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Galapagos Cruise Tips

31st October 2019

With wildlife that’s straight out of Walking with Dinosaurs, flora and fauna that thrives upon the volcanic landscape and an abundance of history to discover, a Galapagos cruise is a must for any world traveller. [More]

Discover sacred temples in Shanghai

6th October 2015

Any trip to the Far East is going to be a memorable one. The region can feel for many like a step into the unknown but the culture and customs are worth the trip alone.

Countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand have become popular amongst those wanting a taste of the Far East, whilst China also remains a great location for a holiday. It is not just the culture that keeps people coming back, it is the amazing architecture that populates these countries. Shanghai in particular boasts a host of historic temples.

The largest city by population in the world, Shanghai combines both the modern with the traditional. While the centre is home to some of the planet's biggest businesses, Shanghai stays true to its heritage with a large number of historic temples remaining nearby. With Iglu offering cruises to the Chinese city, why not check out some of these traditional places of spirituality? Here is our rundown of the best temples Shanghai has to offer.

shanghai temple

Jade Buddha Temple

By far the most famous temple in Shanghai, the Jade Buddha is an iconic image of the city. Founded in 1882, the structure draws from both the Pure Land and Chan traditions of Mahayana Buddhism. It is an intriguing place to stroll around and learn about the history of the temple while gazing upon the many statues.

In the Jade Buddha itself is the Chamber of Four Heavenly Kings, which contains images of Maitreya, Wei Tuo Bodhisattva and the Four Heavenly Kings. These figures represent favourable circumstance and good fortune.

There is also the Grand Hall which features the statues of the Three Golden Buddhas (Gautama Buddha, Amitabha and Bhaisajyaguru), the Gods of the Twenty Heavens which are covered in gold on the eastern and western sides of the Grand Hall and of course the 18 Arhats, statues of what the Buddhists consider to be "perfected people".

jade buddha temple shanghai

Jing'An Temple

Translated as the Temple of Peace and Tranquillity, the Jing'An Temple perfectly portrays modern day Shanghai. It can trace its history back to 247 AD but set against the backdrop of towering skyscrapers, it highlights the juxtaposition between the historic side of Shanghai and its now urban metropolis.

Built in the Wu Kingdom during the Three Kingdoms period of ancient China and having sat in the same location beside the Suzhou Creek since 1216, the features of the Jing'An Temple are simply remarkable.

It has three Southern-style main halls each with its own courtyard dating back to 1880. Among the main features is the Guanyin Hall, which is made out of camphor wood along, with paintings by master artists such as Chu Zhishan, Zhang Daqian and Wen Zhenming.

jing'an temple shanghai

Wen Miao

The Shanghai Wen Mao is one of the understated temples in Shanghai and is set away from the city centre. However, it is one of major spirituality and pays homage to Confucius, a legendary ancient Chinese philosopher who lived between 551 and 479 BC. It is similar to the original Temple of Confucius in his hometown Qufu but smaller in its stature.

Wen Miao was first founded during the Yuan Dynasty and quickly became the most prestigious learning institution in Shanghai, when it gained the status of a county. A visit is not complete without viewing the bizarre-shaped stones and wood and, of course, the Kuixing Pavilion which is situated in the western part of the compound.

chinese lanterns in shanghai

Chenghuang Miao

Moving back into the centre of Shanghai and Chenghuang Miao is another must when visiting the city's temples. Translated as The City God Temple, Chenghuang is dedicated to three city gods - Huo Guang, Qin Yubo and Chen Huacheng.

The former was a famous Han Dynasty chancellor and is known for overthrowing a young emperor and replacing him with another. Qin Yubo lived in Shanghai during the 12th and 13th centuries and served as the Imperial examiner for the Hongwu Emperor before his death in 1373.

Chen Huacheng was a Qing Dynasty general and helped to defend Shanghai from the British during the First Opium War.

The temple acts as a shrine to these city gods and is adjoined to the famous Yuyuan Garden.

Learn more with a river cruise to China, or for more information about cruising in this beautiful part of the world, sign up for our new Asia brochure.


Top 5 Norwegian Fjords

7th May 2015

Updated March 2017

 

Best travelled by cruise, a trip to the Norwegian Fjords is a breathtaking experience that will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions, as you travel from one World Heritage site to the next.

Each fjord has its own unique beauty – we thought we’d share some of our favourites with you.

 

1. The Geirangerfjord

Majestic waterfalls and untouched beauty. The Geirangerfjord is located in the southwestern part of the country of Møre og Romsdal, north in Fjord Norway.

 

 

2. The Hardangerfjord

Near Bergen, in the middle of Fjord Norway, Hardangerfjord, or the ‘orchard of Norway’, is best known for summer skiing, and the spectacular fruit trees that blossom there in spring.

 

 

3. The Sognefjord

Located in the southern part of the country, the Sognefjord is the longest fjord adventure in Norway, at 204 kilometres long and 1,308 metres deep.

 

 

4. The Nærøyfjord

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Naeroyfjord is one of the most picturesque in the world.

 

 

5. The Lysefjord

Well known for the Preikestolen (the Pulpit rock), with dramatic views, Lysefjord is near to Stavanger, south in Fjord Norway.

