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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, Tiananmen Square). For the best market experience, choose the Dirt Market over the touristy Silk Market.
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The charming Vietnamese capital has aged well, preserving the Old Quarter,... more
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Hanoi
The charming Vietnamese capital has aged well, preserving the Old Quarter, monuments and colonial architecture, while making room for modern developments alongside. Hanoi may have shrugged off several former names, including Thang Long, or "ascending dragon," but it hasn't forgotten its past, as sites such as Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Hoa Lo Prison attest. 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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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. 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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The largest city in China is also its most cosmopolitan, offering visitors a... more
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Shanghai
The largest city in China is also its most cosmopolitan, offering visitors a chance to experience the past, present, and future all at once. The Huangpu River splits Shanghai into two districts: Pudong and Puxi. The Pudong skyline looks like it was ripped from the Jetsons, with the bulbous Oriental Pearl TV and Radio Tower looking a bit like a two headed lollipop. On the Puxi side, you can walk the Bund riverside district to get a taste of old Shanghai.
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Golden palaces, floating markets, majestic porcelain-laid spires… is it a... more
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Bangkok
Golden palaces, floating markets, majestic porcelain-laid spires… is it a magical fairyland? Close. It’s Bangkok. Thailand's capital is split into 50 unique districts. Hit up 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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You could spend your whole Chiang Mai vacation exploring the famous Night... more
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Chiang Mai
You could spend your whole Chiang Mai vacation exploring the famous Night Bazaar. Once you’ve exhausted the art of the cheerful haggle, however, there’s plenty more to explore. The National Museum and Botanic Garden are great places to soak up some local culture and to breathe in the delicate fragrance of Thai orchids. In the city’s center, the remains of ancient walls embrace over 30 temples. Limber travelers can climb 300 stairs to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, an ornate Buddhist temple in the hills.
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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 of Hong Kong’s unique features. Get an eyeful of traditional Chinese architecture in Ngong Ping village, then 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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The village cluster of Ubud is the ideal place to try a famed Balinese massage... more
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Ubud
The village cluster of Ubud 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 center 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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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. Tour through the Mekong Delta, past rice paddies and houseboats.
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Nepal’s capital is surrounded by a valley full of historic sites, ancient... more
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Kathmandu
Nepal’s capital 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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New Delhi is all at once chaotic and calm, a complicated city where cows often... more
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New Delhi
New Delhi is all at once chaotic and calm, a complicated city where cows often wander the shanty-lined streets. The 17th century Red Fort is a mass of domes and turrets, while Chandni Chowk is an exercise in friendly haggling. Jantar Mantar features larger-than-life sundials and astronomical instruments that are still used to predict the weather. Travelers and locals flock to the India Gate, the national monument of India that honors the soldiers who died in World War I and the Third Afghan War.
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Tradition collides with pop culture in Tokyo, where you can reverently wander... more
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Tokyo
Tradition collides with pop culture in Tokyo, where you can reverently wander ancient temples before rocking out at a karaoke bar. Wake up before the sun to catch the lively fish auction at the Tsukiji Market, then refresh with a walk beneath the cherry blossom trees that line the Sumida River. Spend some time in the beautiful East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, then brush up on your Japanese history at the Edo-Tokyo Museum. Don’t forget to eat as much sushi, udon noodles, and wagashi (Japanese sweets) as your belly can handle.
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Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang Province and one of the seven ancient... more
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Hangzhou
Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang Province and one of the seven ancient capitals of China. It was described by Italian traveler Marco Polo as the finest and most luxurious city in the world. The West Lake scenic area contains over 60 cultural relic sites and several attractions of natural beauty, and a cruise on the lake is a good option to view several sites. Hangzhou is also a good place to visit a tea plantation.
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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 colored 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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The Singapore cityscape looks like it was ripped from the pages of a science... more
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Singapore
The Singapore cityscape looks like it was ripped from the pages of a science fiction comic book. If you’re hungry for a true Singapore experience, sample the myriad street foods or take a cultural cooking class. The Botanic Gardens and the Gardens By the Bay offer a slice of horticultural heaven, and the observation deck of the Sands SkyPark makes you feel like you’re high above the clouds. The banks and walkways along the Singapore River bustle with local activity.
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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 flavor. 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 center of Jade Water Village.
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Known as both the "Garden City" and "The Silicon Valley of India," Bangalore... more
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Bangalore
Known as both the "Garden City" and "The Silicon Valley of India," Bangalore (officially "Bengaluru") is a techie’s paradise, boasting the highest concentration of IT companies in the country. When you’re done geeking out, there are plenty of gardens, museums, natural features, palaces and temples to fill your dance card. Visit Vidhana Soudha, Cubbon Park and the Ulsoor Lake of Bangalore, well known for its beautiful locales and boating facilities. Bangalore is also a major center of Indian classical music and dance, and of vivid, cutting-edge nightlife.
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A maze of contradictions, Guangzhou's upscale malls and slums sit side by side.... more
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Guangzhou
A maze of contradictions, Guangzhou's upscale malls and slums sit side by side. Taxis prove the least intimidating way to negotiate this sprawling city and its congested traffic. Tree-lined Shaiman Island, popular with prospective adoptive parents from overseas, is ideal for shopping, strolling or a meal. Qingping Market is a vast street market not for the faint-hearted: Cats, dogs and anteaters are among creatures slaughtered on the spot. Flowery Pagoda provides more peaceful contemplation.
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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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Perched in a high mountain valley, Huanglong or Yellow Dragon National Park... more
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Chengdu
Perched in a high mountain valley, Huanglong or Yellow Dragon National Park offers invigorating adventure options. The ambitious can trek to Lhasa, whitewater raft or embark on multi-day river journeys. Alternatively, a five-mile trot brings you to five terraced, temple pools glowing with stunning hues.
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Though Mumbai can feel chaotic and crowded, there are peaceful moments to be... more
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Mumbai (Bombay)
Though Mumbai can feel chaotic and crowded, there are peaceful moments to be found here. Nibble a paper cone of bhelpuri while you stroll the sands of Chowpatty Beach. Then, take a short walk to Mani Bhavan, where Mahatma Gandhi once lived, strategized, and was ultimately arrested. The markets are spirited places to bargain for spices or souvenirs. Take a guided tour of Dharavi – made famous by "Slumdog Millionaire" – for an eye-opening glimpse into what Mumbai life is like for nearly a million people.
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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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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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Seoul is the business and cultural hub of South Korea, where skyscrapers tower... more
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Seoul
Seoul is the business and cultural hub of South Korea, where skyscrapers tower over Buddhist temples. Take it all in from the N Seoul Tower, built atop a peak in Namsan Park. The teahouses and shops of Insadong give you a taste of Korean flavor, which you can further experience with a visit to the grounds and museums of Gyeongbokgung. UNESCO World Heritage Site Changdeokgung Palace is a fine example of authentic ancient architecture.
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Located in the south of China, the cityscape--Shenzhen-- is home to some of the... more
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Shenzhen
Located in the south of China, the cityscape--Shenzhen-- is home to some of the most modern buildings worldwide. Although this area is largely industrial, it offers many tourist attractions, such as the Chinese folk Culture Village, Safari Park, and beach resorts. Perhaps one of the most frequented tourist attractions is Window of the World, which offers replicas of the Eiffel tower, the pyramids, and Taj Mahal. 
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