“Come Quickly. I have tasted the stars.”– 19th century champagne print add, often attributed to Dom Perignon
5. LUNA BAR, Kuala Lumpur
Located just across the street from the KL Tower (the city’s unmissable ‘space needle’) on the 34th floor of the Pacific Regency Hotel, the Luna Bar offers a spectacular view of the Petronas Towers and Kuala Lumpur skyline. After 10pm, secure a spot on the upper deck for the best view of KL available. Unfortunately, the tempting swimming pool in the middle is only for hotel guests. But, what’s the worst that can happen- you get kicked out? Finish your drink and hop in.
4. XIU, Beijing
Another sprawling Grand Hyatt rooftop bar, Xiu is modestly located on the 5th floor of the hotel. The design is a combination of sleek contemporary and traditional Beijing architecture (recreated, of course). The … Read More »
How is there so little street crime?
Don’t get me wrong, there is crime in Asia. There is government corruption, bribery, domestic abuse and organized crime. However, a traveler is highly unlikely to get caught up in this. “Street crime” such as robbery, assault, rape and murder are astonishingly low, especially in North Asia (Mongolia somewhat excluded). In large Asian cities, I have no fear listening to my iPod and walking home through unknown neighborhoods for two hours in the middle of the night.
Travelers and expats appreciate this quality over here, yet can’t seem to explain exactly why it is. Rich and poor are living together. Surely, there are plenty of “opportunities” for crime walking down the streets. So why is Asia so safe?
Here are a few factors that likely influence the low street crime of Asia:
THE SHAME FACTOR
In the USA, … Read More »
With the gradual rise of the Chinese yuan, paired with domestic inflation, China may soon no longer be considered a budget destination. Now is the time to visit. My first visit in 2008 was far cheaper than our last visit this year in the summer of 2011. As the infrastructure improves, along with overall prosperity, the cost of travel in China may soon be more comparable to Korea and Taiwan than to Southeast Asia.
For the traveler, China is a country of idiosyncrasies, paperwork, language barriers and overall confusion. For some, this may add to the country’s exotic charm, but often makes it a daunting and frustrating country to visit. As we’ve visited here over eight times now, we’ll now pass along some essential information.
6. “DUO CIAO CHIEN” (“Dow Shou Chi-en”) 多少钱
In China, be careful of getting into financial exchanges without a set price … Read More »
So, what’s the difference?
To a non-Asian, the divide between Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia is a curious one that takes much time to understand. But as a first-time traveler may find out, there are obvious differences in the people, the traditions, the daily lives and the social and political characteristics between these regions. Let’s try to break it down a bit:
Northeast Asia (China, Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia the Koreas, Japan and Taiwan) and Southeast Asia(Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore) are both extraordinary places to visit- with thousands of years of history, crowded metropolises, warm people and wonderful culinary traditions.
Generally, North Asian countries, while all having unique characteristics, are largely influenced by Confucianism and ancient China. With the recent economic rise of China, the continuing growth of South Korea and Taiwan and the established prosperity of Japan and Hong Kong, North Asia is one of the world’s most prosperous regions and also one of its … Read More »
Before visiting China, like most other Americans I was familiar with Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou (as Canton). I was soon taken aback by the enormous size and endless number of Chinese metropolises. “12 million in a city called Shenzhen”? “Wuhan? It’s bigger than Paris? That can’t be right…”
What most of us don’t know about Chinese cities could fill a book as tall (333m) as the Wenzhou World Trade Center (“wait: Wenzhou? Where? Yep, and it’s bigger than Chicago…”).
While Beijing and Shanghai are certainly worth visiting, don’t leave China without spending some time in the “smaller”, more provincial cities. The ones you’ve never heard of. The ones that roll past you at 120km/hr on your train ride. Hop off the train and hop in.
Here are some of our favorite lesser-known Chinese cities:
(har – bin)
If the winter cold hasn’t rendered your … Read More »
And by cheapest we mean cheap and worth wasting your time to hunt down.