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Friday, February 29, 2008

HONG KONG, , Feb 29th and FEB 1st, 2008 FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

Best of Hong Kong


Set out to discover the best of Hong Kong with a visit to the Bird Market, where an amazing array of artistically crafted bamboo birdcages are on display, and the warbling competitions must be heard to be believed. Walk along Flower Market Street, with row upon row of shops and stalls selling cut flowers and potted plants from all over the world. The Jade Market is a great place to browse and pick up souvenirs. To the Chinese, jade is the most important stone, as it is said to have great spiritual value and to represent wealth, good fortune and power. A quick ride on the Peak Tram funicular brings you to the top of Victoria Peak to enjoy the panoramic view of Hong Kong and the Kowloon Peninsula spread out far below. Lunch is served at Café Deco—an art-inspired restaurant atop Victoria Peak. It commands spectacular views of Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon peninsula. Continue on a drive past Repulse Bay to the south side of the island. Take in panoramic views of one of Hong Kong’s most popular and beautiful beaches, along with the colonial hotel that has long been a landmark here. Proceed to Aberdeen where fishermen and their families live on thousands of junks and sampans. You’ll take a short sampan ride, and stop briefly at one of the city’s jewelry workshops. A 30-minute coach ride brings you to Stanley—one of Hong Kong’s oldest settlements. It is a fishing village nestled picturesquely on the sandbar of the Stanley Peninsula, on the southeast coast of Hong Kong Island. A century ago, it was notorious for pirates and their smuggling activities. Today, it is best known for its markets that specialize in sports shoes, clothing and Chinese handicrafts. It offers brand name clothing as well as excellent faux brands, hand-painted porcelain and souvenir items that overflow from the shops in the bustling market’s narrow lanes. Shopping in Stanley is always fun and there are many bargains to be found.



 Hong Kong Highlights


Depart the pier for Hong Kong Island and cross under Victoria Harbour by tunnel. Head up to Victoria Peak by funicular tram for a breathtaking view of the harbor and Kowloon. You’ll drive past Repulse Bay to the southern side of the island, with panoramic views of one of Hong Kong’s most popular and beautiful beaches, along with the beautiful hotel that has long been a landmark here. Next, you will continue to Aberdeen where fishermen and their families live on thousands of junks and sampans. Enjoy a short sampan ride here, and a brief stop at one of the city’s jewelry workshops for you to see the wonderful craftsmanship of the goods. Refreshments are offered in the exclusive showroom. Continue to the small village of Stanley and Stanley Market, famous for its clothes, furniture, souvenirs and great, inexpensive knock-offs of designer goods.

Notes:

ALSO A TASTE OF H-K DINNER AT PRIVATE CLUB NEAR THE WATER?

AND WALKING TOUR OF OLD AND NEW H-K

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

PHILLIPHINES, MANILA - (TEGAYTAY), FEB 27TH 2008 WEDNESDAY

  1. Tagaytay, officially the City of Tagaytay, is a component city in the province of Cavite, in the Philippines. 
  2. Area25.1 mi² (65 km²)
  3.  
  4. Weather78°F (26°C), Wind E at 4 mph (6 km/h), 84% Humidity

Monday, February 25, 2008

BRUNEI, Muara, (Bandar,Seri,Begawan) Feb 25th 2008 MONDAY

Bandar Seri Begawan-and Muara District

 
Andar Seri Begawan  [ˌbanda səˌri bəˈɡawan]) formerly known as Brunei Town. It is the capital and largest city of the Sultanate of Brunei. Bandar Seri Begawan has an estimated population of 20,000,[1] and including the whole Brunei-Muara District, the metro area has an estimated population of 279,924.[2]
 
 MUARA

Muara is a town in the Brunei and Muara district, Brunei. It contains the country's only deep-water port. Muara is the Malay word for estuary.


BRUNEI HIGHLIGHTS







Best of Brunei


Best of Brunei

Approximately 7½ hours
Brunei, an incredibly wealthy nation on the island of Borneo, is a stunning mixture of old and new. From elaborate mosques to simple water-villages, Brunei offers a culture very distinct from the other parts of Borneo. Enjoy a short cruise to a water village for tea in a local home. The water village is home to 30,000 people and has schools, hospitals, police stations, shop and mosques, all located over the water. Then, move quietly along the narrow mangrove channels, stopping to listen and look for the birds and animal life that call the mangroves home. If you are lucky you can observe the shy proboscis monkeys found only on Borneo. Your guide will explain the mangrove ecology and some of the diversity of plants and animal life in the tangle of mangroves, vines, palms and trees. The boat returns to the center of Bandar Seri Begawan, where you will stop by the open-air Kianggeh Market for a chance to mingle with the local people, followed by a visit to the Royal Regalia. This facility offers a replica inside view of the palace, and the regalia used by the Sultan during Jubilee celebrations. A delicious lunch will be served in Bandar before you return to the ship. 


