Top 10 must-see towns in Asia

Tropical nights, curious mountain silhouettes, sprawling rice paddies and exotic delicacies. You’ll also discover some snow-topped mountains as properly. The Thaiger has selected the Top Ten of those camera-worthy towns. Southern Asia is a concoction of the traditional, very fashionable, conventional and enigmatic. Amongst the islands, megacities and spectacular scenery, there are additionally some very fairly towns that deserve your days pottering around and investigating. Some of them you would have never heard of. Here’s our Thaiger Top Ten must-see cities in Asia, in no specific oder…
Most vacationers head for the seashores, but the southern Thai island of Phuket offers a lot, lot more today up and down the west coast and throughout to the island’s east coast as well, not just Patong. The historic old quarter of Old Phuket Town, located within the central east coast of the island, is lined with Sino-Portugeuse colonial shophouses, constructed during 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 hot property and getting spruced up and re-used for a model new generation of vacationers and tradition vultures. There are loads of hip shops, cafés, eating places, bars, artwork galleries and book outlets. The space can additionally be crammed with Chinese temples, crumbling mansions and cultural museums.
Check out the weekly Sunday night time ‘Lard Yai’ market alongside Thalang highway for some local market vibes in amongst some native ephemera, astonishing Thai street food, some local performers and a few bargains. Kicks off round 4pm. If it rains through the island’s wet season (May to November), you’ll get moist however it’s at all times around 30 levels C and you’ll duck undercover wherever around the Old Town’s sidewalks.

On the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka is the walled town of Galle, an necessary trade port for hundreds 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, many of the old service provider homes are renovated into museums, boutique motels, shops, restaurants and bars.
The eating scene has grown in breadth and recognition, with fresh seafood, glorious Sri Lankan curries and egg hoppers (dome-like pancakes). There’s additionally lots to see as you walk off all that food. The Dutch Reformed Church, Sudharmalaya Temple, Galle Clock Tower, Galle Lighthouse, Meeran Mosque and the old Spice Warehouse. Then head down the southern coastline to enjoy the surf, diving, whale-watching or simply laying round Unawatuna Beach.

Experience a wealthy history of Spanish colonial-era structure within the metropolis of Vigan. It lies on the west coast of Luzon island in northwestern Philippines. Vigan was established by the Spanish in 1572. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage City.
Conquistador Juan de Salcedo developed a contemporary grid plan for the town, and Spanish architects designed lovely churches, grand mansions and schools with distinctive home windows and dark timber interiors.
Most of the colonial buildings are located around the Plaza Salcedo, including the St Paul’s Cathedral. This lovely Baroque structure was first inbuilt 1641 after which restored after a number of earthquakes and fires.

Located on the central coast of Vietnam, about forty minutes drive south of Da Nang, Hoi An’s Old Town has an international status as a haven for photographers, structure lovers and lovers of food. Added to the UNESCO World Heritage record in 1999, the city was a former French colonial buying and selling port that has been a commercially vital city for Vietnam since the sixteenth century. It’s now more important to Vietnam as a commercially vital vacationer magnet.
The rambling slim streets of Hoi An function rows and rows of charming mustard colored old buying and selling homes. Many at the moment are stylish restaurants, bars, design boutiques, coffee retailers and tailors. Seemingly with a production designer getting ready the city as a set for a ‘colonial asian’ film, lush foliage spills from the rooftops and silk lanterns light up the city at evening. It’s right out of an image e-book.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, the sprawling historic quarter of George Town on Penang island showcases its many cultural influences over the centuries. You’ll also discover some similarity with Phuket’s Old Town, just 600 kilometres north, however with a broader delicacies and extra colonial influence.
George Town’s vibrant heritage traces back 500 years when the previous British colony was a prominent hub of trade on the Malacca Strait, enabling cultural trade between Malay, Chinese, Indian and European residents. The town still resinates with influences from all of these cultures. There is an eclectic mix of pastel-hued shophouses, Chinese mansions, churches and temples, colonial buildings, meals and fortresses.
George Town deserves its reputation because the “food capital of Malaysia” and stays one of the best food cities in Asia – from street meals to hawker centres, chintzy local restaurants to completely renovated mansions serving up excessive end fusion cuisine. Like the structure, the local 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, residence to temples and dramatic pure scenery.
It’s both of Southeast Asia’s most non secular places or an emerging celebration town for the backpacker set, or both. Either means Luang Prabang makes a dramatic first impression.
The town is hugged by mountains because it rests at the bottom of a valley in central Laos. The location was the first kingdom in Laos from the 14th to sixteenth centuries, Luang Prabang was lengthy a strategic location along the famed Silk Route. Since then the French have additionally had their time as colonial overlords which has resulted in a fusion of European and Laotian architecture creating a distinct 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 swish architecture, Luang Prabang can be residence to beautiful natural points of interest together with the Kuang Si Waterfalls and Phousi Mountain. There are additionally more than 30 Buddhist temples, the Royal Palace Museum, evening markets, river boat rides and biking tours.

