Bali, Indonesia

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Bali, Such an amazing island.

 

Unlike Jakarta, Bali is basically a Hindu city. Muslims are a minority there.

There is so much to do and see in Bali besides beautiful beaches and resorts.

We were picked up by the father and mother of a friend who is a crew member on HAL. They are such gracious and sweet people. They spent the day driving us around and taking us to some beautiful places including the rice terraces that make Bali famous, where we had a great delicious lunch. We went to a wood carving factory, a temple, jewelry shop and their home.  I took so many pictures from the car as we drove, but there was such glare that many did not come out.

 

Sailing into Bali

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Balinese Dancers

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Street views

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Serene courtyard

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Temple

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Typical daily offerings at the entrance to the temple

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Artisans painting a future building in the temple

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What it will look like when done

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Preparing daily offerings

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Traffic cop

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Beautiful entrance to the Wood Factory

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L’via, this is for you! Checking for lice!

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Joe ringing the gong

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Beautiful embroidered top

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Hanging out

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Such amazing entrances to homes. Every home has a temple for prayers. The front doors are ornate

 

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Rice Terraces

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The basic spices that are used in Bali

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LUNCH – Both vegetarian and chicken dishes

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Quilt shop

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Satria’s Home! Magnificent

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Dewa playing a musical number for us. It was magical.

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Satria’s Mom heading into the house to get Durian fruit for us to try.. OMG… the smell!!!! lol… the taste wasn’t half as bad as expected.

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The Geria’s temple on their roof. It is so serene and peaceful. What a way to live

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Looking down at the courtyard from the temple on the roof. Great Buddhas watching over the family.

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Jakarta, Indonesia

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Our stops in Jakarta and Bali are very special for our ship. Most of the crew on the ship are either from Indonesia or Philippines. Jakarta and Bali are the main ports where crew members live and HAL is great about the crew spending time with their families. They invite the families to come aboard and tour the ship, have lunch let the kids play and spend the full day with their loved ones. It is very emotional and the morning is so full of happiness. Most of the crew have contracts that are 6 months to 10 months. That’s 6 to 10 months of not seeing their families. Many have new babies they never saw or saw just when they were born and haven’t seen for months. So you can just imagine how very special the day is. We make sure that the crew doesn’t have any work that day, and all the Balinese crew members do double duty that day and visa versa on the day we are in Bali.

There was also a shuttle to a mall near the ship. We were warned that the trip can take over an hour even though the mall was only about 3 miles away. Traffic and roads are awful but we were lucky and it only took 20 minutes. On the way we saw some kids who were naked jumping into a canal that was seriously filthy but they were having a ball. Of course, we got there hours before they opened so we just wandered around. Had no desire to do anything special that day, so I took tons of pics at the pier with all the families waiting for their loved ones.

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The Lido (Buffet) for Breakfast Lunch and Dinner (if you want it!)

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Everyone waiting at the pier.

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Reza’s Bro and sis-in-law and baby! (Reza is a crew member we have connected with on the ship. So happy I got a pic of them!)

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On the shuttle on the way to the Mall.

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The difference between the old and the new

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The kids who jumped off into the filthy canal.. Don’t want to show the full pics of them naked

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Waving at our bus

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Women practicing a dance in front of the Mall, the music was blaring!

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Inside the mall

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A Home Depot pick-up site? Or are they just hanging out?

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A typical Taxi

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A niece of one of the crew members.. Kimberly.. so very cute! Same age as Z.

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Having a blast in the Lido

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Standing in line for Ice Cream!

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Up in the Crow’s Nest look out at the view!

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Balinese Dancers

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End of the Day

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Singapore

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Singapore is a country that consists of only one city, but that city is a wonderful successful one.

