Whew! We took the longest trip of our lives — 5 weeks — when we traveled to Dubai and boarded the Seabourn Sojourn for an excellent adventure through 8 countries. We left home Dec. 1, 2016 and returned Jan. 8, 2017 — spending the holidays aboard Sojourn was a special treat as well.
It’s difficult to summarize this grand adventure. We had only visited very few of these countries before, and all were very interesting. UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) are full-on modern cities, both with daring skyscrapers. Dubai’s adult playgrounds are laying groundwork for its post-oil future, and are impressive — Palm Islands (reclaimed land in the form of a palm tree), the huge Mall of the Emirates (with indoor snow skiing), Burj Al-Arab Hotel (only 7-star in the world), Burj Khalifa (2,727 ft. – tallest in the world), etc. Muscat, Oman is an old port with beautiful, dramatic mountains. We had experienced the color and cacophony of India before, but we loved Mumbai — especially seeing the dabbawalas (lunchbox delivery men) up close and personal.
In Malaysia, we visited modern Kuala Lumpur, and charming Penang (and other smaller ports), with lovely examples of historic Chinese culture. We enjoyed Singapore, which is a lovely blend of modern and historic. Our meal at a local food market (think food court on steroids) was chaotic, memorable and delicious.
The highlight of our trip was Myanmar (formerly Burma), which only recently opened for tourism. We made special arrangements for an overnight trip to Bagan, “Land of Pagodas.” Bagan society peaked in the 1100’s, with the building of thousands and thousands of temples — more than 2,000 temples remain today. It’s a lovely, magical country.
Across the ports, religions co-exist peacefully, welcoming mosques, temples, and churches of different faiths. We encountered wonderful, warm people in every country. Here are some highlights from the trip.
- Dubai, UAE
- Sir Bani Yas Island, UAE
- Abu Dhabi, UAE
- Muscat, Oman
- Mumbai (Bombay), India
- Mangalore, India
- Cochin, India
- Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Penang, Malaysia
- Port Blair, Andaman Islands, India
- Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar (Burma)
- Phuket, Thailand
- Porto Malai, Malaysia
- Lumut, Malaysia
- Malacca, Malaysia