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Thailand's bustling capital serves as the premier gateway not only for Thailand, but for all of Southeast Asia. Suvarnabhumi International Airport recently opened here in 2006 and quickly became one of Asia's busiest travel hubs. Hotels in Bang Na are popular with travelers making quick stopovers as this area provides easy access to the airport.
A sprawling city, Bangkok doesn't have a dedicated central district. Instead, the major activity follows Sukhumvit Road through the length of the metropolis. This avenue provides access to most of the accommodation in Bangkok and boasts world-class shopping complexes like Siam Square and Siam Paragon. It also cuts directly through prominent restaurant districts and a few sizzling after-hours neighborhoods.
Bali is a world away from the rest of Indonesia, and it's a longstanding favorite with independent travelers. Itinerant surfers started coming as early as the 1930s, but it wasn't until the 1960s that surfing holidays in Bali became fashionable. Today, the island legacy continues, and Bali sees as many bohemian surfers as it does affluent resort tourists. With miles of luxurious coastline and a range of accommodation in Bali, this small island has room enough for everyone.
Indonesia may have the world's largest Muslim population, but Bali fosters its own distinct culture. Hinduism has flourished here for nearly 2,000 years. Away from the beaches are fascinating Hindu temples, cultural exhibitions, terraced rice fields and colorful festivals all worthy of a visit – any many photos.
New Delhi is home to more sites and attractions than any other Indian city, and it seems to boast enough life and energy to power the entire country. In many ways, this is a perfect cross-section of the entire country.
The last two decades have seen unchecked modernization, but these ancient streets still reveal traditional bazaars and sari shops in proximity to electronics emporiums and gleaming entertainment complexes. The myriad set of social backgrounds in New Delhi is truly fascinating, and from the moment visitors disembark at Delhi – Indira Gandhi International Airport, they're quickly confronted with their own smallness in light of this booming, multi-cultural community.
Ho Chi Minh City – also known as Saigon – is the largest city in Vietnam and it sits on the banks of the Saigon River. Tan Son Nhat Airport serves the city, and is only around 15 minutes from central HCMC by cab. Hotels near Tan Son Nhat Airport usually cater to business guests, but leisure travelers will find them equally as suitable for sightseeing.
There's a lot to see and do in Ho Chi Minh City. Owing to former French occupation, the city was once referred to as the Pearl of the East (or the Paris of the East) and architectural remnants of its colonial past remain. Most notably, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Saigon Opera House, both located in District 1 – the city center.
It's hard to imagine how this once humble fishing village at the mouth of the Yangzte River grew into China's biggest city and the eighth largest in the world. And yet it has become the pride of China in more ways than one – a sprawling, progressive city with a proud, resplendent past. An epicenter for art and culture as much as it is for commerce. Yes, this cosmopolitan city has plenty to offer the curious tourist and has become a popular option for those traversing Eastern lands.
There are numerous accommodation options in Shanghai; the only thing to take note of is that hotels in Pudong cater more to business travelers.
This high tech, high impact city is an endlessly exciting destination. One of the most livable and technologically advanced cities in the world, Tokyo fascinates in myriad ways. Juxtaposing the traditional against the futuristic, Tokyo is a true alpha city – economically forceful, culturally strong and progressive in arts and sciences.
Sitting on Tokyo Bay on the island of Honshu, Tokyo prefecture has a population of 12 million. Divided into 23 special wards – each with its own distinct characteristics – Tokyo is linked by a hyper-efficient rail network. Most Tokyo hotels are within a few minutes' walk of a train station, if not two or three, so exploring the city via rail is easy to master, even for first-timers.
Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia and is the country's cultural and economic center. Most arrive in KL from KLIA airport, but the low cost carrier terminal – LCCT – is also a popular entry point for those flying with AirAsia, Firefly, Jet Star or Tiger Air. For quick transits, there are plenty of hotels near LCCT and KLIA, though staying in the city center is a far better option for travelers staying a couple of days.
Kuala Lumpur is a very modern city with an efficient and inexpensive network of public transport comprising trains and light rail.
