Asia almost spoils people for choice with the number of exceptional world city destinations that it has to offer.
However, it is such a diverse and large continent that it’s nearly impossible to know where to prioritize visiting first. How is it possible to choose when there are so many great options available?
We can help with that. To narrow down the choice a little we’re going to tell you about 5 of the world’s greatest cities that you can visit in Asia. If you’re planning a trip to the region make sure to get the following locations on your travel hit list.
Hong Kong: the world’s favourite skyline
Hong Kong is a truly hybrid city. It is a mix of traditional Cantonese cityscapes blurred with hypermodern skyscrapers and was once named the best skyline in the world.
It’s quite easy to forget you’re in the same city when you’re exploring the markets of Kowloon or having a drink in the Mid-Levels or exploring the opulence of the Peak. This is a truly international and varied place to explore for shopping, food or cultural discoveries.
Aside from the city itself, there’s plenty else to see in the Pearl River estuary. It’s quite easy to get on a boat and spend a day island hopping or exploring the exotic sights of favourite destinations like Lantau Island.
Just remember, you will need a PAR for Tawainese travelling to Hong Kong if you a citizen of Taiwan arriving in the Special Administrative Region. However, if you’re a British or American tourist, you’ll be able to enter visa-free.
Singapore: Asia’s international hub
Singapore is a unique cultural landscape with its mix of different traditions and people. The Lion City, as it is sometimes known, is home to a blend of Malay, Indian, Western and Chinese influences.
This makes Singapore the perfect place to explore these different cultures as well as many types of delicious street food. However, there are plenty more good reasons to visit.
The city features many architectural wonders that incorporate the natural flora and fauna of the region seamlessly into man-made structures. Sights such as the Supertree Grove or the Gardens by the Bay are perhaps the best examples of this.
Singapore is also a place to enjoy other luxuries, including a great choice of 5-star hotels around Marina Bay, fantastic shopping in the many malls on Orchard Road and even a Formula One Grand Prix every October on its streets.
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s shining modern capital
Like many of the cities on this list, Kuala Lumpur is an exciting blend of western colonial and south-east Asian styles. Yet the capital city of Malaysia stands out for its amazing transformation from a tin-mining town to one of the world’s biggest business hubs.
That’s not bad for a city that’s still under 200 years old.
There are plenty of things to do in Kuala Lumpur, whether it’s fine dining, stepping back into the city’s history or just enjoying the charms of this modern metropolis. No matter if you’re on a luxury budget or travelling on a shoestring there are lots of different ways to enjoy KL.
However, the city is a great place for those who have a head for heights too.
The famous Petronas Towers may no longer be the world’s tallest buildings but you won’t want to miss the views from the top. Alternatively, for great panoramic views, be sure to see the sights from the top of the 420m high KL tower.
Tokyo: Japan’s mega-metropolis
Tokyo seems to never stop growing. The Greater Tokyo Area currently covers 2,500 square miles and seems to be expanding even now.
However, it’s easy to see why as there’s plenty of appeal to Tokyo life. With fast trains and underground services, clean and tidy streets and a weird and wonderful blend of traditional buildings paired with dizzying skyscrapers, there is lots to love.
There are many things to see in Tokyo such as the imposing Meiji Shrine, iconic Tokyo Tower and the Imperial Palace. But if you’re searching for a little tranquillity away from the hustle and bustle of city life, there are ornately kept traditional Japanese gardens you can drop into on your travels to relax in.
Of course, Tokyo is a great place for people who love the latest developments in tech. The city’s futuristic feel and offbeat neighbourhoods such as Akihabara, Harajuku, or Shibuya are great for tech fans and lovers of Anime and Japanese culture alike.
Shanghai: pride of China
The rise and rise of Shanghai is very much a source of pride for the Chinese government. As well as being China’s biggest city with a bulging population of 25 million, it is a place that quite rightfully deserves international recognition for its open and international style.
Shanghai is the city that sells the dream of modern China. Whether you visit on a layover or spend a bit more time getting to know the 730-year-old urban community there’s plenty of things to do.
Step into that almost a millennia of history by paying a visit to Shanghai Museum, Jade Buddha Temple or the old town. Alternatively, jump into the futuristic side of the city by exploring the Nanjing Road or Oriental Pearl TV Tower.
Exploring Asia is an experience filled with wonderful surprises but it’s important to plan carefully so as not to overlook any of the most spectacular sights. That said, you won’t miss out on the best experiences by visiting any of the 5 cities we’ve mentioned on this list.