I had never been on a cruise before embarking on Silversea’s recent tour of Southeast Asia. Departing from Singapore, the Silversea Silver Shadow made stops in Thailand, Malaysia, and Myanmar. Singapore, in particular, caught me by surprise. The city/country is impeccably manicured, design forward, and green as far as the eye can see. It felt like stepping into the future.
The ship itself was beautiful and far less busy and imposing than I had envisioned. While there were plenty of restaurants and bars, it felt like more of an intimate, boutique experience. Adorning the walls was an incredible selection of art from the likes of Dali, Picasso, Renoir, and Miro – impressionists make for a very good first impression. And yes, some of them are surrealists, but my surrealism joke wasn’t as funny.
A few highlights from the various excursions and adventures:
– In Thailand, I rode on a speedboat through Phuket’s numerous outposts and islands – one dubbed James Bond Island (as it was featured in the film The Man with the Golden Gun), and into Koh Panyee (a famed floating fishing village). Thailand is a place I’ve always wanted to visit. The blues, greens and rolling island elevations didn’t disappoint.
– Malacca, Malaysia was one of the more interesting stops on the Silver Shadow’s voyage. The UNESCO world heritage site is an eclectic mix of cultures, religions, people, etc. I took a hilarious ride in a fleet of colourful trishaws through the city centre, while one of the stereo-equipped buggies blasted George Michael’s Careless Whisper.
– Visiting the Shwedagon Pagoda, a massive golden stupa, in Yangon, Myanmar (formerly Rangoon, Burma) was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’d recommend visiting in the evening as the gilded compound lights up in all different colours – and if you’re lucky enough to visit during a full moon, as I was, it’s even more spectacular.