Dubai, United Emirates
Our first stop is beautiful Dubai (and yes, Dubai is technically part of the Asian continent), capital of the Dubai Emirate, largest city of the United Arab Emirates, and host of the World Expo 2020. Dubai has emerged as a global city, business and transport hub in the Middle East over the last decades. They follow a westernized modal that drives its economy with flow from tourism, real estate, aviation, financial services, and of course, Oil. Here are a few of the many attractions to visit in this desert hotspot:
- The Dubai Marina, it’s the largest man-made marina in the world with a spanning of 3 kilometres along the Persian Gulf. You will find a wide variety of bars, restaurants, shops and also docks where one can get tour boats or sunset and dinner cruises as to better enjoy the breath-taking view of the marina.
- The Dubai Fountain, projected by the same team behind the Bellagio fountains (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA), the Dubai Fountain is a captivating wonder to watch. With daily demonstrations, its one of the most compelling tourist attractions.
- The Dubai Desert Safari, this is definitely one of the experiences you cannot miss when in Dubai. During this, you can enjoy a falcon display, quad-bike around the dunes, go for a camel ride, get a henna tattoo and then enjoy an evening BBQ accompanied by Arabian dancing music.
Hong Kong, China.
Hong Kong is an autonomous territory belonging to the People’s Republic of China located in the Pearl River Delta of China. It has an iconic skyline, a cuisine that is to die for, and thrives on culture and traditions. Its one of the culinary capitals of the world, almost as if they worshiped the Culinary Gods. The city’s love of food and its wide variety will fulfil all your desires from local dim sum with wonton noodles to French cuisine.
With a long list of places to visit, we came up with some suggestions.
- The Victoria Peak and Victoria Harbour are definite places to visit and try to catch a sunset;
- Escape the city limits and spend the day exploring a Song-Dinasty village, kayak, go for a bike ride and hike on a deserted island;
- The Midnight Temple Street Market where you can shop and eat some amazing street food under the glare of the city night lights;
- Go West of the city to gaze upon the Tian Tan Buddha, popularly known as “Big Buddha”, visit the Ngong Ping Village and the Po Lin Monastery to learn more about Buddhism;
- Visit historic temples located all over the city like the Man Mo Temple, the oldest in the city and dedicated to the Taoist Gods of literature and war;
- And for those that still have their inner child hipped up, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort definitely deserves a visit.
Macau lies across the delta to the west of Hong Kong.
While in Hong Kong, we took a day trip to Macau. There are hourly ferries leaving the harbour from Hong Kong to Macau, the trip will take you about an hour but you will need your passport to travel between these two regions.
Macau is famous for its hotels and casinos but there are many other attractions in the city such as the Guia Fortress and the historic site of San Ma Lo. Being an old Portuguese colony, it is quit interesting that most street names still have a Portuguese and Cantonese name. During your visit you can also check out:
- The Ruins of St Paul, originally built in the 17th century;
- The A Ma Temple, which is dedicated to the seafarer’s goddess;
- The Macau Tower, soaring at 338 meters above the city, with an outdoor deck that offers beautiful panoramic views of the city;
- The Macau Museum, inaugurated in 1998, and aims to preserve the cultural traditions belonging to Macau;
- The Camoes Garden, Macau’s largest and one of the oldest parks, dedicated to the Portuguese Poet Luis de Camoes.
Singapore is a city-state in South-East Asia founded by the British in 1819 but independent since 1963. It has the combinations of a modern city with a mixture of mostly Malay, Indian and Chinese influences. Despite its small size, the island of Singapore is full of attractions and activities, like:
- The Singapore Flyer, the world’s second largest ferris wheel with a height of 165 meters;
- The Singapore Botanic Gardens, with all kinds of species of plants, flowers and trees;
- Sentosa Island, home of Universal studios Singapore, an enormous complex of theme rides, and also has the best beaches in Singapore;
- Tiong Bahru, an upcoming neighbourhood filed with shops, bars and restaurants;
- Haji Lane, in the heart of the city’s Muslim Quarter, is a shopping paradise.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Kuala Lumpur, knows as KL, is the national capital, and the cultural, financial and economic centre of Malaysia. It is visually defined by the Petronas Twin Towers, with a height of 88 meters and a vision of modern architecture, but this cultural hub possesses many other wonders to visit. Such as:
- The Batu caves, a Hindu temple that attracts thousands of worshippers and tourists. It has 3 main caves with temples and Hindu shrines. Its main attraction is the large statue of the Hindi God, Murugan, at the entrance;
- The Islamic Arts Museum, opened in 1998, it is the largest museum of Islamic Arts in South-East Asia with more then 7 000 artefacts from the Islamic World;
- The Sri Mahamariaman Temple, the oldest Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur, built in the 19th century. The temple has a colourful and vibrant façade with Hindu deities depicting famous legends. Visitors may explore the grounds and wonder at the architecture but must follow certain rules as it is a working temple and a place of worship;
- Pasar Seni, the central market in Kuala Lumpur selling fruits, vegetables, meats, local goods and souvenirs. On the upper floor, there is a food court selling local delicacies that one can enjoy while watching the street performances and musical shows.
by Yocana Santos