Asia from Singapore to Bangkok
Day 1 - Singapore Explore a compact, fascinating city-state that's truly global. A onetime British trading post, its diverse past is reflected everywhere, from its old Chinese quarter and colourful Hindu temples to its modern skyscrapers and common language, English. Take a short cruise along the Singapore River or a pedicab ride through town, or enjoy the quiet at the National Orchid Garden. Interested in Asian medicine? A special medicinal restaurant can prescribe just the menu to help you feel your best.
Day 2 - Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Malaysia The diverse capital of Malaysia blends colonial, Islamic and modern architecture, from the soaring Petronas Towers to the beautiful Masjid Jamek, once Kuala Lumpur's main mosque. Get a bird's eye view of the city from the open-air observation deck of the Kuala Lumpur Tower, the highest point in the city open to the public. Head to the air-conditioned Central Market to browse its stalls and shops for all kinds of souvenirs, with no bargaining necessary.
Day 3 - Penang Known as "The Pearl of the Orient," this island's rainforest and waterfall-clad mountains form the backdrop to its beautiful, sandy beaches. The capital's George Town Historic District, a wonderful mix of elaborate colonial homes, Chinese heritage buildings and temples, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The sprawling Kek Lok Si Temple, with a 100-foot pagoda and gardens, overlooks George Town, and is a great spot for photos. Penang's abundant street eats will tempt foodies.
Day 4 - Phuket Experience the many facets of Phuket, from its gorgeous beaches, to its 19th century Chinese and Western architecture and stunning Buddhist temples. Wat Chalong with its lovely pagoda, and Wat Phra Thong, revered for its huge golden Buddha statue, are must-sees. Explore the breathtaking Phang Nga National Park, made famous by the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun. If it is shopping you seek, bright silks, teak carvings and trinkets will satisfy many a shopping list.
Day 5 - At Sea
Day 6 - At Sea
Day 7 - Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Vietnam Discover the rich heritage of Saigon and the Mekong Delta. You won't forget a ride on a cycle rickshaw, known locally as xích lô ("sick-low"). Sit back as your driver whisks you past pagodas, colonial architecture and vibrant markets. A nice contrast to the city is the lush countryside of rice paddies and tiny villages along the Mekong. The freshness of the food is highlighted by the phenomenal fusion of local cuisine, a unique blend of Asian spices and French cooking styles.
Day 8 - Nha Trang, Vietnam Situated on a picturesque bay, Nha Trang is known for its sandy beaches and one of the longest cable cars in the world. At two miles long, the cable car to Hon Tre Island offers an amazing, mobile view over the bay. If history calls you, a visit to the Po Nagar Cham Towers dating to 781 is in order. Also compelling is the Long Song Pagoda, with its intricate architecture, mosaics and garden. Linger on the grounds, then climb 150 stone steps to the 70-foot-tall White Buddha at the top and enjoy a panoramic view of Nha Trang.
Day 9 - At Sea
Day 10 - Ko Samui, Thailand Feel like Thai royalty as you ride an elephant then see these clever animals show their work skills. Ko Samui is an idyllic, forested island with pristine sandy beaches, but venture inland and see majestic cascading waterfalls or a plantation where monkeys harvest coconuts. Back in town, shop for Thai silk, elegant resort clothes and handicrafts. Don't leave the island without sampling the spicy local fare, which will pleasantly jolt your taste buds.
Day 11 - Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Thailand Bangkok's glorious golden temples and palaces, the royal barges and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, carved from a single block of jade, are must-sees for any visitor. The riverside Temple of Dawn is also stunning and worth seeing. The Royal Palace, a massive complex of carved and gilded buildings, is familiar to many as the setting of the true story of Anna and the King of Siam - and is still used by the royal family today. Bangkok will heighten your senses and fuel memories for a lifetime.
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