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alicat58

Costa Victoria 13/1/18

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Hi All

 

Thanks TJandluke for still following. My brand new keyboard stopped working yesterday. It was only the batteries. Phew, it obviously came with old dud ones.

 

This is for Luke:

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I cannot remember how noisy this one was but it was well decorated. We stuck to an air conditioned taxi.

 

Starting back where things went pear shaped yesterday.

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The detail on the glass candle holders were something and I loved this happy buddha with all the little ones climbing all over him.

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I do not know what this is but the carvings were intricate and beautiful.

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I bet he was not that muscular!

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Inside one of the temples in the Jonker Street area.

 

I was keen to buy a few goodies but the boss had plans for our last Ringgits and the shop did not take credit cards. Oh well.

 

We went back to the taxi to be taken to the next area. In fact it was just at the bottom of Jonker street and we could have walked the few steps.

 

One last photo:26133132458_34c0877bbc_z_d.jpg

No Luke, you'll be sick if you have more curry puffs.

 

Next instalment coming up.

 

Alicat

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Malacca3:

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This was a Dutch reformed Church in days of old. A lot of Afrikaans speaking people in South Africa attends this church. They are always unadorned and plain. I found this intriguing and put it on FB for my family who attends the church in South Africa. Sorry it is slightly out of focus.

 

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Outside. A lot of the buildings in this colour. Not sure whether they had a large job lot of this paint or whether it is historic.

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More buildings in the same colour and some very vibrant flowers.

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I liked the reflection of the buildings on the water. There were boat trips along this canal. I don't know where they started and I think it might be an interesting thing to do.

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Decorative windmill.

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The Maritime Museum is housed in this replica ship. We did not visit.

 

We decided to return to the ship ad got our chap to take us back to the tender boat area. We drove past the Sari tower which held no attraction. Having been up one tower(KL) was enough for us. The wooden replica of the Sultanate palace was closed on the day.

 

Something interesting about Malacca is that they are doing massive land reclaiming . There was a very large are not far from where we were anchored where they had all sort of equipment doing this.

 

Our next stop was back to Singapore. This leg of the journey had no sea days. The second leg (for us) had two sea days the first one was after Singapore.

 

I'll do a short entry on our Singapore day next.

 

Alicat

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Singapore again:

 

We first visited Singapore in 1998. We left the 2 year old with a granny and nanny and a present to be opened every day. She still has not forgiven me for the large toy spider. She hates spiders. The thing did not even look like a proper spider.

 

We were very impressed with the Jurong Bird park and decided to visit again. It has not changed and is still amazing. Apparently there are plans to move the whole thing.

 

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Beautiful but a little smelly.

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Unintentional bird in flight.

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Totally not worried about us walking around it. They make that odd Woo-woo sound.

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Not a bird. I did not even notice the fish and little tortoise till now.

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Slightly out of focus but what a bad hair day.

 

We were queueing for ages for a taxi and eventually ordered an Uber. Uber is more expensive than the taxis in Singapore but we were hot and bothered and decided to go back to the ship for lunch. So I missed the Chilli crab.

 

We don't usually like sea days but even hubby said thank goodness for a sea day because of the intensity of the port days on the first leg of the cruise. I will do a little something different to fill the sea day.

 

Alicat

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Sea day:

 

I love cats. I only learnt to love them in my mid twenties and have been trying to make up for it since. So to follow some cats we saw on the trip.

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The Cheshire cat in the Cloud forest dome in Singapore.

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Elderly temple cat at the Big Buddha in Phuket. It was not going to look at me no matter what.

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Calico temple cat. Recalcitrant lot. Refusing to look up. I need to learn to speak Thai. Maybe I will be more successful. All Calicoes are girls. I had one in South Africa.

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This heavily pregnant(far too young) dilute Calico was in Malacca. There were a few of them with a guy on the steps up to the St.John's church. They were all pregnant.

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At another temple. This one in Koh Samui. Scruffy little ginger and white kitten.

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Ginger in Bangkok. Basically saying: "Am I bovvered?".

 

I just realised that I did not upload a heap of photos , so for the moment I am going to say good bye and I hope to be back on Wednesday though I have a meeting in the afternoon and a haircut in the morning. So many photos and so little time.

 

Alicat(Riana)

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He is the Ginga again:

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I was also told by a lurker that he has a Cannon camera and not a Canon. Who cares!

 

Alicat

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WOW! Im so loving this review. I keep logging in to check when the next bit is..... Please keep going!

