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Spotlight on Malaysia

clock 26th September 2017 | comment0 Comments

Malaysia is an interesting and exciting country, with a mainland uniquely separated by the South China Sea.

The destination offers a beautiful blend of cultures, with European, Chinese, Indian, and Malay influences impacting on the architecture, food, and general atmosphere of the place. Visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to how and where to spend their time, and it is likely that a return trip (or indeed trips!) will be necessary to see everything.

 



Kuala Lumpur

 

The capital of Malaysia is undeniably enchanting and invigorating. Here you will find some fantastic shopping opportunities, fascinating museums, impressive modern architecture, and not forgetting the delicious food. Both upscale restaurants and tasty street food can be found peppered throughout the city.

 

Sarawak

 

Located on the Island of Borneo, this Malaysian state is home to some incredible wildlife. Go on safari to see orangutans, crocodiles, all kinds of species of birds, and other beautiful creatures. If you have time, visit Gunung Mulu National Park where you can see more wildlife, including an immense colony of bats.

 

Cameron Highlands

 

This stunning area of Malaysia will bring a breath of fresh air – literally. Located at between 1,100 and 1,600 metres above sea level, the Cameron Highlands boast simply remarkable vistas, with bright green rolling hills stretching as far as the eye can see. The land was developed when the British were in Malaysia, to enable an escape from the heat of the lowlands.

 



George Town

 

On the island of Penang, George Town demonstrates the influx of cultures that have been present in Malaysia. There are colonial buildings, mosques, and Chinese style buildings all within this small town. Take in all the sights, visit the museums, and spend time in cafes and restaurants serving everything from otak otak (steamed fish curry), to cakes and ice cream.

These are just four of the top spots to visit in Malaysia, and it is entirely possible that you will want to spend all your time exploring only one of them considering how much they have to offer. The country truly has something for everyone; you just need to think about the kind of holiday you’re after before deciding where to spend your time.

Could Malaysia be the next adventure for you? Find out more about our Asia cruises and start planning your holiday today, and be sure to sign up for our new Asia brochure.



What to Do in Singapore

clock 14th September 2017 | comment0 Comments

Singapore’s colourful history means a fusion of cultures have influenced the country, and made it the unique destination that it is today. Its ever-changing nature has caused it to appear something of a mystery to many people, and we think the best way to begin to uncover and understand it is to explore both the popular and the lesser known spots.

As a popular port of call on many cruise itineraries, Singapore is probably more reachable than many people realise. Whether stopping here during an Asia cruise for a few hours or a few days, when it comes to planning your stay, our list of top things to do is a great place to start.

1. Try a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar in Raffles Court

Raffles Court is a truly majestic hotel that dates back to 1887. It has hosted a plethora of historical figures including Charlie Chaplin and Rudyard Kipling, and is said to be the origin of gin-based cocktail, the Singapore Sling. The drink is thought to have been created in 1915, by a bar tender named Ngiam Tong Boon in the hotel’s Long Bar.

2. See some incredible animals

The Singapore Zoo is home to almost 3000 creatures, with everything from elephants, white tigers, and monkeys, to naked mole rats. Arguably one of the most ethical zoos in the world, the animals each have ample space, and the ability to roam free in some cases. For a more unusual experience, Singapore also boasts a Night Safari. This is a separate attraction to the zoo, and allows guests to see animals during the night while riding trams through the centre.

3. Eat local!

As a Southeast Asian country, Singapore can certainly compete with its neighbours when it comes to cuisine. There are so many choices ranging the whole culinary scale, from high end Michelin star restaurants to tiny carts selling street food – or hawker food as it’s known locally. You can even find the best of both worlds in Chinatown, with ‘Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle’ – a Michelin-starred street food vendor.

Our Commercial Manager Callum Buchanan feels that Singaporean food is really something special:

“Whenever I’m telling people about my time in Singapore the very first subject I talk about is the food. You’ll be blown away by the vast array of dining choices; I especially recommend ‘Mod Sin’ cuisine, simply meaning Modern Singaporean.”