When we received our passports back there was a paper included that stated… If you smuggle drugs into Singapore the penalty is DEATH written is big red letters. You can get a fine for chewing gum.. There are signs all over the subway reminding people to give up their seats for the elderly.. not to make noise.. etc. Almost everyone speaks English. All signs are in English, too. The subway system is clean and so easy to use. The streets are very clean too, and there are bathroom attendants in every public bathroom.

But it is also a melting pot of different cultures. There are many food courts around the city with every type of food you can think of and you can get a meal for less than $4 USD. and it’s delicious. Many of the food stalls are vegetarian so we had a good time! We arrived at the terminal which is also attached to a mall as is Hong Kong but very different. This mall is full of electronics and bargains unlike HK which is very exclusive.

We spent part of the day helping a friend buy a tablet and actually that was fun. The prices were pretty good, and I believe, she is happy with it. We took a subway ride to China town and spent some time in a department store that had some beautiful products.

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Hong Kong, China

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Another great port, Hong Kong. I don’t understand why they say that sailing into Hong Kong is fantastic. Shanghai, Sydney, Rio and others are so much better.. But no complaints… The ship makes special rolls called Hong Kong rolls for everyone who wakes up early (5:30am) to watch the sail in. Funny thing is that in every great port, the same rolls are made and called by the city we are sailing into. They are delicious. Barbara, who is the location guide give commentary as we sail in, explaining the history, the geography of the city and anything new that has been built since the last time we were there.

Since we have been here already we thought to go out of town to Victoria Peak.. But 2 things happened, 1. The weather sucked and there was no way we would see any of the view and 2. K came down with the noro-virus (many were sick on the ship at that time) so he didn’t get out. Instead I went with Tom and Jean to eat Dim Sum at the number one Dim Sum Restaurant in Hong Kong.  It was pretty good. Not as good as I expected but good. Then we walked to the Ladies Market. On the way we walked right into the middle of a protest that was happening throughout the city about the future elections in Hong Kong.

Our ship docks near a fashion mall like no other. Picture Bal Harbor Mall just 20 times bigger. It’s about 5 stories of high fashion shops. People fly to Hong Kong from China to go shopping here. We look for a slip for Jean to wear under a dress she had.. Nothing was less than $600. Ha, $600 for a slip to wear under a $40 dress? Not happening!!! Beautiful, yes, silk, yes but so not worth that kind of money, at least for us. So funny that people who are on a 78 day cruise complain about the prices of the items in this mall and how so many people were buying like there was no tomorrow! At night there is a light show and the ship went all out, having Debbie Bacon play for us on the deck. Funny thing is .. on one side, Debbie was playing lounge music and on the other side on the dock,  there was an October Fest beer oomph a band pig-out. So if you wanted refine elegant music  you stayed on the port side and if you wanted oomph band and load noise you walked over to the starboard side!

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Every major city has a Ferris wheel!

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In the AM

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In the PM

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High Tea is $60 per person… anyone interested?

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Having tea at the Peninsula Hotel across from the Mall

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Need a ride?

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One of the many entrances to the mall

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That evening under the stars

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Debbie entertaining!

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The next day, heading to One Dim Sum

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Walking the neighborhood

A tea house

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A local restaurant

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One of the most expensive clams

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The first stand we came upon once we entered the Ladies Market

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Not sure what kind of apples these ar3e, anyone know?

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Another yarn stall

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Bakery

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Once we got done with the market we walked through a home rehab area with tons of shops selling ceramic, flooring and fixtures.

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Bamboo Scaffolding

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The Protest

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Back in the Mall and Terminal area66

BEIJING, CHINA

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The forbidden city. 

 

I am posting pictures of the ride into Beijing and what we did. We took a tour overnight and had a great time. We visited the Great Wall, Forbidden City, spent the night in a great hotel  and so much more. We had some great meals and brought some really nice things.  Just scroll through the pictures and you will see.

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Dawn over China

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Cities are still being built by the dozens.

