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February 11, 2005

The Far East and The Orient - Destination Guide

The Far East and The Orient - Destination Guide

To most North Americans, the Far East and Orient define the essence of exotic destinations. Far from home in nearly every sense, these lands have dazzled and enthralled travelers with their fascinating traditions, stunning beauty, rich history and rich cultural heritage.

The diverse countries and cultures of this area of the world encompass a vast area and countless ports of call from Japan to the Indian subcontinent. Those who journey here can experience the wonders of some of the oldest known civilizations - and delight in the region's unique architecture, cuisine and art.

Apart from world cruises, whose itineraries generally sample key ports in the Orient and the Far East as they circle the globe, most cruises in this part of the world focus on specific areas, such as Japan and eastern China, the South China Sea and Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean and India. Typically these sailings visit several countries, each with its own distinctive culture, along with stops at enchanting and beautiful islands.

Although many of these are voyages of 10 days or more, seven-day cruises are also available. A journey to these faraway places easily merits an extended visit, and most lines offer extensive pre- and post-cruise land programs to add another dimension to the experience.

Cruise Lines That Travel To The Far East & The Orient

  • Crystal Cruises
  • Oceania Cruises
  • Cunard Line
  • Holland America Line
  • Radisson Seven Seas Cruises
  • The Yachts of Seabourn
  • Silversea Cruises

Ports of Call

diamondprincess.jpg

Beijing - Although not a seaport, the ancient capital of China is within easy reach of land excursions from ships calling at Tianjin. With a history stretching back over thousands of years, Beijing ranks as one of the world's great cities, offering visitors a window to the marvels that dazzled Marco Polo and the life of modern China.

Beijing is the unquestioned capital of China. Though it lags behind Hong Kong and Shanghai in terms of economic firepower, the soul of the nation resides here. It has been this way for centuries. Genghis Khan's grandson, Kublai Khan, established the city of Beijing as his capital in 1278. After the Ming dynasty overthrew the Yuans, Yongle, the Ming emperor, relocated his capital to Beijing to capitalize on its more strategic northern position. It was Yongle who authorized the construction of the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven, both of which still stand today. It was also the Mings who authorized construction of the Great Wall of China.

The Qing Dynasty took over in 1644 and built on China's feudal tradition. However, its power eroded over the centuries, and China was subject to war and foreign occupation for the better part of a hundred years. It wasn't until Chairman Mao declared the birth of the People's Republic of China in 1949 that things began to settle down again in China. Mao's contributions to China are still fresh. Look at the communist monuments in Tiananmen Square, designed to make the individual feel small in comparison to the state.

While Beijing can be enjoyed by every traveler, it truly rewards the adventurous soul. It's a safe city, with plenty of room for exploration. Although you'll be tempted to spend most of your time near Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, it is best not to limit yourself. There is plenty to see around the city's outskirts, and a short trip to the Great Wall is a must.

Dalian - Dalian sits at the tip of the Liaodong peninsula, and is home to over one million people, making it a small city in a country of over one billion people. Because it sits right on the sea, the city is free from the heavy pollution facing other Chinese cities. But its advantageous geographical position has led to its occupation over the years by a host of foreign invaders. Russia set up a trading center here, before losing it to Japan in their war in 1905. Over the years, Western Europeans came to trade in Dalian, and their influence, combined with that of the Russians, Japanese, and Chinese, continues to set Dalian apart from most other Chinese cities.

Foreign companies continue to be drawn to Dalian because of a favorable tax status here that encourages local investment. Dalian's longtime mayor, Bo Xilai, is something of a hero around these parts, and you will hear the locals of Dalian speak in positively glowing terms about his leadership.

In the summer, Dalian transforms into a resort town, with Chinese families from the inland making the trek out to the beaches on the outskirts of the city. The twenty mile stretch of beach here is among the finest in all of China. Dalian is also home to an annual International Fashion Festival, along with a Spring Festival to ring in the Chinese New Year.

Bangkok - The exotic royal city of Thailand embodies the deep serenity of eastern tradition in the midst of an intensely alive, bustling metropolis. Life here centers on the Chao Praya River, which runs through the city. "Dragon boats" provide water-borne transportation along this artery, and the city's world-famous floating market serve as a key element in Bangkok's commercial life.

