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alicat58

Costa Victoria 13/1/18

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The sign said something like don't offer turtles.

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Detailed carving.

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The colours are stunning.

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Bambi's and a waterfall.

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Lantern.

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Last few days of the year of the rooster.

 

This temple was stunning and it was so quiet. Did not see a single tour bus or Costa excursion ticket.

 

We had an amazing day in KL. Zaidee took us back to the ship. It was quite late and we did not have lunch but the afternoon tea just started and we got a few bits with out Mojitos sitting out on the pool deck.

 

Riana

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WOW! These are stunning pictures. Makes me feel like Im there!

 

The cricket club is much different to my first trip to KL- I first went in 1993- then it was very much still a cricket pitch with the white picket fence around. The clubhouse was off limits to all but members. Im guessing that cricket as a sport has lost its popularity in KL.

 

I have also been to Chinatown- remember eating there. From memory it was good but not great so you did not miss too much.

 

Cant wait for the next installment- I say pleading!

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Day3 Langkawi:

 

I only had the Cable car on my list of things to do because I read they fed the fish eagles so tourists can take photos. I disagree with doing that and did not put visiting the Geoforest on my list. We decided that we will negotiate with a taxi driver for a "tour".

 

The ship docks in Langkawi and then there is a short walk to the port gate. There was one money changer inside the port gates. There were hordes of taxi drivers outside the gate trying to get business. We went with a young guy called Sham in his clapped out Proton. At least the aircon worked. He took hubby to another money changer because we needed money for the geoforest. Yes we went!

 

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This is cheating because I did not take this with my phone. Hubby took this with his fancy Cannon. The birdy has a fish!

 

You get on a boat, and get off it quite quickly to go visit the bat caves. I was not overly keen but no choice madam. We have some photos of the bats if you are desperate but I'll get some. I was the torch bearer in the cave and did not take any myself. It was not easy getting on and off the boats with my wonky knees and cuddly proportions.

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This is an Unesco world heritage site. There are so many of these boats spewing diesel fumes and I contributed to this. Pretty though.

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See how arty farty I can get with my camera.

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The monkeys were not going to pose.

 

I did not try and take photos of the fish eagles and glory be they did not feed them. There were loads and it was such an experience to see these majestic birds in their natural habitat.

 

The trip ended with a visit to a "fish farm". Rubbish and dodgy to say the least. I did not take photos.

 

We had an hour long excursion and it cost 200 ringgits. It was worth it.

 

We found our man Sham and went off to the Cable car. That is in the next entry.

 

Riana

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Langkawi part2:

 

There is an "oriental village" at the bottom of the cable car. Read tourist trap. Food, shops, 3D stuff etc. Then there is the cable car and the Sky bridge. I don't like heights but can cope with cable cars. On the day we visited the furnicular to the sky bridge was closed and people had to walk down these steep stairs to get to it. They were open on one side. No thank you. Now it appears I only have a million selfies on my phone so I will pinch a few from the fancy camera.

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That's the sky bridge. To the left bottom are the stairs. There is one of those glass floors you can sit on and have your photo taken. No thanks.

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It's a long way up. There is a middle station where you have to get off on the way up. On the way down you just whizz past it. This is on the way to the top station.

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This is taking over everywhere. There was a woman right at the top engraving names on the padlocks. I did not check how much they charged. Been married for 27yrs and together 5 before. Managed so far.

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View from the top. My little Samsung phone would not have managed this.

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Waterfall on the way to the top.

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This is part of the oriental village.

 

Sham then dropped us at a shopping centre but we had enough for the day. I vaguely recall he charged us $40 after negotiating. Might have been a bit more. I will post a pic of the ship and the port area next. I am pinching them as well.

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Langkawi part3:

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Pier and port building. Didn't go inside. LOADS of taxis to the left of the building. They were not too pushy.

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You can see the difference between the cameras!

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Bats

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At the one exit of the caves before you had to bend down to back to the low bit that went back to the entry.

 

I thought Langkawi was a good port. The little town was really nothing of interest but the Cable car and Ecoforest was great.

 

Riana

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This is cheating because I did not take this with my phone. Hubby took this with his fancy Cannon. The birdy has a fish!

 

Was Hubby trying to film the eagle or shoot it down with his Cannon?:loudcry:

 

It was not easy getting on and off the boats with my wonky knees and cuddly proportions.
Where are the photos?:')

 

Riana, loving the wrietup and photos - keep them flowing.

