Let's back up a bit... In 2008 I said goodbye to my job and bought myself a one-way ticket to Hong Kong. Almost eight years have passed since then and sometimes I can't believe that I never really returned back home. For the past 8 years I spent the majority of my time in Asia. I lived in some of the most fascinating cities and spent a great deal of time understanding new cultures.


Let me introduce you to six of the most vibrant cities in Asia. If you have an opportunity to live in one (or more) of them for a period of time, go for it. And if you have a chance to travel across Asia, visit as many of them as you can. But first, let me tell you what makes each city so special... 



Hong Kong


Hong Kong was my first destination in Asia and I was lucky to get a great view of the city by staying in an apartment on the 70th floor. God bless Couchsurfing.


So.... why Hong Hong? This is the place where you can experience the best of Asia, where Asians and Westerners alike thrive in a whirlwind atmosphere of technology, culture, and excitement. Hong Kong is a city of tomorrow and yesterday, night and day, yin and yang. Here are the top sights of Hong Kong.


In Hong Kong, you can immerse yourself in the stunning beauty of the mountains or jump into the urban stream of humanity. You can learn about the undying ancient traditions, or view some of the world’s most modern advancements. You can spend your money in a day or make a career for a lifetime.


Are these enough reasons for visiting this incredible city? It’s little wonder that Hong Kong is, for many, the top Asian tourist destination. A visit to the city is hard to top.



Tokyo, Japan


How to describe Tokyo? First of all, it's incomparable to any other city in the world. A trip to Japan's capital is like a trip to the future. I summarized my experience in my blog post 9 facts about Tokyo.


Tokyo is characterized by the newest technology, distinctively recognizable fashion, art, and food. Although the cherry blossom remains a long-standing icon of the city, today’s tourists are looking for more than a relaxing stroll beneath the trees.


For decades, the metropolitan area has been rapidly exploding and people flock into Tokyo for work and pleasure. New state-of-the-art buildings constantly rise above the crowded streets, drawing visitors into ultra-modern homes, hotels, restaurants, and shopping malls.


Despite the indescribable humanity in Tokyo, the city is well-kept and clean, making it one of the most popular destinations, and also one of the most welcoming. If you have to decide between any of these six cities, choose Tokyo.



Seoul, South Korea


I fell in love with Seoul because of all the pet cafés. Cat cafés, dog cafés, sheep cafés... you name it! If you love animals as much as I do, you will lose yourself in Seoul!


Seoul is known for its world-famous K Pop and Gangnam Style, but there is so much more to the city than just its music. Seoul has one foot in the ancient world and the other in tomorrow, and travelers have a chance to get to know the best of both worlds in one day.


On the historic side, Seoul is dotted with UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as the Jongmyo Shrine, among other temples and palaces. On the modern side, it is filled with attractions like lush parks, trendy bars, sleek shopping malls, and tempting spas. I believe there is something for everyone in Seoul, here is my list of the 10 best things to do in Seoul.



Bangkok, Thailand


One one hand, Bangkok is a city that feels like home to me, as I have passed through so many times, but on the other hand, I would not want to stay too long there at a time. The hustle and bustle of the city will eventually take you over...


As Thailand reluctantly ventures into the modern world, it is Bangkok that leads the way. New towers and the age of digital technology have begun to stake their claim on Bangkok, yet the old-style traditions are not eager to release their hold on this busy city. The collision of old and new is what defines Bangkok and gives it its unique vibe.


The traveler will find malls and towers, yes, but the old temples and boats still hold a place of prominence. The result is truly unique, and makes Bangkok an incredible place to experience every era all at once.



Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Kuala Lumpur is one of the cities in Asia that I probably visit the most. It's a main hub for flights across Asia and often I turn layovers into several days because I love returning to KL. There is so much to see and do in Malaysia's capital.


Not long ago, Kuala Lumpur was a small town filled with tin prospectors hoping for a change in fortune. Today, it is Malaysia’s greatest attraction, bustling with activity and life. The big draw for most tourists is the shopping and dining that fills the city’s skyscrapers. There are never-ending options for the enthusiastic consumer.


The best of Asian fashion can be found here, although many prefer to sample the endless gastronomical offerings of the city. The chrome and glass, mosques, temples, and colonial buildings remind the traveler of the city’s not-so-neon roots.





Out of all of the vibrant cities, Singapore is definitely one of my favorites,a place worth visiting. If you haven't seen it, and have a chance to visit, go for it!


A trip to the island-coast city of Singapore is a thrill on all accounts. The city’s many neighborhoods and districts allow travelers to visit all of Asia in a single location. Sample local and foreign food in Singapore, and you might become as big a foodie as the city’s residents!


If it’s exploration you’re after, look no further than the rain forests or urban jungles of Singapore’s city center and surroundings. From eco-friendly skyscraper shopping to walks in the gardens, Singapore has it all.



Ready to explore Asia's most vibrant cities? 


What's your favorite city in Asia? Which place stole your heart and makes me keep coming back? Tell me more about it in the comments!


Happy travels!



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Sabrina Iovino is the founder of JustOneWayTicket.com. She's half German, half Italian and has traveled to more than 50 countries around the globe. She feels weird to write about herself in the third person, so she'll switch now. Phew...much better! Let's restart:

Hi, I'm Sab! This is my blog and I write about the things I love. Mostly.


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