Royal Palace - Golden spires, temples and statuary mark this heart of Thai culture. Still home to the nation's royal family, much this complex of spectacular buildings and gardens is open for public tours, and visitors can easily spend an entire day exploring its grounds and marveling at the treasures there.

Bargains Galore - The open-air markets of Bangkok are renowned throughout the world for their wealth of bargains and unique selections of goods. Shopaholics won't want to miss the chance to wander among the stalls looking for treasures to take home.

Dining Delights - Thai cuisine is a culinary experience that visitors can enjoy to the fullest at Bangkok's many restaurants, where they will find an incredible variety of uniquely dishes featuring coconut milk, peanut sauces and spices.

Bombay (Mumbai) - On India's northwestern coast, Bombay embodies the bustling, multi-faceted complexity of India, as well as its long history.

Sampling the City - Escorted city tours provide cruise vacationers a way to capture a sense of the city's life and its sights, from open-air public laundries to the hanging gardens.

Elephant Island - A boat ride from the Gate of India takes visitors to see the spectacular Sixth Century temples carved from rock caves on this nearby island. Escorted tours provide English-speaking guides to explain the thousands of exotic, hand-carved images in the caves.

Crawford Market - Though its exterior is Victorian - Rudyard Kipling's father designed the building - the chaotic bargaining and trading inside is pure Indian, as are the fine jewelry, semiprecious gems, fabrics and apparel, crafts and other goods to be found there. Bargain hunters who enjoy negotiating for a better deal will find this pure heaven.

Hiroshima - Hiroshima is a city focused on peace. Painful scars still remain from World War Two, and Hiroshima's citizens make every effort to heal the physical and emotional trauma that is still present. Peace Memorial Park is the most popular tourist site in Hiroshima, as it commemorates both the destruction caused by the atomic bombing of 1945 and the triumph of spirit of Hiroshima's people that followed. The area has been rebuilt beautifully, and laced throughout the buildings and high-rises are lakes, parks, and fabulous museums that are sure to capture your heart. The population of this bustling yet tranquil city is one million, and both car and shipbuilding are highly promoted industries here. Hiroshima is on the rise, and now is the perfect time to visit. There are a number of exquisite restaurants and art expos to be found in the city. There are three wonderful museums in Hiroshima that are dedicated to art, and both the modern and ancient art displays are amazing. The Hiroshima Castle is a dazzling work of architecture, and this building is made all the more impressive because it was basically demolished in the bombing, and yet it is more remarkable today than ever. Unfortunately, the majority of the great landmarks, historical sights, museums, and nature areas were virtually brought to ruin in 1945. However, through intense work by the citizens and the government, the area has been restored beautifully. Nearly all of the locations that were so terribly damaged now appear to have been undisturbed.

The people of Hiroshima are not quick to forget the destruction and casualties that befell their city as a result of the bombing. Yet the citizens are known for their friendliness and acceptance, and they are quick to help you if you have a question or a problem. The service inside the restaurants is great, and nearly everyone speaks English. Formerly a war-torn city, Hiroshima has rebounded into a glorious destination full of extravagant sights and relaxing environments.

diamondprincess.jpg

Hong Kong - Many feared that Hong Kong's incredible rise to prominence would be stunted when Great Britain handed control of the island back to China in 1997. In the years since, however, Hong Kong has continued its meteoric rise to become one of the leading economic centers of the Pacific Rim.

This position of strength could hardly have been anticipated. When England gained control of Hong Kong after the 1841 Opium War, the island was regarded as little more than barren rock. In fact, most of its value came from its strategic trading position, for it stood as a perfect entryway to Canton. Hong Kong started to rise slowly, but exploded only after waves of mainland Chinese came to the island, fleeing the Communist Revolution. Many of the refugees included China's elite businessmen, who came to this small island and transformed it into a wealthy economic hub.

Hong Kong's skyscrapers actually take their name literally. Companies continually strive to outdo each other by building huge edifices, seemingly one on top of the other. But if you can escape Hong Kong Island, you will be enchanted by the less developed islands that surround it. A side trip to the island of Lantau will remind you that there is more to Hong Kong than tall buildings and money.

Hong Kong can be easily divided into three main sections. Hong Kong Island measures only thirty square miles, but this is where you will probably spend most, if not all of your time. Each district on the island has a distinct feel to it, with some more focused on fashion and others concerned with economy and industry. Kowloon is the peninsula that lies across the harbor from Hong Kong Island. Finally, the New Territories cover two hundred square miles of mostly pristine, undeveloped territory.

