Hear about a Viking’s Bay of Bengal Cruise to 5 countries from Bangkok to Mumbai as the Amateur Traveler talks to travel writer Elsa Dixon about this East Asia sampler cruise.
The Viking’s Bay of Bengal Cruise travels to 5 different countries: Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and India. What Elsa loved about this cruise was experiencing diverse and exotic cultures, including music, food, temples, architecture, and ceremonies in the Bay of Bengal region.
The cruise started in Bangkok, Thailand where Elsa and her travel companion did the typical city tour which included the Royal Palace, the Reclining Budha, and the Chao Phraya River. The cruise also offered more demanding walking tours, cooking classes, river cruises, and flower market tours. It also offered a full-day visit to Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On Viking, there is always at least one free shore excursion as well as some with additional costs.
The cruise stopped again in Thailand on the Island of Koh Samui. The sightseeing tour visited Wat Phra Yai, the Smiling Buddha Temple. Or you can hang out on a beautiful tropical beach.
In Singapore, Elsa explored different cultural neighborhoods like Little India, the Arab Quarter, and Chinatown. Her traveling companion did a walking tour that explored the Peranakan culture which is a mixture of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian cultures.
In Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, Elsa was able to visit the colorful Batu Caves temple complex, the National Monument, the old British Railway Station, and the twin Petronas Towers.
The cruise also stopped in George Town in Malaysia where shore excursions include more temples, trishaw tours, and a visit to the Orangutan Island.
In Colombo, Sri Lanka, Elsa toured the old town, the Galle Fort, and attended a cultural evening at the Gallface Hotel where she watched the Sri Lanka dances. One of the other tours offered was a trip up to the high country to explore the tea culture.
In India, the cruise stopped in both Goa and Mumbai. She enjoyed the Portuguese influences in Goa but really felt like she was in India while touring the crowded bustling city of Mumbai. In Mumbai, she toured the markets at the Gateway to India, Dhobi Ghat, the Hanging Gardens and Kamala Nehru Park, and the Mumbai residence of Mahatma Gandhi.
The cruise had a number of days at sea that were filled with talks and cultural presentations about the region.
Elsa continued her trip with a land tour of the “Golden Triangle” Mumbai, Jaipur, and Agra. She visited historical sites, observed local customs, and marveled at architectural wonders like the Amber Fort (Jaipur) and the Taj Mahal (Agra).
If you are looking for a cruise that allows you to sample some of the countries around the Bay of Bengal, Viking River offers luxurious adventure.
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Travels with Elsa
Bangkok to Mumbai – Viking Cruise
Bangkok Grand Palace
Travel to Bangkok, Thailand – Episode 730
Wat Plai Laem
Travel to Singapore – Episode 628
Travel to Malaysia – Episode 837
National Monument (Malaysia)
National Monument (Malaysia)
National Mosque of Malaysia
Independence Square (Kuala Lumpur)
George Town, Penang
Kek Lok Si
Travel to Sri Lanka – Episode 667
Galle Face Hotel
Luís de Menezes Bragança
Travel to Mumbai, India – Episode 454
Gateway of India
Hanging Gardens of Mumbai
Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum
Travel to India – Episode 590
Sawai Man Mahal
Raj Palace Hotel Jaipur
Hippos, Hotspots, and Homelands: An Educator’s Journey during Apartheid and Beyond
Your guest Rebecca sent mixed messages about Central Park. First, she said that CP was just a park with grass and trees; that there are more interesting parks in NYC. Then you asked about her favorite place in NYC and she said Central Park in the Fall. So??? Central Park is in the top 10 list of places to visit when I bring friends to NYC. And if it is in the Fall, much much better. In Mexico we don’t have too much of changing colors in the Fall, so going to Central Park in the fall would be a real treat for my friends and for me.
Great itinerary. However, I would not forgive myself if I visited the UK for 14 days and [had] not visited Cambridge and/or Oxford.
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