A Guide to Far East Cruises
The Far East encompasses a number of countries that are absolutely packed with interesting attractions and thrilling cultures which travellers can immerse themselves in while on holiday. If you want to be able to experience many of these countries all at once, a Far East cruise might be just right for you.
The term ‘Far East’ usually includes China, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, The Philippines and Singapore. During a cruise you could expect to visit a range of locations, so you could soak up the atmosphere of each place before moving onto the next.
What can I expect when visiting the Far East?
Beyond the known landmarks, exotic beautiful people, budget shoppers’ paradise sprouting like fungus and whatever Hollywood stereotypical portrayal of this side of the world, Far East countries have incredibly varied cultures and play host to some very interesting cuisines. This is possibly why Far East cruises are so popular – people want to be able to experience something completely different while on holiday.
For the purposes of this article, we’ll break down just two of the most popular Far East cruise destinations – Beijing in China, and Bangkok in Thailand.
Beijing is the capital city of China (officially the People’s Republic of China). Obviously, as the second largest city in China, visitors should expect Beijing to be bustling, busy, noisy and any antonym for zen. However, this urban landscape is full to the brim with things to do, so no-one will return to their cruise ship feeling as though it’s been a wasted trip.
Most Far East cruises that stop in Beijing will include visits to some of the following attractions:
The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City is the imperial palace used in the Ming Dynasty right up until the Qing Dynasty (1368 – 1912). It features some of the most amazing architecture in the world, consisting of 980 buildings. It’s a World Heritage city and a UNESCO site.
Each building was built with the utmost care and attention to detail, and all have been restored to the best of abilities. There are many art collections contained within the Forbidden City, including ancient pottery, statues and paintings. Proves that China never had shortage of people even during the time family planning seemed a far cry.
The Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven is actually a collection of religious buildings which the Ming and Qing dynasty Emperors would visit to pray.
There are three main tourist attractions to visit at the Temple of Heaven:
- The Hall of Prayer (where the Emperors prayed for good harvests).
- The Imperial Vault of Heaven (also used for prayer. It’s surrounded by the Echo Wall which, due to its special construction, can transmit sound over very long distances).
- The Circular Mound Altar (an altar that represents each of the elements on which the Emperor prayed for good weather).
The Great Wall of China
Come on, who ever will say they have not heard of the great wall are probably living in some caves or too busy playing with their pet unicorn. Construction began on the Great Wall of China in the 7th century. It was built as a defence for the Chinese Empire and it’s thought to have originally been over 13 miles long.
During your cruise visit to Beijing, you will most-likely be able to opt into a tour of the Great Wall, which will include walking along the ancient remains.
There are a number of ‘main areas’ along the wall which are considered to be the best bits of the wall:
- North Pass of Juyongguan (a formidable guard house).
- West Pass of Jiayuguan (a fort attached to the wall).
- Mutianyu Great Wall (a part of the wall which climbs a very steep slope, showing the architectural prowess of the Chinese Empire).
As the capital city of Thailand, Bangkok is one of the main places to visit in the country. It has a very hot climate, averaging at about 25°C each day.
While on your Far East cruise you should be able to visit some of the following:
The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace is the official residence of the Thai royal family. It’s filled with stunning architecture and amazing sights. There are four sections to the Palace:
- The outer court
- The middle court
- The inner court
- The defensive walls
Each section of the Palace includes superb places to visit, including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and throne halls such as Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat and Phra Thinang Dusit Maha Prasat.
Wat Arun is one of the most famous Buddhist temples in Thailand. The most notable feature of the temple is the colourful porcelain used to decorate its central tower (prang). The design and architecture used within the temple is absolutely breath-taking, with ceramics, stuccowork and sculpture used to define it…. OK FINE! Yes Patpong is also within the area!
Going on a Far East cruise could give you the holiday of a lifetime, filled with amazing experiences you’ll never forget.
This article was provided by Cheap Cruises, a specialist cruise company providing cruises at the last minute to locations around the world.