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When the morning light washes over the overgrown temples and ruins of Angkor... more
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Siem Reap
When the morning light washes over the overgrown temples and ruins of Angkor Wat, a simple Siem Reap sunrise becomes a profound event. The ancient structures are contained within one of the largest religious complexes in the world. The complex and the 12th century Angkor Thom royal city are considered the main reasons to visit Siem Reap, the #2 Travellers' Choice Destination in the world for 2015. Get a lesson in national history at the Cambodian Cultural Village, and a lesson in bargaining at the Angkor Night Market, a bonanza of shopping stalls, food vendors, and bars.
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Hanoi is #4 in the world in this year's Travellers' Choice Destinations Awards.... more
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Hanoi
Hanoi is #4 in the world in this year's Travellers' Choice Destinations Awards. The charming Vietnamese capital has aged well, preserving the Old Quarter, monuments and colonial architecture, while making room for modern developments alongside. Once called Thang Long, or "ascending dragon," this centuries-old city hasn't forgotten its past, as attested by sites such as Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Hoa Lo Prison. Lakes, parks, shady boulevards, and more than 600 temples and pagodas add to the appeal of this city, which is easily explored by taxi.
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The village cluster of Ubud, a Travellers' Choice Destination, is the ideal... more
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Ubud
The village cluster of Ubud, a Travellers' Choice Destination, is the ideal place to try a famed Balinese massage and soak up the ambiance of one of Asia’s top spa destinations. Acupressure, reflexology, stretching and aromatherapy star in the island's distinctively firm massage treatments. Ubud is also the vivacious centre of Bali’s arts scene, home to a small treasure trove of museums and galleries. Monkey around at nearby nature reserve Monkey Forest Park, home to hundreds of mischievous long-tailed macaques. Don’t miss the valley of tomb cloisters at Gunung Kawi.
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Golden palaces, floating markets, majestic porcelain-laid spires…you've never... more
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Bangkok
Golden palaces, floating markets, majestic porcelain-laid spires…you've never seen a capital city quite like Bangkok, a Travellers' Choice Destination for 2015. Visit Pratunam or Siam Square for premium shopping, then unwind in the European-style gardens of Dusit. Thon Buri is home to the awesome Wat Arun temple, and over in Phra Nakhon, you’ll find the Wat Pho temple of the Reclining Buddha. Savor mango sticky rice at a food stall before taking in the gilded splendor of the Grand Palace.
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Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital and a Travellers' Choice Destination, is surrounded... more
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Kathmandu
Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital and a Travellers' Choice Destination, is surrounded by a valley full of historic sites, ancient temples, shrines, and fascinating villages. Mingle with locals and animals amid Durbar Square’s monuments, or join mountain trekkers in the bustling Thamel District. Explore shops for exquisite work by local artisans—carpets and paper prints are specialties.
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Delectable dim sum, floating islands, and a one-of-a-kind skyline are just some... more
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Hong Kong
Delectable dim sum, floating islands, and a one-of-a-kind skyline are just some unique features of Hong Kong, a 2015 Travellers' Choice Destination. Get an eyeful of traditional Chinese architecture in Ngong Ping village, or take the tram to the tippity-top of Victoria Peak for unparalleled views. The rocks and gentle hills of Nan Lian Garden will bring you inner peace, as will a calming cup of tea in a Stanley café. Become one with everything at the Chi Lin Nunnery, a serene Buddhist complex.
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This city on the central Vietnamese coast is a well-preserved example of the... more
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Hoi An
This city on the central Vietnamese coast is a well-preserved example of the important Southeast Asian trading port it was from the 15th-19th centuries. Already a common stop for backpackers, it is becoming better known to tourists. On the 14th day of each lunar month, the town trades its electric lights for traditional coloured lanterns. Sights include the Japanese Covered Bridge and the Quan Cong Temple. Let the town’s expert tailors make you some bespoke clothing.
