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These 10 Asian Neighborhoods are Perfect for Excitement-Seeking Extroverts

by Maia Marquez
September 24, 2019

We all have our reasons for traveling: to get away from it all, to discover underrated destinations, to soul search and get to know ourselves a little better, to fulfill our need for an adventure of a lifetime, or maybe even to be so far away from home that we feel we’re invincible. Whatever our motives are, it pretty much goes without saying that wherever we are or wherever we intend to go, making the most out of any trip is high up on our list of priorities.

While there are those who are content with lazing around the comforts of their hotel rooms, people watching as they sip on local brews and snack on pastries at a café, or aimlessly strolling along scenic boulevards, there are those who will stop at nothing to get as much as possible done—those always in pursuit of doing the next most exciting thing. After all, there is a certain sense of achievement that comes with being able to say “been there, done that.”

For those who don’t mind mingling with the crowds to get a little dose of everything—people we can call “travel go-getters”—here’s a list of places that will not only satisfy your wanderlust, but also give you the satisfaction of being in one place, yet feeling like you’re everywhere all at once. Loners who occasionally like to be at the center of all the action are welcome here, too!

Lan Kwai Fong (Hong Kong)

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Almost needing no introduction is Hong Kong’s famed nightlife destination, Lan Kwai Fong (fondly called LKF). Teeming with over 90 restaurants and bars, this elite hotspot perfect for bar hopping is where you go to see and be seen. Whether you’re up for a fancy wine and dine meal, casual conversations over beers and cocktails, or even a wild night out downing shots left and right—you name it, and LKF’s got it! With a “come as you are” and “no frills” vibe, this L-shaped street makes any night out easy, fun, and accessible to people from all walks of life—so much so that its iconic street sign has become a must for tourists’ photo stops.

Explore more of Hong Kong with a 3D/2N Stay for 2 in Regal Oriental Hotel which includes 2 passes and transfers to Disneyland, a Kowloon city tour, roundtrip airport transfers, and daily breakfasts.

Harajuku (Tokyo, Japan)

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A cultural immersion of sorts, a trip to Harajuku in Tokyo is one that shouldn’t be missed. Its streets are lined with fashion boutiques, thrift stores, quirky cafés, tourist sights, and a lot more. While it may seem like an overwhelming mishmash, there’s just something about the center for Japanese pop culture that works. Let Takeshita Street give you your dose of retail therapy; make new feline friends at cat café MoCHA; show off your best OOTDs during photo ops by the art murals scattered around the area; save a spot on your feed for Tokyu Plaza, one of Tokyo’s most Instagrammable spots; snack on hot and savory gyozas at Harajuku Gyozalo; take a breather at Yoyogi Park; pray that your biggest wishes come true at the Meiji Shrine; and immortalize your trip at a purikura photo booth. Your options are endless!

See Tokyo in full bloom with a 6D/5N Tokyo Cherry Blossom Tour for 2 that's inclusive of airfare, accommodations, travel insurance, and visa processing.

Ximending (Taipei, Taiwan)

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Shopping in Taipei is almost synonymous to Ximending, but the popular retail haven has more to offer than just trendy fashion and skincare stores. To start, it’s where you can find many street food stalls that serve blow-torched beef cubes, fried chicken, grilled mochi, fried squid, mushroom fritters, and arguably the most famous Taiwanese street food of them all, Ay-Chung Flour Rice Noodles. While you’re sure to satisfy a craving or two here (with a cup of bubble tea in hand, of course!), make time to drop by one of Taipei’s most iconic structures, The Red House, an 8-sided building that contains exhibits, markets, theaters, and a teahouse. As Taipei’s largest LGBT district, Ximending houses more than 25 gay bars where it’s always a party and everyone’s invited!

Make the most out of your trip to Taipei with a 3D/2N Free and Easy Taipei Tour that includes airfare, accommodations, and airport transfers.

Sentosa (Singapore)

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They say it doesn’t matter where you are, and that it’s who you’re with that makes all the difference, but Sentosa Island (or simply just Sentosa) begs to differ. A manmade island off the southern coast of Singapore, Sentosa is home to many theme parks like Universal Studios and Adventure Cove and Waterpark Singapore, animal sanctuaries like Singapore Butterfly & Insect Kingdom and S.E.A Aquarium Singapore, beaches like Siloso, Tanjong, and Palawan, and even its very own Sentosa Golf Club. Getting there is already part of the fun—reach it via road trip, cable car, pedestrian boardwalk, monorail, or the famed Sentosa Skyride, an open-air cable chairlift that gives you easy access to beautiful city views. Because of a bountiful list of things to see and do, time spent there is hardly ever enough.

Hongdae (Seoul, South Korea)

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Creativity is in the air in the neighborhood of Hongdae. Situated in front of the fine arts school Hongik University, this area in Seoul is bursting with a young and lively vibe, perfect for those wanting to be in the middle of everything. Many might compare it to Tokyo’s Harajuku, but Hongdae’s charm lies in its quirky and eclectic energy that spills out of its local shops, clubs, and bars. Day or night, there’s always something happening in this it-place—go shopping at the photo-worthy Style Nanda, gush over the cute sheep with a Thanks Nature Café experience, let art imitate life and life imitate art at the Trick Eye Museum, enjoy live K-Pop street performances in the evening, and cap the night off with a dance-off at EDM club M2 or the hip-hop heaven Cream Club, or take it easy with a German brew or two at Queen’s Head, one of Hongdae’s best microbrew pubs.

