Earth World Circumnavigation - Sector Four P & O Cruises

17th March - 3rd April 2013

Itinerary: Hong Kong - Nha Trang - Phu My - Laem Chabang - Ko Samui - Singapore - Port Kelang - Mumbai - Muscat - Dubai

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March 17. Hong Kong. The beginning of the fourth sector and our second day in Hong Kong. The weather was warmer but still overcast. Four of us took the Star Ferry across to the island and then we rode both parts of a hop on hop off bus, which did two loops around Central and Wanchai. After a visit to the Apple Store, we took a bus up the Peak. We up the tower and looked at the views. After that it was a ride on the MTR back to Kowloon and a stroll along Nathan Road. On the way back to the ship I went into a Chinese arts and crafts store to look for a jade dragon. Their prices had way too many zeroes!

March 19. Nha Trang, Vietnam. 26 degrees at 8:00 and 34 degrees by mid afternoon. This was another tender port and by the time I got to the shore, my tour bus had left! They put me on another and it drove about 100 metres to the Oceanographic Institute. This was basically some tanks of fish and a large room of specimens in formaldehyde. There were two seals in a glass cage with barely enough water for them to get wet. I was not impressed. After that we drove to a local market, where Rob and I had a can of local beer and Linda had a Coke. Then we looked at the outside of a Catholic Church, before driving to the Long Son Pagoda and its giant Buddha. On the ouside of the Buddha are seven busts of monks who set fire to themselves in 1964. We went inside the statue to see a room. Then it was on to the Po Nagar Cham, a Hindu temple dedicated to Ganesha. Finally it was on to a hand embroidery workshop, where it can take 5 months to embroider a picture. I bought one.

March 20. Phu My, Vietnam. Another 34 degree day. The tour was to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon to most people still, apparently). After a 90 minute drive from Phu My, which is on the Mekong River. Our first visit was to a lacquer workshop. Some of the work was exquisite. The it was off to the National History Museum for a lightening visit. The visit did include a uniquely Vietnamese water puppet show, which was well worth watching. Final stop before lunch was the old Presidential Palace, now known as Reunification Hall. The next visit was to see the exterior of the Notre Dame Cathedral and the General Post Office, which was designed by Eiffel. Up on to the roof garden of the Rex Hotel, which played quite a part in the Vietnam War (American War, to the Vietnamese). Our final visit was to the Thien Hau temple, which is dedicated to the sea goddess.

March 22. Laem Chabang, Thailand. Didn't do a lot on this port day. I took the shuttle into Pattaya, which has changed out of all recognition since my last visit. The six of us laid by the pool at the Bayview Hotel, where the shuttle dropped us off. Around midday, Barbara and I went to the Hard Rock Hotel for lunch. My 24th HRC!

March 23. Ko Samui, Thailand. Another warm day. I took a round island tour. First stop was at a monkey coconut collection place. The monkeys are trained to climb coconut palms and twist off the ripe ones. After that we visited Wat Kunaram, where there is a mummified body of a monk on display. He was wearing sunglasses! Our coach then broke down, but we were right by a bar, so we had a beer while waiting for the replacement. The new coach took us to the Big Buddah Temple on Fan Island. This was only built in 1973. We then had lunch in a 5 star resort before visiting Chaweng Beach, where rather than shopping, I laid on the beach for an hour, before returning to the dock to tender back to the ship.

March 25. Singapore. Barbara, Rob, Linda and I left the ship about 9. We took a cab to Clarke Quay, where we boarded a river boat to the new Marina Bay complex. On the way we passed the Merlion. At the new Marina Bay Hotel, we went to the Skypark on the 56th floor for some spectacular views of Singapore. We also saw the famous infinity pool on the same level, but we couldn't go into that part of the complex, as it is reservred for hotel guests. We then went by MTR to Orchard Road, where we had a great lunch in the foodcourt of the Wisma Atria. It was Teppanyaki and was delicious. We then walked the length of Orchard Road and part of Bras Basah Road to Raffles Hotel. There was a huge queue for the Long Bar, so we had our Singapore Sling in the Courtyard Bar instead. It was a much better drink than the last one I had there, over 10 years ago. We then took another cab back to the ship, and somewhere along the line, I lost my new camera. Which explains why there is only one picture of Singapore on this page!

March 26. Port Klang, Malaysia. This was not a good day. I had booked 'KL On Your Own' as I'd been to Kuala Lumpur before. There had been numerous time changes to this trip. Originally it was to have been 10:00 - 18:00. It eventualyl was 7:45 - 15:15! It was wet, when I went for breakfast, but the day was actually hot and humid. Because of the distance of KL from the port and the traffic, we only had 4 hours in KL. There were no tickets to be had for the Petronas Towers until after we had sailed, so that never happened. The girls had decided they didn't want to go to the KL Tower, so we didn't. I'd been to both before, so wasn't worried. In the end, we spent some time in the shopping mall where we had been dropped off. Then we went along the covered walkway to where the guide had said there was a market. We didn't find it. So we had a terrible lunch in an Irish bar and went back to the bus for the return trip. A wasted day, and not a good introduction for the others to KL. Only took two pictures, so that I had one for my blog!

