2016 Third Segment

Dubai, UAE (Day 1)

We were docked in Dubai on March 27, 2016, for a two day stay. There was lots of sand dust in the air so the skies were not very blue and the sun was partly obscured by the dust.  We went to the Dubai Mall, the world’s largest with over 1200 stores. The mall also features Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, some themed shopping areas such as the Souk and  a giant dinosaur skeleton believed to be 155 million years old which is on permanent display. Two other prominent features are the Dubai Ice Rink and The Waterfall, a 24-metre tall water feature with divers going into the water....

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Colombo, Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Lanka was our port of call on March 21, 2016, where we docked just outside the city. The Harbor master tower  resembles  a giant stupa and can been seen from anywhere in the port. Also visible from the port is the Jamiul Alfar Jummah Mosque, with its’ candy cane paint scheme. We left the port to go outside of Colombo to the Kelaniya Buddhist Temple, which lies 7 miles from Colombo. The temple was crowded with worshipers that were celebrating the full moon. Once inside the temple there was a large  Reclining Buddha, and  many carvings and wall paintings. Outside the temple...

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Hambantota, Sri Lanka

On March 20,2016, we docked in Hambantota, Sri Lanka in a very rural area of the country. Our day was spent visiting Yala National Park, which was 40 miles away and took about a hour and a half to get there. We boarded 4 wheel drive vehicles and started our journey on paved roads until we got to the park entrance, where the roads became dirt and some had large ruts in them. Along the way we passed several small towns and roadside stores. Once in the park there was sightings of Water Buffalo, Macaque Monkeys and Sri Lankan Axis Spotted Deer. There were also many bird species there such as...

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Phuket, Thailand

Our journey continued to Phuket, Thailand on March 17, 2016. We started our day by going to Promthep Cape and climbing up Sunset View Point, to view the coastline and outlying islands with their distant shrines. On the point there was an outdoor Elephant Shrine, with hundreds of carved elephants some being adorned with flowered leis by worshipers. We then traveled along the coast past small fishing villages with their colorful fishing boats moored to the shore. We continued to the island’s most famous temple—Wat Chalong—dedicated to two revered monks. Our final stop was the Phuket Cultural...

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Singapore (Day 2)

Our last day in Singapore, March 15, 2016, started out on Arab Street. Located in the Arab quarter, adjacent to the Sultan Mosque, Arab Street is lined with shops and boutiques that sell all kinds of fabrics from all over the World. Just like the other ethnic quarters, the buildings are brightly colored and embellished. We then traveled across town, passed the Raffles Hotel and the War Memorial, to the Marina Bay Sands. We walked through the hotel and walked out the other side to the Gardens by the Bay, a 101 hectare nature park built on reclaimed land next to the Marina reservoir. The...

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Singapore (Day 1)

We arrived in Singapore on March 13, 2016, at 6:00 pm, and would be there for two full days on the 14th and 15th. Our first full day we took the Metro from the pier to Chinatown, with its colorful streets, buildings, shops and temples. From there we got on the Hop on Hop off bus and toured the city, viewing the many unique high-rise buildings. The bus also passed Little India, another ethnic community within Singapore. Continuing on we saw the original central market and the Victoria Theater. Our final destination of the day was the Marina Bay Sands hotel, one of the iconic landmarks of...

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