Your ultimate guide to things to do in Asia
Ride the waves, hike the mountains, laze on the beaches or cosy up in a hill cottage.
Whether you’re a first-time traveler or a seasoned vet, these are Hong Kong’s essentials.
What we absolutely love to do in the city. The crème de la crème of what Singapore has to offer.
While competition for visitors is stiff in Southeast Asia, Vietnam truly offers something for everyone. From idyllic sun-soaked beaches and vertiginous mountains to hyperactive cities and characterful rural towns, the country hosts numerous alluring destinations.
Located on the Andaman Coast in the south of Thailand, Phuket is the country’s largest island and has been a major tourist destination for decades.
Made up of some 99 islands across an archipelago stretching almost 500 square kilometres, Langkawi is known as ‘The Jewel of Kedah’.
High on many a traveller’s wish list, Japan speaks to the imagination of many, with sky-high districts full of neon alongside centuries-old buildings and lots of ‘only-in-Japan’ weirdness.
Pune is used to living in the shadow of Mumbai, which is located only three hours away by car. But thanks to its massive student population and the influx of expats who’ve returned to the cooler, less polluted, and less crowded town, Pune is an exciting place to explore.
The universal appeal of the Pink City has kept Rajasthan’s capital on the radar of travellers for centuries. Fans of literature, architecture, history and art will love being immersed in this cultural hub.
Mumbai isn’t called Maximum City for nothing – it’s full-on! Formerly known as Bombay, every corner of this city is crammed with something to explore.
With one of the highest ratios of restaurants per head anywhere in the world, Hong Kong is a dining paradise.
This city is packed with boundary-pushing restaurants run by star-studded chefs as well as humble hawker finds that’ll satiate your appetite for cheap eats.
What these places all have in common is that they serve some of the best dishes in Tokyo for any budget, with service befitting the setting.
Hong Kong is officially the most visited city in the world – and whether you're looking for a budget bed or ostentatious, heli-pad bedecked five-star luxury – there’s accomodation to suit every type of guest. Got the fam in tow and need somewhere close to Disneyland? Check. More of a solo traveller, and have a vision of yourself sliding from your bed, right into a jacuzzi at the end of it? You got it. From honeymoons, to shoe-string gap yahs, to swanky business trips – this is the definitive guide to staying in Hong Kong.
On our humble little island, there's no short supply of hotels that will make you feel right at home. Conveniently located in the heart of the city, these hotels are just a quick walk, train ride or shuttle away from the city's best attractions like Gardens by the Bay or Sentosa. There are also plenty of restaurant and bar options around to make sure you never go hungry – even if it's way past midnight. Whether you're visiting from out of town or looking to do a quick staycation, these are the best of the best rooms you should check out in to.
As you might expect from such a popular honeymoon destination, Bali has plenty of accommodation options to choose from—indeed your only problem might be finding something that isn’t filled with loved-up couples if you’re not one of them! We’re here to help. If you’re chilling in surfers’ beach paradise Canggu you’ll find a great backpacking option at Serenity. Visitors to culture capital Ubud will appreciate the relative solitude of Komaneka, and those shopping and partying in and around Seminyak will love the peace of Kayana. And options for really getting away from it all include clifftop Alila Villas in Uluwatu, Alassari Plantation in Selemadag, or Sun Suko Boutique Resort in Pemuteran. A good choice for arrival or departure is Maya in Sanur, which is close to the airport, and has some excellent bars and restaurants. We’ve picked our favourites below.
There’s no doubt that Thailand, with its long coastline and 1,430 islands, is Asia’s No1 tourist destination. Buddhists and backpackers, hedonists and the well-healed can all find their nirvana in the Royal kingdom (which is actually run by the military). Despite the explosion of tourism over the last few decades, it is still very possible to find some tranquillity, be it at a meditation retreat in the Northern Highlands or on the massage table of a luxe island resort. A short spell in bonkers Bangkok is a must, but the call of the gently lapping ocean and the lure of getting the white sand between your toes will be strong. You’ll find a dizzying range of hotels across the country suited to every budget, and from eco-intelligent nests and Michelin-starred restaurants to a lemongrass and turmeric compress or a 2000-book library, our pick of Thailand’s best hotels include all manner of tempting Thai treats.
