There are many fascinating metropolises in Asia that offer everything from modern shopping to traditional cultural experiences. The old cities of Asia, many of which were founded hundreds of years ago, are constantly changing and evolving. For tourists, they therefore offer both modern experiences and fascinating historical sites, such as beautifully decorated temples.
In the big cities of Asia, you will find everything you could hope for.
Explore 5 fascinating Asian cities below.
According to Countryaah.com, Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, has as many as 9.2 million inhabitants, making it the most populous city in the country – and in fact, Bangkok is home to as much as 13 percent of the country’s population. The city has grown significantly since the 1980s and today consists of 50 different districts, further subdivided into 169 smaller districts.
Bangkok’s strong growth is clearly visible in the cityscape. In addition to the temples erected hundreds of years ago, the building stock now includes modern skyscrapers, the construction of which has not spared glass or steel. It is this fascinating combination of history and modernity that makes the city unique.
Bangkok’s many incredibly beautiful and fascinating historical monuments and temples are especially worth seeing. One example is the glorious Great Palace, which served as the home of the Thai royal family for 150 years from 1782 onwards. Today, the Royal Palace is open to the public, so you can visit the famous Golden Pagoda and its beautiful temples in the palace area. The most important of these is Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), which preserves emerald buddha carved from one jade block.
The Chatuchak weekend market is the largest market in Bangkok and perhaps the world. More than 8,000 stalls have been erected to do business, selling everything between earth and heaven. If you want to get beautiful scarves as a gift, buy chopsticks for Thai-themed dinners or sample local ice cream, Chatuchak is the place to be.
The capital of China, Beijing, is located in the north of the country.
Beijing was founded almost 3,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. For hundreds of years, Beijing has acted as a concentration of power, from which time the whole of China has been controlled sometimes more and sometimes less by iron. Over time, the city has been known by several different names, the current one, Beijing, is already sixteenth.
Today, Beijing is a massive city of millions, with as many as 11% of its 22 million inhabitants carrying the surname Wang.
Due to Beijing’s long history, the city also has a lot of interesting cultural heritage and historical attractions that can quickly be explored in an hour or so. As many as seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites are located in and around Beijing, including the Great Wall of China , the Summer Palace and the Forbidden City, the largest palace in the world.
What many Chinese monuments have in common is their incredibly huge size! The Great Wall of China stretches as far as 8,852 kilometers across the country, the Forbidden City includes up to 970 buildings and more than 8,700 rooms, and the Summer Palace area has 3,000 different buildings, bridges and towers.
Tokyo is the capital of Japan, with its very different Districts offering a huge range of unique attractions. According to Allcitypopulation.com, Tokyo is the largest city in Asia.
The metropolitan infrastructure is an attraction in itself, and well-functioning transportation links are important as Tokyo’s 9.36 million residents need to be able to move smoothly from place to place. Shinjuku Railway Station is the busiest station in Tokyo. 3.6 million people pass through the station every day, making it also one of the busiest train stations in the world.
Tokyo is divided into 23 different enclaves, or practically districts, each with its own unique atmosphere.
The Asakusa district is a real must-see. Its most notable attraction is the 1300-year-old Sensō-Jin Buddhist temple. The Ueno enclave, on the other hand, is known for its fine museums, but its main attraction is Ueno Park and its zoo. Japan is also known all over the world for its annual cherry blossom season, and Ueno Park is enveloped every spring in subtle shades of pink as the cherries bloom.
Tokyo is also a mecca for every shopper, culture-hungry and big consumer of entertainment! If you enjoy shopping around, you’ll find the largest concentration of fashion houses and electronics stores in the Ginza district. Morning crochet should be directed at Ginza to Tsukiji’s fish market, which is the largest in the world. The most expensive fish sold in the market can cost thousands of euros!
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
As far back as the 16th century, the city of Ho Chi Minh was a small port city called Prey Nokor, which was in fact part of Cambodia. Today, the city of Ho Chi Minh has expanded to a metropolis with 8.2 million inhabitants, which is also the largest city in all of Vietnam.
When you visit Ho Chi Minh City for the first time, the busy traffic can seem confusing, and not without reason. Every day, about 1.5 million motorcycles shuttle on the streets of the big city. There are as many as 25 times as many motorcycles as there are cars.
History has left its mark on the urban cityscape, and today the architecture of the city of Ho Chi Minh shows both French colonial buildings and skyscrapers built of steel and glass.
The history of Vietnam as a French colony in the 19th century has had a particular impact on the city’s architecture. The most famous building from that time is the old Saigon Central Post Office, designed by Gustave Eiffel, known for his tower in Paris. The post office is a remarkably beautiful building and is therefore also part of the travel program of many tourists.
A few hours ’drive from the city of Ho Chi Minh City are the underground Củ Chi tunnels built by the Vietnamese guerrillas during the Vietnam War. The tunnel system included command centers, accommodation, schools, and training facilities. Tunnels were also used during the war for surprise attacks against American troops.
Vietnam is also famous for its food culture . Vietnamese especially prefer the city’s small street eateries, which are said to be among the best in the world. While temperatures can be high, hot tea is a favorite of many locals. There are tea rooms everywhere, the owners of which are usually happy to tell the customer about the different teas and their effects.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, is located along the Mekong River. The city was founded as early as 1372, but did not become its capital until 1865.
You can get a good idea of Phnom Penh’s gloomy past at the Tuol Sleng Museum. The museum tells of the genocide that killed 17,000 people in the fields of Choeung Ek’s death while the Khmer Rouge ruled from 1975-1979.
Today, however, travelers to the capital can enjoy its uniquely charming atmosphere. Namely, in Phnom Penh, beautiful French colonial villas stand side by side with glorious Buddhist temples. One of the finest is the Silver Pagoda, whose floor is covered with 5,000 silver tiles, from which the temple is named. The temple also houses a golden Buddha statue weighing as much as 90 kg.
The National Museum of Cambodia is the largest museum in the country and definitely worth a visit. The building made of red sandstone itself is an incredibly beautiful example of Khmer architecture. In the evenings, head to the lively Phsar Thmey Market, where you can buy just about anything from jewelry to clothing and souvenirs to fresh fish and seafood.