Asian cities are fast becoming hotspots for travel. In 2017, the region took up nearly half of the Top 100 city destinations. Travel agents say the crowds will only grow thicker. So if you’re heading to one of these 5 popular Asian cities, here are some things you may not have known about them.
- Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is the top international tourist destination around the world, with over 20 million visitors in 2017.
But did you know, the name ‘Bangkok’ is rarely used by locals to address their capital city? Locals call it ‘Krung Thep’ instead.
Still, it isn’t even the official name.
The city’s official name is a mouthful to say.
Try ‘Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsa nukamprasit’.
Stumbled yet? Well, it holds the title for the longest capital city name in the world.
And this one’s for the foodies. If you’ve ever stepped into the city’s Chinatown, you might have been surprised by its sheer size.
The Yaowarat Chinatown area is the biggest Chinatown anywhere in the world, as it is home to the largest Chinese community outside of China.
It has been called a ‘fine’ country, a reference leaning to the absurd number of things one can legally be fined for in the tiny city-state.
But it’s not all bad, according to hugely popular travel vlogger Nas Daily, who was so impressed by the country that he was criticized for his excessive praise.
If you’re ever struggled to keep pace with a Singaporean, especially in rush hour, hear this.
Research says that Singaporeans have the fastest walking speed compared to any other country. On average – about 18m in almost 11s . That’s slightly over 6km per hour!
Just so you know, bumblebees fly at that speed.
The Fountain of Wealth is listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the largest fountain in the world. It is located in one of Singapore’s largest shopping malls, Suntec City. During the daytime the fountain is turned off and visitors are invited to walk around a mini fountain at the centre of the fountain base for good luck. At night, the fountain is the setting for light shows between 8pm to 9pm daily
And if you do visit the little red dot, be sure to check out the world’s highest man-made waterfall, standing at 30-metres at the Jurong Bird Park. It also has the largest fountain in the world located at Suntec City – a whooping US$ 6 million structure made of cast bronze.
- Tokyo, Japan
You can’t escape the crowds in Tokyo. Especially if you’re in Shinjuku Station, which has earned a Guinness World Record for the world’s busiest station. It’s also located in the Great Tokyo Area, which is the largest metropolitan area in the world.
Come each March, as the annual Cherry Blossom Festival nears, turn on your TV and watch the advance of cherry blossoms. Called the ‘Cherry Blossom Front’, or ‘Sakura Zensen’ you can track trees that are blooming across Japan’s different regions.
It’s like a weather-report, but instead of a screen of blue, think pink instead.
What’s Tokyo without great food?
For the 11th year in the row, the Japanese capital has retained its seat as the city with the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world – 234 stars.
Not just quantity, but quality too. It’s the highest-rated culinary city in 28 countries covered by the company.
This year, the Japanese capital inched further ahead of its rival Paris with 234 Michelin starred restaurants, up from 227 last year, according to the 2018 guide. highest-rated culinary city in the 28 countries covered by the company.
- Hong Kong
Despite all the chain-smoking and gun-slinging films made about Hong Kong, did you know that visitors to the city are only allowed to bring in 19 cigarettes?
The city is also among the richest and tallest cities.
It has also more Rolls Royce cars per person than anywhere else, and the most number of skyscrapers in the world – over 7000 buildings in the region have over 14 floors.
Hong Kong is the home city to the founder of fibre optic communications: Professor Charles Kao.
- Shenzhen, China
Many years ago, the southern port city of Shenzhen was just a quiet fishing village bordering Hong Kong.
But in 1979, the Chinese government designated it as the country’s first Special Economic Zone, beginning the boom of capitalism and business.
Now, its population has crossed 11 million, most of them farmers coming to the city for work. And they are busy making the world’s goods – from real iPhones to fake Chanel bags. Today, it’s known as the world’s factory floor.
In 2015, Shenzhen’s government says it received over 100 million tourists.
In the next few years, Asian cities are expected to continue to dominate the Top 10 travel list, because of the strength of low-cost carriers. Well, perhaps when that happens, we’ll know even more fascinating facts about them!