We were on R&R for almost two and a half weeks this December. If you’re a friend or follower on facebook, then you’ve seen lots of pictures.
As I’ve mentioned before my husband is an amazing trip planner. Our R&R point from Manila is Australia, but for less money we went to Thailand, Singapore, Surabaya, Indonesia, and Hong Kong. We ended up saving the tax payers money – you’re welcome.
The turmoil in Bangkok changed our plans a bit. Originally we were going to spend five days in the city with our friend who’s posted there. With the riots, and what not, the malls and schools were closed as well as many other things. We didn’t feel like spending five days in our friend’s apartment while she worked, so we bought our own tickets to Phuket (pronounced poo-ket) that had us not leaving the airport in Bangkok at all. We liked Phuket a lot, and I would return again.
The big Buddha of Phuket
Elephant trekking! Everyone loved it.
Playing at Patong Beach. Everyone enjoyed it, even Simon, who hated beaches until recently.
We stayed at Centara Grand West Sands Resort & Villas Phukets by the airport, for a couple of days. They have a water park!
For the full online photo album check it out on facebook (it’s not necessary to have an account) here
We went from Thailand to Singapore, and I loved it. Singapore, was a clean, organized, and overall amazing city. It was crazy expensive, but if we ever get posted there (and I would love to be posted there), we’d get COLA (Cost Of Living Allowance), and there’s a Naval base to shop at with prices at or lower than those in the States. We stayed with a friend and had a good time hanging out with her.
We went to the SEA Aquarium at Resorts World Singapore. The kids love looking at fish.
We went to the Night Safari and saw almost every animal they had there. It was so cool.
Drinking a Singapore Sling in the bar that it was invented in (The Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel). Yummy.
Yes, they’re serious. They really want to know.
For the Singapore photo album go here.
After Singapore we spent five days hanging out with friends in Surabaya. Surabaya doesn’t offer much for sightseeing, and the weather wasn’t always cooperative. But the food was great, and the hosts were gracious and fun. They have a son that’s between Malachi and Simon in age, and they had such a good time. After the busy touristy stuff that we did in Thailand and Singapore, it was nice to have a reprieve.
We visited old temple ruins.
We played in an old submarine.
They played with a friend.
For the full Surabaya album go here
From Indonesia we went to Hong Kong. This was our longest flight, at just over four hours (those posted in Asia know, that an R&R flight from Asia is usually loooong. Our 1-4 hour flights are nothing compared to the 15 hour flights to the States). When we got there we were shocked by how cold it was. It was 11 degrees Celsius when we arrived (that’s not yet, but almost 52 degrees fahrenheit)! After living in Costa Rica for two years and then here for a year and a half that was super cold to us! Our helper met us in Hong Kong, and she’d never left the Philippines. She must have just been freezing. Despite the cold we made it to Disneyland Hong Kong and to The Peak. I would love to visit Hong Kong again.
We enjoyed public transportation!
We jumped for joy at Disneyland Hong Kong.
We went to an American style diner with good food!
We went to The Peak and saw Hong Kong from an amazing view point.
We enjoyed a large Christmas display on our last morning (as well as our new fleeces).
For the whole Hong Kong album go here
We returned ready to be home and ready for Christmas.