Wat Pho and the Reclining Buddha

Our next stop after lunch was Wat Pho and the Reclining Buddha. The Reclining Buddha was built by Rama III in 1832. A reclining Buddha represents the entry of Buddha into nirvana and the end of all reincarnations. The statue is almost 50 feet high and over 150 feet long. The figure has a brick core that is covered in plaster and then gilded in gold.

The soles of the Buddha’s feet are inlaid with mother of pearl displaying symbols such as elephants, flowers and tigers

There are also 108 bronze bowls visitors drop coins into for good luck. The 108 represents the 108 auspicious characters of Buddha.

Lots more really cool and fun statues

And ancient acupuncture paintings

Yoga statues

Street food

What Does A Typical Sea Day Look Like?

Most mornings I wake up and ring our awesome butler, Dhiraj to please bring me a pot of coffee. He always did with a big smile

Once fully awake, I’d hit the gym and use the bike. I eat a lot on these cruises so I have to move a lot!

Breakfast for me is usually at the Coffee Connection coffee bar. I like to grab a yogurt and some nuts/seeds and berries but there’s quite a few other options for a quick breakfast and a full coffee menu.

On one day they did a nice brunch in the main dining room, Compass Rose

And every Sunday morning, Regent does a Champagne and Caviar Breakfast in La Veranda where the daily breakfast and lunch buffets are served

Noon on sea days means Bingo, which is held in the Horizon Lounge

I don’t usually play Bingo but wait for my friends who play on the back deck right off the Horizon Lounge


Lunch is either a sit down in Compass Rose or a buffet at La Veranda and the Pool Grill. Today was a liquid lunch in the form of this glorious and refreshing frozen margarita and this gorgeous blueberry tartlet because… I’m on vacation!

I then lounged around for a while and took a dip in the pool and hot tub.

While not very exciting, I like to pack light and take advantage of the free laundry on Regent


Mind you, I’d rather be here but my knickers weren’t going to wash themselves

4pm begins my favorite hour on board. It starts with daily afternoon tea, many with themes. The two best on this cruise were donut and brownie. In addition to the themes, every afternoon tea also included fruit, cookies, finger sandwiches and scones The pastry chef was great and creative.


Trivia is immediately following in the observation lounge

Regent passengers take their trivia VERY seriously and to place is hotly contended. Mensa follows and you can earn points for both to win prizes like T-shirt’s and hats at the end of the cruise. Sample Mensa quiz below. You can pick these up in the morning in the Library to work on them throughout the day.

After trivia I get a quick walk in on the top deck. Deck 12 is sports deck. There is a jogging track (7 times around is a mile), shuffle board, croquet, tennis courts and a putting range.

And a little time relaxing on our private balcony before getting ready for dinner

Because we haven’t eaten in 10 seconds, our butler also brings us daily canapés before dinner. They ranged from prosciutto wrapped melon to cheese plates. We requested potato chips and mixed nuts daily.

This evening was an exciting one for us because we were asked to dine with the ship’s chief engineer and hotel engineer, whom it turned out couldn’t not have been lovelier or more engaging.

The service, food and company could not have been better and the Chef even came out to meet us

We really made some great memories that dinner

There is nighttime activity on board but we usually just go back to our room. There is a casino on board we occasionally hit and every now and then we’ll go to a lounge for an after dinner drink and some music or occasionally shop at the stores on “Main Street” (the main corridor on deck 5. The full days activities available are listed in the Passages. We are not show people but some on board love them.

Overall, I love a nice mix of sea days and ports. I love to see the world but I don’t want to come home exhausted

One Night in Bangkok (technically two but…)

We hired a private driver and tour guide we booked through our travel agent before we left home. It turned out to be a great idea. Birt really knows his homeland and Noon was great driver.

Our first stop was The Grand Palace

There were beautiful etchings built in to the walls that if you brought charcoal and paper you could do them

A 2000 baht fine equals about $66 US

And they take the dress code and no Buddha tattoos very seriously. My knees and ankles were covered and I still had to buy a skirt for $3 US to cover the little bit of skin that was showing.

A few more videos around the Grand Palace and outside of it

Good Morning (Again) Vietnam (touring Nha Trang)

We arrived in Nha Trang this morning. Nha Trang is a coastal resort city in Southern Vietnam.

Watching arrivals from our balcony is a favorite part of cruising

These guys were fishing quite far from land in a very small boat.

We docked across from the resort Vinpearl. The cable cars bring you across. It’s very Disney-esque and there is quite a bit of expansion going on.

Once we docked, we took an “Ancient Civilizations” tour of Nha Trang.

Our tour guide is named Lien

We are passing these gorgeous beaches (and stop at one later). Lien said the people of Vietnam go to the beach very early, by 4am to do exercises. They then go home by 6am. He said if anyone is on the beach in the afternoon, they are likely a tourist. Then the locals come back to the beach from 6-9pm

First stop was Po Nagar Cham Towers. The Champa Kingdom has a long run in Vietnam beginning in the 700s and spread over a few centuries. This is the best preserved relic from that era. Located on the Cu Lao Mountain and at the mouth of the Cai River, it is dedicated to Yan Po Nagar, the goddess of Vietnam who is associated with the Hindi goddess Bhagavati.

