Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Singapore - Songkhla Cruise, THAILAND
My first visit to Songkhla and the surrounding provinces was back in the early 70's. This particular trip we made was a sea cruise on the cruise ship, Superstar Aquarius in mid June 1998. Our travelling companions then were and still are some close friends SK Teo, Theresa and Eunice.
We set sail from Harbour Front and before long settled down to explore the full range of possibilities for gourmet food, exquisite cuisine, specialty/ theme restaurants, music places, games, casino, theatre, pool, etc.. We made a rough plan for where we wanted to have our lunch and dinner for the entire cruise stay. We were spoilt for choices.
Throughout our stay, there was never a dull moment. When we had some free time, I took out my " Guitarlee" and an old songbook and then we had lovely singalongs and dancing!
We arrived at Redang, a sea resort of the Malaysian east coast, the next day. It was most idyllic for swimming and diving. The next port of call was Songkhla, the capital of Songkhla province and the oldest sea resort in Southern Thailand. I found the city still charming and still as laid-back as in the 70's.
It is a coastal trading port city with much history. The main industry is fishing and tourism. The beaches here are better than many of the others elsewhere. The most popular is Samila Beach which is just 3 km from the city centre. I first swam there in the 70's. The waves are huge at certain times. From here, Hat Yai, the main entertainment, business, communications and transportation hub, is only 30 km away. Bangkok is about 950 km away to the north.
Since then, we [ D2, SK Teo, Theresa and I ] have made other journeys together including an unforgettable and memorable China trip covering the historic cities of Hangzhou, Suzhou, Wuxi, Nanking, Shanghai and a few more cities. It is an advantage to travel as a tight, small group of 4 as besides companionship, we have the added bonus of economy of scales, sharing of costs, bargaining power, safety and security, better insights of history, geography, politics, economy, facts and figures, travel tips and knowledge.....from four wise heads, rather than one.
Photo: Top - Songkhla harbour
Bottom - My guitarlee and our singalong in the ship's Recreation Room.