Road Scholar : Home
Voyages to Antiquity: Sri Lanka, Burma and the Malay Peninsula

Program Number: 21505RJ
Start and End Dates:
1/3/2015 - 1/24/2015; 2/4/2016 - 2/25/2016;
Duration: 21 nights
Location: Sri Lanka/India/Andaman Islands/Burma/Thailand/Malaysia/Singapore
Price starting at: $7,595.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 56; 20 Breakfasts, 18 Lunches, 18 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Fat; Gluten Free; Low Salt    

The Bay of Bengal and the Strait of Malacca are home to some of Southeast Asia’s most exotic locales — Sri Lanka, Burma and the Malay Peninsula. Discover their many secrets and wonders as you explore quaint countrysides, witness the magnificence of their many temples and archaeological sites, and learn how their populations thrive within colorful traditions and vibrant cultures.




Activity Particulars

Walking over uneven terrain; standing for up to 90 minutes at a time; stairs without railings; hot and humid conditions.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Colombo (Sri Lanka), 2 nights; aboard Aegean Odyssey, 9 nights; Bagan (Burma) 1 night; aboard Aegean Odyssey, 5 nights; Singapore, 2 nights.



Days 1-2: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.


Days 3-5: Arrival Colombo (Sri Lanka) / embark Aegean Odyssey:

Embrace the Old World charm of Colombo during a panoramic sightseeing excursion which will include the National Museum and the Asokaramaya Buddhist temple. Enjoy a field trip to the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy and free time in Colombo before embarkation to explore Pettah Bazaar. Lodging: Five-star hotel.



Days 6-7: Galle / At Sea:

Delve into the history of Galle’s 17th-century Dutch fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



Days 8-10: Chennai (India) / At Sea:

Spend a day discovering Chennai — India’s sixth largest city — including the historic Fort St. George.



Days 11-12: Port Blair (Andaman Islands) / At Sea:

Learn about the role of the islands as a British naval base as you explore the historic landmarks of Port Blair.



Days 13-16: Yangon (Burma) / flight to Bagan / flight to Yangon to reembark Aegean Odyssey / At Sea:

In Yangon, peruse the handicrafts of Boyoke Market and see the Shwedagon Pagoda. In Bagan, explore the archaeological sites of Ananda Temple, Thatbyinnyu and more. Lodging: Four-star hotel.



Day 17: Phuket (Thailand):

Experience the bustling culture of Phuket, and spend an afternoon enjoying the marine life of the Phi Phi islands.



Day 18: Penang (Malaysia):

Discover the island of Penang, known for its reclining Buddha temple.



Day 19: Malacca:

In Malacca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, explore “A Famosa,” St. Paul’s Church and Dutch Square.



Days 20-22: Singapore / disembark / departure:

Learn about the urban development of Singapore at the City Gallery and Toa Payoh, a large scale urban housing project. Enjoy field trips to Merlion Park, Chinatown, Little India and the National Orchid Garden. Lodging: Four-star hotel.



Aegean Odyssey

The Aegean Odyssey is a premium-class ship especially rebuilt for sailing along shallow coastlines, among remote islands and into small, uncrowded harbors that larger ocean liners can’t reach. Public areas include several gourmet restaurants, library, Internet center, sweeping sun decks, outdoor pool, gym and spa.


