The mystery and intrigue of Asia has long attracted crowds of curious visitors. However the worn-out elegant and flea markets which characterised the backpacking path of the 1960s now mix perfectly with a rather more indulgent style of travel.
Designer shopping, luxurious hotels, modern conveniences – all the hallmarks of fantastic luxury travel can now be found amongst Asia’s finest cities and islands. Here are 5 of the very best destinations for high-end travel in Asia.
1. Seoul, South Korea
Just recently named among the leading three cities to check out in 2010, Seoul is a significantly cosmopolitan and modern city. If labels are your thing, shopping here is heaven – Myeongdong is packed shoulder-to-shoulder with shops. The shiny Coex Mall is another great sight, situated in the most desirable suburb in the city.
When you’ve developed a hunger at the stores, the Samsung Tower in Jungno-Sam-Ga provides both a luxurious menu and fascinating city views. Seoul likewise withs a fantastic boutique hotel, The W at Walkerhill. Inside, the clean-cut red and white design contrasts the opulence of Bosch soundsytems, Jacuzzi bath tubs and the longest bar in the city.
2. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Forget Bangkok and Phuket, Thailand’s ‘New City’ – the significance of Chiang Mai in English – has both conventional culture and modernist high-end at hand. Skyscrapers sit side by side here with hill trips, jungle trips and elephant trips, with the facilities and soft sheets of an extravagant hotel never far away.
3. Bali, Indonesia
The tropical azure seas and soft white sands of Bali will never cannot dissatisfy a visitor to Asia. In spite of becoming increasing popular, Bali hasn’t lost its idyll and unspoiled nature. Surrender your mind, body and spirit to total tranquillity at one of the 5 star hotels which the island now takes pride in.
4. The Maldives
If Bali isn’t quite remote enough for your tastes, The Maldives has the answer. A string of tiny coral islands each circling a lagoon – referred to as atolls – spread throughout the Indian Ocean, this is the location for travelers who are looking for total privacy and isolation. This does not suggest passing up convenience, however – many of the islands are now personal luxury resorts created for indulgence.
A firm favourite among the rich and attractive for its clean living and sleek modernist architecture, Singapore is still one of the best locations for shopping and dining in Asia. Equaling Milan and New York as a fashion-forward city, the Takashimaya and ION shopping malls are the home of every designer shop you can possibly imagine, from Cartier to Gucci.