THE 5 BEST ROOFTOP BARS IN ASIA
“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 live music and cocktails may leave something to be desired, but there are plenty of rooms and patios to explore here, making it a great place to grab a drink and look around. The view of Xiu is not particularly expansive and is limited to the modern, boxy surrounding Yintai Center but it is an interesting modern cityscape straight out of Alphaville.
3. CHILL, Ho Chi Minh City
So, yeah- it’s got a horrible name. It’s also got an amazing view of Vietnam’s pulsating center, as seen from the 26th and 27th floors of Saigon’s AB Tower.
2. SIROCCO, Bangkok, Thailand
Sirocco is the world’s highest open-air bar / restaurant. The layout and the design are stunningly beautiful. The viewshed is 360°. The only reason it does not win our #1 spot is due to Bangkok’s relatively characterless skyline. It just can’t compete with Shanghai’s iconic and breathtaking cityscape. Also, unlike Vue in Shanghai, the atmosphere is not social, but rather stuffy and a bit pushy. The clientele are older and here to relax. Sirocco is located at the 63rd floor of The State Tower and is the most expensive food and beverage locale in the city. If you can be frugal elsewhere in Bangkok, you should definitely splurge for a cocktail or two up here.
1. VUE, Shanghai
Located atop the Grand Hyatt on the Bund, Vue is not the highest bar in Shanghai. In fact, there are many other lounges with a more impressive elevation. However, none has as amazing a position as Vue, perched at such a golden spot in the city. At night you can see the dark, shadowy curves of the Huangpu River cutting through the yellow lights of Shanghai. Vue offers an unmatchable vista of both Pudong and the Bund- both sides of the dark river.
The bar occupies two floors: the first is a sleek lounge enclosed by huge windows; the second floor offers open-air views, a hot tub and beds to relax and cozy up on. Additionally, because Vue is located “just” 32 and 33 stories up, the evenings are less foggy than the higher-up skybars of Pudong. The windows are less prone to fogging up and the view is more likely to come out and play. This has got to be the most impressive skybar in the world.