Nagasaki - The charm and elegance of Nagasaki is much more covert than other Japanese cities. While not an outright tourist town, Nagasaki does remain quite popular because of its grace and beauty. While it is true that Nagasaki is not filled with luxurious resorts, famous museums, and world renowned art galleries, the gardens and parks more than make up for its lack of man-made spectacles. The landscape is gorgeous, and Nagasaki relies on its intrinsic beauty to attract people from all over the globe. This tactic has worked, as cruise ships flock to this exquisite port city, with passengers eager to experience some of the wonder of Nagasaki.

The green hills are magnificent, and Nagasaki has one of the prettiest harbors in the entire world. It is a circular masterpiece, and surrounding it are small, close-knit neighborhoods full of people who are extremely proud and loyal members of the community. Nagasaki is known as one of the safest and most pleasant cities in the country, and the fact that it is culturally diverse makes it all the more interesting. The population here is right around 500,000, and the yearly festivals, great restaurants, and ancient temples combine with the aesthetic brilliance to form a spectacular atmosphere.

In 1571, the harbor of Nagasaki was opened to European ships for trading purposes. Soon after, it became a major port for many Western countries, especially Portugal and the Netherlands. This triggered the Chinese to get into action, and they quickly set up camp along the Nagasaki harbor. This region became a booming trade center in no time, and its fame spread throughout the world. Even during Japan's trade isolation, it was the lone city of Nagasaki that was allowed to continue trading with Western civilizations. This is an important, historic, and wonderful city that demands a visit. The scarring from the tragic World War Two bombing is almost nonexistent, and all that remains are memories, stories, and landmarks that pay tribute to the lost souls. If you look in the right places, you will be delighted by the great shopping facilities that are found throughout the city. Sometimes they may prove difficult to uncover, but half the fun is trying, as Nagasaki is compact and incredibly fun to explore.

Osaka - Osaka is one of the premier vacation spots in Japan. Beautiful and busy, graceful and lively, Osaka has it all. The rich heritage of the region is complemented by the modern feel and splendid architecture. The ancient landmarks are glorious, and you will be treated to marvelous wonders at every turn. The citizens of Osaka have great pride in their hometown, and they should, because it is magnificent. While there are a number of outstanding man-made achievements in Osaka, the best sites are those that combine the thought of man and the brilliance of nature. Two examples of such spots are the Floating Garden Observatory and the Osaka Aquarium, where locals and tourists can see nature in its truest and most exquisite forms.

In addition to the extraordinary intrinsic glory of the region, the Osaka government has really done a terrific job in the last few years of keeping the city clean, pristine, and full of activities. There are a tremendous number of enjoyable engagements to take part in at any given time, especially at night and on the weekends. The businessmen and employed population of Osaka are incredibly hard working, so when they get a little time off they love to party. Great bars, fabulous restaurants, and fun karaoke clubs line the streets in certain areas of Osaka, and a night out is a fun night indeed. During the day, there are spectacular museums and architectural triumphs to hold your attention, and the underground shopping network is extraordinary.

Osaka is located on Honshu's southern coast, and has a fascinating 1500-year history. Heritage is important to all members of Japanese society, and families have an incredibly strong bond within them. Assisting a parent or grandparent in need is always the primary duty of the children. This extravagant city, so full of energy and meaning, is the capital of Osaka Prefecture, and is the third most inhabited city in Japan after Tokyo and Yokohama.

Pusan - Located between the mountains and the sea, Pusan is Korea's second largest city, a vibrant port city booming with population growth and industry. Today, its more than 4 million inhabitants help create a fast paced environment of work and play. Much of the city's economy is supported by the fishing industry. And from boat making to fishing, visitors to Pusan get the feeling that all of the locals are involved in making the city run.

Pusan is famous for its dramatic skyline and the mountainous ring that encircles the city. Visitors to Pusan gush about the city's picture-perfect beaches, its white sands and gorgeous cliffs. This is a place that seamlessly incorporates a busy mass urban culture with an obvious respect and love of nature and serenity. Tourists can choose the pace at which they experience this city, and rest assured that there is something for everyone here. Whether you are an avid shopper, a food connoisseur, or just looking to relax on a beach or take a hike, you will be impressed by the choices you have here. Many tourists like to begin their day buying fresh seafood at the harbor, and then enjoying a morning shopping for Korean folk art. Afternoons offer endless possibilities to see the historical sites here, and evenings are a time for leisure.

