Four weeks in the Far East, February 1980


Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau, China, Singapore and Malaysia.

31st Jan. We flew on Saudia to Bahrain, then on 1st Feb flew on Cathay Pacific to Bangkok and stayed 4 nights at the Rajah Hotel in Soi Nana, Sukhumvit Road.
Went on the temple tour, to Wat Phra Keo, the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Trimitr with its solid gold buddha, Wat Sracket, Wat Benchamabophit and across the river to Wat Arun.
We visited the floating market and the crocodile farm, had a look at the Central Department Store and had tea at the Oriental Hotel. Had delicious ‘Chai House beef’ at Chai House restaurant in Soi Nana.

Wat Phra Keo    
Wat Phra Keo
Wat Pho
Wat Pho
Wat Trimitr
Crocodile Farm
Wat Arun
Oriental Hotel


On 5th Feb we flew Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong to Manila and stayed 4 nights at the Silahis hotel.
Visited Fort Santiago and Quiapo market, and went out into the countryside on a trip to a Filipino village, Tagaytay volcano and Pagsanjan river and falls.

Manila Jeepney
Philippines paddyfield
Pagsanjan river towing coconuts
Philippines Tagaytay Volcano

On 9th Feb we flew Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong and stayed 5 nights. We admired the bright lights, the night markets, the harbours, the street life and restaurants. Visited Causeway Bay, Aberdeen, Central district, went to the top of the Peak and got the Star ferry across the harbour. Visited Kowloon, Tiger Balm Gardens. We went on a tour of the New Territories, to Repulse Bay, Kam Tin walled village and a duck farm.

Hong Kong harbour
Kowloon Temple night market
Hong Kong harbour
Aberdeen Harbour Hong Kong
Hong Kong rickshaw
Jumbo floating restaurant Aberdeen Hong Kong
Kam Tin walled village New Territories Hong Kong
Kwu Tung duck farm New Territories Hong Kong

We crossed the Zhujiang estuary on a boat to Macau, ate at the Mondial hotel, visited some temples, a cathedral and Lou Lim Iok gardens.

Macau Taipa Bridge
St Paul Cathedral Macau

Went by coach on a day trip into China, where bicycles were everywhere and tourists were still a curiosity in 1980. Visited Dr Sun Yat Sen's house in Cuiheng and what they called Shek Kei City and river.
Dr Sun Yat Sen house
Main Street Shek Kei city
Shek Kei River China
Chinese border guards

16th Feb.  Flew Cathay Pacific back to Bangkok and stayed 2 nights at the Rajah Hotel before getting the sleeper train for 2 nights via Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.
Stayed for 3 nights in the historic old wing at Raffles Hotel for 130 Singapore $ per night (in the days before it was refurbished and became ultra-luxurious).
Explored the river, the markets and some temples and went on the cable car.

Bangkokj to Singapore railway
Raffles Hotel Singapore


Then on 23rd Feb we hired a car and drove back through Malaysia. Visited the old town and harbour at Malacca, then continued to Kuala Lumpur and stayed 2 nights (at the Grand Hotel?). Visited the city centre and Batu caves.
On 25th Feb we drove to the Cameron Highlands for a cream tea at the Old Smokehouse, then continued to Penang and relaxed on the beach, staying 2 nights at Sri Pantai motel. Visited George town, some temples and the beach.

Malacca Christchurch Malaysia
Malacca river Malaysia
Railway building Kuala Lumpur
On Jalan Pudu Kuala Lumpur
Cream tea at the Old Smokehouse Cameron Highlands
Penang beach

Finally on 27th Feb we got the overnight train back to Bangkok, flew Cathay Pacific back to Bahrain on the 28th, stayed one night and flew Saudia back to Riyadh on the 29th.


To see our other travels, click here ...... globe