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2010 - Tokyo China & Seabourn Pride Asia Cruise

tokyo wide 3TOKYO, BEIJING, XINGANG, CHINA TO KOBE, JAPAN

2382950In June of 2010, I spent time 2 ½ weeks in Asia traveling to Tokyo, Beijing and cruising with Seabourn on the Pride from Xingang, China to Kobe, Japan.

My hotel in Tokyo was the beautiful Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo which opened in March of 2009.  Just a 15-minute walk to the Ginza – the biggest and most luxurious shopping area in Tokyo. The hotel will arrange a personal shopper which is quite fun!  The Chef at the Shangri-La arranged a special visit for us to see the fish auction that starts at 5:40 am – not open to the public – unbelievable experience.  
 

5583374THE GREAT WALL

I then took the 4-hour flight from Narita to Beijing and stayed at the Shangri-La Beijing. This property has a brand new Valley Wing – rooms were great – spectacular lounge on 12the floor with a view and free F&B for Valley Wing guests.  Destination China was the on-location supplier I used to set up private car and driver for weekend sightseeing.  They provided airport to hotel transfers and 2-days of sightseeing which included a visit to the Great Wall – Mutianyu section (the most scenic), Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.  I experienced lunch in a local family’s home in Hutong.  Kevin, my guide was delightful!  He was 24 years old, spoke excellent English and was very polite yet fun.  We hiked the wall together for 6 miles! The lunch with Mrs. Chen in her home was a highlight. She made a vegetarian lunch for Kevin and me then we chatted in her living room as Kevin interpreted.

Next was to board Seabourn Pride cruising from Xingang China to Kobe Japan visiting the ports of Dalian China, Incheon (Seoul) South Korea, Yeosu South Korea, Busan South Korea, Nagasaki Japan, and Kagoshima Japan.

3671726PRIVATE MEETING WITH BUDDHIST NUN 

Some of the highlights included; a visit to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), 35 miles north of Seoul where the truce talks were held and the armistice that ended the Korean war, a visit to a temple in the mountains where we had a private meeting with a resident Buddhist nun, the bustling fish market in Yeosu, the United Nations Memorial Cemetary in Busan, the Nagasaki Peace Park and the Atomic Bomb Museum.

My last stop was the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Osaka The hotel received the top rating of 5-pavilion by Michelin and its two restaurants, La Baie and Xiang Tao, both received one-star Michelin in 2009.

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