Climate is one of the city's greatest assets. Pusan remains relatively mild all year long, and even summer, which is the rainy season, offers a tropical and vacation-friendly climate. The air is warm, the land is lovely, and the people are friendly.

diamondprincess.jpg

Shanghai - Shanghai is a paradox, both an anachronism and a look towards the future. The Pearl of the Orient has a rich history, replete with multiculturalism and international intrigue. After the Communist takeover, Shanghai hibernated, before beginning to reemerge in the past decade. Since Deng Xiaoping proclaimed Shanghai to be the head of the new Chinese dragon, the city has undergone a complete facelift, with a booming economy that accounts for nearly twenty percent of China's gross national product.

These happy days are reminiscent of Shanghai's past. The city was divided up into small, independent, autonomous concessions, with a British section, a French section, and an American section. While part of Shanghai remained Chinese, many locals chose to interact with the Westerners, and Shanghai became known as the Paris of the East. The Communist Party was born in Shanghai, and after it came to power in 1949, the city closed its doors to the outside world until recently.

Sixteen million people call Shanghai home today. The city is poised to become China's international face of the future, and a construction boom is fueling that feeling. The Pudong New Area is being transformed from farmland into the city's economic center. Shanghai's stock market is found here, along with some of the tallest buildings in the entire world. In just fifteen years, the number of high-rise office buildings has increased tenfold, and that number is still growing. This burgeoning economy has again attracted people from around the world, allowing the old spirit of Shanghai to re-infect people. The city has come full circle.

Information Taken From CLIA

Asia Cruises On Oceania Cruises

Posted by Denise at February 11, 2005 09:58 AM

Web Design, Online Marketing and SEO by Agnada Consulting Inc. Vancouver
Cruise Opinions.org: The Far East and The Orient - Destination Guide
Opinions, Tips on Cruises by the Industry leader! Find out which cruise lines and which destinations are appropriate for you through reading the insight of the industry leaders!
Home Beginners Guide Cruise Destination Guides Cruise Ship Reviews General Tips on Cruises Hotel Reviews Press Releases

February 11, 2005

The Far East and The Orient - Destination Guide

The Far East and The Orient - Destination Guide

To most North Americans, the Far East and Orient define the essence of exotic destinations. Far from home in nearly every sense, these lands have dazzled and enthralled travelers with their fascinating traditions, stunning beauty, rich history and rich cultural heritage.

The diverse countries and cultures of this area of the world encompass a vast area and countless ports of call from Japan to the Indian subcontinent. Those who journey here can experience the wonders of some of the oldest known civilizations - and delight in the region's unique architecture, cuisine and art.

Apart from world cruises, whose itineraries generally sample key ports in the Orient and the Far East as they circle the globe, most cruises in this part of the world focus on specific areas, such as Japan and eastern China, the South China Sea and Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean and India. Typically these sailings visit several countries, each with its own distinctive culture, along with stops at enchanting and beautiful islands.

Although many of these are voyages of 10 days or more, seven-day cruises are also available. A journey to these faraway places easily merits an extended visit, and most lines offer extensive pre- and post-cruise land programs to add another dimension to the experience.

Cruise Lines That Travel To The Far East & The Orient

  • Crystal Cruises
  • Oceania Cruises
  • Cunard Line
  • Holland America Line
  • Radisson Seven Seas Cruises
  • The Yachts of Seabourn
  • Silversea Cruises

Ports of Call

diamondprincess.jpg

Beijing - Although not a seaport, the ancient capital of China is within easy reach of land excursions from ships calling at Tianjin. With a history stretching back over thousands of years, Beijing ranks as one of the world's great cities, offering visitors a window to the marvels that dazzled Marco Polo and the life of modern China.

Beijing is the unquestioned capital of China. Though it lags behind Hong Kong and Shanghai in terms of economic firepower, the soul of the nation resides here. It has been this way for centuries. Genghis Khan's grandson, Kublai Khan, established the city of Beijing as his capital in 1278. After the Ming dynasty overthrew the Yuans, Yongle, the Ming emperor, relocated his capital to Beijing to capitalize on its more strategic northern position. It was Yongle who authorized the construction of the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven, both of which still stand today. It was also the Mings who authorized construction of the Great Wall of China.