You have to be wearing the usual knees and shoulders covered. I love they call it costume. And they provide long grey jackets you can borrow if you’re in an inappropriate costume

Some video of inside one of the towers

Some cool art

Next stop was the Dam Market or Cho Dam in Vietnamese. There is a wet and dry section and it goes on for blocks and blocks. It’s quite overwhelming and they sell everything under the sun. Haggling is not only expected, it seems to be a form of entertainment 

We then finally got to actually go to the beach and not just see it through a bus window. We stopped at the bar first and had a choice of Vietnamese beer

Soft drinks, I loved this pretty 7 Up can

Or Vietnamese coffee. It comes to the table in its own little coffee pot. The coffee drips into your cup and then you flip the lid over and use that to place the pot on when you’re ready to drink

The beach itself was stunning

And quite whimsical. There were decorative old cars and bicycles and even a piano

Our next stop was an embroidery center. This was amazing to see. All the pieces below are needle and thread. They look like paintings. Our guide told us it takes two women working 5 months to make the larger pieces.

We got to see some women working on pieces

And the progression of a piece from scratch drawing to completion

Some of the pieces are double sided and you do not see any knots on either side. Simply amazing!

Patra bought this beautiful piece. It was a little over $400 USD. It was perfect because she loves orchids and her mom loved butterflies

You could buy it with the frame or without. She did without so she could get it home easily. It wraps down to a small box!

We headed back to the bus and here’s some more crazy Vietnamese traffic for your viewing pleasure

Our last stop for the day was Long Son Pagoda. Long means Dragon

The pagoda was built in 1963 and intended as a monument to nuns and monks who died battling the government of the time.

These are the Buddhist flags of Vietnam

The highlight of this pagoda is an 80 foot white statue of Buddha that can be seen from all over the city. It’s 152 to the top

Back on the ship for sail away. Same scene from this morning all lit up

Long Boat Ride

We took a long boat ride on the Chao Phraya River through the canals of Thonbon on the east side.

You have to wait at locks pending the tide of the river to reopen.

We were met with a floating market.

There’s is such a vast difference between wealth and poverty in Thailand. Literally just feet apart. But both have beauty and contentment.

Dinner at the Peninsula Bangkok

We got off the Long Boat and got on another boat to cross the river for dinner at the Peninsula Bangkok

Our epic meal began at the bar.

Which has these gorgeous orchids

Their cocktail napkins are made of linen and embroidered. Fancy!

They bring you this lovely selection of nuts: candied walnuts, chocolate dusted almonds and spicy peanuts.


The restaurant, Thiptara, was on the river and just stunning. Its website describes it better than I can:

“Thiptara is a feast for all the senses. Surrounded by majestic banyan trees and lush tropical gardens, this is a unique dining experience by the riverside. The legendary Thai lifestyle of days gone by is restored in all its glory at Thiptara, not only through its elegant décor but also in its cuisine.”

The meal began with pumpkin chips brought to the table with sauce. We didn’t order this, it was brought like bread and was very good

The table itself was beautiful and the service is incredible. They bring you individual clip on lamps so you can see the menu better

And these beautiful etched lamps

And these gorgeous ladies who happily posed when I asked if I could take their picture

I ordered the house specialty drink and they make it tableside. It was beautiful and delicious

We began the food portion of the program with chicken satay. I could drink both sauces. Sooo good!

For the entrees, Gregg got beef and rice

Patra got crispy chicken and cashews

And I got Pad Thai with egg as the protein

I had to order a Mai Tai as my next drink as the Mai Tai originated in Bangkok

For dessert we got fried bananas with house made coconut ice cream

We explored The Peninsula afterwards. It was all decorated for Christmas including this huge and adorable advent calendar. When you open door 9, as it was the 9th of December when we were there, there was candy inside you could take 😃

And it wouldn’t be Christmas in a hot and humid environment without palm trees with Christmas lights on them

Our First Thai Meal

Our first stop for food in Thailand and also, my actual first time trying Thai food! Lunch was included in our tour and the meal was preset so we didn’t select what we ate but it included a very nice variety. The restaurant was called Sala Rattanakosin and it was inside a hotel with lovely views of the river.

They met us with some cold washcloths. That was a lovely gesture as we were quite hot and sweaty after our morning of touring

Gregg started with a Thai beer, which was is very strong. 12% alcohol. And I got the energizer. Patra stuck with good old refreshing water as we had probably sweated out our body weight in that Thai humidity..

We started with a duck salad

And soup

Next was a meat dish that was quite spicy for me, which probably means it was normal spicy

Then they brought out this beautiful veggie dish that also had fish in it. Not sure what the fish was but the veggies were delicious

The meal ended with this gorgeous plate of fruit

And this is what Thai baht looks like. It is currently valued at about 30 cents on the dollar.

Tea Time

Regent does Afternoon Tea every day at 4pm. It’s my favorite time of day on board because trivia is right after. In my many years of sailing on Regent, I have enjoyed many tea time themes including cupcakes, flambé and chocolate extravaganzas. Today was a first… donuts! And the pastry chef outdid himself.

The donuts ranged from Creme brûlée, to key lime pie, to vanilla popcorn, to apple pie, and everything else in between

Afternoon tea also always includes cookies, tea sandwiches, other pastries, and two types of scones with all the fixings.

I had the vanilla popcorn because it sounded so unusual. It was great!