Asia Travel Blog› entry 1 of 10 › view all entries
This is my first post here on TravBuddy. I have been lurking at people's blogs for about a week now in an attempt to learn as much as possible about the places I will be visiting next month. I am taking a cruise to Southeast Asia. Our flight leaves Newark NJ April 11, 2010 and arrives in Bangkok Thailand on the 12th. It's an 18 hour flight (with a short stop in Hong Kong). I can't even imagine how painful this flight will be. I have never flown further than Europe, and that 8 hour flight in itself was brutal. Any ideas on how I can occupy myself? Hopefully I will sleep through a good portion of the flight!!
I will be traveling with my parents (both in their 60's). I am recently single, and used to travel with my ex-boyfriend a lot. So traveling with parents is going to be a little tough for me. We're going to have a blast though.
On April 12th I arrive in Thailand (for Songkran) the Thai new year. I have read many things about that, and even so I don't really know what to expect. I am slightly worried, but hope to just have fun with the water soaking. My mother on the other hand, is terribly upset by this, she freaks out if her hair gets wet... good luck to her. Haha. The next morning I hope to get a Thai massage, and then we have a full day tour pre-booked. We will be visiting the floating market, the bridge over river Kwai and will be taking an elephant ride. Haha excited about that. My poor mother is petrified. She's going to have fun though. Such an experience. After the days tour we hope to take a river cruise and eat at a nice Thai restaurant. Anyone have any suggestions about good Thai restaurants in Bangkok? I am sure after dinner we will be exhausted and will call it a night. The next morning we have a 1/2 day tour scheduled so that we can see the Grand Palace, Emerald Buddha and the canals before we head over to our cruise ship, the Diamond Princess. The first day onboard will be a day at sea. I've been on tons of cruises before (my mom is a cruise agent) so they don't seem to thrill me. Especially since the majority of the ship will be retirees.
On the 16th we arrive in Singapore. I seem to be in charge of this stop since I didn't want to do any of the excursion options presented to me. I want to see the Orchid Gardens, the Singapore Flyer (observation wheel), and the Raffles Hotel. Hopefully we will have some time to shop as well. Has anyone ever taken the Hippo Hop On Hop off bus there? Is it a good way to get around?
The next port is going to be Phu My. We have a full day tour of Ho Chi Minh City that day (I think its a 2 hour drive to the city from the cruise port). I couldn't tell you what is planned there though. No idea.
Next we are off to Nha Trang, Vietnam. This is another one of the ports that will be up to me to plan. I want to go to the Sailing Club to relax on their beaches and possibly go sailing. Does anyone have any opinions on this place. What else is good to see in Nha Trang? I am definitely open to suggestions!
The following day is another sea day. Fun Fun.
Then we are sailing to Hong Kong. We don't have anything planned here either, other then wondering around. I hope to see the night markets, and take the big escalator up to the top and wonder through soho and the areas on the way up. Any must sees while we are there? We are over night in this port, so I would love to check out the nightlife as well.
Keelung, Taiwan is our next stop. In this port we will be visiting the Keelung Harbor, Taipei City, Martyrs Shrine, Palace Museum, Confucius Temple, Pao An Temple, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall and the Taipei 101 Building. I've heard a lot about that building, so I'm looking forward to seeing it (and all the stores! Love to shop).
The next afternoon we arrive in Okinawa Japan. In Okinawa we will be seing the Naha Port, Cornerstone of Peace Memorial Park, the Shuri Castle, and will be headed to Kokusai street for some shopping (my favorite haha). Which country is the best to shop in? I am looking to buy some electronics, possibly a mini camcorder and a new cell phone.
Shanghai, China is the next port of call (following yet another sea day). Our tour is set to visit the Yuyuan Garden, Jade Buddha Temple, Oriental Pearl TV tower and lunch in an a traditional Shanghai restaurant (which specializes in sharks fin?? yikes no thanks). The pictures I've seen of the Yuyuan Garden are incredible! Can not wait to see it.
Then we have 2 more days at sea before heading to our final port of call, Beijing China. Where we disembark the Princess and head off to tour China. We will be visiting the Matianyu section of the Great Wall and will eat lunch at a restaurant near the Great Wall called Xin Shuang Quan. Has any travelbuddys ever eaten there? I am not a huge seafood eater so I am hoping there is a chicken or pasta dish offered there as well. On our final day in Asia we will be headed over to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. We also stop at the Temple of Heaven and lunch at Courtyard 7 before heading to the airport.
I am completely excited for this trip. It should be an experience like no other...
Once I can get the 18 hour flight in the bag, maybe I can handle the 24 hour flight to Australia (I am absolutely dying to spend some time in Sydney)... any takers? I'll definately post more on my trip next month. Can not wait!