For all of Asia’s natural wonder, sometimes you really can’t beat a great city. The sensory cacophony of an Asian city is a hard thing to capture in a single photograph or a single story, but that didn’t stop us from tracking down some of our favourite travel bloggers this month, with the question: “What’s your most unforgettable Asian city?” We weren’t disappointed! Here are a few of our favourite stories.
“I loved Singapore even before I had set foot there. My father grew up in the city in the 50s and I, in turn, grew up listening to his stories of monkeys stealing his breakfast, durian for afternoon tea and a city full of nature. Now, the development of Marina Bay and the high-rise buildings all over the island have taken away much of that nature, but some pockets of unspoilt wilderness remain, even in the heart of the city-state.
An example is MacRitchie Reservoir, a huge park surrounding a reservoir that provides drinking water to much of Singapore. The park is absolutely huge -we tried crossing it on foot and only got half-way! The picture you can see was taken from the top of the treetop walk at MacRitchie reservoir – we had to be careful as monkeys were trying to steal my bag! Nature in the city is one of the things I love best about Singapore, and another one is food! I could spend days going from one food court to the other. Even though, I believe the mainreason why I love the city so much is because my dad left a piece of his heart there – and now I have, too.”
Evo Terra and Sheila Dee
“We’ve been travelling Southeast Asia for almost 10 months now, and it’s hard to pick a favourite. So instead, we’re going to buck the trend and say: “where we are right now”, which happens to be Pattaya, Thailand! Yes, all the crazy stories are true. But there’s also a city like any other city, with people going about their business as they do every day. We simply love it, because we love the opportunities we’re offered along our journeys in every city. Come join us!”
Read more about Evo and Sheila in Thailand here.
Rob Cadore and Nat Deduck
“No doubt about our answer, Bangkok is our favourite city in Southeast Asia! The first time we landed her, we kind of hated it – too big, too messy, too hot… Everything in Bangkok is too much. And that’s also the reason we love it! Bangkok is cosmopolitan – here you can find people from all around the world. Different faces, stunning architecture, great parties and delicious international food. But besides all of the modernity and international faces, you can still find and feel the real Thai culture.
The scents of the street food, the prayers, the temples, the smile on people’s faces… Bangkok is a big city, full of noise and life 24 hours a day. But, it still has a good heart and a traditional Thai soul. It’s not an easy city. It can be challenging to understand and like it. But once you let the love and kindness of the Thai people reach you, I’m sure you will fall in love with Bangkok, too!”
Read more from Rob and Nat in Bangkok and other favourite spots here.
“We’ve been to Asia many, many times. It’s one of those starter destinations as an Australian. Not too far to travel, and not too expensive, either! The very place I visited was a place called Krung Thep Mahanakhon amon Rattanakosin Mihantara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Buirom Udonratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sithit Sakkathaittiya Witsanukam Prast…. also known as Bangkok. And I’ve had a love affair with it ever since.
The bustling streets, the smells that waft through the air (both good and bad), the chaos of the traffic, the peacefulness of the temples and, of course, the delectable food. What’s not to love about this crazy city. One thing we always do in Bangkok is visit the Chinatown street food market on a Friday or Saturday night. Here, you will find an amazing array of vendors selling delights that any foodie will enjoy. It’s always worth a visit – no matter how many times we’ve been!”
Read more from Meagan and her top tips for Bangkok here.
Haven’t found your ultimate Asian city yet? We can help you discover it! Here’s how to create an itinerary just for you.