The next day, the port of call was Port Klang, which is the port for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Again, we elected to stay on the ship and in the port. It was quite a distance to get to Kuala Lumpur, we have been there before on a land trip, and there is real difficulty getting there without going on a ship's tour. There is a "taxi mafia" here, which charges exorbitant rates to either get to KL or get to the local transportation system to go there. We went into the terminal to do some internet, and we also saw lots of the crew going off in order to eat at a couple of local places which had set up outside the terminal. The waters were very calm and we got a great picture:
While we were walking around the park, this reptile decided to climb out of the creek to greet us:
Back on the ship, we enjoyed spending time in the Diamond Lounge with the 5 o'clock drinking club, because although some of the friends had left, more friends from previous cruises had joined the group:
The next port, on May 10, was Cochin, India. This is a place in southern India where we had spent several days on a land tour in 2010. The port was not close to the town, and we had already seen most of the tourist attractions, so we elected to stay on the ship. Cochin is famous for having Chinese fishing nets along the shoreline. These are fixed shore installations of huge fishing nets (20 meters or so across), which use counterweights on ropes suspended from poles to help lower the nets. It takes up to 6 fishermen to operate these contraptions. Nowadays they are mostly tourist attractions. Here is a picture Vicki took of them:
There are some extra perks one achieves for this status, and one of them is that we get to have gold cards, which are usually issued only to people who book suites.
On May 13 we had a full day to explore Mumbai, a place we had never been before. I had arranged for a private guide who picked us up outside the port gate. David & Diane, and Vicki & Randy went with us. Mumbai is actually built on 7 islands which are now interconnected. It is also the home of the 4th largest populace in the world. It was an adventure just driving through the streets. First our guide, Mohammed, took us to the Gateway of India. The Gateway of India was built in 1924 to celebrate the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary. It took 13 years to build. It stands on the shores of the Arabian Sea.
Walking down a nearby street, we passed several street carts, such as this one, selling sugar cane and cane juice:
This is a picture of the inside of one of the ticket lobbies:
One of the most interesting places we stopped was at a roadway overpass where we could overlook the Dhobi Ghat, which is a huge open laundry. Here is a picture of it:
Another amazing thing was seeing people who perhaps are living on the streets, or perhaps just resting, sleeping right on a busy street full of traffic and noise:
It covers an area of about 535 acres and houses between 300,000 to 1 million people. It is composed of about 60% Hindus, 30% Muslim, and the rest are mixed.
On May 16 we arrived in Dubai, which was the end of this cruise segment. Unfortunately, Dubai had very bad air quality and the picture I took of the city view from the ship isn't very good because of that.
It was about 114F degrees during the day, and surprisingly, there was humidity, so it seemed even hotter. David, Diane, Elaine and I had all been in Dubai before - we spent 3 days there at the end of a cruise several years ago and did a very complete job of seeing the main sights. In the above picture, you can just make out the Burj Kahlifa, which is the world's tallest building. Good thing we went to the top viewing platform the last time because the visibility wouldn't have been good on this day. There was supposed to be a free shuttle to one of the malls, so we decided to go, but it wasn't running, and it was so hot out we decided to stay on the ship, and go out in the evening. It wasn't much cooler later on, but we took a taxi to the Creek, and then rode across the creek on the local small boats, called abras. The fare across is less than a dollar.