Top 10 must-see cities in Asia

Tropical nights, curious mountain silhouettes, sprawling rice paddies and exotic cuisine. You’ll also discover some snow-topped mountains as properly. The Thaiger has chosen the Top Ten of these camera-worthy cities. Southern Asia is a concoction of the traditional, very fashionable, traditional and enigmatic. Amongst the islands, megacities and spectacular scenery, there are additionally some very fairly cities that deserve your days pottering round and investigating. Some of them you’d have by no means heard of. Here’s our Thaiger Top Ten must-see cities in Asia, in no particular oder…
Most vacationers head for the beaches, but the southern Thai island of Phuket offers so much, lot extra today up and down the west coast and across to the island’s east coast as well, not simply Patong. The historic outdated quarter of Old Phuket Town, situated within the central east coast of the island, is lined with Sino-Portugeuse colonial shophouses, constructed in the course of the island’s tin-mining growth of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Twenty years ago you couldn’t give them away. Now the previous shop-houses are scorching property and getting spruced up and re-used for a model new technology of tourists and culture vultures. There are loads of hip retailers, cafés, restaurants, bars, artwork galleries and book shops. The space can also be crammed with Chinese temples, crumbling mansions and cultural museums.
Check out the weekly Sunday evening ‘Lard Yai’ market alongside Thalang street for some local market vibes in amongst some native ephemera, astonishing Thai road food, some native performers and a few bargains. Kicks off round 4pm. If it rains during the island’s wet season (May to November), you’ll get moist but it’s always around 30 degrees C and you may duck undercover anyplace across the Old Town’s sidewalks.

On the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka is the walled town of Galle, an important commerce port for tons of of years.
The UNESCO-listed fortress has been by way of three bouts of colonial rule – the Portuguese from 1505-1658, the Dutch from 1658-1796 and the British from 1796-1948. These days, lots of the old merchant houses are renovated into museums, boutique resorts, shops, restaurants and bars.
The dining scene has grown in breadth and popularity, with recent seafood, excellent Sri Lankan curries and egg hoppers (dome-like pancakes). There’s additionally a lot to see as you stroll off all that food. The Dutch Reformed Church, Sudharmalaya Temple, Galle Clock Tower, Galle Lighthouse, Meeran Mosque and the previous Spice Warehouse. Then head down the southern shoreline to enjoy the surf, diving, whale-watching or simply laying around Unawatuna Beach.

Experience a wealthy historical past of Spanish colonial-era structure within the city of Vigan. It lies on the west coast of Luzon island in northwestern Philippines. Vigan was established by the Spanish in 1572. It’s additionally a UNESCO World Heritage City.
Conquistador Juan de Salcedo developed a modern grid plan for the town, and Spanish architects designed lovely churches, grand mansions and faculties with unique windows and darkish timber interiors.
Most of the colonial buildings are located around the Plaza Salcedo, together with the St Paul’s Cathedral. This beautiful Baroque structure was first inbuilt 1641 after which restored after several earthquakes and fires.

Located on the central coast of Vietnam, about 40 minutes drive south of Da Nang, Hoi An’s Old Town has an international reputation as a haven for photographers, structure lovers and lovers of food. Added to the UNESCO World Heritage listing in 1999, the town was a former French colonial buying and selling port that has been a commercially very important city for Vietnam since the sixteenth century. It’s now extra essential to Vietnam as a commercially very important tourist magnet.
The rambling slim streets of Hoi An function rows and rows of charming mustard colored previous trading houses. Many are now trendy restaurants, bars, design boutiques, espresso outlets and tailors. Seemingly with a production designer preparing the town as a set for a ‘colonial asian’ movie, lush foliage spills from the rooftops and silk lanterns mild up the city at night time. It’s proper out of an image e-book.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage website, the sprawling historic quarter of George Town on Penang island showcases its many cultural influences over the centuries. You’ll additionally find some similarity with Phuket’s Old Town, simply 600 kilometres north, however with a broader delicacies and extra colonial affect.
George Town’s vibrant heritage traces again 500 years when the previous British colony was a prominent hub of trade on the Malacca Strait, enabling cultural exchange between Malay, Chinese, Indian and European residents. The city still resinates with influences from all of those cultures. There is an eclectic mix of pastel-hued shophouses, Chinese mansions, churches and temples, colonial buildings, meals and fortresses.
George Town deserves its popularity because the “food capital of Malaysia” and stays probably the greatest meals cities in Asia – from road meals to hawker centres, chintzy local restaurants to completely renovated mansions serving up high finish fusion delicacies. Like the architecture, the native delicacies captures George Town’s multicultural history.
If you’re heading to George Town, take your appetite.