 

I did not know that all Calico cats were female- we don't currently have a cat but it is only because nobody has asked me if I would like a kitten recently. Our last cat was a Calico- she was called Blossom Frangipani- yes she had 2 names! She was a very cool cat and was the BOSS- she lorded it over our Doberman!- who was terrified of her.

 

I like Singapore but to be brutally honest not as much as Luke, he has always loved it. Took him for the first time when he was 4 (just) and we have been back quite a few times since. Hong Kong is more to my liking!

 

Im waiting desperately for the next part...

 

Alicat- what was the currency on board? Euros of USD? Previously when I have done this itinerary it was Euros but I seem to remember reading somewhere that it was now USD.

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Hi TJ

 

I am glad you are enjoying my rambles.

 

I would love to go to Hong Kong. Never been. I enjoyed this cruise a lot but what I actually wanted to do, was see the Great Wall, Terracotta warriors and go to Hong Kong. Hubby is very much wedded to Costa but agreed that other than European cruises we will have to look at other lines.

 

All the charges were in Euro. Prices on the bar menu in Euro and the pizzas were €5 each. That was for a freshly made pretty good pizza and a pudding. On all the other ships we have been(in Europe) the restaurant was usually empty except for crew. This time there were actually quite a lot of passengers having pizza. We went when we didn't fancy going to eat to early not because the food was terrible. I did not get the pizza menu but they have 14 or 16 pizzas if I remember correctly. I like the Calabrese picante. It has a nice pepperoni and chili flakes.

 

Lets do a few food pics:

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This was a starter. I am not vege but like Costa's vege dishes and not the fish. It was a puff pastry pie with mushrooms in and mash on top. Sounds a bit naff but it was delicious.

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A bit unfair to post this. We had this free because of the Perla Diamante status. They were actually quite good. Not a patch on those monsters we bought at the fish market in Sydney though. I know they are available in the main restaurant for a charge. I thought the presentation was not too bad either. They were happy to bring a plate of chips(fries) with these.

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Mexican breakfast. Unfortunately no Guacamole. It would have been lovely. I actually enjoyed this a lot.

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I think this was a smoked sword fish carpaccio which hubby had. He enjoyed it. I had a taste and it was good. He ordered a tuna tartare starter one evening having high hopes for something like this. It was actually a small mound of tuna out of a can! Not such a good experience.

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A vegetarian curry dish with flat breads. It was delicious. I am a curry fiend. They had a "dish of the area" on the menu every night. Unfortunately lots of fishy ones. I must say I don't think they were typical of the area. They were Indian curries.

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This is the dreaded lobster with the mouldy claw. This was also on the Perla Diamante menu only. The lobster tail was actually reasonable. When hubby broke the larger claw open(pre-cracked for you) the large bit of meat was mouldy. We showed the waiter who said he will tell whoever but we never heard a word about it. I would have been really cross if I had to pay extra for that mouldy lobster. I don't think the claw belonged to the tail. Thank goodness otherwise I would have had a very ill husband.

 

I'll do some more later. I have some yummy puddings to share with you.

 

Alicat

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Puddings:

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This is a dense chocolate cake with mousse on top.

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White chocolate cheese cake with raspberry coulis. Was very good.

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You usually have to pay €5 for this. It was good but I would not pay to have it.

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Rhum baba. I have had much better on other Costa ships but it was still good.

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Some or other chocolate and cream dessert. I don't like cream so I scraped it all off. The strawberry compote was lovely.

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This is more my sort of pud. It was an almond cake, no cream and a little custard. Maybe not as good looking as the others but really delicious.

 

I love puddings and I have too many when we cruise. I don't make them when we are at home. I used to bake cakes but if I bake them, I eat them. Not so good.

 

Alicat

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A menu:

 

TJ I have a Gala menu as well but have to figure out how to scan it so I don't have the same problem as my Luminosa experience.

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A few drinks:

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Pink lady and Margarita.

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Night cap of espresso, cognac and grappa in a bit of a show of pic for Instagram.

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I hope Henry does not mind. Gin Martini, minimal Vermouth, not dirty , one olive. Aperol in a rubbish glass.

 

I thought I had pics of some of the other colourful cocktails but does not look like it. I only had one Tio Pepe because the bottle was a bit past its prime and did not taste that nice.

 

Back to work the next two days and at a course the whole of Saturday. I will be back on Sunday to report on Koh Samui.

 

Alicat

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Alicat,

 

Im so enjoying this review. You are reviewing everything that I love to read about! Im loving the pictures and the comments.

 

Costa occasionally have an itinerary that starts in Hong Kong and finishes in Singapore and back the other way. We have done it previously but now if they have it its in Hong Kongs winter- I only cruise during warm weather and Hong Kong gets too cool for my liking!

