Thailand & Sri Lanka
Day 1 - Singapore Singapore - the very name summons visions of the mysterious East. The commercial center of Southeast Asia, this island city-state of four million people is a metropolis of modern high-rise buildings, Chinese shop-houses with red-tiled roofs, sturdy Victorian buildings, Buddhist temples and Arab bazaars. Founded in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles of the fabled East India Company, the city is a melting pot of people and cultures. Malay, Chinese, English and Tamil are official languages. Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity are the major faiths. Singapore is an ever-fascinating island boasting colorful traditions, luxurious hotels and some of the finest duty-free shopping in the world. Lying just 85 miles north of the Equator at the tip of the Malay Peninsula, the island was a haven for Malay pirates and Chinese and Arab traders.
Day 2 - Kuala Lumpur (Port Kelang) From a lawless huddle of kampongs in the trackless jungle, Kuala Lumpur, the capital city has grown into a fascinating metropolis. Steel and glass towers stand side by side with graceful stone colonial buildings and mosques adorned with slender minarets. The commercial, financial, economic and cultural heart of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur (better known as KL), is a melting pot. Its population of 1.6 million is comprised of Malays, Chinese, Indians, and a mix of different cultures including Eurasians and others.
Day 3 - Langkawi Langkawi comprises a group of 99 tropical islands lying off the northwestern coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The main island is known as Pulau Langkawi. The islands are shrouded with an intriguing heritage of myths and legends that feature ogres and gigantic birds, warriors and fairy princesses, battles and romance. Langkawi has been accorded the Geopark status by UNESCO, for its beautiful geological heritage of stunning landscapes, karsts, caves, sea-arches, stacks, glacial dropstones and fossils. With a geological history dating back 500 million years, the islands contain unique rock formations that stir the imagination and baffle the mind.
Day 4 - Phuket Hailed as the "Pearl of the Andaman Sea," this island off Thailand's long southern coast boasts a colorful history. A crossroads for trade, Phuket has been a melting pot of Thai, Malay, Chinese and Western influences. Its importance over the past 500 years stemmed from the island's natural resources, which include tin, hardwoods and rubber. In the past half-century, Phuket has enjoyed wide popularity as one of the premier travel destinations in Southeast Asia. Travelers are drawn to the island's beaches, crystalline waters, and dramatic, forested hills.
Day 5 - At Sea
Day 6 - At Sea
Day 7 - Colombo Sri Lanka conjures up the exotic and the mysterious. Once known as Ceylon, the island boasts a fantastic landscape that ranges from primeval rain forest to the bustling modern streets of Colombo, the capital. A visitor to Sri Lanka has a wealth of options. Relax on some of the world's finest beaches. Explore the temples, halls and palaces of the last Sinhalese kingdom at Kandy. Or take a guided tour of an elephant orphanage. Colombo also offers an array of charms, from the Royal Botanic Gardens, once a royal pleasure garden, to the Pettah Bazaar, where vendors hawk everything under the sun. Colombo and Sri Lanka were shaped by Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and European influences. Colombo also serves as a gateway for Overland Adventures to India.
Day 8 - At Sea
Day 9 - At Sea
Day 10 - At Sea
Day 11 - Mina Qaboos
Day 12 - At Sea
Day 13 - Dubai Dubai has always served as a bridge between East and West. In the past, Dubai's trade links stretched from Western Europe to Southeast Asia and China. The result was the creation of one of the most protean societies in the world. Nestled in the very heart of Islam, Dubai remains unique in its embrace of the West. Bedouin may still roam the desert, but Dubai also plays hosts to international tennis and golf tournaments. Tourists flock to its shores while the pace of development continues at a frenetic pace, from massive artificial islands to the astounding Burj Al Arab Hotel. Dubai is actually two cities in one: the Khor Dubai, an inlet of the Persian Gulf, separates Deira, the old city, from Bur Dubai.
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