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Home > Member Reviews > Annie1959's Port Reviews of Singapore, Koh Samui, Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Sihanoukville, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Da Nang

Annie1959's Port Reviews of Singapore, Koh Samui, Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Sihanoukville, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Da Nang
Nautica cruise in February 2013
Member Name: Annie1959
Cruise Date: February 2013
Embarkation: Singapore
Destination: Asia
Member Review: Annie1959's Nautica Review
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

We stayed at The Scarlet Hotel near Chinatown, and loved it. The Maxwell Street Hawkers Market (made famous by Anthony Bourdain) is across the street, and we ate there frequently and cheaply!
There are two cruise terminals in SIN, and some taxi drivers aren't fluent in English, so make sure you know which one you're leaving from.

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Koh Samui
Port Rating: Not Rated

Best bet -- 1 hour Thai massage for $7. No, I didn't leave out zeros. $7. Mediocre shopping in the port town. A nice restaurant about 3 blocks in with free wifi. Lovely beaches further afield.

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Bangkok (Laem Chabang)
Ayuddhaya Walking Tour Rating: Not Rated

A long drive for a short tour. We arrived and took golf carts around the palace. Wanted to see more ruins and historical sites, and were disappointed.

Grand Palace Rating: 5+ out of 5+

Compares (to us) with the Sistine Palace for jaw-dropping beauty. Go!! Very, very crowded, especially on the eve of the lunar new year

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Port Rating: 0.0 out of 5+

I don't know how to rate this, because we weren't expecting a lot. The city-center market was fascinating, because you got to see how a middle-class grows and thrives. Someone has to catch the live seafood, then someone has to buy it, then someone has to rent the space in the market and sell it to the locals. Thus the evolution of the economy. What first seems poverty turns into a thriving lifestyle. Be aware that there are amputee beggars lying and beseeching. We have so much, and they have nothing, so dropping a dollar or two isn't a big deal. Except that you get noticed.
The tuk-tuk drivers are the hungriest people on the planet. We took the bus into town,and the local drivers zoomed along side us and (seemingly) picked out us as targets. Once in town, they didn't let us go. Ever. One followed us into the market, and we had to wind our way in and out of the stalls to try to lose him. When we finally thought we were rid of him, he showed up again, trying to give us a tour. I finally gave in, and let him drive me back to the ship for about $10l
My husband was bound and determined to get a massage in every port. When he asked the tuk-tuk driver about it, he was taken to a brothel. Nope. Next stop, a place that wasn't very clean. Nope. Final stop, a place with a blind masseur who was wonderfull

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Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
City Tour Rating: 2.0 out of 5+

Presidential palace was interesting. Ho hum on the Notre Dame cathedral & post office. Lacquerware shopping stop was interesting & expensive.

Cu Chi Tunnels Rating: Not Rated

Again, hard to give this a rating, as an American. They won, they get to write the history. Very interesting, and heard the first comments from my Vietnam veteran say that the nearby shooting sounded like what he experienced. A must see for any devotee of history.

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Da Nang
Imperial Hue Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Great tour, lots of history, interesting.

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City Tour Rating: Not Rated

Be aware that the "Hanoi Hilton" is largely devoted to French atrocities against the Vietnamese, and that only one room is devoted to the spectacular treatment given to the US POWs. They are shown to be so happy & healthy that they are decorating a Christmas tree. I almost threw up.

Halong Bay Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Great cruise among spectacular scenery for about 1/2 the cost of the cruise line's tour.

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