From the modern marvels of Shanghai to the hectic markets of Bangkok, Asia has dozens of must-see yet wildly contrasting destinations. Begin your adventure now with flights starting from £349 on Lufthansa.
In partnership with Lufthansa.
Experience Shanghai from £349
Shanghai has a population of just over 24 million, making it China’s second-most populous city – and certainly the most striking thanks to its futuristic skyline. The 632-metre-tall Shanghai Tower dominates it all, taking the crown as the tallest building in China and the second-tallest in the world. Its super-fast lifts travel at around 20 metres per second, so you can reach the observation deck on the 118th and 119th floors in a matter of moments – but make sure to book in advance to avoid the queues. But if you’d rather observe the skyline from terra firma, The Bund is a waterfront stretch of historical buildings that provides excellent views of the city.
Discover Bangkok from £379
Bangkok is a great destination for a luxury city break, with its wealth of five-star hotels – like Banyan Tree Bangkok. This hotel is home to the amazing open-air Vertigo restaurant and Moon Bar on its top floor, 61 storeys up, so you can enjoy stunning views along with your dinner. And Bangkok offers plenty of vibrant markets to explore, including the remarkable floating markets. Taling Chan Floating Market in Thonburi is one of five water-borne trading extravaganzas – hire a long-tail boat at any of the nearby piers for a close-up look at locals selling and cooking fresh food from traditional wooden boats.
Fly to Singapore from £389
The pristine streets of Singapore are undergoing something of a green revolution at the moment, where skyscrapers are being designed to be covered in thick layers of vegetation, bringing colour and life to the streets. You can enjoy the greenery yourself at the PARKROYAL on Pickering hotel, which has balconies festooned with lush plants. But the Singapore Botanic Gardens are perhaps the best place to embrace nature in this thoroughly modern city – the 160-year-old gardens have been named Asia’s top park attraction and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Explore Beijing from £359
The capital of China has thousands of years of history to explore – and a good place to start is at the Forbidden City. This enormous complex, which covers around 72 hectares, dates from the early fifteenth century, and was home to Chinese emperors for around 500 years until the early part of the twentieth century. And around 80 kilometres north of Beijing in Badaling you’ll find one of the best-preserved sections of the momentous Great Wall of China, which dates back to around 1500 AD.
Visit Seoul from £439
Seoul, nicknamed the ‘Miracle on the Han River’ as a result of its phenomenal rise in wealth since the 1940s, is a fascinating city to explore thanks to its mixture of the hi-tech and traditional. There’s no shortage of gleaming skyscrapers and enormous shopping malls – like Starfield Hanam, a mall the size of 70 football pitches – but you’re never far away from nature and history, either. The city is surrounded by mountains that provide a constant counterpoint to the high-rises, and on Ingwangsan (338 metres) you can find the ruins of an ancient castle as well as a stunning view of the city below.
Explore Ho Chi Minh City from £439
The former Saigon is a bustling, vibrant city, full of labyrinthine alleys to explore and markets to peruse, where you can sample some of Asia’s finest street food. It also does a fine line in luxury accommodation, like The Reverie hotel with its famous giant carriage clock made with 24-carat gold. And there are plenty of grand colonial buildings to explore, like the Municipal Theatre (aka Saigon Opera House) and the imposing Central Post Office, as well as unbounded natural beauty beyond the city limits – for those with a longer stay in mind, a trip to see the beautiful islands of Halong Bay in the north of Vietnam is a must.
Fly to Phuket from £399
Thailand’s largest island is famed for its gorgeous white, sandy beaches and striking limestone cliffs – karsts – that rise almost vertically from the sea. The island is also famed for its luxury accommodation, like the beautiful Anantara resort on Layan Beach, with its private beach and spa, or the idyllic Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary on Bang Tao Beach. And the island is one of the best diving spots in the world, the waters filled with colourful corals and exotic creatures like sea turtles and lionfish. Various operators offer day trips catering to all diving abilities, as well as multi-day ‘liveaboard’ trips around the islands of the Andaman Sea.
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Published October 2019. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.