 

Ron

 

Riana

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Cheeky as usual Ron. There are no photos but I still have bruises!

 

By the way, retirement age in UK is unfortunately not 47. I wish but then I would have a rubbish pension and would not be able to afford cruises.:D Are you still working?

 

How is the planning for your cruise coming along?

 

Riana

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Thank you for this wonderful trip report.

I will be in Singapore next March on the Fortuna. Visiting Port Klang so would be interested in the email for your driver.

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Hi Maryann

 

Here it is: zaidii73@yahoo.com

 

He was great and it would be fantastic if you decided to use his taxi tour. He waited for us with a sheet with our name on but also emailed me all his info as well as a photo of himself and his taxi.

 

If I remember he said he taught himself English and it was excellent. He was not only able to tell us about the sights but was able to have a conversation about Malaysia in general. I sometimes find that though English is generally good , understanding and having a proper conversation can be limited. English is my actually second language but I hardly ever speak my mother tongue now so the tables have turned and I am incredibly rusty speaking Afrikaans.

 

We have been on the Fortuna ages ago and I assume she has also taken on an Asian setup. We did not really like the Victoria but to be honest with Asian cruises it is more about the ports than the ship. And they were fantastic.

 

Shout if there is anything I can help with.

 

I won't be able to post till Wednesday now because it's back to work :mad:. I also have to finish my portfolio for my appraisal then, boring, so I will not spend as much time on CC. I am a bit addicted.

 

Riana

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Cheeky as usual Ron. There are no photos but I still have bruises!

 

By the way, retirement age in UK is unfortunately not 47. I wish but then I would have a rubbish pension and would not be able to afford cruises.:D Are you still working?

 

How is the planning for your cruise coming along?

 

Riana

Riana, I had the oporunity to take retirement at 60, jumped at it, since then just enjoying life to the full.

 

In 3 weeks we are off, week in Hong Kong is planned, also Vietnam is planned with private tours at all ports. Taiwan is the problem, just don't get a warm feeling (like Hong Kong or Vietnam), maybe I'll find something.

 

Ron

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Riana,

 

Thank you so much for this review. I am totally loving it. Cant wait til Wednesday to read / see more. I hate it when work gets in the way of cruising and posting.

 

We have been to Langkawi on a cruise- for us it was a disappointment at the time. It was pretty much the only port we had no plans for and thought we could just wing it. Im sure there is more to it but in our case we missed it totally. I remember being dropped off on a ships shuttle at the Aquarium (it was closed). There was a Duty Free shop next door. I remember the Chinese passengers going crazy buying huge blocks of Toblerone chocolate- yes I like Toblerone but not enough to buy 20 large blocks! per person.

 

We intended to just spend the day at a beach getting some sun and relaxing. Ended up in a taxi with a family from the cruise but the driver took us to some totally deserted beach- nothing in sight for miles. Probably romantic but as Im a single parent with a then 7 year old and the other family were 2 parents with a 10 year old the romance was lost on us. Kids were thirsty! So were we! Then it started to sprinkle with rain. We were seriously in some beach in the middle of nowhere. After walking for what seemed like ages along the sand and having no idea where we were going we eventually stumbled along a small shop- got a drink and found some dodgy taxi to take us back to the ship. The guy was a maniac driver and we felt like we were in jungle in the middle of absolutely nowhere. To be honest it was one port where I was quite glad to see the ship again!

 

Im not keen an cable cars but suck it up and close my eyes as Luke likes them. I can do them but don't enjoy it at all. I do draw the line at the glass bottomed ones in Hong Kong!

 

Ron, a week in Hong Kong? I love Hong Kong! Cant wait to hear your plans! - said with a pleading tone.

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Riana,

 

Thanks for posting the email address of your driver. Im wondering if he would be happy to just do a drop off/ pick up with no actual tour. I will email to find out. We want to spend some time in Chinatown, use the monorail and visit the towers, with maybe a visit to Harrods outlet for tea- we dont have Harrods here and its a bit of a thing for us.

 

How did you pay him- prepaid or at the end of the day. In dollars or local currency?

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Hi

 

I am supposed to be working on my appraisal but the work laptop I brought home is so encripted that I cannot get in.

 

We paid Zaidee when we got back to port. We paid in US but he quoted in Ringgits.

 

Phuket: this is a tender port. We got our tender tickets from the theatre and had to wait for the excursions to leave first. The tenders went to the main beach area. Pretty sure it is Patong beach. There are loads of restaurants on the beach front and the usual taxis.