Meals and Lodgings
   Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo
  In Flight
Colombo, Sri Lanka
3 nights
   Aegean Odyssey
  Aegean Odyssey - At Sea, At Sea 9 nights
   Bagan Lodge
  Yangon, Myanmar 1 night
   Aegean Odyssey
  Aegean Odyssey - At Sea, At Sea 5 nights
   Carlton City Hotel
  Singapore, Singapore 2 nights
 Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: The 5-star Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo is situated on over 7 acres of land overlooking the tranquil Beira Lake. This award-winning hotel offers serenity and luxury in the heart of the city.
  Contact info: 115, Sir Chittampalam A.
Gardiner Mawatha
Colombo 02,   Sri Lanka
phone: +94 11 2491000
web: www.cinnamonhotels.com
  Room amenities: Each newly refurbished room has a mini bar, hair dryer, bathrobes and slippers, iron, daily newspaper, telephone with voicemail, satellite LCD television, safe box, free WIFI, tea/coffee making supplies, 24-hour room service and air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers several restaurants, bars and lounges as well as meeting rooms and a business center with computers and printers, fitness center with indoor pool, sauna and steam bath, outdoor pool, a full-service spa offering a range of treatments (for a fee), free WIFI throughout the hotel, laundry services and air conditioning.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. 1-800-241-1404
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Aegean Odyssey
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The Aegean Odyssey offers boutique-style cruising at its best. In contrast to the massive vessels cruising to and from major ports, it is a midsized ship adapted for island and coastal cruising. The Aegean Odyssey can visit smaller, less crowded harbors and sail closer to the coast enabling you to really appreciate the magical views.
  Ship Information: Ship’s Tonnage: 11,563 Length: 461 feet Beam: 67 feet Draft: 20.5 feet Cruising Speed: 18 knots Passenger Decks: 7 Stabilizers: 2 Passenger Staterooms/Cabins: 198 Passengers – lower beds: 378 Classification: Lloyd’s Register Society London Ship’s Registration: Malta
  Contact info: Voyages to Antiquity
1800 SE 10th Avenue, Suite 230
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
phone: 877-398-1460
web: www.voyagestoantiquity.com
  Room amenities: All cabins are equipped with a flat screen TV, air-conditioning, and personal safe. Particular importance is placed on the standard of bedding in cabins. Luxury bedding, including fine duvets, covers and sheets, ample soft pillows and quality towels can be expected. Also, shampoo, bath and shower gel, soap, and shower cap are provided. Your cabin steward is always available. Cabins and suites feature outlets with 220 voltage, using the “European” two round pin plug. Hair dryers are provided in your cabin and electric rollers, curling irons, electric shavers and other small appliances can be used in your cabin. For safety reasons, travel irons are not allowed.
  Facility amenities: Dining: Aegean Odyssey offers many dining facilities: The Marco Polo Restaurant is the ship's more formal restaurant, providing casual country-club elegance for lunch or dinner; The Terrace Cafe offers a combination of indoor and outdoor seating where you can indulge in breakfast, lunch and dinner from the grill or the sumptuous daily buffet. In the evenings, enjoy breathtaking views over dinner at Tapas on the Terrace. *There is a complimentary choice of wine, beer, or soft drinks with your evening meal. There will be a string trio, pianist and casual dancing before and after dinner. You may also wish to partake in afternoon tea, served in the Observation Lounge or enjoy an evening snack and cocktail, available in the Lido and Rendezvous bars. A limited room service menu is available. Special Diets: Please advise us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements. The ship can usually meet most general requests such as those made with an air carrier; however, this cannot always be guaranteed. Services: Library; outdoor pool; spa; health center, saunas, massage and beauty treatment rooms and early morning yoga on the Lido Deck; elevators; beauty salon; medical center; laundry and pressing services (order form and laundry bag is provided in cabin); lecture theater and cinema and on board shop. Internet: The ship has an Internet center (open 24 hours) and WiFi is available in the reception area. Fees begin at 10mb for $20. As a rough guide you could send around 200 standard emails with no attachments for $20. However, if you start adding medium size web standard photographs (not hi res), each one would be about 1.5mb. There are no refunds for unused capacity. PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of satellite connectivity on board a ship, the internet connection is slow, erratic and may be unavailable at times.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Bagan Lodge
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Conceptualized by noted French designer Brigitte Dumont de Chassart, the interiors and grounds of Bagan Lodge are a melding of traditional Burmese design, colonial-era ornamentation and contemporary decor. Bagan Lodge also features an open-air restaurant, Tiffin Box, as well as a spa with eight private treatment rooms and a 30 x 65 foot swimming pool.
  Contact info: Myat Lay Road, New Bagan
Nyaung Oo Township,   Myanmar
phone: +95 (0) 61 65456
web: www.bagan-lodge.com
  Room amenities: Each room has a hair dryer, mini bar, safe box, telephone, television, and free wireless Internet access.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, swimming pool, lounge, air conditioning, laundry facilities, fax machine, pay phone, and Internet access.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Carlton City Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Carlton City Hotel Singapore is strategically located nearby China town and the central business district. The hotel can be easily accessed from the airport (20 km distance) and is a brief walk away from Tanjong Pagar MRT station. The hotel is also near key attractions such as the Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay, and Vivocity Shopping Mall. Carlton City Hotel Singapore has 386 inspiring guest rooms.
  Contact info: 1 Gopeng Street
Singapore,  078862 Singapore
phone: +65 66328817
web: www.carltoncity.sg
  Room amenities: Each room has a hair dryer, iron, ironing board, mini bar, bathrobe, bedroom slippers, toiletries, safe box, telephone, TV, Internet access in room.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, sky bar, outdoor swimming pool, fitness room, lounge, air conditioning, laundry facilities, fax machine, sauna, shop, Internet access (computers in lobby, wireless in room or public areas), and a safe box.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: TBD Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Colombo, Sri Lanka. Program starts at 12:00 PM with lunch in the hotel dining room. You will be staying at Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo that night.
  End of Program:
Singapore, Singapore. After breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at Carlton City Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. The Voyages to Antiquity Guest Registration Form is required.
  Parking availability:
n/a
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Colombo
  Transportation to site: A taxi from the airport to the hotel costs approx. $48 and takes approx. 40 minutes, $48.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Singapore
  Transportation from site: A taxi to the Singapore airport costs approx. SGD 25-30 and takes approx. 30 minutes.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: In transit
(Saturday, January 3)
   