4. See the Singapore Grand Prix

Combine your holiday with the Formula 1 racing schedule, and be a part of the brilliant experience that is the Singapore Grand Prix. With most activity taking place during the night, the atmosphere in the streets of Marina Bay is undoubtedly infectious and exciting. Find out more about the Singapore F1 Grand Prix and other F1 cruise holidays.

5. Stroll through stunning and tranquil gardens

Singapore Botanic Gardens has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, and is home to hundreds of different species. Visitors will find a spectacular rainforest quarter, the National Orchid Garden, pretty sparkling lakes, and more. Or, Gardens by the Bay offers an altogether more futuristic space, boasting extraordinary features such an aerial walkway, modern sculptures, and technological tree-shaped gardens among others.

Callum rates Singapore very highly as a holiday destination:

“Singapore is such an amazing city full of culture and energy, and I guarantee you’ll leave Singapore richer in life and you’ll be planning your next visit before you have even left!”

Might this be the next destination for you? Find out more about Singapore cruises, and be sure to sign up for our new Asia brochure.



Highlights of the Mekong Delta

clock 13th July 2015 | comment0 Comments
Cruise the cultural waterway of Southeast Asia and experience all that the Mekong Delta has to offer. From the ancient ruins and temples of Angkor Wat to entire floating villages lining the banks of the Mekong, marvel at this fascinating and wonderful part of the world. [More]


Firework Festivals in Japan

clock 9th June 2015 | comment0 Comments

Updated October 2017

 

Japan is a truly magnetic destination, hypnotising all who pass through. With sacred and unique traditions, quirky sub-cultures, explosions of colour, electric nightlife and stunning natural backdrops, a visit here will seduce your senses and capture your heart.

The Japanese culture oozes a sophisticated level of composure and extends a warm welcome to visitors and guests. When it comes to fun celebrations and appreciation, the Japanese always do this in style and often with a traditional twist or flash of futuristic. Festivities can involve exotic costumed parades, fierce marching musicians, dancers, acrobats, fire displays, fireworks and a lot of light.

A true love for life, lights, colour and neon can be witnessed at the famous Japanese Firework Festivals that take place throughout the summer. From water surface displays to heart shapes and hand-held fire breathers, this is a side of Japan’s summer nightlife you’ll want to be part of.

 


Firework festival events take place throughout the season but below you can find our top 3 to get you started.

Toyoashi Firework Festival

Spanning an impressive 400 years, the Toyoashi fireworks festival is an exciting annual event that attracts spectators from all over. Explosive displays take place throughout the city exhibiting the locals love for handheld fireworks, skyrocketing fireworks and traditional fire breathing devices. The Yoshida Castle Ruins and Toyoashi Park make a charming backdrop for this highly anticipated annual event.

Kagoshima Summer Night Fireworks

With perfectly timed music and the stunning Mt. Sakurajima in the background, the Kagoshima Summer Night Firework Festival is a fantastic event that shouldn’t be missed. It is the largest in the Kyushu region and features around 14,000 fireworks including heart shapes and other innovative displays. Most spectators head towards Kagoshima Honko Port for ideal viewing, but this impressive display can be seen for miles.

Kumano Fireworks Festival

A must see destination for culture vultures and those wanting to visit Japanese shrines and pilgrimage routes, Kumano is a picturesque city brimming with attractive highlights. Once a year the city night transforms into a tremendous firework festival, resulting in one of Japans biggest and best. Visitors can find a spot on Shichiri Mihama Beach to observe the night illuminations, admire water surface displays and much more.

See the Japanese Fireworks with Princess Cruises on selected itineraries and sailings – Kumano, Kagoshima, Toyoashi

As well as Japan, there are plenty of other incredible displays all over the world. Have a look at the best places to see fireworks during a cruise.



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