Rafting in Bali

Day 41 – November 21st, 2011… Bali, Indonesia

We arrived in Bali early in the morning.  We had to tender into this port as our boat couldn’t get close enough to a dock.  It took about 25 minutes to get to shore.  The water was very beautiful and a gorgeous blue colour.  I was a little shocked to see quite a bit of garbage in the water though.  Despite that, it still was stunning.

We road on a bus for about 1.5 hours to take a river raft ride in Ubud.  We got geared up with helmets and life jackets and observed a quick demonstration.  Then it was go time…We had to walk down 500 steps to get to the rafts.  I’m not usually scared of heights, however, I am extremely terrified of murky water and the unknowns lurking in it.  The sight of the water petrified me and my legs shook the entire way down, quivering more with each step.  I had to use my paddle to hold myself up and keep it together.  I had to keep it together, especially since the trip was filled with 60 + year olds and they were making out just fine!

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The raft ride was an amazing experience.  We got to go through lush forestry and ride alongside stunning waterfalls.  We stopped at one waterfall and hopped into the water to get a picture under it.  It took everything in me to hop in that water.  Needless to say, we took the picture and I quickly scurried back to the raft.

At the end of our ride we were let out at a beautiful resort.  We were allowed to wander the resort grounds and swim in their pool.  The pool weaved alongside the river and had a stone bottom.  The water was so warm and refreshing.

After getting cleaned up we were served a delicious lunch at the main part of the resort.  Even though it started pouring rain, the sights were breathtaking.

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The pictures do not do this destination any justice!

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From Riding Elephants In Ko Samui To Climbing Through The Chu Chi Tunnels In Vietnam

Day 34 – November 14th, 2011… Ko Samui

We had rain on and off throughout the entire day.  Which isn’t surprising considering it’s monsoon season.  The weather still hovered around 30 degrees with little to no humidity.  We took a jeep to the Na Muang waterfall.  The streets were lined with vendors and little shops.   We saw lots of monkeys and beautiful scenery.

We sat perched on top of a gorgeous elephant on a makeshift seat.  We wandered around the property over uneven terrain.  Half way into our trek it started to pour rain.  Sitting on top of an elephant while it’s raining does not feel the best.  If I was to do this again, I would not wear shorts.

Following the elephant ride, we wandered the property checking out their different shows and walked over to the waterfall.  The waterfall was stunning.

We had an amazing time in Ko Samui, this is a destination I would love to go back to!

Day 35 – November 15… Bangkok, Thailand

Finally a sunny clear sky!  Today was a beautiful day with temperatures around 35 degrees.  Initially we were going to just wander the city, however, we ended up joining one of the tour groups.  The tour lasted from around 6:30am to 7pm with around 5-6 hours of driving.

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We went to see beautiful temples.  Vendors were selling sodas in a plastic bag with ice alongside the road.  it was a scorcher and there wasn’t a lot of shade.  To enter the temple you had to be fully covered.  They allowed for rentals of wraps to cover up, however, we just made sure that we were wearing pants and long sleeves.  Everything was covered in gold decals and the gardens were perfectly landscaped.

This is a must see!

Day 37 – November 17th … Ho Chi Minh City

I finished all of my books yesterday during our day at sea.  I love hardcopies of books, however, if I was going on a trip this long again, I would bring a Kindle or something that is easier to keep multiple books on.

On the way to the Chu Chi tunnels we got to see the Saigon River.  The street were filled with people and cars.  Families carefully squished onto Vespa’s drove alongside our bus.

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We arrived at the Chu Chi tunnels and walked through the grounds with our tour guide.  In the background, different types of guns firing could be heard.  (Half way through the tour you could stop at a gift shop or shoot a variety of different guns; only paying for the bullets).  Shawn and I stopped into the gift shop to get some ice cream since it was very hot out, however, we didn’t stop to shoot any of the guns.  If we were to go back, I would try it though (just to say we’ve done it).  Live and learn!

Tunnel systems

Tunnel systems

The tunnels were very tight and compact and just looking at their openings gave me claustrophobia.  The guide allowed us to go through the tunnels (they widened one portion of the tunnels to allow tourists to go through).  I couldn’t do it, however, Shawn made it through about 20 meters of the tunnel.

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On to the next stop!

Petronas Towers & Singapore Slings

Day 31 – November 11th, 2011…Malaysia

We received emails that there’s snow at home!  We’ve officially been away for one month.  It’s hard to imagine snow since we’ve had excellent weather the entire time we’ve been travelling.

We arrived in Malaysia today and temperatures were hovering around 36 degrees.  We scheduled a tour for today through the ship, we took a bus into Kuala Lumpur and were dropped off at the Petronas towers.  The downtown felt very reminiscent of downtown Toronto.  We grabbed a bite to eat outside on a patio below the towers and sat and watched the fountains.  Thankfully the restaurant was covered as it was extremely sunny, hot and humid.

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After wandering around for over an hour we decided to check out the aquarium to beat the heat.   The aquarium was fairly inexpensive and certainly worth it!   We felt completely safe wandering the city and did not experience anyone approaching us or hassling us. Despite the city’s warnings, we were left alone!

After wandering around the city for the day, we returned to the ship in time for another delicious dinner and our first taste of a baked Alaskan.

Day 32 – November 12th, 2011…Singapore

Today is the end of the first part of our cruise.  Majority of the passengers are disembarking today and a new group will be joining us.  We didn’t have anything planned today so we packed a backpack and decided to wander Singapore.  From our ship we could see Orlando studios and the Hard Rock Hotel.  The island looked like a lot of fun, we should have checked it out, however, due to timing issues, we had to pass on going there.

We grabbed a cab (which was very reasonably priced) and asked them to take us to the Raffles hotel.  We wanted to try an authentic Singapore Sling.  The Raffles Hotel was very beautiful,  it had a European feel to it.

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The day started out very overcast and as we ordered our Singapore Sling (yes, singular since they were $30.00 US), it started to drizzle.  The drink was worth every penny.

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Foolishly, we decided to push our luck with the weather and walk to a market downtown.  We were able to make it about 5 minutes before it started pouring rain.  Water covered the streets and crept up to the sidewalk level within the blink of an eye.  It became next to impossible to grab a taxi.  Thankfully, one of the vendors at the market was selling rain ponchos, so we grabbed the ponchos and started running back to the ship.

Singapore was beautiful, we can’t wait to return!