Traveler Magazine: Top 10 Cities in Asia

10.Siem Reap

Readers’ Choice Rating: 76.6

Culture: 92
Friendliness: 83.6
Atmosphere: 81
Restaurants: 63.8
Lodging: 80.3
Shopping: 51.7In the past two decades, Siem Reap has seen an amazing explosion in growth, which means this tiny town now has more than 100 hotels to choose from. If you’re a first-time traveler to Asia, one reader recommends Siem Reap as “the perfect destination.” Getting around is easy and there are attractions almost everywhere you go (including that little one you may have heard of, Angkor Wat). “Everything one could hope to find is here: history, culture, relaxation, nightlife, restaurants, museums, night markets, adventure activities and friendly people.”


Readers’ Choice Rating: 77.4

Culture: 82.1
Friendliness: 76.1
Atmosphere: 74.6
Restaurants: 71.3
Lodging: 77.4
Shopping: 70.7

“The romance of the river and the perfect blend of old and new, East and West, makes Bangkok the perfect destination.” Be sure to visit the Pak Khlong Taht flower and vegetable market: one of Asia’s largest. And don’t leave until you’ve visited the Grand Palace, a compound of palaces and temples where you’ll fid the country’s most important relic, the Emerald Buddha, a fifteenth-century sculpture that’s actually made of jade.


Readers’ Choice Rating: 77.7

Culture: 83.5
Friendliness: 71.8
Atmosphere: 79.6
Restaurants: 81.8
Lodging: 75.7
Shopping: 75.3

Even though it is “chaotic,” Tokyo is “beautiful and has the best food,” including “more Michelin-starred restaurants than Paris!” Residents sport “on-trend fashion and cool street-wear,” and “you will never be bored as you can find everything and anything in this metropolitan city.”

7.Hong Kong

Readers’ Choice Rating: 78.0

Culture: 77
Friendliness: 66.4
Atmosphere: 77.1
Restaurants: 78.3
Lodging: 81.2
Shopping: 80.3

The shopping, food, people, and skyline make the city “modern and lively,” yet “the past and present easily blend, as the city is rich in old traditions and also keeps up with technology and innovation.” This “vibrant, busy, modern and traditional” city is the “Asian version of New York City.”

6.Chiang Mai

Readers’ Choice Rating: 78.8

Culture: 82.9
Friendliness: 83.9
Atmosphere: 83.9
Restaurants: 73.2
Lodging: 80.2
Shopping: 66

Chiang Mai is a “refreshing area away from the hustle and bustle of the capital” that possesses its “own little unique culture and character,” complete with a night market and the opportunity to commune with elephants. The “spicy food is delicious” and the people are “as gracious as ever.” This “charming” city has left readers wanting to head back “to find all that there is to appreciate.”


Readers’ Choice Rating: 79.1

Culture: 74.6
Friendliness: 73.3
Atmosphere: 80.1
Restaurants: 82.5
Lodging: 84
Shopping: 79.2

Thanks to its numerous malls, Singapore is considered by many to be a “shopper’s paradise” but our readers also say you shouldn’t miss out on the “architecture, culture and amazing public art.” And of course, there’s the food. “The melding of cultures, cuisine and natural beauty is evident in every area of the city,” as one reader put it.

4.Luang Prabang

Readers’ Choice Rating: 79.1

Culture: 86.7
Friendliness: 89.4
Atmosphere: 85.4
Restaurants: 69.8
Lodging: 79
Shopping: 65.2

“A hidden gem not to be missed,” Luang Prabang provides a “tranquil retreat with an eco-friendly vibe.” Readers appreciated that the town is very walkable with “narrow cobblestone paths and alleys that connect the entire central city.” And they touted the “great choice of accommodations and restaurants available,” as well as “great shopping” and delicious food that’s “often spicy with a mix of flavors.”


Readers’ Choice Rating: 79.6

Culture: 82.9
Friendliness: 84.6
Atmosphere: 82.9
Restaurants: 72.5
Lodging: 78.8
Shopping: 62.1

The “tranquility of Ubud makes it a mecca for anyone needing a healthy dose of nature and culture.” Ubud’s “majestic” feel has “remained unspoiled,” and one reader even claims that the “air here feels different.”

2.Hoi An

Readers’ Choice Rating: 79.9

Culture: 87.3
Friendliness: 84.3
Atmosphere: 90.9
Restaurants: 73.1
Lodging: 80.3
Shopping: 68.4

The atmosphere in this “dynamic” small Vietnamese city launched it to the No. 2 spot; readers fell in love with the “colorful houses and old mansions,” which “felt like walking in a movie.”


Readers’ Choice Rating: 81.6

Culture: 90
Friendliness: 80.6
Atmosphere: 82.7
Restaurants: 81.5
Lodging: 75.3
Shopping: 60.4

A “beautiful old city full of history,” Kyoto is packed with famous temples, shrines and markets that create a “mixture of modernity and old world Japan.” Kyoto is the “best city” because “it has everything,” one reader raved. “You will be transported to a different era.”

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