The former capital of Laos on the banks of the Mekong River, is the picturesque Luang Prabang, house to temples and dramatic natural scenery.
It’s both of Southeast Asia’s most non secular places or an rising celebration city for the backpacker set, or each. Either means Luang Prabang makes a dramatic first impression.
The city is hugged by mountains because it rests at the backside of a valley in central Laos. The location was the first kingdom in Laos from the 14th to 16th centuries, Luang Prabang was lengthy a strategic location along the famed Silk Route. Since then the French have also had their time as colonial overlords which has resulted in a fusion of European and Laotian architecture creating a definite townscape.
Although Vientiane, on the Thai border, is now the capital, Luang Prabang, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, continues to be the country’s cultural and inventive capital.
In addition to the sleek structure, Luang Prabang can be home to lovely natural sights together with the Kuang Si Waterfalls and Phousi Mountain. There are additionally more than 30 Buddhist temples, the Royal Palace Museum, night markets, river boat rides and biking tours.

Think Cambodia and also you routinely assume ‘Angkor Wat’, however Cambodian travellers are falling in love with the southern charms of Kampot.
The serene coastal city, on the southern coast along the Gulf of Thailand, is getting a status as one of many prettiest small towns in the region. Think colourful French colonial shophouses, tidy pedestrian-friendly streets, river activities and a feast for the cameras. You can spend your days kayaking, mountain trekking, biking, river cruises, paddle-boarding, or you would take a day trip through the countryside’s lush paddy fields, cave temples and waterfalls.
Kampot has a growing foodie reputation as a culinary playground with every thing from conventional Khmer cuisine to vegan delights. The town nonetheless has a bit of a ‘rough’ popularity but is well value a visit and certainly deserves its place amongst the top ten prettiest towns in Asia.

Among the oldest parts of Yogyakarta in central Java, Kota Gede is understood for its silver industry, cute laneways and photogenic architecture.
The location’s history goes again to the 15th century, when Yogjakarta was the seat of the Mataram Sultanate, the last kingdom earlier than the Dutch colonised Java island. Wealthy retailers built palatial properties in the Kalang fashion, a mixture of Dutch structural elements, conventional Javanese layouts and local craftsmanship.
Travellers within the twenty first century can now walk along Jalan Kemasan and flick thru boutiques, art galleries and silver workshops showcasing the well-known jewellery and elaborate tableware. For slightly historical past, travellers can also venture out to Yogyakarta’s most well-known UNESCO-listed landmarks – the Prambanan Temple and the eighth-century Borobudur Temple.

In amongst one of many world’s most chaotic and messy countries, lies Mawlynnong, located within the East Khasi Hills of northeastern India, which has been named the “Cleanest Village in Asia”. Go figure!
The village lives as a lot as its reputation because of the Khasi group who call the town ‘home’ and take great satisfaction in maintaining the village pristine. The city is famous for its meticulously pruned gardens.
There’s a popular eighty five foot high tree home called Sky View constructed of bamboo that overlooks the jungle canopies all the best way throughout the plains of Bangladesh to the south. There’s additionally the Mawlynnong Waterfall, while a dwelling tree root bridge making a scene from Game of Thrones or an Indiana Jones film.

Ghandruk is a mountain village at the foothills of the Himalayas in central Nepal. The village is greater than 2,000 metres above sea stage, the highest in our Top Ten record.
The village is a couple of five-hour hike from Pokhara, a reasonably lakeside city in central Nepal that acts as the place to begin for the popular Annapurna Circuit (and also worthy of a go to for a few days). You’ll discover conventional tea homes, a mountain-top temple, horseback driving and the local customs of the Gurung people who live here.
Snap of this Nepalese community have served within the British Army’s Gurkha regiments throughout many conflicts and you should make time to visit the Old Gurung Museum which offers a lot of fascinating historic insights.
And the village has quite a spectacular backdrop with Mounts Annapurna, Machhapuchhre and Himalchuli looming massive as you look over your shoulder..

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