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and with every city they build a power station2

 

Just imagine how many people live in each complex multiple that by the amount of buildings.. It’s enormous. 3

The road signs in English are just too funny

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The back of a Buddha as we drove by

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Entering the City

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The Jade factory where we ate lunch on the first day. It turned out to be the worst meal during that trip. But we ate there because it was closest to the Great Wall. It was ok just not great.10

Our future dinner! Ducks for Peking Duck!

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First glance of the Great Wall

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Love Locks (?)  along the wall

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Chinese women don’t have a clue! Complete fashion victims272325

 

A tourist from one of the “Stan” countries

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Wouldn’t this make a great Challah cover?

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An Officer and his little hip hop son

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After our reflexology and the pitch to sell us herbal stuff for all that ails us, (we weren’t allowed to take pictures) Outside was the most amazing street food, we had no idea what half the stuff was. Or it was so disgusting there was no way, kosher or otherwise, we would ever eat it.4041

 

Think this stuff was rice on the bread.. Carbs, carbs and more carbs.

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Home fries????????

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Potato Spirals

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Gorgeous deserts!

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UGH UGH UGH!!!

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So much better! YUM YUM YUM!!!!48

These buns look so good!

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Rickshaw ride in old town Beijing

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Ginger Pots

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Front door, the marks over the door reflect who the family is.6770

 

 

Chinese kids don’t wear diapers! They do their business wherever and whenever they need to7172737475

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A Communist Guard, see what he is holding? Guess he is expecting a riot???

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Tiananmen Square was closed off, they said because they were preparing for APEC

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Entering the tunnel that leads to the Forbidden City.

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Be Civilized, Obey Rules, Be Diligent, Make Progress! That is what is on the jackets of this group of kids.. HUM!

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Tons and tons of humans entering the city! 86

Marching through the crowd

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See the cameras? They were everywhere in China, even when you didn’t expect it!

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Amazing work, all hand worked by artisans centuries ago!9192

Our guides! Daniel and Judy! Fantastic guides

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Do you notice that no one walked up the middle staircase? That was reserved exclusively for the Emperor, and you still can’t walk up that staircase.96

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The moat around the Forbidden City99

Around the city

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Couldn’t figure out what kind of car this is.. and pink?????

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Shanghai, China Day 3

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On day 3 we took the psychedelic  train to Pudong. It travels under the river. Many take this ride just for the fun. Then we just walked around Pudong and the Bund.

 

The escalator for the train.

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You can see the train coming in the opposite direction5

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The little shopping mall in the train terminal

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Exit from the terminal into Pudong8

This building’s globe actually has the continents etched on it.

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Wouldn’t it be cool if this building is a diamond exchange???

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I guess this store is “OPEN!”

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Hello KITTY!

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And the trip back to the other side.. (The Bund)

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The BUND – Beautiful buildings from the late 19th century to the early 20th.

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Another crazy sign!

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These buildings have plaques with info on the who the builder was or the architects.

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Who roars louder?????

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Love the display.. Blue and white cups with beautiful brushes.

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Leaving Shanghai!!! One of the best cities in the world!

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The TV antenna changing colors.

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Good Night

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Suzhou and Zhouzhuang, China Day 2

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We took an extra tour to 2 cities that are near Shanghai. One was known as the Garden City and the other as the “Venice of China” a Water Town.

Wherever you go in China there are always areas that have food stalls. Some of the food looks so delicious others not so much!

For some reason the Chinese youth have no clue how to dress. Many of them seem to be fashion victims, as you can see below. I imagine they see something in a magazine and they copy it exactly. I guess it comes from so many years of wearing the same color and clothes. You will see many pics of them scattered throughout my blog of China.

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Rickshaw rides are still very popular in China. Only difference is that now they use motor bikes for power instead of feet!

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Stanley, our tour guide!

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Every town has what looks like a nuclear reactor nearby.

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So cute.. with the red star of China on the hat.

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On the way back to the ship in Shanghai. Night scenes.

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Some of my tour mates!

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