Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Home from Southeast Asia

Our Southeast Asia cruise is now in the past. We started in Tokyo and sailed to Vladivostok and Beijing before hitting the "Southeast" places. Fascinating people and places. In addition to Tokyo, we were in Osaka, Hiroshima, Hakata, and Okinawa. There was the one stop in Russia, where our ship had to break ice to get into the harbor. The sailing to and from Vladivostok was very very rough - something John and I tolerate well. We then went to Inchon, Korea and visited Seoul for a day. The Chinese ports included Beijing, Dalian, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. We did two ports in Viet Nam and two in Thailand (Bangkok and Koh Sumui), and the trip concluded in Singapore, which was hot and steamy.

We were amazed by how vertical so many of the cities are, what enormous populations the cities have (it's like Chicago is this small hick town), how friendly all people are, and how constantly present and aggressive souvenir sales people were. In Vung Tau, a rural area close to the Mekong Delta, we made five stops, and there was a fleet of salespeople that followed our bus on their motorcycles. It was a good trip, but I'm thrilled to be home. There's nothing like a tiny cruise ship room and bathroom to make me realize how palatial our house is!

This t-shirt quilt has nothing to do with this cruise but has a lot to do with John's frequent jazz cruises. The t-shirts in this picture were collected by Gwen Jobes, a woman John has known for over 10 years. She and her husband Winnie go on the same "Jazz Party at Sea" cruise that John does every year. Five years ago she sent me 3 t-shirts, and I used both the fronts and the backs for this wall hanging that she gave her husband for Christmas. 30" x 42"
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9 comments:

Josie Ray said...

Welcome back to the U.S.A.! :-)

More later, because I'm fried tonight, but still wanted to say...

Welcome home!

Doug said...

One of the cool things about blogs is that you can post pictures from your trip....not sure if you knew that or not.

Donna said...

Eventually I will. Now the sordid task of going through all the pictures and doing the editing. John took over 1,000 and I judiciously shot only 800 or so. I'll post some but it may be a while!

Donna said...

Wait, Doug. Was that a slam at how slow I am about posting pics?

Josie Ray said...

How does a ship break ice? Just plow through it, if it's thin? It reminds me of the Arctic books I was reading last fall, about ships getting caught in the northward ice flow. Did you wear a fur hat in Russia? Even a fake fur hat? Pictures! Pictures! :-)

The cities sound like some in Italy, where you literally look down on your neighbor's roof. No pitching things out the window there. Your description made me stop complaining, even if just in thought, that we have neighbors too close. To us it's too close if we can't go out in the yard in our jammies.

I'm curious...did you have a favorite of all the countries/cities you visited?

Donna said...

The ice was thin and we just kind of plowed through it. Very exciting. And cold. I loved the simplicity of Japan and the architecture of the temples and castles in both Japan and China. Seoul really won my heart - vast, friendly, clean. But my favorite was Hong Kong - it's a beautiful harbor city about the size of Chicago. After the huge cities in China, it almost seemed quaint. Picture forthcoming although not immediately! :-)

Josie Ray said...

Donna, thank you for taking the time to answer my barrage of questions. In one paragraph, you brought some of the Eastern flavor to me. I'll look forward to seeing whatever photos you decide to share.

BTW, I don't know if you like Eastern music, but once on my blog the featured CD was James Galway's "The Enchanted Forest: Melodies of Japan." Your words made me think you might enjoy these songs in the trip aftermath.

The Enchanted Forest Sound Samples

Jaye said...

i was there! i luved it! luv the pics too!

Jaye said...

i tok like 1800 fotos! lol