Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Off on a Magic Carpet Ride ~ Setting Sail for Singapore

The sun had yet to rise when the ship’s engines began to rumble just before 5 a.m. and we pulled away from Bangkok, Thailand’s Klong Toey Wharf on the Chao Phraya River. We’d spent the first of our 34 cruise nights here.

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Klong Toey Terminal - Bangkok, Thailand
Our Oceania Nautica was docked at one of two cruise ship terminals that serves this area. Klong Toey, closer to downtown Bangkok  - thus a cheaper taxi ride - than the other port, turned out to be a rather stark industrial area. (But then we’ve found most of our ports of call are usually in such commercial shipping areas.)

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Views of Klong Toey terminal area - Bangkok, Thailand
It took a couple hours for the Nautica to wind its way down the narrow river, passing under majestic bridge spans and near the shore and then enter the Bay of Bangkok. Sitting on our deck in that early morning hour, the air already felt thick with humidity. It was quiet.  So quiet that we heard voices of dock workers, the rat-a-tat-tat of small long-tail boats engines as they passed, the call of tropical birds and buzzing cicadas on the shore.

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Chao Phraya - Bangkok, Thailand from Oceania Nautica
Our ship was small enough that it could navigate up rivers such as the Chao Phraya here and later the Irrawaddy in Myanmar, so we had a taste of what river cruising might be like as we got up close enough to see people and shrines on shore.

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Honoring Thailand's royalty - along the Chao Phraya in Bangkok
It was to be a full ‘sea day’; a travel day, in other words.  We would have 14 such sea days during this Magic Carpet ride of a cruise through the Far- and Middle-East.

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Our ship was a novelty as we made our way down the Chao Phraya - Bangkok, Thailand
With temperatures in the 90’s and humidity at the same level, we spent that first sea day lazing around – but not at the pool because it was too hot (notice the empty chairs). Our hard-working crew didn’t have such options and braved the heat and gave the ship a bath:

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Heat and humidity didn't slow down maintenance work on the Nautica

We would be in Singapore at 8 a.m. the next day as it really is quite a distance from the Chao Phraya River and then crossing the Gulf of Bangkok (formerly the Gulf of Siam) and a slice of the South China Sea. Although we couldn’t see land after entering the bay, it was amazing to think we were sailing past Phnom Pehn and the coast of Viet Nam.

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Our route was shown on the ship's television channel
Singapore, its official name the Republic of Singapore, is an island country, a sovereign city state that is 85 miles or 137 kilometers north of the equator – that translates into: HOT, very, very hot.
In our next post we’ll take you on a “Hop On, Hop Off” bus tour of Singapore, with a look at the city’s old and new, exotic and sterile.Thanks for stopping by and spending some time with us today.  We appreciate it!

Linking this week with:

Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s Sandbox 
Our World Tuesday
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening

43 comments:

  1. What an amazing cruise, and beautiful scenery! Thanks for sharing from your travels. You two are fortunate enough to actually do things that most of us can only dream of. I'm happy for you all! :)

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  2. Yes, Beth, we do consider ourselves fortunate. However, we worked for so many years and saved with a focus on one day being vagabonds. So here we are. . .and loving every moment of this incredible life we are leading!

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  3. I love Singapore - no need to see the sterile, just hang in the right parts (not shopping centres!;)

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    1. Hope you'll check out our next post as I will take you on a tour of Singapore! Thanks for the visit!

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  4. I like the size of your boat. I've been to Bangkok and can imagine the stillness of early morning on the river and listening to the cicadas.

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    1. We loved being able to get into places that the larger ships couldn't make it to - also smaller numbers were easier for some of these still developing countries we visited. It was an amazing morning in the stillness, Jan.

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  5. Nice! I like the fact that the ship is small enough to navigate around the rivers. When I visited Thailand, we took a small ship in the Chao Phraya from a small town (I can't remember the name) to Bangkok. The view were incredible.

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    1. It is amazing watching the shore activities, and small ships make great viewing platforms. Thanks for the comment Ruth!

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  6. We are off on a Singapore to Singapore cruise in January next year, so was interested to read your post. Singapore is a great place - so easy to get around and very clean and orderly.

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    1. Singapore is certainly clean that's for sure, Kathy! We did have some confusion getting back to the ship with the ground tour we took - I'll talk about that in our next post on Singapore.

