“Once a year, go to a place you have never been before”
– HH Dalai Lama
As you know by now, I’ve officially embraced cruising, river cruising that is. However there is still something else I truly want to do and it is another of my items on my always growing bucket list and that is to go on an ocean cruise. Yes, you read that right, a real cruise out in the open water!
To be honest with you, I have been kind of reluctant of going on one, as they seem intimidating and the only times I traveled on a vessel were ferries (from Dover, England to Calais, France, from Busan to Jeju Island in South Korea, from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel among some).
As lately I have been reading a lot about amazing and exotic cruises and unforgettable journeys offered by several companies and oh those destinations! I don’t even know where to start. There is so much to choose from and they all seem to be pulling me in like a magnet.
There is one area in particular that I am drawn to and that is the Indian subcontinent. As you know, I am a huge tea fan and also love spices, so imagine if you could combine both? Add visits to some of the most important cities.
Now I am sure it will be a transformational journey which is something we, travelers in the 40’s, 50’s and beyond, are actively looking for and can certainly appreciate even more than in our younger years.
In order to make it happen, I would have to fly into the glitzy Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Photo credit: Schmid-Reportagen
There is just so much to see and do but for a quick stopover would be fine.
What would I choose if I had 24 or 48 hours? Let’s see my selections.
Photo credit: Renate Granade
Visiting the tallest building in the world is a must for every visitor right? I would love to see the impressive view from the observation deck!
If I thought going up the CN Tower in Toronto was exhilarating, then this will take me to the top of the world. Literally!
Photo credit: Subsul
Some retail therapy might calm your anxiety (if you have a thick wallet or deep pockets of course) however I have seen the incredible interior and I am sure my photographic eye would love more of this 🙂
Old Dubai / Gold Souk /Spice market
Photo credit: Atimedia
I LOVE going to the markets! It’s the best way to get to know the locals and it is a feast for the senses!
I’ve seen amazing photos and videos of these 3 places and I have to make a stop, a must!
Photo credit: Atimedia
A trip to the Middle East would not be complete without a trip to the desert! Venturing out into this ecosystem is quite an adventure indeed. Standing before this wonder of nature and capturing it will be unforgettable, that I can guarantee.
Next stop on the itinerary? The one and only, India.
This fascinating and colorful land has fascinated travelers for centuries and still does today. Not only it is a spiritual center but there are so many lessons (sometimes very difficult) to learn but it truly will humble us and appreciate our lives.
This is what my itinerary would look like.
Formerly known as Bombay, this densely populated city is a must. I would opt for architecture and market tour, an island and even a National Park. I would love to see the Gateway to India
Photo credit: PDPics
Sacred temples such as Siddhivinayak, Elephanta Island, museums like Mani Bavan, Chor Bazar market and Sanjay Gandhi National Park where Buddhist caves are found.
Photo credit: Mark Sheffield
Once occupied by the Portuguese, Mormugao has been a very important port city ever since.
Today it is possible to enjoy its remnants of the past such as Mormugao Fort, Old Town with its colonial architecture and also enjoy a leisurely stroll on white sand beaches.
Throughout centuries, Kochi was known for being the spices trade center in India. Today, this city in state of Kerala is one of the most visited.
There is an array of activities and many attractions such as Fort Kochi,
Photo credit: Thorsten Vieth
Paradesi Synagogue, Bolgatty Palace and the Chinese fishing nets among many others.
Followed by Colombo, Sri Lanka
This coastal city played a crucial role in the spice trade route. Today it is a thriving and dynamic capital.
The island has so much to offer that a day or more is necessary.
I would go for a walk at Galle Face Green Park
Photo credit: Mayakaru
which faces the Indian Ocean, get a dose of history and culture at Colombo National Museum, visit Gangarama Vihara temple and wander through Pettah Floating Market.
Photo credit: KB1003
My personal favorite would be to head to a beach and spend the day there 🙂
Heading East to Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia’s capital and fastest growing city in Asia, Kuala Lumpur, has so many attractions for both locals and visitors alike.
The most recognized structure is obviously the Petronas Twin Towers which can be seen from any point of the city.
Photo Credit: Kuya Andy
Just as impressive is the Batu Caves.
I would definitely add Little India Brickfields for some shopping, Petalling Street for some Chinese food, Sultan Abdul Samad Building as well as the National Textiles museum since I love anything that is weaved.
If time permits, I would also escape to nearby Langkawi Island for some vitamin sea 🙂
And the Final destination? Singapore
Photo credit: Someformofhuman
The financial hub in Southeast Asia is an eclectic mix of Indian, Chinese and Malay cultures.
The island has plenty of options and everyone will find something they will love.
Since I’ve never been, I already made a list and this is what I have selected.
Marina Bay Sands Resort. When In Singapore, you go to the highest point and that is at the Skypark observation deck.
Then come back down to earth and go to the Raffles Hotel for an original Singapore Sling.
Followed by a quick bite at Hawker Center and taste local delicacies at a reasonable price.
Then walk along the Esplanade and admire the city skyline and the symbol of the city, the Merlion.
Photo credit: Tpsdave
At night, Clarke Quay is the place to dance the night away.
Then to recover from it all the following day, I would take a walk at Gardens by the Bay or perhaps head to East Coast Park or travel to neighboring Sentosa Island.
Photo credit: Calvin Teo
As you can see, there are plenty of adventures to be had along the spice route and South East Asia.
This is something I am definitely looking forward to doing and experiencing. I believe that life has prepared me for this and I am more than happy to go along.
Now I’d like to ask you…
Have you been on an ocean cruise with several land trips?
If so where was it?
Would you ever travel solo or do you prefer going with someone?
Tell us all about it.
Until next time, many happy travels!