Asia Cruise – Expert Guide

Ever since Marco Polo returned from his 24-year trek to
China at the end of the 13th century, Asia has beckoned
travelers from around the world to explore its enchanted
lands courtesy of an Asia cruise. Befitting of a
continent that is the largest on Earth, the mesh of
countries that make up this landmass embrace some
mind-blowing extremes. The thickest forests, highest
mountains and longest coastline on the planet all belong
to Asia, as do some of the world’s most varied wildlife
and plant species..

Few places on Earth can offer cruise visitors such a
varied and dramatic experience. From the vestiges of
ancient China to the modern day wealth and opulence
of Singapore and Taipei, an Asia cruise encapsulates
thousands of years of history and diverse cultures in a
single voyage…

When choosing an Asia cruise, tourists are presented
with a variety of cruise routes to pick from. Many Asia
cruises offering a taste of the Orient depart from
Beijing in China, taking in Hong Kong and ports of call
in Japan and along the Chinese coastline. The more
exotic Asia cruises may include stops in Korea,
Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand…

Other Asia cruise options include routes around the Bay
of Bengal, and routes that follow in the footsteps of
Marco Polo’s return sea journey from China in 1293.
The typical duration of an Asia cruise is 12-16 nights,
although extended cruise vacations that take in a
voyage through the South China Sea and Bay of Bengal
can be arranged…

Destination highlights:

China: Beijing – the capital of China – is a ‘must see’
destination on every Asia cruise. The fabled Forbidden
City and Temple Of Heaven, both of which are
accessed through the vastness of Tiananmen Square,
reside in Beijing. Only a short distance from the city is
the Beijing section of the Great Wall of China.

Hong Kong:

A city on an island, Hong Kong is the
antithesis of Beijing. Gleaming towers of power exude
a modern wealth that contrasts sharply with the older
districts of the Chinese capital. Hong Kong is one of the
wealthiest places in the world – something that is very
much in evidence as you walk the numerous districts on
this thirty square-mile chunk of rock.

Singapore:

Singapore is the ultimate exotic destination
on an Asia cruise. Situated at the southern tip of the
Malaysian Peninsula, it represents the furthest point
south an Asia cruise is likely to extend to. Here all year
round warmth, stunning architecture and cuisine that is
truly out of this world combine to make it a stop not to
be missed.

Cecilia Bolocco – Miss Chile & Miss Universe

Chile -more than twice the size of Arizona- is the home of beautiful girls : Daniela Benavente, Marianne Muller, Margot Montt, Lucia Santa Cruz, Kenita Larrain, Jenny Purtho Arap, Daniela Campos and Cecilia Bolocco. Already a folk hero in Chile, Cecilia Bolocco
became a legend when she won the Miss Universe pageant in 1987.Since 1990, Cecilia has been called “the most famous Miss Universe in the world”. She has won the hearts of pageant fans from Mexico to Santiago. Who is she really?

Along with the writer Gabriela Mistral (Nobel Prize for Literature 1945), she’s one of the most admired women in Chile. The second of four children in a working-class family of European descent, Cecilia Carolina Bolocco Fonck was born on May 19, 1965 to Enzo and Rose Marie Fonck de Bolocco. She studied civil engineering at the University of Santiago and then studied costume design at INCA-CEA Institute.

Renowned for her diplomatic skills and culture, Cecilia developed a passion for dance at very early age and became a professional dancer, winning many titles. She never lost her love for dancing. Her colleagues found her to be energetic and cooperative.

In the mid-1980s, she also worked as a professional model for magazines. Cecilia was one of Chile’s most popular fashion models. She was approached by a Chilean journalist, who advised her to take up modelling. During this period of time, she suffered a tragedy when her brother Rodrigo died suddenly. This was a terrible experience for her, which marked she for ever.

On April 20, 1987 Cecilia was elected Miss Chile Universe in Santiago, succeeding Mariana Villasante, one of the most beautiful girls from South America. Like Barbara Palacios Teyde (Miss Venezuela and Miss South America-Universe), Christy Fichtner (Miss USA and Miss Texas) and Susanna Huckstep (Miss Italy and Miss Photogenic), Mariana was one of the favourites to win the Miss Universe title in Panama City.

Unlike Claudia van Sint Jan (Miss Chile 1985) and Mariana, Miss Chile 1987 competed at the Miss South America. Many of the delegates in each contest went on to their year’s Miss Universe pageant. Before winning the Miss Universe pageant, Barbara Palacios, Miss Venezuela, won the Miss South America title in 1986. Unfortunately, Cecilia did not qualify for the semi-finals at the 1987 Miss South America in Cartagena, Colombia.Curiously, she also did not win any award. Patricia Arce Rocabado (Miss Bolivia) was Miss Photogenic and Maria Victoria Zangaro (Miss Uruguay) was Miss Congeniality.Then, she immediately travelled to Singapore City to take part in Miss Universe pageant.

On May 26, 1987 Cecilia was crowned Miss Universe in Singapore City. There were celebrations for Chile -from Arica to Chiloe-,after Cecilia Bolocco won the title. The 35th Miss Universe began with a spectacular opening ceremony at World Trade Center in front of thousands of spectators from Asia and other countries.Singapore is the smallest country ever to hold the Miss Universe pageant, with a size of 270 sq mi and a population of 4.5 million people. Egypt made its first appearance as a participating country at the Miss Universe. Miss Honduras, Francia Tatiana Reyes, had taken the award of Miss Amity and Miss Brazil, Jacqueline Ribeiro Meirelles, won the Best National Costume title.

