can’t stay in any longer!  I submerged myself almost totally but drew the line when my ear was getting nibbled.  It was such a strange experience.

Sanya was our last Chinese location and we then travelled to Vietnam where we’ve been for the last 3 days.  First day was in the town of Hoi An where we went on a walking tour of the old historical town and browsed the markets.  Next was Nah Trang which is the most popular beach resort in Vietnam and finally yesterday we visited Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon).  It’s such a sprawling and busy city that we were constantly on the move and barely getting a chance to think before we were onto the next location – any slower though and we wouldn’t have seen half of what we did.  In fact the only thing slowing us up was the dozens of street traders trying to sell us postcards, caps, T-shirts etc as you got on and off the bus.  They weren’t too pushy though and would never try to stop you if you weren’t interested.  In Vietnam the temperatures have been consistently around 90 degrees with very high humidity.

On the ship we’ve been keeping busy too eating some excellent meals alongside our table-mates from South Africa and enjoying some banter with our Head Waiter Nilesh.  I’ve had a couple of excellent Lamb meals and Kathryn’s just enjoying the chance to have 3 courses every night.

I’ve been running round on deck (or in the gym) most days and the humidity really makes you feel you’ve burnt a few calories.  It’s even like an obstacle course at times trying to avoid people wandering aimlessly around the designated running track.

Also I’m apparently now a genuine stalker – we saw the magician show one night and he sat next to us at breakfast the next day and I had the cheek to say hello and tell him how much I enjoyed the show.  SInce then we keep bumping into him around the ship and Kathryn’s convinced I’m stalking him – he’s doing an escape act from chains in the pool today which should be good to watch.

Kathryn’s looking forward to the formal night tonight as we missed the previous one on the night where the sea was particularly choppy – the first time we’ve had actually designated “rough” waves on a cruise meant that many people missed dinner that evening.  Neither of us felt particularly good that night but it’s been fine since.

Tomorrow is Bangkok for 2 days, followed by Cambodia and then on to Singapore!