Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Shore Excursions

The notes from the cruise are rapidly disappearing under a pile of paper so it is about time that I continued my discourse (although I hope not as formal as "discourse").

One of the best things that happened on the Voyager of the Seas cruise was meeting Siraj early in the cruise, at Vitality Stretch class. We shared an instant rapport and I feel this will be a longterm friendship - although she lives in the US and I live in Western Australia (thank you to Facebook, email). Anyway, Siraj reminded me of an incident that happened while we were in Bangkok where we were on the same shore excursion: Hidden Jewels of Bangkok. Part of the excursion included a tuk tuk ride along the main drag in Bangkok - including a police escort! The ride took us from Wat Rachanadda temple to another temple. I had never been in a tuk tuk before, neither had Roland. It was exhilarating and noisy.

in the tuk tuk 
To cut a long story short, an elderly couple decided against taking the ride in the tuk tuk (or missed the cue) and the tour buses had already left. The Tour Guide only discovered they were missing when we boarded the bus again after the next stop. We waited and waited but they did not appear. I think the Guide was having conniptions by this time. Eventually, after numerous phone calls, it was decided that we continue on our way. We hadn't gone far when one of the tourists on the bus shouted out, "There they are!" or "There he is!" How she recognised him I have no idea as he was a stranger to her as he was to all of us on the bus. I guess she was an observant person. On her shout, the bus pulled up and we waited for the man to fetch his wife who was having trouble walking. It was a fair distance for them to have walked in unfamiliar surroundings.

The trip back to the ship took over two hours owing to the amount of container-trucks. The driver had to detour as the road was so congested. What a relief to get back on board, it was a tiring day, albeit filled with excitement and new experiences.

The following day we visited Pattaya, a seaside resort. Parts of Pattaya have a dismal, sad feeling, like a nightclub in the morning when all the revellers have left and the cleaners haven't arrived yet.


We enjoyed walking along the beach front and did some shopping in the multi-story shopping centres. Some were fixed price but many were 'negotiable'. Roland's favourite is looking for watches - not that he ever buys anything!




I spotted this jet ski on a trailer, complete with rider, driving through the traffic! 
Riding a jet ski through the traffic!

Now you're famous!
If memory serves, I bought multi-coloured pixie hats for Rosie and Lily from a street vendor in Pattaya and paid full price much to her delight and my chagrin! It still worked out at a pittance and we were both happy.

Random thoughts: we learned that Tinglish is a mixture of Thai and English! That appeals to me.
The humidity was incredible; a tourist pushed past me in the street in Pattaya and she was dripping wet, really sweaty wet. It felt horrible.
Siraj wanted us to visit the Sanctuary of Truth a wooden castle (or temple) near Pattaya. I stressed out about missing the boat so declined but it is on my list for next time.

I'll continue with Ho Chi Minh City next time. I hope it won't take as long to get motivated.