Japanese life is as distinct as it is refined: the art, the food, the architecture stand out uniquely from the rest of the world, balancing simplicity and deep aesthetic principles. Sushi, geisha, manga, Zen Buddhism…all distinctly Japanese and familiar, yet exotic and shrouded in mystery.
If you are to visit only one city in Asia, it should be Kyoto. The world's most sublime city featuring an abundance of natural and historic treasures.
Once Asia's most cosmopolitan and refined city, Hong Kong has had a rough transition to China rule. However, the Asia's "New York" remains a worthwhile stopover for its stunning cityscape and bay views, world-class sights, shopping, hotels, dining, and vibrant melting pot of cultures that makes it a place of fascinating exploration.
The capital's labyrinthine hutong alleyways are where timeless traditions endure in the shadows of modern skyscrapers. Explore the classical ancient treasures of the capital from the Summer Palace to the Great Wall, or fast forward to delve into one of the most vibrant contemporary arts scene in Asia.
Guided by the rhythms of Buddhism and the Mekong, UNESCO-protected Luang Prabang offers spirituality and adventure in the landlocked hinterland of Laos, largely bypassed by travelers—and therein lies it's immense charm. Laos was an unexpected charm, a place from Asia's past you'll never forget.
One night in Bangkok, as the song goes, makes a hard man humble. We promise no such result, but few ever forget their first visit to the City of Angels, the most exotic of capital cities. In the sprawling Siamese megalopolis gleaming towers abut shanty towns, where legendary hotels overlook the "River of Kings." Atmospheric night markets, pulsating streets, world-class art galleries and shopping, and some of the best street food and formal dining in world all makes Bangkok like no other place.
A small jewel on the central coast, the ancient port town is situated on a tranquil river three miles inland from white sands fronting the South China Sea. The immensely charming setting, pleasant and creative locals, and terrific food scene make it everyone's favorite stop in Vietnam.
While China's commercial capital races into the future, Shanghai's architectural heritage is still present in a fine portfolio of Art Deco buildings along the Bund. World-class dining and the most vigorous arts scene in China make a Shanghai a highlight of the region.
The city state is rapidly replacing Hong Hong as a financial and the cultural capital of Asia. Heavy investment in tourist infrastructure, annual events, and new luxury properties compliments Asia's most vibrant arts scene with a many new galleries, spaces and shows.
One of the most exciting cities in Asia, Hanoi is a bustling tableaux of people in motion, with something new around every turn. The rustic capital has been inhabited for over 1,000 years. While China has erased many of its ancient neighborhoods, in Hanoi there remains timeless scenes more ancient than modern. Elegant French villas line tree-shaded boulevards and art galleries in the Old Quarter front sidewalk cafés serving drip-filtered coffee and the best street food in Asia.
Known simply as "KL," Kuala Lumpur is a slightly more brash version of Singapore, a bustling boom-town with a heady urban blend of impossibly tall towers and ornate temples, mega-malls and chic eateries, big businesses and diversity of cultures. A highlight, the cuisine, is a delicious confluence of Chinese, Indian and local Malay traditions.
Experience the warm welcome of the lanna Thai of Chiang Mai, exploring picturesque mountain valleys and lush landscapes. The experience is considerably different from Bangkok, the atmosphere dictated by an old-world spirituality and tranquility. A place of authentic Thai cooking, artisan handicrafts, hill-tribe villages, and legendary resorts.
No longer simply a sleepy base for exploring the nearby temples of Angkor, Siem Reap has come unto its own in the last decade lead by a new generation of Khmers, many of whom have returned to their native Cambodia from far-flung places like Paris to open exciting and new restaurants, galleries, chic shops, and stylish boutique hotels.
What you've heard is true—there is no other place like Tokyo, the world's most populous metropolis and pop-culture capital teeming with over 38 million people. The endless city consists of 23 central city wards and multiple cities, towns and villages west of the city center. In all respects, it is the world capital city. "Only in Japan" is the saying goes, true of the unqiue experiences, sights and encounters coming from all directions in Tokyo. In Tokyo above all, a visitor may discover modern Japan through its nuanced art, bold architecture, and complex cuisine.