 

Im a seafood snob! Hate to say it but.... I hardly ever have seafood on a ship- in Australia we are spoilt with the availability of fresh seafood- I just don't fancy the frozen stuff.

 

I only ever eat dessert on a cruise- not sure why? I just never think to order it here or I'm too full from entrees and mains.

 

The drinks look pretty good to me!

 

Question from Luke: He would like to know please- what items are on the always available menu? He often used to order from this menu- he has never really been a kids meal person although he LOVES chips/ fries.

 

The almond cake would be much more my thing too. I dont mind cream but sometimes it can get too heavy especially after a meal. Im more inclined to have creamy stuff with a coffee in the afternoon somewhere.

 

I have never tried the Pizzeria on Costa- not sure why? Just haven't. They used to have pizza by the slice sometimes on the buffet at lunch time and I always quite liked it.

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Alicat,

 

Loving your review, just wish our last two cruises on the Diadema had one day menu like that, three weeks with the same two dishes on the same week day, so if you disliked one dish & did not fancy the other, tough.

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Hi people

 

Just a quick reply to some of your entries and thank you very much for following still.

 

Luke: The last page I posted of the menu which start with I piaci or something of the sort is the always available. So basically Spag bol, Pasta with tomato sauce, chicken and fish. I think I had the chicken once and it was nice enough. We had burgers from the grill at lunch time (once I think). Apart from not being piping hot they were pretty good. The chips were very good. I still have not tried a hot dog on Costa. Maybe next time. The grill was open till just before three.

 

Tenpin: I though the food in the MDR was actually good and varied. Our only disasters were the mouldy lobster and the tuna tartare. We ate in the MDR a few lunch times and enjoyed that too.

 

I will do a proper further entry tomorrow. I had a training day today (9.30 till 17.00) It would have been good if it was not for three morons who liked the sound of their own voices and asked irrelevant questions. Reminded me of those B8gg8rs who sat in the front row at uni and asked questions all the time.

 

Back tomorrow

 

Alicat

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It would have been good if it was not for three "mo Rons".

Riana, how can you say such things.:loudcry:

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Port Klang for Kuala Lumpur:

 

I have organised a private taxi for the day with an amazing guy I found on cruise critic. I emailed him before the cruise. He was so quick I don't know whether he ever sleeps. He waited for us in the terminal building and drove us about in his air conditioned taxi for $90. The only thing I told him I would like to see was Batu Caves and I let him do the rest. He planned the journey so we went to the caves first and then worked our way back until he delivered us safely and in time back to the ship. I can heartily recommend him and if anyone wants his email I can pass it on.

 

 

Just catching up with your review. Very envious of your photography. The images are so sharp!

 

We would be very interested in the contact details for your private taxi man. You can reach me on this e-mail address. wansbroughs.cruise.blog(at)gmail.com

 

We are going next year and had the caves + KL on our list. Great tip about going up the other tower. :D

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1 Ron is quite enough.

 

Speaking of which when are you off to HK.

Cant wait to read your review when your back.

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Hi people

 

Tanja thanks for helping out with a response to the "mo-Rons". I agree 1 Ron is enough but I could not think of such a clever response.

 

Wansbrough: zaidii73@yahoo.com. He is also on the other big travel site and uses WhatsApp. He sent me a photo of him and his car(Toyota) before and greeted us with a card with my name on, in the port building. He was able to tell us lots of stuff about the country and actually understood a lot of the nuances English second language speakers find difficult. Hubby spoke to him about the country's finances and all sorts.

Now before I get back to my tale. I came back home from work(stressed as anything) on Friday evening. So whilst cooking hubby says to me: "Can you take time off in March then we can go on the Diadema for a week". Huh?! that is next month. Also we were not going to cruise so much this year to get one of those upgrades that irritates Tenpin so much. And the Diadema???? I thought we said we are not going on her again. So though we have not booked yet, I made sure our favourite restaurant in Palma is open in March: Yes they are. Look at availability of flights: Will have to be Ryanair from Stansted:Blegh. Check at work tomorrow whether it is going to be a huge disruption: Who cares!

OK enough of that.

Koh Samui part1:

I just looked at my Dropbox to see what I planned for the day and noticed I wrote: Dunno!

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It was another tender port. So yet again taking our lives in hand on rickety tenders with local cowboys at the helm. That was an Oceania ship which went to a few of the same ports as us.