Fall in love with Seoul with a 5D/4N Autumn Package that comes with airfare, accommodations, meals, and roundtrip airport transfers.

Kuta (Bali, Indonesia)

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If you enjoy spending sunny days at the beach but crave the bustle of city life all as well, then Kuta is the place for you. Located in the southern part of Indonesia’s leading tourist destination Bali, Kuta is arguably the island’s most popular part, and with good reason! Apart from being near the airport, its crystal coastline and long stretch of golden sand is dotted with restaurants and cafés, while its local markets and fancy malls make shopping for pasalubong (or for yourself) a breeze. Though it’s an excellent starting point for seeing Bali’s natural wonders and a great place for beginners to learn how to surf, Kuta’s claim to fame is its thriving nightlife scene. Head over to the Sky Garden Lounge, where you can kick back, relax, and watch the sun disappear into the horizon with a drink in hand, and when that’s done, make your way downstairs to the town’s most sought-after nightclub, Sky Garden.

Bask in the wonders of Bali with a 4D/3N Stay in a 5-Star Hotel for 2 that includes roundtrip airport transfers and daily breakfast.

Khao San Road (Bangkok, Thailand)

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Dubbed as “the center of the backpacking universe,” Khao San Road in Bangkok seems to be where soul-searching travelers wander and meet. Its streets boast budget-friendly stays, local stores, restaurants, bars, massage hubs, tattoo parlors, and more, making it perfect for anyone who wants to tick off everything on their bucket list without going over budget. While its affordable cost of living attracts tourists from all over, its happy-go-lucky vibe is what draws the young and artsy locals in. Feast on the city’s cheapest eats like traditional spring rolls and Pad Thai, and practice your bargaining skills as the whole area is pretty much one big flea market. Of course, in a place where such interesting people from all over the world converge, meeting new friends to exchange travel stories, tips, and tricks over drinks is something that should be on your list.

Immerse in Thai culture with a 4D/3N Tour of Bangkok that's inclusive of a visit to the floating market, an elephant show, and airfare.

District 1 (Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam)

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A fascinating blend of old and new, District 1 in Ho Chi Minh is where you can travel back in time through a tour of Independence Palace, a former presidential home, and stroll along other colonial era buildings. Food kiosks and local handicraft stores are thrown into the mix, too, amidst other modern buildings. Its most famous (or infamous) area is Bui Vien Backpacker Street, a colorful strip of restaurants, stays, pubs, souvenir shops, travel agencies, and massage parlors, among others. Hailed as “the backpackers’ Mecca,” it’s where everything comes alive at night and every visit holds a surprise.

Bukit Bintang (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

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Known as the trendiest locale in all of Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Bintang is the best place to shop ‘til you drop. Treat yourself to a shopping spree at the upscale malls and boutiques of Jalan Bukit Bintang, then let yourself be delighted by after-hours entertainment at Changkat Bukit Bintang, where you can find Kuala Lumpur’s most well-known restaurants and bars, whether they’re chill hangout spots, the hip and happening nightclubs, or the fanciest al fresco bars. If you’re one who likes sampling local dishes and delicacies, then Jalan Alor, the “cultural heart of the city’s local cuisine” filled with hawker stalls and Chinese seafood will keep you occupied all night ‘til early morning.

Enjoy all that Kuala Lumpur has to offer with a 4D/3N Tour that comes with airfare, hotel accommodations, and tours of Kuala Lumpur and Genting Highlands.

Xintiandi (Shanghai, China)

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More than just a high-end fashion and nightlife destination, Shanghai’s Xintiandi is a blast from the past, with a contemporary twist. Walking along its streets is like time traveling: entering old-style Shikumen (restored stone gates) buildings, only to find the most modern interiors. While it’s perfect for a picturesque stroll and some shopping indulgence, it boasts just as much culture and history as it does tempting retail opportunities. Before you hit the designer stores and upscale restaurants, immerse yourself in Chinese history at the Memorial House of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China, where Chinese Communism was born. After shopping, eating, and partying at one of the ritzy clubs, spoil yourself with a treatment or two from the famed Green Massage before the day ends—foot massages are their specialty!

Sail the seas and visit Shanghai in China and Kagoshima in Japan with a 5D/4N Royal Caribbean Cruise that includes accommodations.

Looking to explore other Asian cities while you’re at it? Check out our International Collection for discounted tours.

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About Maia
Maia’s passions in life are to travel and tell stories. Born in the States and raised in Manila while having studied in France, her ultimate goal is to travel all countries of the world. While she’s not abroad, she spends time tanning at the beach, exploring the underwater world or chilling with her 14 dogs. Follow her adventures on her Instagram @maiawillseetheworld.

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