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Bali’s bustling capital city is a mélange of shopping centres, day spas,... more
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Denpasar
Bali’s bustling capital city is a mélange of shopping centres, day spas, restaurants and unique cultural relics. Engage in thoughtful meditation at a Hindu temple; visit the Bali Museum for a taste of local art, music, theatre and textiles; find spiritual and physical balance during a paddleboard yoga class; or mingle with the locals at Puputan Park, where a bronze monument honors the Balinese people who staged a suicidal resistance against occupying Dutch forces in 1906.
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Seminyak boasts some of the most glorious beaches in Bali. Be sure to catch the... more
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Seminyak
Seminyak boasts some of the most glorious beaches in Bali. Be sure to catch the legendary sunsets and enjoy the tranquil beauty, and marvel at Balinese ceremonies on the beach, complete with gamelan players and offerings to the gods. Of course, don’t let the smooth sands and intricate cultural experiences distract you from spas and shopping! Sophisticated spas and high-end boutiques will entice you away from the waterfront—for a short time, anyway.
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Move over, Haussmann and l'Enfant. Beijing's urban planner beat you by a couple... more
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Beijing
Move over, Haussmann and l'Enfant. Beijing's urban planner beat you by a couple of centuries. His name is Kublai Khan. Here, you'll find a wealth of history, both ancient (the Hall of Preserving Harmony, Summer Palace, Forbidden City) and more recent (Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, Tienanmen Square). For the best market experience, choose the Dirt Market over the touristy Silk Market.
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Chiang Mai is a study in vibrant contrasts—here, ancient temples (over 300) are... more
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Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is a study in vibrant contrasts—here, ancient temples (over 300) are as much of a draw as trendy bars, hotels and restaurants. You’ll also find adventure activities (like white-water rafting tours) and a wide range of spas.
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If you take one look at the glorious stucco buildings that line Jaipur's wide... more
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Jaipur
If you take one look at the glorious stucco buildings that line Jaipur's wide streets, you'll understand why this is nicknamed "The Pink City." Spend your days exploring City Palace, Hawa Mahal, and Amber and Jaigarh forts. And if you're looking for a unique souvenir, head to one of the bazaars, where you can pick up a pair of camel-leather slippers.
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Vietnam's bustling largest city sets the cultural and economic pace for the... more
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Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam's bustling largest city sets the cultural and economic pace for the country. The former Saigon boasts charming French colonial architecture and wide boulevards, usually thronged and choked with traffic. Taxis are an option for seeing the sprawling city. The War Remnants Museum shows the Vietnam War through Vietnamese eyes. Don't miss the impressive Jade Emperor Pagoda. Go to the frenetic Ben Thanh Market for food, flowers or frogs. Take a tour through the Mekong Delta, past rice paddies and houseboats.
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Hue is clustered around the Perfume River, which splits the capital of the... more
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Hue
Hue is clustered around the Perfume River, which splits the capital of the Nguyễn Dynasty in two. There are endless must-see historic sites, especially those that are UNESCO World Heritage designated. Sightseeing can include the ornate Imperial Citadel, colorful Thanh Toan Bridge, royal tombs and the Forbidden Purple City. Spend a moment in quiet contemplation if you visit Hue Jungle Crevice, where thousands of citizens were pushed to their deaths.
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Laid out by British architect Edwin Lutyens, the Indian capital is a striking... more
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New Delhi
Laid out by British architect Edwin Lutyens, the Indian capital is a striking modern metropolis. A gracious contrast to Old Delhi's winding streets, the grand avenues and stately buildings of New Delhi are rich with history and culture, from Gandhi's Delhi home (and the site of his assassination) to the tomb of Humayun, a complex of Mughal buildings reminiscent of the Taj Mahal. Chaotic traffic is best left to the locals. Negotiate a good price for taxis or travel on the new Delhi Metro.
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Tokyo can't be judged from the outside, since those expecting ancient monuments... more
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Tokyo
Tokyo can't be judged from the outside, since those expecting ancient monuments will instead be greeted with modern drabness. The Imperial Palace, still home to the Emperor, shouldn't be missed, and the Edo-Tokyo Museum details the city's history. Sensoji Temple is the city's oldest, and the Tokyo National Museum holds the largest collection of Japanese art in the world.