When we got off the tender there were loads of taxi drivers hustling for business. Totally taking chances asking for $170 for the day! You have got to be kidding. Considering that we paid a lot less at most of the other ports.We eventually managed to get a driver(Miss Nee) for $100. Total rip off.

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I think this one is Wat Plai Laem

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Lots of photos of the new king everywhere.

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I think this is quite a fun photo.

 

There were loads of cats at this temple.

 

More to follow.

 

Riana

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Koh Samui part2:

There are lots of big Buddha temples all over this area. Here is another one.

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OK, I could have done better on the photographic front but was now drizzling and it was phone and brollie time.

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Awwww.

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It was a whole complex. If it was not wet I would have like to do some shopping here. There were loads of lovely looking stalls.

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Another view from the top but towards the sea. It was so pretty. I can just imagine what amazing views there will be on a sunny day.

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Look at the size of that tree trunk!

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I honestly cannot remember how we got to this bit.

 

Part3 to follow.

 

Riana

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According to Google this is Wat Sila Ngu. This is the one little issue if you don't go with an official guide. You look at stuff but you don't have the foggiest idea what the story is. Easily sorted by checking on Google when you get home. I do not enjoy the ship excursions much.

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The outside is basically fired terracotta. My resident expert on that said it is extremely difficult to do.

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Not blood thirsty at all.

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I should have gone closer to get a decent photo but was a bit worried I would fall into that hole.

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This is behind the temple. It is right on the coast on the ring road and there were beaches below and along this area. Not quite in focus but I like it anyway.

 

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I assume these are funerary in nature. I don't think it was possible to go down those steps with the cobras on.

 

This place was deserted and amazing. Not a soul with a Costa sticker in sight.

 

Next lot to follow.

 

Riana

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Sorry, Koh Samui part4:( I forgot to mark the previous entry)

 

Guan -Yu Shrine. This chap was a famous Chinese general. Fierce looking chap.

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Amazing door.

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Inside the shrine.

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These puzzling things were at a lot of the temples. At one we visited they were throwing bangers

(Not the sausage type but fire crackers) into it and it caused one almighty racket. So if some clever person out there can enlighten us it would be appreciated. By the way look at the rain! Not torrential but I don't like to be rained upon. We have been very lucky though and this was the only day on the whole cruise(other than our pre-cruise time in Singapore) when it rained.

 

OK not 6 photos but the last episode of Koh Samui to follow.

 

Riana

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Koh Samui the final episode:

Now my dear husband thinks I am crazy but if there is a mummy to be found I will want to see it. I've been to see them in Egypt, Palermo, Bari, London and Koh Samui.

 

Wat Khunaram was the last temple we visited in Koh Samui. This monk apparently died in this position whilst meditating and then they mummified him and stuck him in this glass case. I used the boss's camera to take the photo because he was fed up with taking his shoes off.

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I think the painting at the top might be when he was a young man.

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Hmmm. I thought shoulders should be covered.

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So I stole this one from the big camera.

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Part of the complex. This was also pretty much deserted.

 

So that was Koh samui. We went back to port, grudgingly paid our crazy lady driver $100 and got a tender back to the ship.

 

Next stop in Bangkok. For those of you who are totally templed out. Sorry, much more to come later in the week.

 

Have a good week for those of you who still work and those who are slumming it at home, enjoy!

 

Alicat(Riana)

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These pictures are "Super Cool" according to 12 almost 13 year old Luke! That's about the best you can get! He is impressed! So am I!

 

I had no idea there was so much to see in Koh Samui. We are beach types so our day there consisted of taking a taxi to the beach, lazing in the sun/ shade under and umbrella. Buying random bits and pieces from the sellers wandering by.

Having a massage. I think I got my nails and toes painted. Plus drinking some type of coconut drink- mine had a healthy slug of vodka in it!

 

For some reason and I have no idea why we also went to McDonalds on the way back to the ship. Its funny the things you remember from a day ashore!

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Wansbrough: zaidii73@yahoo.com. He is also on the other big travel site and uses WhatsApp. He sent me a photo of him and his car(Toyota) before and greeted us with a card with my name on, in the port building. He was able to tell us lots of stuff about the country and actually understood a lot of the nuances English second language speakers find difficult. Hubby spoke to him about the country's finances and all sorts.

Riana

 

Many thanks for this, I was also able to find him on TA and have made contact, we are booked for next year. (y)

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Hi there

 

I have been appraised and good to go for 12 mnths!

 

Luke I am glad to hear you think the stuff I am posting is super cool. At least someone thinks it. My darling daughter thinks her mum is extremely boring cruising all the time. She is off to South Africa next month and plans to do shark cage diving. My personal opinion? It is seriously daft.