Thursday, February 21, 2008

INDONESIA, BALI (Padang Bai) Feb 21th, 2008 THURSDAY

MAP

WELCOMING AT PADAN BAI













Historic &  Scenic Bali





A highlight of this tour is a visit to the Klungkung Kertagosa—a building designed and built in 1710 by the best artisans in the country. The compound contains the beautiful Bale Kambang floating pavilion and the Kertagosa Royal Court of Justice, with elaborate ceiling murals. Continue on to the terraced Pura Kehen temple complex built in the 11th century. A series of steps lead to the entrance door where the demonic face of Kala Makara stands guard over the temple grounds. Your drive then takes you to Selat, and through the mountain passes you can see a magnificent view of the terraced rice fields. Your destination is Tenganan—a walled mountain village where the Bali Aga live. These people are descendants of the original island people who maintain their pre-Hindu culture. The settlement is one of the most unusual on Bali. Here, identical living compounds are arranged in two rows along a wide, stone-paved street running the length of the village. The villagers are known for weaving a unique Kamben Grinsing (flaming cloth), which is believed to protect its wearer from evil. You’ll learn about this interesting process from one of the few family members in the village who still makes these living textiles.


Klungkung Kertagosa

Klungkung Kertagosa

Klungkung Kertagosa

Klungkung Kertagosa


Pura Kehen temple complex

Pura Kehen temple complex

Pura Kehen temple complex


Pura Kehen temple complex





TENGANAN VILLAGE

TENGANAN VILLAGE

TENGANAN VILLAGE


Sunday, February 17, 2008

AUSTRALIA, FREEMANTLE, PERTH (Western Australia) Feb 17th, 2008 Sunday

  Perth & Fremantle Highlights

Approximately 4 hours
Easy Activity  
$$
Departing the ship, your panoramic drive takes you through historic Fremantle, past the Western Australian Maritime Museum, which houses some of the most iconic vessels from the state's maritime history, and the Fremantle Prison and the Round House. The oldest building in Western Australia, the latter was purpose-built as a jail and was the first permanent building in the colony. You’ll head along the Esplanade to take in the interesting and historic colonial architecture of this delightful suburb. Proceeding into Perth itself, you’ll pass through the exclusive suburbs of Mosman Park, Peppermint Grove and Dalkeith. Watch for the Royal Perth Yacht Club, Matilda Bay and the Old Swan Brewery. Your next stop will be for some photography and free time at the delightful Kings Park. Featuring just shy of 1,000 acres of bushland, botanic garden and parklands, the park overlooks the Perth central business district and the Swan River. Relax among the cultivated gardens of unique native plants, pay your respects at the State War Memorial, or simply be inspired by the breathtaking views over the city. Continue out of Perth to Cottesloe Beach scenic point, where the smooth terraced lawns and lovely beach provides the perfect lookout for views of the Indian Ocean. Stop briefly to snap some photos at this beachside suburb before re-boarding your coach for the return to Fremantle.





TOOK THE ONE WY SIGHTSEEING CRUISE BETWEEN PERTH AND FREEMANTLE AFTER THE TOUR OF PERTH AND FREEMANTLE HIGHLIGHTS
THE PRICE THIS YEAR WAS 10.00 PER PERSON

Sunday, February 10, 2008

AUSTRALIA, SYDNEY ( New South Wales) Feb 10th and 11th 2008 Sunday-Monday

Sydney Sights

Approximately 4 hours
Easy Activity  
$$
Travel back in time to Sydney’s oldest village—the Rocks. This historic enclave sits in the shadow of the dazzling Harbour Bridge. Enjoy a panoramic drive through central Sydney, watching for the Sydney Tower, the magnificent Queen Victoria Building and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. The most sought-after residential areas in Sydney are Darling Point and Watsons Bay. You’ll also stop at Bondi—the world-famous surfing beach, where delightful cafés and restaurants line the main street. Return to the city via Paddington, with its narrow streets whose houses are lined with picturesque verandahs framed by wrought iron railings.
Notes: First day Sunday Feb 10th, 2008

Also Luis Garcia's tour 


second day Sidney Harbor tour.....

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

NEW ZEALAND, Dunedin (Port Chalmers) OTAGO REGION ,Feb 6th, 2008 Wednesday

Port Chalmers is the Port or Gateway to DUNEDIN












FROM PORT CHALMERS TO DUNEDIN
ROAD MAP










DUNEDIN RAILWAY STATION











OLVESTON HOUSE PICTURES


Olveston was built for Dunedin businessman, collector and philanthropist David Theomin, his wife and their two children. Designed by acclaimed English architect Sir Ernest George, the 35-room mansion was built between 1904-6 and envisaged as a modest English country house in the city of Dunedin. The house was designed and finished to highest standards, fitted with modern features such as an internal lift, an electric generator for lighting and full central heating, and furnished with fine artworks, priceless antiques, furniture and artefacts purchased from all around the world. Gifted to the city of Dunedin in 1966, Olveston is a time capsule as little has changed inside the house since it was occupied as a family home.