 In Transit: Depart on international flight.

Day 2: In transit
(Sunday, January 4)
   
 Afternoon: Continue international flight.
 Evening: Very late evening arrival into Colombo. Transfer to the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo

Day 3: Arrival / Colombo, Sri Lanka
(Monday, January 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Rest and recuperate from flight.
 Lunch: Welcome lunch and program orientation in the hotel.
 Afternoon: A jewel of an island, Sri Lanka offers a unique combination of scenery, culture and history. Although Colombo is a thriving modern city, it has not lost its Old World charm, spiritual heart and historical interest. This contrast will become apparent during this afternoon's panoramic sightseeing excursion by coach which will take in various landmarks steeped in Portuguese and Dutch colonial heritage alongside modern skyscrapers. Visit the National Museum with its vast collection of artifacts from the island’s ancient past and Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple with its murals of early 20th century Buddhist art.
 Dinner: Dinner at 8 Degrees Restaurant at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Colombo, Sri Lanka / Kandy
(Tuesday, January 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Enjoy a full day's drive through Sri Lanka's stunning hill country to the picturesque, naturally fortified town of Kandy. This city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the last capital of the Sinhalese royalty. Located in the royal palace complex is the Temple of the Tooth containing the famous dental relic of the Buddha. Historically, this sacred relic was safeguarded by the monarch and over time became a symbol of their right to rule. This temple is extremely important to Sri Lankan Buddhists many of whom make a pilgrimage to worship here.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, visit the Royal Botanic Gardens where tea was first planted in 1824. It took over 50 years for tea to become a viable commercial crop, but since 1965 the country has been a leading tea exporter. Today the gardens cover over 150 acres dedicated to the flora of Sri Lanka.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
   
Accommodations: Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Colombo, Sri Lanka / Embark
(Wednesday, January 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Free morning for independent exploration of Colombo and to prepare belongings for afternoon embarkation.
 Lunch: Lunch in the hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: Meet at 2 PM in the hotel lobby for transfer to Aegean Odyssey for embarkation. Late afternoon Road Scholar orientation to the ship in the "Observation Lounge."
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Galle, Sri Lanka
(Thursday, January 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Galle is a colourful town that is shrouded in the scent of spices and littered with decaying Dutch-colonial buildings. But most of all Galle is a city of trade and art. These two preoccupations meet at the Fort, which is crammed full of little boutique shops, cafés and hotels owned by local and foreign artists.

You will depart from the port to visit this famous Fort that was built by the Portuguese in 1588 and later modified by the Dutch during the 17th century. It is the best example of a fortified city built by Europeans in South and Southeast Asia, showing the interaction between European architectural styles and South Asian traditions.

The fort was one of the few structures that survived the infamous Boxing Day Tsunami that devastated Galle in December 2004. Today, after 400 years, the Fort still looks amazing thanks to reconstruction work done by the Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. Entering through the old gates, you will drive around the Fort and visit the rampart, which offers up spectacular views of Galle.

