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The 10 Best Tourism Cities in Asia

June 24th, 2009 by

Asia is a continent jam packed with diversity. No matter where you turn you’ll find yourself faced with a new culture, unique and friendly people, and the opportunity to see and explore some of the greatest historic and cultural monuments on earth.

The sky’s the limit but, unfortunately, most of us are limited on time. Instead, you’ll want to start your Asian exploration by visiting some of these incredible cities first.

10. Bangkok, Thailand


The city of Bangkok has undergone several “rebirths” – for lack of a better word – throughout history. The first major change happened during the Vietnam War when soldiers flocked to the city looking for a quiet place to relax. Later, during the 1980’s, the city became a hot spot economically – a place where those with money to burn wanted to visit. A favorite hotel in the early 90’s was the new Sukhothai Hotel and even though there are dozens of other hot spots, this particular destination remains a favorite amongst regulars. Now the area is one of the hippest, chic cities in all of Asia.

9. Udaipur, India


Image Credit:Abhishek-srivastava

In the capital of the state of Rajasthan you’ll find an Indian city bustling with pride and culture. Historically, Udaipur was the capital of Mewar, which was once part of the Rajputana Agency. The city, known mostly for its incredible palaces, is also known as the City of Lakes – a place where some of the most incredible lakes in the state come together. The most popular palace, Lake Palace, sits on an island in Pichola Lake while most of the other palaces have transformed into luxurious hotels.


Image Credit: LivinTheDream

8. Chiang Mai, Thailand

chiang mai, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

The city of Chiang Mai has been in existence for over 700 years. It has the distinction of being one of the rare places in Thailand where you will find age-old historic buildings and temples combined with some of today’s finest modern architecture. Years ago tourists would only visit Chiang Mai for a day, believing that there was really nothing to see. Today they instead plan extra time for Chiang Mai as they now understand there’s always something new to discover – whether in the city or in the surrounding countryside.
chiang mai, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

7. Luang Prabang, Laos

golden triangle vacation - luang prabang day 1, laos_20071220_126

While Luang Prabang is no longer the capital of Laos, it is still considered to be the religious center of the country. When visiting this province you’ll be surrounded by ornate Theravada Buddhist temples, peaceful homes, and buildings finished in a French Indochinese style.  The city itself is set where the Mekong and Khan Rivers meet and consistently enchants visitors arriving by boat from around the world.

6. Jaipur, India

59 - Parade of decorated elephants, Jaipur Elephant Festival

Jaipur is perhaps one of the most visited cities in India. Once serving as the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur was the very first officially planned city in the country to be built. The city now serves as a major hub for businesses, resembling the business district in any major metropolitan city. Visit during one of the many festivals, like the Kite or Elephant festivals, for an experience you’ll always remember.


Image Credit: mckaysavage

5. Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto: Ninjo Castle main hall 1171

The city of Kyoto served as the capital of Japan for hundreds of years – from 794 through 1868. No longer the capital, it is instead known for being the seventh largest city in Japan. Kyoto was destroyed throughout history by fires and war, though its enemies did recognize its historic value and later spared it from further attack. Now the city is home to more than 1.4 million people and presents an incredibly modern face to the rest of the known world.


Image Credit: jimg944

4. Hong Kong, China


The city of Hong Kong began as a colony of the United Kingdom and remained so until it was transferred to the People’s Republic of China in 1997. Hong Kong operates under its own laws except for instances involving foreign affairs which are deferred to the government of the People’s Republic. Visitors are often surprised at how different life in Hong Kong is compared to other areas of China – featuring a unique currency, traditions, and lifestyle.
Tian Tan Buddha

3. Kathmandu, Nepal


Situated in the heart of the Himalayans, Kathmandu is considered to be one of the most stunning cities in existence today. The city serves as the capital of Nepal and rests in the Kathmandu Valley with two other small cities. Today Kathmandu serves as the capital of Nepal and houses several palaces, government buildings, and international embassies. The shopping districts are world renowned and the hotels in Kathmandu are amongst the most luxurious in the world.