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  7. I've been looking forward to reading about what exactly you did on the cruise. I like that it's a small ship. I hope to one day do a river cruise myself. When I was in Cambodia which is somehow even hotter and just as humid as Singapore, I was surprised by the number of locals wearing denim jeans and long sleeve shirts. I don't know how they do it!

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    1. Well sit back Michele as I have plenty of tales to tell - the carpet ride was magic! Yes, and as for the heat - it was incredible heat, absolutely incredible! Thanks for the visit today!

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  8. How exciting are all those stories dear Jackie and Joel! Life treats you really well and that's a blessing thing. I take a little break from blogland but we will certainly keep in touch. Take care of yourselves and until next
    Olympia

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    1. Olympia, enjoy your break from the blogland and I will watch for you on Instagram. Sounds like the summer heat has hit in Greece - stay cool! Hugs, Jackie

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  9. we would like to go on a river cruise sometime..not to the orient....other places beckon me.:)
    glad you are having a good time..it's hot here in texas, too.

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    1. We are back in the Pacific Northwest BJ, where the temperatures continue to break heatwave records. Not as hot as the Middle East though. Stay cool!!

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  10. How lovely to be able to travel up rivers as well! That must've provided fascinating insight into the cultures you visited. :-)

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    1. It was an amazing trip whether on the ocean or the river - always something to see and learn!

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  11. What an amazing cruise, the images are pretty. I love the sunrise shot? I am lucky if I can last 9 days on a cruise. Have a happy new week ahead!

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    1. Everyone on board said they were amazed at how fast our time went! No one wanted it to end -- such a great group of fellow travelers and such interesting ports made it just the perfect cruise. And yes, that was a sunrise shot. Thanks for visiting, Eileen.

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  12. I have a happy image of two vagabonds on a magic carpet ride and I love that you share your travels with us Jackie.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

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    1. Yes, that would be us, Judith. Thanks so much for the visit and for hosting the linkup!

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  13. Great cruise and images. You are having fun and learning lots.

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    1. It was a fabulous cruise and I'd do it again in a nanosecond!!! Thanks for the visit, Paula!

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  14. Enjoyed catching up with your adventures. Makes me feel like we are there with you enjoying the magic carpet ride!

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    1. Oh it is always such fun to find a comment from you two on the post and think about what beautiful tropical setting it was written in! Thanks for stopping by - I'll be back to your blog soon!

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  15. Interesting experiences. Wonderful shots.

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  16. Thanks so much for the visit, Rajesh! Always look forward to your comments . . .

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  17. This sounds like a great travel plan.
    I enjoyed the writing and the great photos.
    I have heard of the humidity in Singapore :)
    Enjoy your travels!
    Peace :)

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    1. Hot and humid! pretty much described our entire cruise - so beauty care stepped aside for plain old fun and adventure! Thanks much for the visit, Chandra! Hope to see you back here often. . .

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    1. Yes, it was over a month - and the month went faster than any we've ever spent on land! Thanks for the visit - hope you'll comment again soon.

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    1. Pretty amazing it was! Thanks much for the comment - see you next week again I hope!!

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  20. We were in Singapore in February and looking forward to hearing what you think.

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  21. I'm looking forward to seeing Singapore with you!

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  22. Love the idea of cruising through the rivers of Chao Phraya and the Irrawaddy in Myanmar and seeing the boat traffic as well as the sights along the shore. Your cruise sounds beyond awesome and 'm enjoying sharing your adventures!

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  23. How exciting; 34 days with the convenience of being on a ship. I can't wait to read more about your adventures in the Far- and Middle-East!

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  24. You've got me dreaming ..... 34 nights seems like a long time. but when you're on a magic carpet ride, I'm sure that time flies! :) Can't wait to hear more about your cruise. in a part of the world that I haven't even been close to yet.

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  25. 34 nights on a cruise is a long time! How many days were in port?

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  26. We did a 14 day Azamara cruise that started in Hong Kong and ended in Singapore (I certainly agree with you on the heat and humidity of that interesting nation-city). We didnt' sail past Viet Nam. We made three stops. Definitely interesting in a freaky sort of way for Americans of a certain age. I look forward to the rest of your posts about your cruise.

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So happy to see you took the time to comment. We read them all - and each is much appreciated. We hope you will be a regular here and comment often!

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