The Qing Dynasty took over in 1644 and built on China's feudal tradition. However, its power eroded over the centuries, and China was subject to war and foreign occupation for the better part of a hundred years. It wasn't until Chairman Mao declared the birth of the People's Republic of China in 1949 that things began to settle down again in China. Mao's contributions to China are still fresh. Look at the communist monuments in Tiananmen Square, designed to make the individual feel small in comparison to the state.

While Beijing can be enjoyed by every traveler, it truly rewards the adventurous soul. It's a safe city, with plenty of room for exploration. Although you'll be tempted to spend most of your time near Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, it is best not to limit yourself. There is plenty to see around the city's outskirts, and a short trip to the Great Wall is a must.

Dalian - Dalian sits at the tip of the Liaodong peninsula, and is home to over one million people, making it a small city in a country of over one billion people. Because it sits right on the sea, the city is free from the heavy pollution facing other Chinese cities. But its advantageous geographical position has led to its occupation over the years by a host of foreign invaders. Russia set up a trading center here, before losing it to Japan in their war in 1905. Over the years, Western Europeans came to trade in Dalian, and their influence, combined with that of the Russians, Japanese, and Chinese, continues to set Dalian apart from most other Chinese cities.

Foreign companies continue to be drawn to Dalian because of a favorable tax status here that encourages local investment. Dalian's longtime mayor, Bo Xilai, is something of a hero around these parts, and you will hear the locals of Dalian speak in positively glowing terms about his leadership.

In the summer, Dalian transforms into a resort town, with Chinese families from the inland making the trek out to the beaches on the outskirts of the city. The twenty mile stretch of beach here is among the finest in all of China. Dalian is also home to an annual International Fashion Festival, along with a Spring Festival to ring in the Chinese New Year.

Bangkok - The exotic royal city of Thailand embodies the deep serenity of eastern tradition in the midst of an intensely alive, bustling metropolis. Life here centers on the Chao Praya River, which runs through the city. "Dragon boats" provide water-borne transportation along this artery, and the city's world-famous floating market serve as a key element in Bangkok's commercial life.

Royal Palace - Golden spires, temples and statuary mark this heart of Thai culture. Still home to the nation's royal family, much this complex of spectacular buildings and gardens is open for public tours, and visitors can easily spend an entire day exploring its grounds and marveling at the treasures there.

Bargains Galore - The open-air markets of Bangkok are renowned throughout the world for their wealth of bargains and unique selections of goods. Shopaholics won't want to miss the chance to wander among the stalls looking for treasures to take home.

Dining Delights - Thai cuisine is a culinary experience that visitors can enjoy to the fullest at Bangkok's many restaurants, where they will find an incredible variety of uniquely dishes featuring coconut milk, peanut sauces and spices.

Bombay (Mumbai) - On India's northwestern coast, Bombay embodies the bustling, multi-faceted complexity of India, as well as its long history.

Sampling the City - Escorted city tours provide cruise vacationers a way to capture a sense of the city's life and its sights, from open-air public laundries to the hanging gardens.

Elephant Island - A boat ride from the Gate of India takes visitors to see the spectacular Sixth Century temples carved from rock caves on this nearby island. Escorted tours provide English-speaking guides to explain the thousands of exotic, hand-carved images in the caves.

Crawford Market - Though its exterior is Victorian - Rudyard Kipling's father designed the building - the chaotic bargaining and trading inside is pure Indian, as are the fine jewelry, semiprecious gems, fabrics and apparel, crafts and other goods to be found there. Bargain hunters who enjoy negotiating for a better deal will find this pure heaven.

