Best Place to Visit in Asia
Why go: Ancient temples, sandy shores and luxury hotels have long attracted honeymooners. But Bali also possesses a rugged interior ripe for adventure seekers and nature lovers. Plus, you can book accommodations for surprisingly affordable rates at independent hotels.
Why go: This former British colony is an easy introduction to China. But make no mistake: Hong Kong distinguishes itself from both China and Britain. This massive city promises lively excursions, with mountains to climb, skyscrapers to admire and theme parks to explore.
Why go: No dilly-dallying here — Tokyo is as fast-paced as cities come. As a visitor, you'll have a hard time keeping up with the fashion, the traffic patterns and the hotel prices. But should you accept the challenge, you're in for museums, temples, skyscrapers and great sushi.
Why go: The Maldives boasts lavish resorts, over-the-water bungalows and colorful reefs. This collection of 1,190 islands satisfies newlyweds and beach bums, alike. Just be forewarned: the islands remain difficult to reach, but then again, that's part of the allure.
Why go: Renowned as a culinary mecca, Singapore offers travelers a taste of Southeast Asia. The nation's diverse population has brought an international flavor to the local culture. And this fusion has led to the prosperity that takes physical form in the city's mind-blowing skyline.
Why go: South Korea's capital is a well-oiled machine: Pedestrians, bikes and cars whiz through the streets at an alarming rate and new skyscrapers are constantly being built. The city has renovated its hotels, historical sites and urban parks to complete its universal appeal.
Why go: China's capital may not be the nation's most populous city (Shanghai), but Beijing hosts the country's most significant cultural sites like the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City. For the best sightseeing weather, plan to visit in spring or fall.
Why go: Composed of vibrant neighborhoods, Bangkok is sure to surprise you with its flavorful Thai cuisine and nonstop nightlife. Also, there's no shortage of shopping opportunities here: Peruse goods in a modern mall or discover handmade jewelry on roads lined with stalls.
Why go: Phuket's green hills, wide beaches and cerulean waters comprise a paradise that few Asian destinations can rival. Lodging here is affordable — if you know where to look. If you're not concerned about price, head to Surin and Bang Tao; if you're on a tight budget, stay in Kamala or Laguna.
Why go: While Tokyo is Japan's financial and political capital, Kyoto proudly stands as the nation's cultural hub. The city's wealth of historic shrines and temples — 17 of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites — transport visitors back to ancient Japan.