Travel Tuesday: The Stars of South East Asia

Shanghai Originally a fishing and textiles town, today Shanghai is the largest city in China and vital for the country's future economics growth. Since The Treaty of Nanking in 1842, traders from America and Western Europe flocked in and left behind...

Shanghai

Originally a fishing and textiles town, today Shanghai is the largest city in China and vital for the country's future economics growth. Since The Treaty of Nanking in 1842, traders from America and Western Europe flocked in and left behind the Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque architectural styles, which can be found along the waterfront. Easily China's richest city and trendsetter in fashion, design and the arts, Shanghai is the spot for dining, shopping and culture seekers. The Shanghai Museum, located in People's Square showcases an impressive section of Chinese relics from ancient to modern times; bronze-ware, porcelain and jadeware to paintings, embroidery and calligraphy. Although heavily influenced by the West culture, traditional oriental tea houses, temples and classic gardens such as Yuyuan Garden (Shanghai's most famous) can be found on walks of the Old City.

Hong Kong

Boasting itself as "Asia's World City", Hong Kong was once a British Colony and today boasts global connections to most of the world's major cities. A breathtaking view of the skyscrapers can be seen from Victoria Peak as well as the various country parks and theme parks hidden across the city with Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park creating a fun day out for young families and travelers alike. Retail is an extremely competitive business in Hong Kong, making it the ultimate shoppers paradise. From endless choices to designer brands situated within impressive shopping malls in Central to the various street markets selling all kinds things from goldfish to every electrical good imaginable.

Macau

After 400 years of Portuguese administration, Macau has turned into a gorgeous blend of Portuguese architecture and Chinese culture and today becoming Asia's largest gambling destination (surpassing that of Las Vegas). The Ruins of St Paul is the most famous attraction in the area, a church originally built in the 17th century but after a fire in 1835, only the facade remains. Only a few minutes walk away is Senado Square with he wave patterned and coloured mosaic stone paving is an example of intricate Portuguese design. When night falls, a visit to The Venetian, the world's largest casino, is the perfect place to take a wonder of it's many shops and glamorous interior.

Singapore

Founded as a British Colony in 1819, Singapore is a city state in South East Asia and since its independence has become a modern affluent city with good food, first class shopping districts and vibrant urban scene. Boasting a tropical climate and perfect for the Singapore Botanic Gardens in the city centre where a small tropical rainforest around 6 hectares and over 2,000 hybrids of orchids can be found in the National Orchid Gardens. Along with Rio de Janerio, Singapore is one of the major cities with a rainforest housed within city limits. For ultimate views of the city, The Singapore Flyer, located in the Marina Centre is currently the largest ferris wheel in the world, 30m taller than the London Eye with views stretching over 28 miles!

Seoul

The largest and capital city of South Korea, Seoul is a fascinating combination of ancient traditions and modern technology. Today, the city is filled with old temples and shines and museums for those in search of Korea's rich and colourful history with galleries and theme parks to entertain family members of all ages. One of the must visited is Lotte World, a major recreational complex in Seoul and the world's largest indoor theme park open all year round. For a slightly different yet memorable choice, the indoor Ice Sculpture Gallery and experience centre emerges visitors among fantastic works of ice and ice making masterclasses to get a taster of how sculptures are produced. Finally, there's no leaving Korea without taking a look at The Kimchi Field Museum, where visitors can learn everything about Korea's most important side dish: Kimchi, with exhibitions focusing on its history, variety and importance in Korean culture.

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