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The Splendor of the Sultan

Follow my journey from Hong Kong to Miami during a 70-day partial world cruise on the Oceania Insignia.  Today I experienced the grandeur of Brunei.  Following is a pictorial of a few of the sights.

Brunei is a sovereign state located on the north coast of Borneo, in the South China Sea.  This small country has the largest number of oil fields in Southeast Asia.  With its vast gas and oil reserves, Brunei’s immense wealth is obvious from the opulence depicted in the photos within this post.

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The Istana Nural Iman Palace, home to the Sultan of Brunei, is an impressive sight.  The $400 million residence includes nearly 1,800 rooms; 257 bathrooms; and a 5,000 seat banquet hall.

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DSCN7057Within the Royal Regalia Museum, one can view exhibits from the Sultan’s lavish coronation, including His Majesty’s royal chariot and various gifts from visiting foreign dignitaries.

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Jerudong Playground Park is the smallest and most expensive amusement park in Southeast Asia.  The park was built and funded by the government of Brunei and had no admission fees and free rides when it first opened.  Although the grounds appear to be impeccably maintained, only few rides remain; most are for sale or have been sold.

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The Empire Hotel is a Brunei landmark, so opulent that its lobby chandelier costs more than a million dollars.

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The Charms of Old Manila

Follow my journey from Hong Kong to Miami during my 70-day cruise on the Oceania Insignia.  Today’s segment continues our city tour of Manila, touching on the milestones of the history of Manila and the Philippines.

We visited Rizal Park which was built in honor of the country’s hero, Dr. José Rizal.  Dr. Rizal was a doctor and novelist who was shot by a firing squad in 1896 on grounds that he was organizing a rebellion against the Spanish government.  Read the rest of this entry

The Journey Begins

I recently returned from a 70 day “half world” cruise.  Well, it wasn’t exactly half of the full 180-day world cruise that commenced in Miami back in July; but I like to think of it as such.  My husband and I boarded the Oceania Insignia in Hong Kong in October, 2015, and remained on board for 70 days until the cruise ended in Miami on January 4, 2016.  Read the rest of this entry

A Bird’s Eye View from the Swallow’s Nest

The Swallow’s Nest is one of the most visited and photographed sites on the Crimean Peninsula. Located in the extreme southern part of Ukraine and jutting out into the Black Sea, the castle is featured in the film version of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians.  Many tourists visit the Swallow’s Nest from Yalta, a frequent port of call during Black Sea cruises.  Read the rest of this entry

The Shanghai Museum

I’m sure this has happened to everyone at one time or another.  You are visiting a city for only a few days and dear Mother Nature refuses to cooperate.  The skies open up and down comes the rain.  This is what happened during my time in Shanghai.  After my Yuyuan Garden visit was literally a wash out (no pun intended), I referred to my trusty guide-book for some indoor activities. Read the rest of this entry

Florence Masterpieces

 

Florence is one of my favorite cities in Italy.  During a recent visit, I finally got to visit the Uffizi Gallery.  The Gallery hosts a magnificent collection of Primitive and Renaissance paintings, including some universally acclaimed masterpieces of all time by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo. Read the rest of this entry

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