Every destination around the world has a few words that are immediately thrown around when their name comes up. France is “chic” and “stylish”. New York is “sprawling” and “busy”. So if you want to pick a holiday destination, you could just choose a few words that interest you and Google for matching places.
The problem with that is that no place is as cookie-cutter as a few words. London, for example, may be “historical”, but it’s also “high tech”. Sweden may be recognized as “off-beat” and “cool”, but is also “architecturally beautiful”. And then you could take an entire area like East Asia. It’s seen by many as being “mysterious” or “ethereal”; what many people don’t realize how modern and cool much of it is. It’s not just in the areas you might expect – such as Tokyo or Shanghai – either. There are also a few other destinations you really don’t want to miss.
It’s surprising how little most of us know about Singapore. What’s certain is that the number of people living there and moving in and out on business every year, has led to it becoming a thriving and stylish hub for visitors. There’s something here for everyone; from the unashamedly touristy Universal Studios theme park, to some more off beat destinations for the quirkier traveler.
Perhaps most intriguing among the latter is the Night Safari. Opened in 1994, and full of animals whose routines are nocturnal. This way, visitors get to see them at their most natural. You will find creatures as diverse as rhinos, pangolins, and the always-adorable red panda.
Run by Britain until 1997 – when it was handed over to China – Hong Kong bears the marks of influence from both its ruling countries. This makes it a fascinating place to stay, particularly if you take advantage of the many hotel deals in Southside that can make your stay relatively inexpensive. It’s set to become a can’t-miss destination for visitors from the hipster shopper to the budding historian, so get in while you can.
Hong Kong is big on street markets, with perhaps the biggest being Ladies’ Market – a kilometre long paradise for the bargain hunter. Up to the minute ladies fashions to suit all styles can be found here; just a stone’s throw from the Temple Street night market. There, you will find the coolest and most diverse nightlife that Hong Kong has to offer.
If you were to sit down and make a list of likely tourist destinations, history might dissuade you from listing Vietnam. That would be an error, as Vietnam has put its recent military past behind it to become a place more than worth your tourist dollar.
Clever travellers will aim for Da Nang in the south of the country. This is where you’ll get more bang for your buck than anywhere else, with beautiful scenery from mountains to shore and the spectacular Ba Na resort. The magnificent Fantasy Park – inspired by the novels of Jules Verne – is ideal for all tourists, young and old. The highlight? It’s a tough call, but the 360 degree 3D mega-cinema is an experience you won’t want to miss.
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