March 31. Mumbai, India. Easter Sunday. It is well over 40 years since my last visit, so anything I see will seem new to me. We docked at 4am and were able to disembark by 6am. Many of the crew are Indian and were hoping to see their friends and families. I told my cabin steward to forget the morning clean, so he could find his wife and son, who were joining him on board until Dubai. Todays excursion was to Elephanta Caves. From the ship we were taken to the Gateway to India, by the Taj Hotel to board a ferry to Elephanta Island. This took over an hour. Once on the island, we had a short train ride and then a long climb to the caves. These are basically one large cave and two smaller ones, carved by had out of the rock. They are an abandoned Hindu temple, although there were offerings on the shrines inside. There are a lot of ornate carvings inside but most are damaged, because the Portuguese used them for target practice a couple of hundred years ago. After that it was back to the ship, for a Bollywood style sailaway.

April 1. Sea Day. Linda had been ill since Port Kelang, today was her first appearance since then. Which was fortunate as this was her and Robs' 41st Wedding Anniversary.

April 2. Muscat, Oman. Another glorious sunny day. Impressions of Muscat was the excursion tday. We arrived in port slightly late and after we had boarded the coach, we were stopped at the dock gates, because the driver was Pakistani and not Omani. We left about quarter of an hour later for the Grand Mosque. It closed at 11am and we arrived at 11:05! So all we saw was a little of the exterior. I was somewhat annoyed, especially as it had taken over half an hour to get there. After that we were then taken to the Muttrah Souk. This is where the shuttle buses went, for free! It was quite interesting, but still just another souk. We then went to the Bait Al Zubair Museum, which is an old house converted into a museum. Finally we went to the Sultans Palace, which in fact is only used for official purposes, he actually lives about 25km away. Not the best of excursions, but I still saw something of Muscat.

April 3. Dubai, UAE. We arrived earlier than expected by hour. Rob, Linda, Barbara and I left the ship at about 12:45 and went to the Burj Khalifa by Metro, to see if we could buy tickets for the viewing platform, for either today or tomorrow. They were all sold out. So we stayed in the mall for a couple of hours, where I bought the same make and model of camera to replace the one I lost in Singapore. It cost almost half the Hong Kong price! After that we went back to the ship to change. Linda's leg wasn't too good, so she stayed behind but the three of us went back into town and ate in an Italian restaurant in Bur Juman shopping centre.



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Ferry
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Temple
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Statue
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Temple
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Building
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Peak Tower
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Hong Kong
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Tram
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Repulse Bay
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Me
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Hong Kong
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Aurora
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Hong Kong
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Glasses
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Linda & Yvonne
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Captain
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Tenders
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Pelmet
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Clownfish
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Market
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Fruit
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Me
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Buildings
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Cathedral
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Sign
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Roof
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Buddha
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Buddha
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Buddha
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Inside Buddha
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Bell
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Temple
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Ship
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Temple
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Altar
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Altar
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Nha Trang
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Embroiderer
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Embroiderers
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Lacquer workers
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Yoke
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Roof
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Ho Chi Minh
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Statue
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Water puppets
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Water puppets
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Notre Dame
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Reunification Hall
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Post Office
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Post Office
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Notre Dame
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Roundabout
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Motor bikes
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Flowers
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Opera House
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Ho Chi Minh City
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Altar
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Roof line
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Incense
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Altar
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Shrine
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Pattaya beach
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Monkey
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Facade
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Mummy
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Statuettes
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Building
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Temple
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Us
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Temple
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Buddha
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Singapore
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Towers
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Terraces
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Terraces
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Promenade Deck
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The men
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Us
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Sky
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Sky
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Sky
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Street family
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Gateway to India
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Taj Hotel
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Gateway to India
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Harbour
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Hotel & Gateway
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Elephanta Island
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Train
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Discrimination
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Caves
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Carving
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Carving
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Carving
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Shrine
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Building
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Boats
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Us
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Rob & Linda
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Rob & Linda
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Water Cannon
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Sail in
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Pilot boat
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Muscat
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Arrival
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Grand Mosque
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Arch
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Dome
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Souk
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Model
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Sultans Palace
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Fort
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Sultans Palace
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Sultans Palace
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Burj Khalifa
147 kb
Fountain
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Fountain
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Water puppet show, Vietnam
3 minutes 53 seconds


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Page created 5th April 2013