 

This is what Costa offered:

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The beach was quite busy and had jet ski hire and Parasailing.

 

We negotiated with a taxi to take us where we wanted to go and ended up being taken to one Jewelry store so he could get a petrol coupon. Clean loos!

 

This is were we went:

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A few more photos in the same area to follow:

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Back with more in a bit.

 

Riana

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So on this cruise the temples replaced the churches.

 

Phuket 2:

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This is a large temple complex.

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Hubby does not own a pair of sandals. He became less happy to take his shoes off as the cruise progressed.

 

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OK, if you say so. Didn't look that hugable anyway.

 

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From the top of one of the buildings.

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Amazing colours. This is a bannister on one of the flights of stairs.

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These Frangipani flowers are in lays in the paving. I love Frangipani, I used to have a tree with this colour flower in the first house I owned (in Cape Town).

 

6 photos.

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Phuket 3:

 

We did not know what to do the next day and looked in the Costa brochures to see what we have not seen. We were not keen on Elephant rides(poor beasties) and as you know we don't do beach.

 

We wandered along the beach and turned in amongst the buildings and started chatting to a guy who asked whether we wanted a taxi. He organised one for us. It was air conditioned but the driver spoke minimal English. I showed him where we wanted to go and off we went. The first temple was actually quite some distance from the central area. The good thing was that it was deserted. It is the one with the buried Buddha.

 

Here he is:

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We did not go inside this building.

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Evil eyed bull outside.

 

Jui Tui next: It is a Chinese temple and you don't have to take your shoes off unless you want to pray. Guess who was happy?

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There was a little eatery next door and a guy asked whether we wanted proper Northern Chinese food. My dearest husband declined politely. The same chap told us it was one of the god's birthday and showed me the offerings. Food , booze etc.

 

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Ceiling and lanterns.

 

I am going to post a few more in the next entry.

 

Riana

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This guy's eyes followed you as you walked around. Very spooky.

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There are joss sticks in this.

 

We did some shopping in old town Phuket and it is really nice. Just one long street with shops on both sides:

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Thirsty anyone?

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At least mum is safe!

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Shop and restaurant. Lots of nice souvenirs.

 

Riana

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In retrospect we should have gone to James Bond island on the first day and the temples on the second day. We left Phuket at 4pm on the second day.

 

A few more photos:

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This is the beach we tendered to. Amazing fine white glittery sand. Sticks to everything.

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The ship with tenders taken from the shore. It is clear that I have been thieving photos again.

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I thought I would end on something sweet. This is one of the very few things we ate ashore. It was a lemon cake and was totally divine. It was in a little cafe in old Phuket.

 

The Mariner of the Seas also anchored in the same bay whilst we were there. Apparently not all ships anchor in this area and it might be more of a trek if anchored in a different area. A friend did something similar last year. They were on a Celebrity ship and they were not near any of the attractions.

 

Hopefully I will get back to the review on the weekend. It is getting very long.

 

Riana

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In retrospect we should have gone to James Bond island on the first day and the temples on the second day. We left Phuket at 4pm on the second day.

 

A few more photos:

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This is the beach we tendered to. Amazing fine white glittery sand. Sticks to everything.

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The ship with tenders taken from the shore. It is clear that I have been thieving photos again.

 

 

Hopefully I will get back to the review on the weekend. It is getting very long.

 

Riana

Riana, looks like you anchored by Patong beach. How far was it from Phuket old town? Did the ship move over night to a new anchor place?

Ron

PS Your Frangipani coloured tree would not survive this days in Cape Town.

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Ron, it was Patong beach indeed. The ship did not move to a different anchor place overnight and the tenders ran till very late I think. I am not sure whether they were running in the early hours for party animals. My frangipani would definitely not survive that drought in Cape Town. It is terrible.

 

Distance from old town, I am not sure. I tried to look it up on google maps but apparently I am not called "path finder for nothing". You get my meaning.

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Wow Riana,

 

Thank you so much. I am loving this review. The pictures are to die for! and Im so enjoying reading/ seeing what you got up to.

Can't wait til the next part!