A final visit is included at the National Maritime Museum, which is located within the grounds of Galle Fort. Housed in the Fort's Dutch warehouse, the collection here includes exhibits of marine artifacts recovered during underwater expeditions in the waters off the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Some of the items recovered and on view include artillery guns, shoes, earthenware, smoking pipes, ropes, maps and other marine-related pieces. Some of the items are believed to date back nearly 800 years.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Relax on deck.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: At sea
(Friday, January 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Take advantage of the ship's well stocked library that has a wide selection of volumes covering classical history, literature, art, architecture, and philosophy. The frequently updated collection also includes an extensive reference section as well as modern and classic novels.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Chennai, India
(Saturday, January 10)

Note: This excursion involves visits to temples and you will be asked to remove your shoes. Please dress appropriately for visiting religious sites, with shoulders and knees covered as a general rule.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Formerly known as Madras, Chennai was founded by the British East India Company in 1639 and today is India’s fourth largest city with a population of over 8 million. With its Tamil culture and more laid-back attitude to visitors, Chennai is unlike any other city on the subcontinent.

Drive along the Marina, an elegant promenade, to the old Indian neighborhood of Mylapore, one of Chennai’s most characterful districts that pre-dates colonial Madras by several hundred years. Your first stop is the San Thome Basilica built in 1504 and rebuilt in neo-Gothic style in 1893. This Roman Catholic Church is said to house remains of St. Thomas the Apostle who is said to have visited and died in the city.

With its rainbow-colored gopuram (gateway tower), pillared pavilions and huge water tank, Kapileshwara Mylapore is an impressive example of a Tamil Nadu temple. It is dedicated to the most popular local deity, Lord Shiva and constructed in Dravidian style. After these two holy sites it is on to a more secular treat at the Government Museum which is housed across several British-built buildings known as the Pantheon Complex. The museum boasts a fine archaeological section and a superb collection of Chola art – including an impressive statue of Shiva as Nataraja, the cosmic dancer – in the Bronze Gallery.

Lastly visit Fort St. George. It took the British 15 years to build this fort and it was completed in 1653 and today it houses Tamil Nadu’s Secretariat and Legislative assembly. The fort museum has a fascinating collection of memorabilia from the British (don’t miss the portrait of Clive of India), and French East India companies as well as the Raj and Muslim administrators. Next door to the Fort is St. Mary’s Church, which was built by the British in 1680 and is India’s oldest surviving British church.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon for independent exploration of Chennai.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: At sea
(Sunday, January 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Stretch your body and mind during early morning yoga. Attend a talk given by your Road Scholar Group Leader.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: At sea
(Monday, January 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Enjoy the Observation Deck if the weather is nice, or dive into a good book from the ship's library.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture. Enjoy a Road Scholar cocktail party in the Observation Lounge.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Port Blair, Andaman Islands
(Tuesday, January 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Established by the British as a penal colony in 1789, today Port Blair is the largest town on the Andaman Islands. Surrounded by lush forest and rugged coastline, Port Blair is a vibrant mix of Indian Ocean inhabitants including Bengalis, Tamils and Burmese.

Explore the small town visiting the Naval Marine Museum with its displays of tribal art, marine life and archaeology. The museum also has a sizable collection of shells and corals. Next, visit the Anthropological Museum which illustrates the lives of the aboriginal tribes with miniature models of the tools used by them, their dresses and photographs of their life style.

Your final stop is the Cellular Jail. The construction of this prison started in 1896 and was completed in 1906. The building had seven wings, at the centre of which a tower served as the fulcrum and was used by guards to keep watch on the inmates. The wings forked out of the tower in straight lines, much like the spokes of a bicycle wheel and a large bell was kept in the tower to raise an alarm in the eventuality of an escape or disturbance. All the prisoners were kept in isolation and subjected to a brutal work regime and the Cellular Jail is one of the murkiest chapters in the history of the colonial rule in India.

