While there is much to love about an outdoor adventure, a city getaway can be just as exciting – with architectural gems, traditional and cultural experiences and much more to discover. Here are six city wonders to explore in the Asia Pacific region, where much has been said about but has to be visited to experience their true charm.
The Bund, Shanghai
Travelers seeking a balance between the traditional and contemporary will find all they’re looking for at The Bund. Known as the ‘Museum of Buildings’, the Bund is iconic for its preservation of colonial buildings from the 1800s, in one of the world’s most metropolitan cities. One of the best places to capture panoramic views of the scenic area is the promenade – with an eco-friendly mobile friendly charging station at the photography point, you won’t even worry about your phone running out of battery. You’ll be snapping all day!
- Where to stay: Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund
What better way to experience this urban wonder than by indulging in a luxury stay on the Bund itself? Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund is a prime location for guests to enjoy convenient access to top attractions, as well as to catch a spectacular view of the Pudong skyline.
Temple Street Night Market, Hong Kong
Head to one of Hong Kong’s most vibrant meeting points, Temple Street Night Market. An agglomeration of all things old and gold, you’d find yourself surrounded by wares such as jade ornaments, tea paraphernalia and antique trinkets. Don’t miss the chance to seek authentic cultural experiences by enjoying a Cantonese opera performance or having your palm read by a fortune teller. Pro-tip: always haggle! Locals themselves tend to offer 30 to 40 per cent of the original price, so that’s a good place to start.
- Where to stay: Hilton Garden Inn Hong Kong Mongkok
Located minutes away from Mong Kok MTR station, Hilton Garden Inn provides the perfect respite after a day’s adventure.
Sydney Opera House, Sydney
One cannot possibly visit Sydney without stopping by the Sydney Opera House, an architectural marvel. Did you know that there are 1.5 million tiles across the sails on the roof? Every five years, a team of six abseilers conduct a “tap test”, where they manually tap each tile to check if it is still secure. The whole process takes them six weeks! The next time you head to this UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’d certainly have new-found appreciation for this modern beauty.
- Where to stay: Hilton Sydney
Situated in the downtown area of Sydney, Hilton Sydney is on the doorstep to all of the city’s favourite attractions such as the Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour and Bondi Beach.
Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok
With more than 15,000 stalls, the Chatuchak Weekend Market is one of the world’s largest. If you are running short of time and cannot explore the entirety of this eclectic matrix, head directly to Zone #2. This area is a hipster paradise, which houses the trendiest of fashion and handicrafts. Prices may be a bit more expensive, but the items are more unique and of a better quality. Don’t shop until you drop, and keep hydrated – coconut ice-cream would also help!
- Where to stay: Hilton Sukhumvit
Surrounded by Bangkok’s business, shopping and entertainment facilities, Hilton Sukhumvit is located a mere 5-minute walk away from Phrom Phong BTS station.
Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Gardens by the Bay, Singapore’s pride and joy, is a futuristic park home to more than 160 species of trees and plants. Set in the middle of the city, it transports visitors into a garden paradise like no other. Walk among giants at the SuperTree Grove, which is not only aesthetic icon but also functional – some SuperTrees serve as solar cells, while others are air exhaust receptacles! Also, be sure to check out the seasonal exhibits at the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome, two cooled conservatories that showcase flowers from all over the world.
- Where to stay: Hilton Singapore
Hilton Singapore is only a stone’s throw away from Singapore’s iconic shopping district, where guests have easy access to a myriad of shopping and dining options.
National Museum of Natural History, Manila
Manila recently introduced a latest addition to their list of urban attractions – the National Museum of Natural History. Housed in a magnificent, neo-classical building, this six-storeyed museum houses an array of fine art and works of cultural and national heritage, alongside life-science exhibits that celebrate the country’s diverse flora and fauna. Take a ride in the DNA Tree of Life, a double-helix structure that rises into a canopy for the courtyard, which doubles as an elevator! There aren’t any written handouts or location maps to refer to, so keep your smartphones handy to do some on-the-ground research.
Where to stay: Hilton Manila
Nestled in Manila’s biggest integrated resort, Hilton Manila offers guests with all-day entertainment; complete with a resort-style outdoor pool, fitness centre and various dining options.