 

We have a large and to my mind a very beautiful frangipani tree in our backyard. They were in just about every Australian backyard in the 1950's- 1970's. We live in the house I grew up in- my parents bought it in 1967! The story goes that one man owned 4 houses in the street and was selling them all. Previously to him selling them they were holiday homes for people to rent- we live at the beach. Anyway when Mum and Dad were buying 3 of the houses were available- they were exactly the same- room size, layout etc. But ours had a frangipani tree. When they were deciding which to buy they decided the only real difference was the tree- so they bought the house with the tree up the back. I love taking my coffee up under the tree in the early morning- the fragrance from the tree is beautiful. Its quiet and a totally relaxing way to start the day.

 

That photo is indeed Patong Beach- I am a veteran of something like 20 trips there.

 

Ron, depending on traffic, its about 20 minutes- give or take slightly from Patong Beach to Phuket Town- its is roughly about 18 kms- not sure how many miles that is?

 

The tenders do run all night if required. Or they used to! Costa and the other ships that port here use not only their own tenders but also hire the local guys and their boats to ferry back and forth. The locals are there all night and leave as required- if a passenger is there they go, if not they just wait for them to come. This is a big party port for the crew as it tends at least on Costa to be an overnight stop.

 

Phuket also has a deep sea port around he other side of the island- its about 45 minutes from the main strip of Patong Beach- I have never been there. But knowing where it is you would be at the mercy of the taxi touts/ mafia in Phuket.

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Hi I am back. I have been working till 4pm and is now fed up. Why did I bring that laptop home?

 

Next stop Penang. There is a large cruise terminal and you will be accosted by loads of taxi guys. In my wisdom I decided that this will be an easy town to just walk into and look at the street art and some old buildings. It was, sort of. I did not take the heat and humidity into consideration and late morning we were so tired that we went back to the ship. We did not even go the the jetties to see the community who lives there. We walked past the fort but could once again not be bothered to go in.

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Street art. I thought they were fun.

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Musicians in the cruise terminal. You can see people posing with them. Some of the men were a bit to touchy-feely with the lady in the red dress I think. She looked very uncomfortable.

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Just love those decorated lanterns.

 

More to come

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Penang2:

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I think this was the side entrance to some or other building but I just like the lady walking past in her slightly oriental outfit.

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Another entrance to somewhere but just me trying to be an art photographer with my phone.

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We visited this chaps house. I do the same job but I am not a revolutionary.

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Maybe he did not actually sew.

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I also have a thing for pretty floors.

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So pretty. There was a small charge to enter. There were books about the guy and drinks. Also FREE WIFI! Prince Charles apparently visited there. We were welcome to return again on the same day.

 

I have promised myself I will read about this man. Some or other time.

 

Riana

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We were now parched. We went into a small restaurant and they did fresh juice. We were really plebby, we wanted Coke!

 

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These were stalls/shops outside a temple. Look at the little old lady with the pink hat!

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Bonsai and statue of bearded guy.

 

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Buildings around the port from the ship. Note empty pool and wonky building on right.

 

So that was Penang. We should have arranged a taxi and we would have probably seen more.

 

Riana

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Malacca:

This is a tender port. Brace yourself for more "hope these boats don't fall apart whilst we are on them". Some of the life boats were used as well.

 

The plan was to walk around the old town. After the effort the day before we decided to organise a taxi. The old town is too far from the drop off area. The traffic was quite bad because it was quite late when we reached the shore and lots of government workers were off to lunch(according to our taxi man).

 

First stop the mosque that is floating in the straits of Malacca (well sort of):

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You can see how it is built over the water. It was prayer time so we did not go in.

 

Next stop was the area around St.Paul's church. I eye balled all the steps and was quite happy to give them a miss but was told we won't be back so we might just as well go to the top and see the whole ruin. It was very hard work.

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Before the steps.

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At the top. Now having grown up in South Africa we learnt all about Jan and Maria van Riebeeck who first landed at the Cape of storms. Turns out he was stationed here as well and his wife was buried in this very spot. They dug her up and took her to Cape Town some time ago. I wonder whether she would have been pleased by that.

 

We went to the Joncker Street area next. This was great. Lots of temples and shops.

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Outside one of the numerous temples.

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And inside one.

 

A few more to come.

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Keep them coming Alicat.

 

Im loving it.... We have always done a cyclo drive in Malacca- Luke takes great delight in finding the cyclo with the loudest music and the gaudiest decorations. Im just happy to be driven around for a while.

 

Last time in Penang we were there for a very short time- we did a ships tour that included high tea and some fancy hotel. Not as fancy as Raffles Singapore or The Peninsular Hong Kong but pretty good. I remember Luke as a 6 year old eating so many curry puffs I thought he would be sick- to this day he still loves them!

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