 

TJ I don't do beach any longer. Few reasons really. I am of certain proportions these days and struggle to get off loungers etc. There , I said it. Also I dislike the sand sticking to me. We used to do two types of holidays when I was a kid. One was beach. Loved it in those days but I have a very fair skin and usually burnt so badly on day one that I spent the rest of the holiday in the shade. Our second type was going on safari. It was during the winter, there was no sticky sand and I did not burn.

 

Wansbrough: Gosh you are quick off the mark. I hope he is as good as we found him.

 

Now I mentioned that rude word"Diadema" in one of my last posts. It is booked and we are leaving in just over two weeks. I have no intention of doing a review on that one but will report back on our experience.

 

Let me get on with this review. Our next port was Laem Chabang for Bangkok. We had an overnight stay and I convinced hubby to book an overnight Costa excursion. I looked at similar excursion on TA and they were way more expensive. The Costa excursion included the hotel as well and it turned out 2 lunches and supper. We were in a combined German and English group.

 

We were collected before the crack of dawn and grabbed breakfast in the buffet just after 6.30 am. The one side was an absolute scrum. We decided to get a juice from the bar at the back and hoped that they would open the other side of the buffet. We were lucky.

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This area is outside once you have walked through the buffet. Lots of people sat there lunch times. It was very hot and humid out there. You can see just how dark it was. Later on they had two omelette/fried egg stations out here.

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It is very much an industrial port.

 

So we met up in the grandbar I think and my goodness are some of the Costa staff rude! Well we all know that. We set off to our bus and they popped our overnight bags in the "hold". Our guide was multilingual and spoke German and English throughout. In fact it would have been good if he did not speak so much. We heard all about how Thais marry and divorce regularly. I cannot remember whether he was on wife two or three and we heard all about how much he had to pay his MinL. I thought of Ron.

 

Everything you have heard about Bangkok traffic is true and much worse than what you are told. It was crazy.

 

Our first stop was the temple complex with the Golden Buddha:

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There are lots of kilos of gold in him.

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Panel on the way up to the buddha.

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He was inside that top section.

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Some fake flowers inside. Pretty though.

 

Now Costa made it very clear on all the blurp that they gave us that we need to be respectfully dressed. Men with long trousers and shirts and women with legs and shoulders covered. Yes you have guessed it. Men in shorts and women in tank tops. So they had to go shopping just outside the temple complex to get trousers etc. Must say the three men looked quite ridiculous in their elephant print girly bloomers. Suits them right. We also had two stranglers who missed the bus at the port and we were forever waiting for them at every single stop for the two days.

 

The bus then dropped up off for a very early lunch because we were getting on a boat to look at the architecture from the water.

 

Next issue to follow.

 

Alicat

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Bangkok part 2:

 

I have bemoaned the fact that my hubby is not keen to eat anything ashore in the east. He had no choice this time but he probably lost a kilo because he had such miniscule portions.

 

The bus dropped us off a little way from the boat stop because the roads were too narrow for it. We walked to the restaurant but unfortunately I do not know what it was called. Only WiFi at the bottom and we were on the top floor. Buffet food. Thai curries etc. It was OK but not so that you would want to put it on Instagram. The two of us escaped and went for a walk. Some interesting shops but we did not buy anything. There were also some interesting smells. At one cafe the spices where so strong that it made my eyes burn.

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You can see one of the boats in front of that temple. They guys driving are maniacs. They go very fast, there are loads of them and they swerve and go ballistic. One of our group got totally soaked. We went someway up the river which is called "King River". We saw the royal barges and lots of temples and a large water monitor(lizard). At our turning point the guide fed the fish and they were very keen.

 

We headed back and walked to the Grand Palace. The guide war worried that most of us would not get in because of the dress code. He was even worried at my sandals and my toes barely show out of them! We all got in no problem. It was absolute sensory overload.

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Wow!

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It was packed. Look at the guys tusks.

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I told you it was sensory overload.

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My photo does not do the intricate work justice.

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I did not take many photos. I think because my jaw dropped so much that I could not manage my camera.

 

By now it started to rain. We were told we could get a tuk-tuk or walk 1km (or so) to the next temple.

 

I don't like being rained upon and we have already walked miles so off we went to get a tuk-tuk. Now I have mentioned that I am not exactly nimble. It was near enough impossible to get into the d8mn thing because there was no curb. I had a bruise on my shin for three weeks after.

 

We set off to the Temple of the reclining Buddha and met our fellow cruisers there.

 

Another episode to follow.

 

Alicat

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