Before you return to the ship, there will be a brief stop at the local market Aberdeen Bazaar where there is a good selection of local wood carvings and jewellery.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon for independent exploration. Alternatively, the ship will offer an optional excursion to Fort Ross (additional cost, bookable on board).
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: At sea
(Wednesday, January 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Enjoy one of the many treatments the ship's spa has to offer.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
(Thursday, January 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. A relaxing day to enjoy the sunshine and the shipboard guest lectures as the ship makes its way to Yangon.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Upon arrival, disembark with your Road Scholar group for a stroll through Boyoke Market, formerly known as Scott Market, which offers a wide variety of Burmese handicrafts and other goods. Next, visit the awe-inspiring golden Shwedagon Pagoda with its 98-meter high stupa that is covered in genuine gold plates (these are donated by ordinary Myanmar people from all over the country); it is truly a remarkable sight. Unlike many great sites around the world, Shwedagon is visited mostly by local Burmese people. The giant gold gilded Paya serves as a meeting point for families, friends, and teenagers looking to enjoy the cool night air. Please note: though the pagoda is currently undergoing renovations -- bamboo scaffolding covers much of the main pagoda -- your visit will not be hindered. The application of a new layer of gold leaf occurs one every five years so it is an opportunity to see a different aspect of a sacred structure very much at the heart of the Burmese.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
(Friday, January 16)
   
 Breakfast: Early breakfast on board.
 Morning: Transfer with your Road Scholar group to Yangon's Mingalardon airport for an early morning flight (flight time is 7:00 AM) to Bagan. With thousands of ancient stupas and temples, Bagan is one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in Asia. From the 11th to the 13th century, when Bagan was the capital of Myanmar, the rulers constructed huge stupas and temples, many of which are still standing today on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. Upon arrival, enjoy a panoramic view of Bagan from Tayoke Pyay temple. Next visit Shwezigon Pagoda and learn about Burmese spirituality and Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite jataka mural paintings. Admire the fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations of Htilominlo Temple, and then enjoy an opportunity to learn about the process of creating masterworks of Lacquerware.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, transfer to the hotel for check-in before continuing with an afternoon excursion. Visit the Ananda temple, an excellent example of early-style Bagan architecture. Nearby Ananda Okkyaung is one of the few surviving brick monasteries from the early Bagan period. Pass through Thatbyinnyu, the highest temple in Bagan, and the massive Dhammayangyi Temple noted for its remarkable brickwork.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
 Evening: Enjoy an evening lecture entitled: "The History of Bagan."
   
Accommodations: Bagan Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
(Saturday, January 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to Nyaung U airport for a return flight (flight time is 8:25 AM) to Yangon where, if time allows, we will continue to explore this historical city.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: At sea
(Sunday, January 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Attend a lecture given by a shipboard guest speaker.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Find your way to one of the ship's lounges for a conversation with fellow travelers.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Phuket, Thailand
(Monday, January 19)

Note: If you intend to swim, please be dressed in swimwear before leaving the ship. This excursion is weather-dependent.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: With soaring cliffs, powdery sands and crystal-clear waters, it's no wonder Thailand declared the Phi Phi Islands a National Park, Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi. Don your swimsuit, hop aboard a local speedboat and head for these tropical treasures of the Andaman Sea. Your adventure starts early with a transfer from the ship to Phuket Marina.

From here, it's about an hour by water to Phi Phi Le, where you'll visit stunningly beautiful Maya Bay, seen in the film The Beach. Swim or snorkel with colourful fish. Explore fjord-like Pileh Cove with its steep limestone walls. See the Viking Cave, a source of birds' nests for the famous Asian soup. Inside, rock carvings from 3,000-4,000 years old are thought to resemble Scandinavian longboats.
 Lunch: Buffet lunch at a beachside restaurant.
 Afternoon: Surrender to an afternoon of pleasure on enchanting Bamboo Island. Enjoy free time, snorkel amid the coral beds and wonder if those Viking captains ever did drop anchor in these blissful waters.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Penang, Malaysia
(Tuesday, January 20)

Note: Please note you must dress appropriately for visiting religious sites, with shoulders and knees covered as a general rule.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Relax poolside as the ship approaches Penang.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: The excursion begins with a drive through the streets of the city and along the ‘road of harmony’ bustling with activity. Lining along this road are various places of worship – an Anglican St. George’s Church, the Chinese Kuan Yin Temple and the Kapitan Keling Mosque. Arrive at the Penang Museum which displays a fine collection of old photographs, maps, charts and other historical artifacts.

You will next visit the brightly painted Thai temple of Wat Chayamangkalaram, which houses the 108-foot long figure of the Reclining Buddha and the Burmese Temple across the road. Continue driving along Gurney Drive, otherwise known as Persiaran Gurney. It is perhaps one of the most well-known places in Penang. Often referred to as ‘The New Esplanade’ (to differentiate it from the original Esplanade in Georgetown), Gurney Drive is a deluge of hawker delights and exciting restaurants that come alive at nighttime, giving the unique experience of dining by the sea.