Thailand’s largest island and has been welcoming tourists for decades, which means there’s a dizzying range of options when deciding where to stay in Phuket. With dozens of paradise beaches boasting super soft sand, calm blue waters and their own selection of hotels and attractions, you can be sure that no matter how big your budget, there’s an area of this beautiful island that’s right for you. Here we run down the five best areas to stay in Phuket, from the raucous nighttime playground of Patong to the luxurious beach clubs of Bangtao and the historic colonial architecture of Phuket Town.
The archipelago of Langkawi off Malaysia’s west coast consists of 100 or so islands (no one can quite agree on how many), but really, it’s the main Island, Pulau Langkawi, that people mean when they say Langkawi. As well as being where all the hotels are, it offers a mix of wildlife, ancient rainforest and traditional Malay villages, and, of course – star of the show – the warm Andaman Sea. It’s become the go-to weekend break for people in nearby Singapore or Kuala Lumpur wanting to spend a couple days trekking through the jungle, splashing about in the sea or kicking back in a hammock. And although cheap places to crash still exist in the form of backpacker hostels on Cenang Beach, now, much like the Seychelles or Mauritius, it’s pretty much synonymous with luxe resorts: think opulent spas, impressive restaurants and landscaped tropical gardens, all just a stone’s throw from some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Formerly the stopping-off point for resting your weary ankles while exploring the temples of amazing Angkor Wat, Siem Reap has now flourished into a destination itself. Despite the city having few tourist attractions, there are still lots of things to do, see and discover. A burgeoning creative scene takes in annual film and photography festivals, and the town is also the home to Cambodia’s leading contemporary circus. Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of opportunities to spend your dollars (the most accepted currency) too, with first-class shopping and cuisines to suit all tastes and pockets. Accommodation-wise, you’ll find the best selection in Cambodia; from many top-end, tasteful spa hotels right down to backpacker hostels. Add in stilt houses, gay-friendly options, eco-chic resorts and social collectives and you’ve got something for everyone. Here are our favourites.
The Andaman sea gently laps the shores of the 120km of coastline and 154 islands that make up the southerly Thai province of Krabi. We’ve focused on the province in our pick of Krabi’s best hotels because its less visually impressive capital goes by the same name – but is little more than backpacker central. Sadly, the secret of this gorgeous stretch of Thailand is out in some places, where the noise from the armada of long-tail boats competes with the sound of bucket-swilling backpackers. However, it’s still possible to find some remote spots from which it would be very easy to forget to leave – particularly when they include the jaw-dropping beauty of iconic limestone karst formations and cliffs rising up regally from the shore. Not forgetting those dazzlingly white beaches such as Railay and Ko Phi-Phi Leh (yep, the one made famous by The Beach), and plenty of things to do whether you're looking for adventure or relaxation. From the wide range of hotels spanning the gamut of styles and prices throughout the region, here are our favourites. By Richard Howells
This archipelago of 1000+ islands scattered across the Indian Ocean boasts more than 100 atolls, which are ringed by soft white sand and home to some of the best hotel accommodation on the planet (there are more over-water villas here than you can shake a flip-flop at). Little wonder then that Maldives is a honeymoon hot spot and a regular fixture on calendars of the elite and anyone looking for picture-perfect, sun-drenched things to do. It’s an expensive destination, but prices drop for the rainy season (May to November), which really just means sporadic showers and higher humidity. Besides, if you take advantage of viewing the incredible marine life, you’ll spend most of your time getting wet anyway…
Definitely the hippest spot on Bali, Seminyak draws creative expats from around the world, who’ve chosen to escape the daily grind to run quirky independent boutiques, organic cafes and yoga studios. As a result, the area has a Westernised feel, and tends to attract a more sophisticated and moneyed crowd than its hard-partying neighbour Kuta. It’s the epitome of hippie luxe – think acai bowls, designer kaftans and an impressive number of great-quality spas and outdoorsy things to do, plus a buzzy, ever-changing bar and dining scene. When it comes to places to stay, you’re far more likely to find smaller boutique establishments than big name chains here, with luxury and design taking the place of the all-too-often drab, beige, identikit hotel rooms found in such places. And unlike some other parts of the island, you can still find plenty of more affordable options to choose from too.
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