For many reasons, Miss Colombia, Maria Patricia Lopez Ruiz, was considered to have a good chance to win the title.Patricia had won two international awards: Miss South America and Miss Photogenic.

There were 12 judges: Deborah Carthy-Deu (former Miss Puerto Rico and Miss Universe), Neil Hickey (American journalist), Jose Greco (Spanish dancer), David Niven Jr (American actor), Charlotte Rae Lubotsky (American actress and singer), Chu San Goh (choreographer from Asia), Peter Graves (American film and television actor), Paul-Louis Orrier (French fashion designer), Arnold Kopelson (American film producer), Nancy Dussault (American singer and actress), Yue-Sai Kan (Chinese-American entrepreneur), Isabel Sanford (American actress).

Unlike other Miss Universes from Latin America -Norma Beatriz Nolan, Barbara Palacios, Dayanara Torres, Amelia Vega-, Miss Chile 1987 did not have the support of judges from Latin America. Deborah Carthy-Deu had given her support to Laurie Tamara Simpson Rivera (Miss Puerto Rico 1987). Some countries have been benefited by having many judges. In the past century; Venezuela has had many judges in Miss Universe: Carolina Herrera (fashion designer/ 1984 & 1997), Irene Saez Conde (Miss Universe/ 1983 & 1995), Maria Conchita Alonso Bustillo (singer & actress/ 1993 & 1998), Lupita Ferrer (actress/1986), Jose Luis Rodriguez (singer/ 1991) and Barbara Palacios (Miss Universe/ 1988).

Certainly, Cecilia had won the title and the special admiration of the Asian public. The audience had all eyes on Chilean Cecilia. It was the first appearance for Chile in the finals. She wore a spectacular white gown designed by Ruben Campos.

From 1990 to 2005, she was an internationally famous Latin American entertainer. Cecilia is a two-time Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer.In 1993, Cecilia Bolocco was one of the hots at the Miss Universe in Mexico City. She said: “Really gives me great pride to be here…” Three years later, she was one of the members of the panel of judges of Miss Universe in Las Vegas, USA.

Until their separation in April 2007, Bolocco lived with her husband, Carlos Menem -ex president of Argentina-, whom she married in 2001,and their son, Maximo Saul Menem Bolocco, who was born in 2003, in Santiago (Chile). She met Menem in 1999 when she was a successful journalist After the marriage broke up, Cecilia became a fashion designer.

Cecilia Bolocco has emerged as a popular youth icon and, the Chile’s sweetheart, with her every move followed by millions across Chile. She currently resides in Santiago.

Asia – A Short Tourist Guide

Asia is full of numerous exciting countries, making it rather difficult to decide which one to visit. Here is a list of some of the best Asian destinations for tourists:

Chiang Mai, Thailand

A lot of tourists prefer staying and exploring the lovely capital of north Thailand’s to Bangkok, which has a very hectic lifestyle. You’ll find most of the tourists concentrated in Chiang Mai’s Old City, and you will come across smiling monks in orange-colored robes. Every year, over one million tourists get attracted to Chiang Mai, renowned for its cultural festivals, expansive night markets, several temples and opportunities of undergoing mountain trekking.

Singapore

Budget travelers would find Singapore a bit too expensive, but this small county is modern and green. It deserves a visit because of the food it presents and massive shopping malls. Though costlier that its neighboring country of Malaysia, you’ll find it enjoyable. Chinese and Indian culture make the city lively, and the locals can communicate in good English. You may have lived for a long time in Singapore, but still discover many unseen places and food joints that are not mentioned in any guidebooks.

Malaysian Borneo

Malaysian Borneo has two states, of which Sabah is one. This is indeed a natural paradise with lots of rainforest, rare orangutans, and the interesting local culture. It is very well-connected to Kuala Lumpur, and the airfares are very low-priced.

Sabah offers a perfect blend of wild and urban. Its capital, Kota Kinabalu, is frequented by tourists due to its soaring Mount Kinabalu and the seafood at very economical prices. You may shop around, savor the seafood to your heart’s content, and move over to East Sabah, which offers many opportunities for experiencing the wildest part of Southeast Asia.

Islands of Thailand

Though some of the islands are too small to be spotted on the map, you’ll find them to be among the most beautiful islands of this world. Try imagining the blue waters and white sands, diving at very affordable prices, thrilling nightlife, all this and much more at prices lower as compared to an expedition to Hawaii.

Beijing, China

You may love or hate this polluted and crowded Chinese city, but it remains awfully interesting. Beijing, the throbbing heart of China, has startling UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which include the Forbidden City and the Great Wall, making it a worthwhile effort to steer through this highly urbanized city. Instead of giving Beijing a miss, stay here long enough to become a part of it, and you’ll get addicted to drifting through its tiring, but full of activity streets.

Bali, Indonesia

The volcanic background and superb beaches make Bali a magical place. At one time a popular place for surfers and honeymooners, in the present it is among the most frequented destinations of Asia. The pleasure seekers head to the Kuta Beach, a serene place that introduces you to the Bali culture. Experience the thrill of climbing up a volcano in its Kintamani Region. Warm and friendly Hindu culture with outstanding beaches and stunning landscape attracts a maximum number of tourists to Bali, making it the busiest island of Indonesia.