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Explore a compact, fascinating city-state that’s truly global. A onetime British trading post, its diverse past is reflected everywhere, from its old Chinese quarter and colourful Hindu temples to its modern skyscrapers and common language, English. Take a short cruise along the Singapore River or a pedicab ride through town, or enjoy the quiet at the National Orchid Garden. Interested in Asian medicine? A special medicinal restaurant can prescribe just the menu to help you feel your best.
Feel like Thai royalty as you ride an elephant then see these clever animals show their work skills. Ko Samui is an idyllic, forested island with pristine sandy beaches, but venture inland and see majestic cascading waterfalls or a plantation where monkeys harvest coconuts. Back in town, shop for Thai silk, elegant resort clothes and handicrafts. Don’t leave the island without sampling the spicy local fare, which will pleasantly jolt your taste buds.
Bangkok’s glorious golden temples and palaces, the royal barges and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, carved from a single block of jade, are must-sees for any visitor. The riverside Temple of Dawn is also stunning and worth seeing. The Royal Palace, a massive complex of carved and gilded buildings, is familiar to many as the setting of the true story of Anna and the King of Siam – and is still used by the royal family today. Bangkok will heighten your senses and fuel memories for a lifetime.
Discover the rich heritage of Saigon and the Mekong Delta. You won’t forget a ride on a cycle rickshaw, known locally as xích lô (“sick-low”). Sit back as your driver whisks you past pagodas, colonial architecture and vibrant markets. A nice contrast to the city is the lush countryside of rice paddies and tiny villages along the Mekong. The freshness of the food is highlighted by the phenomenal fusion of local cuisine, a unique blend of Asian spices and French cooking styles.
A drive through the city or a boat ride on its canals will let you capture the spirit of Muara. Ornate mosques glitter in the sun with their golden domes and minarets. Visit the Brunei Museum, a repository of Malay culture and Islamic art, or take a water taxi over to Kampong Ayer, “the Water Village.” Experience a trip back in time with a visit inland to a Dayak village. Back in Muara, look for silver jewellery, brass and bronze items, intricately made heirloom sarongs and antiques.
This bustling, ethnically diverse city offers sightseers a diversity of culture and eras. A gold-domed mosque, unique high-rise architecture and the Heritage Village all combine to paint a picture of the city’s past. Venture into the interior to astonishing Kinabalu Park, where exotic plants and rare orchids flourish. Spend time on the glorious beaches and enjoy the local fresh fish.
Home to 12 million, the capital of the Philippines is a dynamic city with a rich colonial history dating to 1565, when the Spanish arrived. Dive into the most popular attractions, including the elegant Malacanang Palace, the National Museum of the Philippines and Rizal Park. The poignant, 150-acre American Cemetery and Memorial holds U.S. and Allied servicemen who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II. The historic walled city core, Intramuros, is well worth exploring.
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