2. Siem Reap, Cambodia


The charming town of Siem Reap is a destination in itself, though most people initially think of it as only a base point for further trips to the Angkor ruins and other surrounding attractions. Most of the architecture in the city, which was originally built over a period of 30 years during the mid-1100’s, portrays French colonial styles. Visitors will be astounded  by the beautiful samples off Khmer architecture and artwork that do still exist today.


Image Credit:Mendhak

1. Beijing, China


Image Credit:jimg944

Most recently known as the home to the 2008 Olympics, Beijing is the second largest city in China and serves as the capital for the People’s Republic of China. The city is so old, in fact, that almost every building has some sort of cultural or historic significance – no matter how small. Throughout the city you’ll find yourself faced with incredible temples, palaces, and works of art that will leave you breathless.
Golden River bridge. Forbidden City.

Every city throughout Asia has a story of its own. It’s up to you to explore them all and find out exactly what each one has to offer. Enjoy!

21 Responses to “The 10 Best Tourism Cities in Asia”

  1. ??????? Says:

    This is Great but where is Kuala Lumpr where is Bali where is Singapore …..

  2. Sameep Baxi Says:

    There is somethin wrong with the statistics, Udaipur has been ranked as the no. 1 city not only in asia but in the whole world.

  3. Mack Says:

    Very informative post. Kathmandu is a best place for family trip. Holy waters of the River Bagmati river can take you in the cuffs of epidemic diseases. In River Bagmati all the the waste material has transformed. lack of maintenance wastewater treatment plant was not even work. Dangerous chemicals and waste water in the rivers due to which the river water is not even use for water and for other activities.

  4. Andy Says:

    Two words for you, Tokyo, Seoul.

  5. jezylejohn Says:

    The Top ten best tourism cities in Asia above are not true because CEBU CITY is the most beatiful city in the world……………………..

  6. Chen Ly Says:

    Could you tell us what is the source of that rating? And what is the methodology to rate the aboved tourism cities?

  7. ray Says:

    It’s good
    but maybe u have forgotten someplace. Ubud, a city in Indonesia is a good place to visit. It’s located in the island of Bali

  8. junsu Says:

    this is not accurate…..

  9. sakamal Says:

    talking about Asia without naming singapore and Malaysia? better talk for top ten in india only

  10. Abaca 8 Says:

    What criteria were used for this ranking? It seems to me there’s only one: “Which Asian city has a large building of historic (i.e. quite old) and religious value?” But what about city night life, shopping, entertainment amenities, sports facilities and all the other things that really make a city great. Then I would say, following cities are missing: Hong Kong, Macau, Manila, Singapore, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai… In other words: the ranking shown above is only useful for wanna-be-Indiana Jones, for the rest of us, look for better rankings on the net!

  11. milo donatello Says:

    the list is wrong.jaipur should be the best city.

  12. abraham Says:

    the list is wrong….

  13. whosayscebucityisthebestcitymustbeadarkstinkybiasedfilipino Says:

    my name speaks for itself

  14. gracey Says:

    i think the statistic is wrong,coz something is missing above the mentioned.
    where is shanghai,this city is fascinating…
    singapore,tokyo,macau as well…

  15. gracey Says:

    yup u r right abaca 8,evendo i dont even know you,the ranking shown above is only useful for wanna be indiana jones,,,heheh

  16. Dr. Warren Says:

    SHANGHAI???? Why not on this list? It’s much more fun and interesting than Beijing.

  17. Grace Says:

    How bout the Philippines?

  18. nilo Says:

    Cebu is really a beautiful city as tourist destination in asia because of its beautiful beaches,culture,hospitality peolpe,shopping,tourism development and colorful cities.

  19. scribbler Says:

    this truly sucks. people from anywhere in asia flock to cebu in search for paradise in the world. just forget manila though…

  20. yael Says:

    This is not official guys…Accdg to World Tourism Centre, Cebu City is its fourth best city to visit!
    Its in the Philippines guyS!

  21. sathish Says:

    where is MUMBAI CITY(india)

    where is NEW DELHI CITY.(india)

    where is GOA CITY(more than 3 millions people are visiting this city)

    where is TOKYO(japan)

    where is jakarkat( indonesia

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