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Shanghai is the cool, confident face of modern China, and its energy is... more
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Shanghai
Shanghai is the cool, confident face of modern China, and its energy is infectious. Go to the Bund to watch ships on the river and marvel at the huge variety of architectural styles on display, or watch the crowds go by in People’s Square. Shoppers should make a beeline for the Fabric Market, where you can have a suit or dress tailor-made for you at bargain prices. At night, explore all manner of fashionable restaurants, bars and nightclubs or just stroll through the city enjoying the spectacular neon lights.
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Singapore is known as a bustling metropolis that also happens to be one of the... more
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Singapore
Singapore is known as a bustling metropolis that also happens to be one of the cleanest and safest cities of its size in the world. (Just make sure you heed the local laws—something like spitting in the street might merely be considered rude in your hometown, but here, it carries a severe penalty.) You'll find historic sites like the Thian Hock Keng temple, superlative shopping (including gargantuan malls) and numerous beaches.
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Budget-minded travellers will appreciate Phnom Penh's reasonably priced hotel... more
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Phnom Penh
Budget-minded travellers will appreciate Phnom Penh's reasonably priced hotel rooms (several top-rated hotels on TripAdvisor offer rooms around $40/night). Explore the city's temples, palaces and remnants of its French colonial history. Just outside the city, the The Killing Fields (Choeung Ek) are a reminder of Cambodia's tragic past—a somber contrast to the booming city of today.
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Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), India, is famous for its chaotic streets. For... more
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Mumbai
Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), India, is famous for its chaotic streets. For bargains and people-watching, outdoor bazaars top the list of attractions. Popular waterfront destinations are Marine Drive, where visitors go to watch the sun set over the Arabian Sea, and the carnival-like Juhu Beach. More sightseeing options are the Gandhi Museum, in the leader's former home, and the cave temples of Elephanta Island. For tranquillity, Mumbai has many religious sites, lakes and parks.
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Situated on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, Pattaya receives millions of... more
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Pattaya
Situated on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, Pattaya receives millions of visitors annually. Family-friendly Jomtien Beach makes a pleasant contrast to crowded, polluted Pattaya Beach, with its jetskis and beach bars. Daytrips to nearby island groups are popular diversions, as are days spent at Pattaya's 21 golf courses and slew of amusement parks. Although more families are now visiting the city, most tourists flock for Pattay's legendary nightlife. Baht bus routes cover main streets.
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The dramatic and romantic desert fortress of Jaisalmer is an exotic city in... more
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Jaisalmer
The dramatic and romantic desert fortress of Jaisalmer is an exotic city in Rajasthan’s great Thar Desert. "The Golden City" rose to prominence as a result of its position on camel trade routes. It's now most famous for the 12th-century fort and ornate "Havelis," fine merchant-built houses and pavilions in the city’s mediaeval lanes. The surrounding Desert National Park offers opportunities to observe blackbucks, desert foxes and chinkaras amid the rolling dunes, rugged crags and waterholes.
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Lijiang is a beautifully preserved ancient Chinese town, infused with cultural... more
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Lijiang
Lijiang is a beautifully preserved ancient Chinese town, infused with cultural flavour. Strolling along the 800-year-old bridges and waterways of the world-famous Old Town district is like stepping back in time. Don’t miss the views atop Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, and the Dongba cultural centre of Jade Water Village.
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From modern skyscrapers and neon lights to Buddhist temples, palaces and... more
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Seoul
From modern skyscrapers and neon lights to Buddhist temples, palaces and pagodas, Seoul is a fascinating mix of old and new. A hub of business, culture and finance both within South Korea and internationally, Seoul houses the headquarters for some of the world's largest corporations. It also has one of the world's best subway systems – the easiest way to get around in this densely populated area. For the best view of the city, go to the tower on Namsan, one of the mountains that encircle the city.
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You can eat very well—and very cheaply—in Taipei. The restaurants may not look... more
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Taipei
You can eat very well—and very cheaply—in Taipei. The restaurants may not look posh, but the quality of the food is superlative. And there’s a huge variety of restaurants—in addition to local Taiwanese specialties, you’ll find regional cuisines from all over China, as well as great Indian, Japanese and even Italian options. Just make sure to leave some room for snacks—street-vendor food here is addictive.
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