Think Cambodia and also you routinely suppose ‘Angkor Wat’, however Cambodian travellers are falling in love with the southern charms of Kampot.
The serene coastal town, on the southern coast alongside the Gulf of Thailand, is getting a popularity as one of many prettiest small cities in the region. Think colourful French colonial shophouses, tidy pedestrian-friendly streets, river actions and a feast for the cameras. You can spend your days kayaking, mountain trekking, biking, river cruises, paddle-boarding, or you could take a day trip by way of the countryside’s lush paddy fields, cave temples and waterfalls.
Kampot has a rising foodie popularity as a culinary playground with everything from traditional Khmer cuisine to vegan delights. The town nonetheless has a little bit of a ‘rough’ reputation however is nicely price a visit and positively deserves its place amongst the top ten prettiest towns in Asia.

Among the oldest parts of Yogyakarta in central Java, Kota Gede is thought for its silver business, cute laneways and photogenic structure.
The location’s history goes again to the fifteenth century, when Yogjakarta was the seat of the Mataram Sultanate, the final kingdom before the Dutch colonised Java island. Wealthy merchants constructed palatial properties in the Kalang fashion, a mixture of Dutch structural elements, conventional Javanese layouts and native craftsmanship.
Travellers in the twenty first century can now stroll alongside Jalan Kemasan and browse through boutiques, artwork galleries and silver workshops showcasing the famous jewellery and elaborate tableware. For somewhat history, travellers can even venture out to Yogyakarta’s most famous UNESCO-listed landmarks – the Prambanan Temple and the eighth-century Borobudur Temple.

In amongst one of many world’s most chaotic and messy nations, lies Mawlynnong, located in the East Khasi Hills of northeastern India, which has been named the “Cleanest Village in Asia”. Go No questions asked !
The village lives up to its reputation due to the Khasi neighborhood who name the town ‘home’ and take nice satisfaction in keeping the village pristine. The city is legendary for its meticulously pruned gardens.
There’s a preferred 85 foot high tree house referred to as Sky View constructed of bamboo that overlooks the jungle canopies all the means in which throughout the plains of Bangladesh to the south. There’s also the Mawlynnong Waterfall, while a residing tree root bridge creating a scene from Game of Thrones or an Indiana Jones movie.

Ghandruk is a mountain village on the foothills of the Himalayas in central Nepal. The village is more than 2,000 metres above sea level, the best in our Top Ten listing.
The village is about a five-hour hike from Pokhara, a reasonably lakeside metropolis in central Nepal that acts as the place to begin for the popular Annapurna Circuit (and additionally worthy of a visit for a couple of days). You’ll find conventional tea houses, a mountain-top temple, horseback using and the local customs of the Gurung individuals who reside here.
Members of this Nepalese neighborhood have served within the British Army’s Gurkha regiments during many conflicts and you want to 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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