Sanya as
        Viewed from Luhuiton Park

Arrival   Hong Kong   Halong Bay   Nha Trang, Vietnam   Phu My, Vietnam   Sihanoukville, Cambodia 

Life at Sea   Laem Chabang (Day 1)  Laem Chabang (Day 2)   Koh Samui, Thailand   Singapore  

Sanya, China

In Sanya, we had a choice of four land excursions. The Best of Sanya, which cost $99, lasted for seven hours and included:

Unfortunately, I didn't chose that excursion, but opted for the four-and-half hour Leisurely Sanya tour instead.

Seeing the Sights

After disembarking, we boarded our buses and took off to the interior of the island. My tour had three stops. The first was Luhuiton Park for a scenic view of the bay and the city. The second stop was the Pearl Culture Museum. And finally, we were to spend a relaxing time on an exclusive beach, billed as the Waikiki of China.

Because our tour didn't start till 1:30, we had plenty of time for a leisurely morning, which worked out great since it was my birthday. 

Luhuiton Park

The bus drove up a winding road on a mountain that flanked the bay. Near the top, we got off the bus and took golf carts up to the view points. I have to admit that the view was spectacular and gave us a good idea of the beauty of the island and the city. In the picture above, see our ship docked in front of the huge saillike apartment buildings.

Sweeping View of Sanya Bay and City

Sweeping View of Bay and City

Our guide gave us about 20 minutes to wander around and see the views from various angles. Luckily, the clouds had dissipated and the views, as you can see, were clear. The weather was starting to warm up.

Pearl Culture Museum

I was looking forward to a museum full of exhibits, but we were rushed through a perfunctory description of how pearls were formed and harvested. We could barely understand the guide. The main purpose of our visit soon became clear as we were ushered into the store, where finished pearls were on sale at a 10 percent discount for us. Jewelry doesn't interest me, but it was nice to have a bathroom break at that point. Then back to the buses for our final stop, the beach.

Dadonghai Beach

Our bus let us off in front of a large hotel that faced the beach. The beach itself was jammed with Chinese in various stages of undress. The beach itself was narrow, but very long as it arched around a bay. The South China Sea looked pleasant, and the waves were not too rough. But the beach was packed with people on vacation to celebrate the two-week long Chinese New Year. Both Dean and I were amazed at how out of shape flabby all the Chinese were. Even the younger ones who were slender — no muscle tone. No wonder China has a problem with a high rate of high blood pressure it the population.

Our guide gave us 60 minutes to explore and enjoy the beach. The time was about 60 minutes too long. We just walked around slowly, checked out some of the booths with trinkets for sale and then found a boardwalk that was relatively shady. At several points on the boardwalk, vendors were selling food that smelled pretty good.

Dean on Boardwalk

Dean on Boardwalk

Finally, having had our fill of the hot, humid weather, we decided to wait in the air-conditioned lobby of the hotel where we were to rendezvous for the trip back to the ship. It turned out that lots of folks from our bus had the same idea.

Finally, we boarded our bus, but the traffic was so intense that it took forever to get back to the dock. By the time we embarked, it was time to get ready for Dean's and my birthday dinner in the Pinnacle Grill.

Birthday Dinner

Linda from Cruise World, who set up our trip, had given Bob McQ. free passes to this exclusive grill aboard the ship. The room was smaller and more intimate than the main dining room, and the menu was upscale.

Birthday Party in Pinnacle Grill

Birthday Dinner in the Pinnacle Grill with Birthday Boy Dean Left Foreground

After dinner, Dean and I adjourned to one of the lounges to listen to our favorite group, a Romanian string quartet, named the Adagio Strings. That evening, as we weighed anchor at 10:00 PM, we looked out of our verandah and saw a spectacular light show. The lights kept changing into different patterns, which you cannot see here with just this static shot. But you get the idea. Soon we were out to sea and would spend the next day sailing down the coast to Vietnam again.

Light Show at Sanya.

New Apartment Buildings Evening Light Show

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Nha Trang, Vietnam