Asia and the Middle East are some of the most popular destinations for holidays, thanks to the year round sunshine combined with the heady mix of traditional and cosmopolitan cultures, which many cities have on offer. You may have heard of (or even visited) Dubai, Tokyo, Bangkok and Beijing, which are some of the most popular cities in these areas. However, let’s step outside the box a little bit with some rather amazing Asian and Middle Eastern destinations, which have paths less traveled. Here are 5 cities in Asia and the Middle East; you have to visit right now.
Although Tokyo is one of Japan’s most famous cities, Kyoto is actually much better for tourists. Here you can see some of the most incredible Japanese culture and architecture, including over a dozen World Heritage sites; Rome is the only city in the world with more. Take a trip back to the Japan of ancient times and immerse yourself in this romantic city, with plenty of things to see and do for people from all walks of life. Make sure you catch a glimpse of the beautiful geishas, dancing and performing the traditional Tea Ceremony, whilst also visiting some of the stunning shrines on offer. Take a trip to the lit up Kinkaku-ji Temple at night before feasting at one of the many restaurants on the Kamo River.
Catch a more traditional glimpse of Japan in Kyoto
Known as the Las Vegas of the East, Macau is a bustling city that has so much more than casinos and a busy nightlife scene. Thanks to influences from the days when Macau was a Portuguese colony, you can find a wide range of European style buildings and cuisine that blends in perfectly with the Asian cultures. All of the bars, clubs, casinos and shops are open 24 hours a day here, so you’ll never be stuck for things to do. Take in a show, such as House of The Dancing Water, before experiencing some truly world class nightlife. In the day, take a walk through the World Heritage site, the Historic Centre of Macau, to see a completely different side of this city. Once you’ve exhausted all there is to see, you can take a boat trip across to neighbouring Hong Kong too.
Fancy something a little bit different than your usual city break in Asia? Jeddah, in the Middle East, could be just the place you’re looking for. Combining traditional cultures, with a bustling metropolitan centre and even stunning beach resorts, there is a little bit of something for everyone here. It is quite easy to find cheap flights to Jeddah during the British winter, which is a great time to go climate wise; not too hot, but certainly not cold either. One of the most popular things to see is the old town, also known as al-Balad, which is full of ancient buildings and traditional marketplaces (souks). If you’re a culture fan then head to the Floating Mosque, which seems to just emerge from the Red Sea. Lastly, take a trip to Silver Sands beach for clear waters and, funnily enough, silver sand.
Jeddah combines ancient buildings with a modern metropolis
Back to bustling cities with Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia. Made famous for having some of the tallest buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers, this city has become a tourist favourite for those who want to experience Asia. Make sure you get to the top of the Petronas Twin Towers for an unparalleled view of the city, before visiting some of the many historic sites; RumahPenghulu, TheanHou Temple, Masjid Negara and the Batu Caves, to name a few. When you’re finished with all the culture and history, you can jump right back into the modern world with a plethora of new attractions, along with stunning places to eat and drink.
Last on our list is the attraction-filled city of Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, in India. Having once been ruled by both Portugal and Britain, this city still manages to retain much of its Indian charm, with some rather interesting European quirks. The chaotic atmosphere of the city is an attraction in itself, as you’ll get a real feel of what life is like in India. Take a boat over to Elephanta Islands for the beautiful Elephanta Caves, or grab the whole family for a unique, carnival-like experience on Juhu Beach. There are dozens of historic and religious sites to visit during the day, with a huge range of entertainment attractions at night. This makes Mumbai perfect for couples, families, groups of friends and solo travelers alike.
These are our 5 cities in Asia and the Middle East, that aren’t your most typical tourist destinations. The next time you consider a holiday to this part of the world, or are even thinking about going traveling, make sure you add these 5 to your list. You won’t be disappointed!
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