Next at the Craft Batik Workshop, the intricate and timeless art of printing cloth with wax and dyes is demonstrated and items are available for purchase. Escape from the hustle and bustle of city life to the tranquil and green surroundings of the Botanic Garden which is 72 hectares and more than a century old. Lying in a deep valley at the feet of jungle clad hills, the gardens are bound by tropical forest and cascading streams. You may see the wild monkeys roam freely in their natural habitat. Drive past the Old World setting of the Eastern & Oriental Hotel before returning to the pier.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Malacca, Malaysia
(Wednesday, January 21)

Note: There are approx. 120 shallow steps to reach the ruins of St. Paul’s Church. Please dress appropriately for visiting religious sites, with shoulders and knees covered as a general rule.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Relax on board as the ship approaches Malacca.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Discover the history of Malacca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008, as you visit a ruined Portuguese fort, picturesque Dutch Square and St. Paul's Hill with its sweeping view of the straits that gave this city its name. Malay history is said to have begun with the founding of Malacca in 1403. This once-sleepy fishing village became a stopover for traders from Asia and then Europe. Centuries of colonization influenced the architecture and cultures.

Drive to Dutch Square and a visit to either the 17th-century Stadthuys, once the former governor's residence that is now a History Museum, or the Istana Melaka Museum. Ascend the 120 steps up St. Paul's Hill for spectacular views over the waters once plied by schooners laden with silks and spices.

Visit St. Paul's Church, built to honour St. Francis Xavier, who brought Christianity to Malacca. At Porto de Santiago, view the remains of a Portuguese fortress whose 9-foot-thick walls once encircled the entire hill. Continue to the oldest part of Malacca to visit the Nanking-style Cheng Hoong Teng Temple, one of the oldest Chinese temples in Southeast Asia. Afterwards, there'll be time to wander towards Jonker Street, an intriguing area dotted with antique shops, craft stores and colorful restaurants.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: Singapore, Singapore / disembark
(Thursday, January 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Explore historic and modern Singapore during this full-day cultural excursion. First visit Merlion Park -- its iconic sculpture, a popular landmark. Next explore Arab Street, home to Singapore's Muslim community with shops selling colorful textiles and other artifacts from throughout the Islamic world. Also visit the Malay Heritage Centre which showcases the culture and history of this sect of Singapore's population.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, explore Chinatown -- an area of rich significant and cultural significance. From here, visit Little India where age-old trades still flourish in its alleys. On to the National Orchid Garden where you will view the world's largest display of orchids. Before returning to the hotel, enjoy a photostop at the legendary Raffles Hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Carlton City Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21: Singapore, Singapore
(Friday, January 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: The focus of today's excursion will be the way of life in this third most densely populated country in the world. First, visit the Singapore City Gallery which features a finely detailed architectural model of the city. Coach to Toa Payoh, a 'New Town' built in the 1960s to address an acute housing shortage. Here view a characteristic layout of the various towns, as well as the apartments, in which typical Singaporeans live. Next, you will take a subway to a nearby housing complex built in the 1990s to accommodate a wealthier segment of Singapore's population. Here you will have the opportunity to visit with locals in their home. For those wishing to explore the city independently, a stop will be made at the Raffles City Shopping Mall en route to return the rest of the group to the hotel.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore the vibrant and diverse city of Singapore on your own.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner.
   
Accommodations: Carlton City Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 22: Departures
(Saturday, January 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to Singapore's Changi International Airport (SIN) for departing flights.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Singapore Singapore Flyer
Enjoy a beautiful walk along the Marina promenade before getting into the gigantic ferris wheel known as the Singapore Flyer. Delight in the astounding views of the Singapore skyline during the 30 minute ride. Reaching 541 feet, it is the 2nd tallest ferris wheel in the world.
  Sultan's Mosque
The Sultan's Mosque is often considered one of the most important mosques in Singapore. Built by the Sultan Hussain Shah of Johore with a grant from Sir Stamford Raffles, this mosque was built in 1825 and can accommodate 5,000 worshippers.
  Colombo Pettah Bazaar
Explore the colorful markets of the Pettah Market, an open air bazaar sprawling over several city blocks. In these narrow streets where vendors offer wares of all kinds, there are also several houses of worship including the Jami ul-Aftar Mosque, easily identified by its red-and-white brickwork and Wolfendahl Church, built in 1749.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Ancient Pagan


Author: Donald Stadtner, Michael Freeman (Photographer)


Description: An authoritative guide to the art and culture of the ancient Buddhist city on the Irrawaddy, organized by temple group and featuring 250 color photographs, site plans and maps.



Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God


Author: Jonah Blank


Description: Blank's entertaining portrait of contemporary India and Sri Lanka mixes reporting, anecdote and myth as he travels, sometimes in the footsteps of India's great hero Rama.



Eyewitness Top Ten Singapore


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions. With handy pullout map.



Globetrotter Wildlife Guide Malaysia


Author: Helen Oon


Description: A compact field guide to the wildlife of Malaysia, highlighting the parks and preserves. Illustrated with photos, maps and color plates.



Lands of Charm and Cruelty, Travels in Southeast Asia


Author: Stan Sesser


Description: This wonderfully written book is a report on Southeast Asia by a talented foreign correspondent. A heart-wrenching portrait of the politics and potential of what Sesser clearly believes are some of the most fascinating places on earth. With chapters on Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, Burma and Sarawak.



Letters from Burma


Author: Aung San Suu Kyi, Heinn Htet


Description: A collection of candid and affectionate letters on Burmese culture, daily life and politics written by the country's iconic Nobel Prize-winning human rights leader who was held under house arrest by the military junta for many years.



Running in the Family


Author: Michael Ondaatje


Description: Award-winning author Ondaatje returns to his native Sri Lanka in this hypnotic travelogue. His lovingly traced family memoirs are interspersed with poetry and ruminations on the island's post-colonial history.



Shwedagon, Golden Pagoda of Myanmar


Author: Elizabeth Moore, U Win Pe, Hansjorg Mayer (Photographer)


Description: The Shwedagon, the golden Buddhist shrine of Myanmar, is the subject of this photographic journey; which includes discussion of the pagoda’s history



Southeast Asia Map


Author: Nelles


Description: A clear, double-sided map of all of Southeast Asia at a scale of 1:4,500,000.



Southeast Asia, An Introductory History


Author: Milton Osborne


Description: In the 11th edition of this classic, Osborne (The Mekong) traces social, political and economic change in the region since the 18th century.



The Buddhist World of Southeast Asia


Author: Donald K. Swearer


Description: A succinct, authoritative survey of Theravada Buddhism in Southeast Asia as a dynamic, complex system of thought and practice imbedded in the respective cultures, societies, and histories of Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka.



The River of Lost Footsteps, Histories of Burma


Author: Thant Myint-U


Description: In this stimulating and important book, Myint-U (grandson of the late UN Secretary General U Thant and author of The Making of Modern Burma) uses Burmese history as a lens for understanding Myanmar today.



The Singapore Grip


Author: JG Farrell


Description: One of a trio of remarkable historical novels by J.G. Farrell, its centerpiece is the Japanese invasion of British-ruled Singapore. Ranging all over the colony from the slums to posh clubs and cricket fields, it's an evocative portrait of the colonial city in peace and war.



The Spice Route, A History


Author: John Keay


Description: John Keay draws on ancient logs, traveler's accounts and maps for this rousing history of trade in cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, pepper, gums, resins and other costly goods from antiquity to the 17th century.



Under the Dragon, A Journey Through Burma


Author: Rory MacLean, William Dalrymple (Introduction)


Description: MacLean's perceptive and heartbreaking portrait of contemporary Burma, originally published in 1999, focuses on the ordinary people he met on travels from Rangoon and Mandalay to Pagan and the Golden Triangle.



What the Buddha Taught


Author: Walpola Sri Rahula


Description: A classic account of Theravada Buddhism by a respected monk and scholar from Sri Lanka. Provides translations from original texts with explanations for Western readers. A good foundation for any visitor to Southeast Asia.



White Mughals


Author: William Dalrymple


Description: A portrayal of the experiences of "white mughals," 18th- and 19th-century British colonialists who adopted traditional Indian lifestyles and took Indian women as their brides.





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