Asia conjures images of serene temples, misty mountains, and laid-back beaches. But the continent also boasts some of the most incredible urban experiences on the planet. Whether you’re a culture vulture, a history buff, or a lover of sprawling skylines, you are bound to find a city fit to satisfy your wanderlust. So, what’s the destination of your next citytrip? Let us dive into five Asian city breaks worth your while.
Tokyo might be a more obvious pick for visitors to the Land of the Rising Sun. And sure, the Japanese capital is nothing if not a gorgeous blend of futuristic-looking buildings, quirky entertainment venues, and elegant monuments of old. But Osaka comes a close second if you’re into the ultimate Japanese urban adventure.
Japan’s second-biggest city is a bustling metropolis in the Kansai area, approximately two hours south of Tokyo by bullet train. The city may also be accessed through the Kansai Airport, which is well served by dozens of direct domestic and international flights. Once in Osaka, visitors can fill their days with an endless array of activities.
Culture-wise, Osaka Castle is a go-to landmark to cross off your bucket list. Gourmets may enjoy strolling down the alleys of the Kuromon Ichiba Market before indulging in a yummy snack by the canals of Dōtonbori. As for entertainment, the pachinko parlors of Shinsekai are a sight to see, while Universal Studios Japan will delight families. Besides, the city’s prime location makes it an ideal base for day trips to the ancient capitals of Kyoto and Nara.
China has its fair share of incredible cities. Beijing boasts some of the most dazzling architectural wonders across the globe, while Shanghai is home to world-class museums. Yet, visiting mainland China warrants a visa for most foreign nationals. That is why many tourists choose to stay in Hong Kong instead. Boasting a special administrative status, the city has long implemented a visa-free policy.
But convenient access is only one of Hong Kong’s countless perks. With its colonial background, the former British colony has grown into a beacon of East meets West. You may visit a church in the morning and pray for good luck at a Taoist temple in the afternoon before discovering Cantonese opera at night.
Hong Kong is also one of the foodie capitals of the world. Night markets are the preferred option for travelers on a budget, whereas Michelin-starred venues revisit Hong Kong’s culinary heritage to perfection. Shopaholics are just as blessed with choice. And natural gems are often just a bus ride away, from secluded beaches to quaint fishing villages.
South Korea keeps making headlines with K-pop superstars and hit TV shows. For many wannabe travelers, the Korean wave has put the country on the map. Yet, South Korea is much more than boy bands and Netflix survival dramas. And its capital has plenty in store to keep visitors entertained, while having cameras snapping some of the most photogenic spots in Asia.
With its skyscraping glass towers, extravagant museums, and trendy art galleries, Seoul is now a pinnacle of modernity. It is no wonder the capital joined the prestigious Cities of Design Network. To grab a picture of this striking urban landscape, the Namsan Tower is a hot spot for photographers. Yet, Seoul is far removed from a bland sea of concrete.
Exquisite palaces dot the city, from the colorful Gyeongbokgung Palace to the delicate Changdeokgung and its peaceful secret garden. With lush mountains surrounding Seoul, several hiking trails await visitors looking for a nature break. Those on a spiritual journey may even spend the night in a temple. Traditional hanok mansions are another unusual accommodation experience, often enhanced by complementary Korean BBQ for dinner.
If you’ve ever wondered why Bangkok was the world’s most popular city break, your best option is to come see it for yourself. With golden-laced palaces, giant Buddhas, and majestic temples, the Thai capital is a dream come true for culture vultures. Accessible day trips may even take you to the remnants of Siamese cities of old, such as Ayutthaya.
Bangkok is also a fascinating window into Thai ancient and contemporary culture. A traditional Thai massage is heavenly to keep stress at bay. On a less romantic note, Muay Thai matches are riveting performances to attend. The stadium’s electrifying atmosphere may even get you in the mood for a gamble. However, gambling is off-limits in the country. To avoid shady bookmakers, thus, you’d better visit a trustworthy website like Asiabet. Online operators allow you to place bets safely on a range of sports. Top platforms also include slots and table games, like poker. And sweet bonuses like free bets are a click away to keep it rolling.
Last but not least, many food-loving visitors come basking in luscious yet inexpensive meals at one of Bangkok’s countless food street stalls. For a change of scenery at dinnertime, you might enjoy an over-water meal at a floating market. Cozy boutique hotels and fancy accommodations also come at a much cheaper price than in several Asian metropolises.
If you’re looking for a multicultural city break, you cannot get it wrong in Singapore. This city-state south of Malaysia is arguably one of the most diverse places on earth. Singapore is home to as many Arab mosques as Hindu temples and Christian churches. The city’s unique identity also oozes in its food culture. For food lovers, roaming the streets of Little India and Chinatown is an unparalleled taste-bud pleasure.
Visitors also flock to Singapore to discover its stunning feats of architecture. The Gardens at the Bay make for mesmerizing pictures. You can even climb these surreal-looking trees to grasp a more commanding view. The Marina Bay Sands is equally breathtaking, and you can push their doors to go window-shopping or enjoy a sumptuous spa.
Singapore is just as much fun as a family-friendly citytrip. A night safari at the local zoo is an unforgettable experience for children, while the city accounts for many more theme parks and water parks.