Hiroshima - Hiroshima is a city focused on peace. Painful scars still remain from World War Two, and Hiroshima's citizens make every effort to heal the physical and emotional trauma that is still present. Peace Memorial Park is the most popular tourist site in Hiroshima, as it commemorates both the destruction caused by the atomic bombing of 1945 and the triumph of spirit of Hiroshima's people that followed. The area has been rebuilt beautifully, and laced throughout the buildings and high-rises are lakes, parks, and fabulous museums that are sure to capture your heart. The population of this bustling yet tranquil city is one million, and both car and shipbuilding are highly promoted industries here. Hiroshima is on the rise, and now is the perfect time to visit. There are a number of exquisite restaurants and art expos to be found in the city. There are three wonderful museums in Hiroshima that are dedicated to art, and both the modern and ancient art displays are amazing. The Hiroshima Castle is a dazzling work of architecture, and this building is made all the more impressive because it was basically demolished in the bombing, and yet it is more remarkable today than ever. Unfortunately, the majority of the great landmarks, historical sights, museums, and nature areas were virtually brought to ruin in 1945. However, through intense work by the citizens and the government, the area has been restored beautifully. Nearly all of the locations that were so terribly damaged now appear to have been undisturbed.

The people of Hiroshima are not quick to forget the destruction and casualties that befell their city as a result of the bombing. Yet the citizens are known for their friendliness and acceptance, and they are quick to help you if you have a question or a problem. The service inside the restaurants is great, and nearly everyone speaks English. Formerly a war-torn city, Hiroshima has rebounded into a glorious destination full of extravagant sights and relaxing environments.

diamondprincess.jpg

Hong Kong - Many feared that Hong Kong's incredible rise to prominence would be stunted when Great Britain handed control of the island back to China in 1997. In the years since, however, Hong Kong has continued its meteoric rise to become one of the leading economic centers of the Pacific Rim.

This position of strength could hardly have been anticipated. When England gained control of Hong Kong after the 1841 Opium War, the island was regarded as little more than barren rock. In fact, most of its value came from its strategic trading position, for it stood as a perfect entryway to Canton. Hong Kong started to rise slowly, but exploded only after waves of mainland Chinese came to the island, fleeing the Communist Revolution. Many of the refugees included China's elite businessmen, who came to this small island and transformed it into a wealthy economic hub.

Hong Kong's skyscrapers actually take their name literally. Companies continually strive to outdo each other by building huge edifices, seemingly one on top of the other. But if you can escape Hong Kong Island, you will be enchanted by the less developed islands that surround it. A side trip to the island of Lantau will remind you that there is more to Hong Kong than tall buildings and money.

Hong Kong can be easily divided into three main sections. Hong Kong Island measures only thirty square miles, but this is where you will probably spend most, if not all of your time. Each district on the island has a distinct feel to it, with some more focused on fashion and others concerned with economy and industry. Kowloon is the peninsula that lies across the harbor from Hong Kong Island. Finally, the New Territories cover two hundred square miles of mostly pristine, undeveloped territory.

Nagasaki - The charm and elegance of Nagasaki is much more covert than other Japanese cities. While not an outright tourist town, Nagasaki does remain quite popular because of its grace and beauty. While it is true that Nagasaki is not filled with luxurious resorts, famous museums, and world renowned art galleries, the gardens and parks more than make up for its lack of man-made spectacles. The landscape is gorgeous, and Nagasaki relies on its intrinsic beauty to attract people from all over the globe. This tactic has worked, as cruise ships flock to this exquisite port city, with passengers eager to experience some of the wonder of Nagasaki.

The green hills are magnificent, and Nagasaki has one of the prettiest harbors in the entire world. It is a circular masterpiece, and surrounding it are small, close-knit neighborhoods full of people who are extremely proud and loyal members of the community. Nagasaki is known as one of the safest and most pleasant cities in the country, and the fact that it is culturally diverse makes it all the more interesting. The population here is right around 500,000, and the yearly festivals, great restaurants, and ancient temples combine with the aesthetic brilliance to form a spectacular atmosphere.

In 1571, the harbor of Nagasaki was opened to European ships for trading purposes. Soon after, it became a major port for many Western countries, especially Portugal and the Netherlands. This triggered the Chinese to get into action, and they quickly set up camp along the Nagasaki harbor. This region became a booming trade center in no time, and its fame spread throughout the world. Even during Japan's trade isolation, it was the lone city of Nagasaki that was allowed to continue trading with Western civilizations. This is an important, historic, and wonderful city that demands a visit. The scarring from the tragic World War Two bombing is almost nonexistent, and all that remains are memories, stories, and landmarks that pay tribute to the lost souls. If you look in the right places, you will be delighted by the great shopping facilities that are found throughout the city. Sometimes they may prove difficult to uncover, but half the fun is trying, as Nagasaki is compact and incredibly fun to explore.

