Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong is a city of contrasts. You'll find Rolls-Royces parked right next to bicycle taxis, small sampans bobbing beside giant container ships, street-side food stalls alongside four-star restaurants and ultra-modern skyscrapers around the corner from bamboo huts. Most of all you'll find a bustling, cosmopolitan city that offers world-class shopping, spectacular cuisine and unforgettable scenic beauty - a combination that attracts over 13 million tourists yearly. One visit and you'll understand why.
This is truly a city where East meets West. To the first-time visitor, Singapore's towering skyscrapers, modern shopping malls, fast-food chains and thriving economy are reminiscent of a large American city. Until, that is, you get a scent of the freshly ground spices in an open-air market, hear the cry of an imam calling the faithful to prayer, explore Arab Street's small shops by rickshaw or relax with a gin sling on the broad, shady porch of a colonial-era hotel. Then you'll see why seasoned travelers say that in Singapore, nothing is as it appears to be.
Nha Trang, Vietnam
A visit to the capital of Khanh Hoa Province is a day at the beach - literally. In fact, Nha Trang is often referred to as Vietnam's ocean city. And with its vast white-sand, crescent-shaped beach and crystal, clear waters, it's easy to see why. But there's more to this popular resort town than sun, sand and surf. A number of first-class cafés and restaurants can be found up and down the beach, featuring cool drinks, fresh seafood and reasonable prices. Nha Trang is also known for its lively nightlife. Its bustling nightclubs and bars feature live entertainment and dancing well into the night. If you like your days hot and your nights even hotter, Nha Trang is not to be missed.
Asia is a very large continent. Which means the weather can vary greatly from the moderate temperatures in Hong Kong (January averages 67º F and dry), to the wet tropical climate of Singapore (average high temperature 86º, with a monthly average rainfall of 9.5 inches), which sits just above the Equator. As a result, you should be prepared for almost anything. Days onboard are casual and you'll be most comfortable in sport clothes and resort wear. A sweater, light pullover or jacket will come in handy in the northern part of the itinerary. Shoes should be low-heeled for deck activities.
You'll want to bring a few swimsuits so you'll always have a dry one - especially in the warm-weather ports. You don't have to bring towels as they are provided. But don't forget your camera and binoculars, so you don't miss a thing.
For evening wear, count on three basic types of attire:
• Casual: Dresses or slacks and blouses for women, sport shirts and trousers for men.
• Smart Casual: Dresses or pantsuits for women, jackets for men.
• Formal: Cocktail dresses for women, suits and ties or tuxedos for men (you can arrange to rent a tuxedo onboard).
Ashore, you'll need comfortable walking shoes as well as a hat and sunscreen for protection from the sun. In January, a rain slicker and compact umbrella may come in handy for the southern parts of your cruise.