 

 

View our Norwegian Fjords Cruises.

Been to the Fjords? We want to hear about it – please comment below.


Top 10 Destinations Best Accessed On A Cruise

14th November 2013

Updated March 2017

 

With over 195 countries in the world there is so much to explore and the desire to travel is now a significant part of our lives.

People of all ages have a craving to delve into the cultures, food, lifestyle and scenery of different countries and with the travel industry continuously growing, the world is quite literally everyones oyster.

Almost every country can be accessed on a cruise and cruise lines now offer exciting and unique itineraries all over the world. With some destinations only able to be accessed on water, cruising gives you exclusive access to explore certain destinations in maximum depth.

 

Here are my top 10 destinations that are best discovered on a cruise:

 

1. The Norwegian Fjords

A place so magical that even the sun is afraid to set here, the Norwegian Fjords is an area of extreme beauty. With deep carved inlets, snow covered mountains, striking glaciers and quaint scattered villages throughout, there is nowhere else in the world quite like this. A cruise around this magical area will allow you to see some of the most captivating views, as well as stopping at iconic ports for you to get a taste of what true Nordic culture is all about.

 

Cruise to Norway

 

2. Alaska

Alaska is a haven of mystical sights and enchanted areas that have never been touched. Enter a journey of discovery as you sail through crystal glaciers and whale populated waters. This part of the world cannot be appreciated in full depth unless you experience it on a cruise as you will sail close to the incredible formations and to the vast array of wildlife.

 

Cruise to Alaska

 

3. Panama Canal

Only able to be experienced on water, the Panama Canal is regarded as one of the most fascinating creations in the world. This narrow stretch of water that connects the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean will see ships being raised over 25 metres as they pass through the gripping locks. The incredible views of lush forests, interesting wildlife and local communities you will experience here will create everlasting memories.

 

Cruise to the Panama Canal

 

4. Hawaii

The Hawaiian islands are described as some of the most stunning islands in the world and with all of them being in a close proximity of each other, makes them conveniently accessible on a cruise. An area of tropical luxury where postcard views become reality, there is nowhere else in the world quite like the Hawaiian islands. With a combination of tropical rainforests, crystal clear waters and heavenly beaches, a cruise here will see you embark on a unique adventure.

 

Cruise to Hawaii

 

5. Galapagos

Situated alone in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos Islands are a mysterious, untouched land of extinct wildlife and incredible natural scenery. The islands are ruled by an array of unusual animal life including the giant tortoise and the land iguana. Named as a 'showcase of evolution' a cruise to this truly unique part of the world will ensure you gather life changing memories.

 

Cruise to the Galapagos Islands

 

6. Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are a paradise of white sandy beaches, coral gardens, incredible marine life and beautiful local towns. The combination of natural beauty and cosmopolitan style make these islands a haven of tropical adventures. A cruise here will ensure you make the most of all of the islands and enjoy the extensive range of excursions including island tours and snorkelling.

 

Cruise to the Cayman Islands

 

7. Suez Canal

Experiencing a cruise through the Suez Canal is sure to give you one of the most unique experiences of your life. Running 100 miles between the sand dunes of Sinai and the Nile River, this stretch of water will allow you to see some truly exquisite views. Deserted islands combined with the exciting sight of vast ships waiting to enter the canal at the Red Sea entrance sets up for a once in a lifetime experience.

 

Cruise to the Suez Canal

 

8. Mexican Riviera

The Mexican Riviera is known for its coastal beaches and exciting cities that scream adventure. Due to the array of different areas of Mexico to visit, seeing it on a cruise is definitely worthwhile. Mexico is packed with rich culture and is home to some of the oldest ruins in the world. With its unique combination of history, busy cities, stunning beaches and diverse cultures, this part of the world is certainly worth taking a cruise to.

 

Cruise to Mexico

 

9. The Caribbean

The Caribbean islands are the most picturesque islands in the world and it has been revealed that 8 in 10 people dream about visiting this part of the world. With over 6,000 individual islands, it is hard to decide which one to take a holiday to Allowing you to visit multiple islands in the same week, a Caribbean cruise is a must for everyone, with some cruise lines even owning their own exclusive island for their guests. Whether you're a family of four or going solo, these exclusive islands have activities, dining and relaxation opportunities for everyone. Virgin Voyages, an adults-only cruise line, boasts six bars, private cabanas and vibrant pool parties as well as soothing acoustic tunes beside a beach bonfire at dusk. From the crystal clear beaches and tropical forests to the bright villages and cosmopolitan shopping areas, the Caribbean is certainly a fascinating part of the world to visit.

 

Cruise to the Caribbean

 

10. Bermuda

Bermuda is the little gem of the ocean that dominates the mysterious 'Bermuda triangle'. A cruise here will allow you to experience impressive island views as you sail in and out and upon arrival you will get to explore this picture-perfect area of stunning beaches, graceful British towns and world-class restaurants. Many cruise lines offer overnight stays in Bermuda so that guests can fully experience the true beauty of this iconic island.

 

Cruise to Bermuda

 

Explore the world over and discover exciting destinations on a world cruise. Browse and book our world cruise holidays.

More information on world cruises.

 

Related information:

Top luxury destinations you can visit by cruise.

 



By Sally Grimes


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