Osaka - Osaka is one of the premier vacation spots in Japan. Beautiful and busy, graceful and lively, Osaka has it all. The rich heritage of the region is complemented by the modern feel and splendid architecture. The ancient landmarks are glorious, and you will be treated to marvelous wonders at every turn. The citizens of Osaka have great pride in their hometown, and they should, because it is magnificent. While there are a number of outstanding man-made achievements in Osaka, the best sites are those that combine the thought of man and the brilliance of nature. Two examples of such spots are the Floating Garden Observatory and the Osaka Aquarium, where locals and tourists can see nature in its truest and most exquisite forms.

In addition to the extraordinary intrinsic glory of the region, the Osaka government has really done a terrific job in the last few years of keeping the city clean, pristine, and full of activities. There are a tremendous number of enjoyable engagements to take part in at any given time, especially at night and on the weekends. The businessmen and employed population of Osaka are incredibly hard working, so when they get a little time off they love to party. Great bars, fabulous restaurants, and fun karaoke clubs line the streets in certain areas of Osaka, and a night out is a fun night indeed. During the day, there are spectacular museums and architectural triumphs to hold your attention, and the underground shopping network is extraordinary.

Osaka is located on Honshu's southern coast, and has a fascinating 1500-year history. Heritage is important to all members of Japanese society, and families have an incredibly strong bond within them. Assisting a parent or grandparent in need is always the primary duty of the children. This extravagant city, so full of energy and meaning, is the capital of Osaka Prefecture, and is the third most inhabited city in Japan after Tokyo and Yokohama.

Pusan - Located between the mountains and the sea, Pusan is Korea's second largest city, a vibrant port city booming with population growth and industry. Today, its more than 4 million inhabitants help create a fast paced environment of work and play. Much of the city's economy is supported by the fishing industry. And from boat making to fishing, visitors to Pusan get the feeling that all of the locals are involved in making the city run.

Pusan is famous for its dramatic skyline and the mountainous ring that encircles the city. Visitors to Pusan gush about the city's picture-perfect beaches, its white sands and gorgeous cliffs. This is a place that seamlessly incorporates a busy mass urban culture with an obvious respect and love of nature and serenity. Tourists can choose the pace at which they experience this city, and rest assured that there is something for everyone here. Whether you are an avid shopper, a food connoisseur, or just looking to relax on a beach or take a hike, you will be impressed by the choices you have here. Many tourists like to begin their day buying fresh seafood at the harbor, and then enjoying a morning shopping for Korean folk art. Afternoons offer endless possibilities to see the historical sites here, and evenings are a time for leisure.

Climate is one of the city's greatest assets. Pusan remains relatively mild all year long, and even summer, which is the rainy season, offers a tropical and vacation-friendly climate. The air is warm, the land is lovely, and the people are friendly.

diamondprincess.jpg

Shanghai - Shanghai is a paradox, both an anachronism and a look towards the future. The Pearl of the Orient has a rich history, replete with multiculturalism and international intrigue. After the Communist takeover, Shanghai hibernated, before beginning to reemerge in the past decade. Since Deng Xiaoping proclaimed Shanghai to be the head of the new Chinese dragon, the city has undergone a complete facelift, with a booming economy that accounts for nearly twenty percent of China's gross national product.

These happy days are reminiscent of Shanghai's past. The city was divided up into small, independent, autonomous concessions, with a British section, a French section, and an American section. While part of Shanghai remained Chinese, many locals chose to interact with the Westerners, and Shanghai became known as the Paris of the East. The Communist Party was born in Shanghai, and after it came to power in 1949, the city closed its doors to the outside world until recently.

Sixteen million people call Shanghai home today. The city is poised to become China's international face of the future, and a construction boom is fueling that feeling. The Pudong New Area is being transformed from farmland into the city's economic center. Shanghai's stock market is found here, along with some of the tallest buildings in the entire world. In just fifteen years, the number of high-rise office buildings has increased tenfold, and that number is still growing. This burgeoning economy has again attracted people from around the world, allowing the old spirit of Shanghai to re-infect people. The city has come full circle.

Information Taken From CLIA

Asia Cruises On Oceania Cruises

Posted by Denise at February 11, 2005 09:58 AM

Web Design, Online Marketing and SEO by Agnada Consulting Inc. Vancouver