Created our own cruise "excursions" - Jan 18 - Jan 29, 2020
We decided to create our own "excursions" while traveling through Asia on a cruise. Linh helped us plan activities for three of the ports we visited. We gave her our destinations and she gave us various options to pick and choose from. Our first port was in Koh Sumai, Thailand, where Mr. Sonthaya gave us a great tour of all the island highlights and brought us to a beautiful beach side restaurant to enjoy the view and some local food.
Our second stop was in Laem Chabang, the port south of Bangkok. Ms. Angie and a driver picked us up from the port and drove us west of Bangkok, to ride a river boat that brought us to her favorite floating market, Don Wei Market. It did not disappoint, as it was a fascinating market filled with the smells, sounds and tastes of Thailand. We were truly immersed in the wonderful culture. We enjoyed tasting some foods while wandering and then ate a delicious lunch in a restaurant on the water. We boarded another boat and were taken to Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), a tower on the Chao Phra river bank built in Khmer architectural style. It is the tallest temple in Thailand, decorated in beautiful ceramic pieces. We finished our afternoon in Chinatown, one of the largest in the world, then headed back to the ship in the evening.
Our third adventure was in beautiful Halong Bay in northern Vietnam. Our guide, Mr. Sam, met us early at the pier and brought us to a favorite coffee shop to have authentic Vietnamese, drip into your own cup, coffee. It has just a touch of sweetness from some added condensed milk and is the smoothest, non-bitter coffee! So enjoyable. Next we were brought to a pearl factory to learn and watch how oysters are inseminated, farmed, harvested, and pearls sorted for size and quality. We were then brought to Halong Bay, where we were given a private boat tour of the beautiful bay, filled with 1000's of islands. It was so relaxing and fascinating! We were brought to Sung Sot Cave (Surprise or Amazing Cave). Found by the French in 1901, this is one of the largest and most beautiful caves in the area! Be ready to do some walking! It truly was amazing! Back on the boat, we were served an amazing lunch of freshly steamed prawns, squid salad, stuffed crab and other delicious delicacies that had been caught by the captain and his first mate! It was too cold for kayaking that day, but that would have been a great option as well.
We were very please with Linh's help in finding us very informed and interesting guides. Every "excursion" went off without a hitch. I would highly recommend KimKim and their local guides next time you plan a trip or just plan excursions while on a cruise!