KOH SAMUI, THAILAND. Tuesday 27th March 2018.
This is my all time favourite Thailand holiday destination and both James and I were excited to be spending a day here.
It’s a tender port and it was 10am before we alighted at Nathon port town and only ten minutes later we were on our hired scooter for the day and headed off to Lamai.
We enjoyed the easy ride there and soon found ourselves back in familiar territory though some businesses had changed and new resorts had sprung up since our last trip here, it still retains it smaller town feel.
I was pleased to see as we rode away later that the same lady selling pad Thai at the night food market was setting up in the same place she has been for at least the ten years it’s been since my first visit here.
We managed a proper coffee before James had a haircut which we followed with a one hour massage before we headed to the beach for lunch at a table on the sand and a swim and relax before it was time to head back to Nathon for a last beer before lining up for a tender back to ship.
It was a very hot day and I think the ship’s showers would have all had a good work out as everyone returned home.
We had a quick recognisance while we were in Lamai for accommodation that would give us a good monthly rate should we decide to do this maybe next year. We found a couple of potential places so would be happy to wing it when we arrived another time.
It’s beautiful beach and unhurried and less populated town continues to attract us.
LAEM CHABANG, for PATTAYA, THAILAND. Wednesday 28th March 2018.
We had arranged to share transport with Paul and Robyn to Pattaya and we managed to be some of the first off the ship with Karen and Stuart just behind us whom were heading off on a long day private tour.
We scored a private car and driver for 600 baht each way ( about $12 per couple) which was a fair price considering it’s about 40 kms away. We organised a return pick up time and waved him off from our drop off point at The Hilton hotel and all sat down at Starbucks for a coffee, wifi fix and look at the maps we had picked up from The Hilton concierge desk.
What can I say about Pattaya!! Well I’m glad I’ve been and it was only for a day visit. It’s crowded, dirty, hot, sticky and with a thriving night club and sex trade not our kind of place. The beach was full of boats offering para sailing and the water didn’t look like anything I’d want to swim in. Apparently just two years ago the beach was able to have sunloungers and brollies out. It would appear weather has eroded the beach.
James and I headed off for a walk around to the point to see if around from there, there might be a nicer beach area.
We had to stroll down the area called “ the walking street” full of strip clubs, night clubs and seedy looking characters, before we managed to get around past the large Pattaya City sign on the hill and find a little quiet rocky bay with a patch of sand and some large trees for shade where we camped out for a couple of hours reading our books and snoozing enjoying the sea breeze which was a welcome relief from the dirty sticky sweaty heat the town offered.
On our return trip we stopped for a cold lemonade at McDonald’s where we could wash our hands and face as well.
We did find a covered local food market area where they had refrigeration and had a lovely freshly cooked lunch of two meals for 120 baht. Plus two large beers for another 140 baht.
Finding a busy and clean looking massage business we had a one hour massage each before heading back to our pick up point for our ride home.
We managed to make the most of our day in Pattaya but won’t be returning by choice.
Two sea days before Singapore 🇸🇬. Which will also mark halfway on our ten week trip.
SINGAPORE, Saturday 31st March 2018.
A very pleasant surprise to find we were docked next to Sentosa Island making our decision of what we would do for the day all the easier. Having spent time in Singapore in 2015 we didn’t need to do the run around in a day to see everything.
We went and bought an unlimited cable ride ticket that also gave us two attractions to choose from.
It’s a fantastic cable ride over our ship to the island and we had a great day. We thoroughly enjoyed our chosen bus ride around the island as one of our included attractions and even better we ended up being the only two on the bus so private tour with the guide providing a great commentary and giving us tips of what to do with our day.
After the bus we took the cable back down to Sentosa fort where we spent a really entertaining and informative time with their interactive displays. Well worth a visit.
A lot on the island is free so families have an opportunity to spend a day out without spending huge amounts. Though there is Universal fun park and a water park that seemed popular with lots of people.
We decided to go back to the ship to get our swimmers so we could spend the mid afternoon at the beach on Sentosa. We used the trip back to eat a quick lunch on board as well.
We had a very pleasant and relaxing day pottering around Sentosa and the sail away was very attractive with all the lights from on land and on the boats all in the straits.
PORT KLANG, MALAYSIA. Sunday 1st April 2018.
This is our first time to Malaysia and we’ve been looking forward to getting a small taste to see if we’d like to return.
First thing we noticed is that it seemed more affluent than some other Asian countries we’ve been to.
We managed to get on a ship tour with a glimpse of Kuala Lumpa at the last moment as our docking time was so short this was we felt the safest way to see a little something.
The ride into K.L took just over an hour o nice to see the out skirts of the city and our first stop was just a photo opportunity of the Grand Palace before we went onto a lovely garden and fantastic statue at the cities cenotaph. The statue designed by an Australian was impressive as were the gardens surrounding it.
On then to the city and a nice walk around the cultural hub , British colonial mixing with moorish style mosques and temples gives you a glimpse of this multicultural city and country.
Muslim, Chinese and Indian living in harmony with each other still following their traditions and giving the country a great character and feel.
We went to the famous Petronis towers built with the input of The Japanese for one tower and the South Koreans the other.
Back to the port and a bit of wifi before boarding for our 7 pm sail away.
A toast at dinner to celebrate what would have been James mum Doreen’s 88 birthday.
PENANG, MALAYSIA. Monday 2nd April 2018
We didn’t book any tours for here as the port is right at Georgetown and plenty to do in the surrounding area.
We hopped on the free local bus and it was great to see the local area with Little India and China town also here as they were in K.L.
We got off in the historical centre and even though the heat was intense we really loved walking around seeing all the old buildings, lovely little shops and the street art which is a big factor around this area.
We walked around a few temples and a mosque as well as the Chan piers where the houses and shops were on stilts over the water.
We had a great coffee in a lovely cafe and enjoyed fruit smoothies as we walked around before heading back to the original cafe for a shared nasi goreng and banana fritters and ice cream, delicious 😋.
After taking the free bus back to closer to the port we walked past the Cornwallis fort and surrounds before enjoying a little snooze under a tree canopy at a local park.
With still nearly three hours before we needed to be back on board we grabbed a taxi and drove to one of the more well known beach areas where we had a swim. Our driver waited for us and we had an interesting chat while we drove back getting a good idea of that part of the island as well.
We spent the last of our ringette at the local grocery shop before boarding and relishing the relief of a shower and clean clothes after the sticky heat of our day out.
Sad that our friends from our Christmas tour weren’t able to meet up as they had to go to their Grandmas funeral. We will have to come back to catch up with Sen and Anna in happier times for them.
We now have three days at sea before Colombo, Sri Lanka.