The capital of the Philippines, Manila is one of the most densely populated cities in South East Asia. Generally the arrival point for anyone coming to the Philippines, there is a wide range of accommodation in Manila, with many hotels near Manila airport, in Pasay and in Manila Bay.
The commercial center of the city is Makati, where a wide array of restaurants and bars cater to practically any taste, and offer everything from Chinese food to American-style cheeseburgers.
Taipei is the epitome of Asian success. It has everything vacationers are after, from charming colonial districts and historic temples to magnificent green spaces and a hip, cosmopolitan edge. Taipei – Chiang Kai Shek International Airport is a major Asian gateway, serving a range of hotels near Taipei.
Taipei manages to capitalize both on its detachment from and its connection to mainland China. It began as a trading port, later headquartered the Qing Dynasty and finally became an oasis of ...
Colombo is Sri Lanka's capital and most commercially successful city. In a country known for its rural appeal, this is where travelers go to experience the big-city side of Sri Lanka. The actual administrative capital was moved a few miles east of the city, but an energetic, commercial atmosphere persists in Colombo.
Hotels in Colombo span budget guesthouses, five-star giants and everything in between. Boutiques hotels in colonial neighborhoods are a growing trend.
Seoul is one of the world’s great metropolises, second only to Tokyo in terms of population density. One out of every four South Koreans live in the city center, a figure that rises to one out of two if the greater metropolitan area is included. As capital of the 11th-largest economy in the world, Seoul’s financial successes are staggering, but six centuries worth of history are also here to explore.
Sites in Seoul include five royal palaces that served various dynasties throughout the ages. Built in 1405, Changdeok-gung World Heritage Site is the best of these.
Famous as the location of Angkor Wat and the UNESCO-listed Angkor Archaeological Park, Siem Reap not surprisingly derives most of its income from tourism. A small city that operates at a relaxed pace, Siem Reap is extremely tourist-friendly – the US Dollar is accepted (if not preferred) almost everywhere, accommodation is some of the cheapest in Asia and Pub Street provides plenty of opportunities for travelers to mingle.
Hotels in Siem Reap center range from the very basic to the very lavish. Tuk tuks and motorcycle taxis enable movement throughout town...
Luang Prabang in northern Laos is the former Lao capital and a popular tourist destination thanks to the beauty of its natural setting and its majestic temples. A UNESCO World Heritage city, Luang Prabang is situated on the Mekong River and both traditional Laos and European influences can be seen in its architecture. The city is served by Luang Prabang International Airport but visitors often arrive by bus from Vientiane or Vang Vien.
Interesting sites in and around Luang Prabang include Mount Phou Si, the Pak Ou caves (also known as the Buddha Caves) and the Kuang...
Nepal's capital Kathmandu first opened itself to tourists in the 1950s. It gained prominence with the traveling hippie crowd in the 1970s, but today's stereotypical travel is a few degrees cooler and less likely to be seen in tie-dye. With rich tides of Buddhism and Hinduism at play, this is easily one of the most fascinating travel destinations in Asia.
The main travelers' district is Thamel. A direct result of the generation of hippies who flocked here in the 1960s and 70s, Thamel is a magnet for backpackers and budget travelers.
Cosmopolitan and polished, Singapore is one of Southeast Asia's most glamorous capitals, functioning as a high-traffic travel hub and a shoppers' paradise. This clean and orderly city state is only small, and Changi Airport is easily reached from hotels in Singapore city center by rail or road in around 30 minutes.
Orchard Road is Singapore's most renowned area – this is where mall after mega-mall conjoin to form one of the world's most comprehensive suppliers of retail therapy. Linked by a rabbit warren of air-conditioned walkways and underpasses...
Although Naypyidaw eclipsed Yangon as Myanmar's capital in 2005, Yangon still feels like the de facto center of the country. Its historic waterfront and spectacular veneer of British-colonial architecture may be cornered by one of the world's most contentious military dictatorships, but it’s as captivating and dynamic as ever.
Mingaladon Airport is Yangon's gateway and lies 30 minutes outside the city. Most of the hotels near Yangon are in the city center, where well-priced rooms include many budget and mid-range options. Tourists are expected to pay in US dollars...