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During your cruise to Asia, you’ll walk in the footsteps of emperors as you explore the palaces and temples they commissioned, and marvel at engineering feats from grand canals to immense fortifications. When you visit some of the world's most exciting cities, you’ll be quickly and joyfully immersed in the buzz of cosmopolitan energy. Sample amazing new flavors in the street markets of Bangkok, trace the vestiges of colonial Britain among the modern shopping lanes of Hong Kong and stroll the serene, otherworldly gardens of Kyoto. Whichever ports you visit across this vast continent, you’ll never cease to be enchanted by the fascinating histories, cultures and landscapes you encounter.
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Vietnam's Halong Bay and its almost 2,000 islands were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 giving an official stamp of recognition to a natural wonder that has captivated painters and poets for centuries. Halong City is a convenient base before setting out for places like Cat Ba Island and smaller islets with underground caves and diverse wildlife. Some travelers come here for active days filled with kayaking, caving and islet-hopping but you can also sit back and simply admire the stunning setting. As you sail along, you may feel like you are floating through a traditional Vietnamese painting.
Hong Kong, China
Among the world's most glamorous and cosmopolitan cities, Hong Kong sits on the southern coast of China at the Pearl River estuary of the South China Sea. It comprises Hong Kong Island, where the Central Business District and most affluent areas and attractions are, and, on the mainland, Kowloon and the New Territories. Hong Kong is a regional and global hub for banking, shipping, fashion and food, boasting more than 60 Michelin-starred restaurants. Its five-star hotels are among the most elegant to be found anywhere; many are set in the towering skyscrapers that carpet Hong Kong Island's steep slopes and light up its skyline so beautifully.
Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand
Shanghai is one of Asia’s most dynamic cities, and one of juxtapositions. It’s divided in two by the Huangpu River—to the west is Puxi and to the east Pudong. Puxi is the city’s downtown and its historic center; it’s here that much of the shopping, dining and nightlife is concentrated. Shanghai has more than 30,000 restaurants, from humble soup dumpling spots to formal affairs helmed by Michelin-starred chefs. Its museums, particularly the Shanghai Museum with its 120,000-strong collection of antiquities, are equally impressive. Pudong is where the city’s major skyscrapers stand, among them the Jin Mao and Oriental Pearl towers.
City-states are rare in the present day—and none are quite like Singapore. In the 20th century, the Southeast Asian nation hurtled itself into the modern world, and it continues to expand its state-of-the-art transportation system and build its edgy skyline. Yet Singapore's urban plan wisely maintained its intimate neighborhoods, many with streets lined with colorful shophouses (a type of building unique to parts of Asia, with businesses located on their ground floors and residences above). Add the city’s mix of ethnic groups—mainly Malays, Chinese and Indians—and you get a vibrant cultural scene that attracts a cosmopolitan, international community.
A study in contrasts, Asia balances ancient glory and leading-edge innovation in a region that encompasses a rich mélange of cultures. Take a closer look at cosmopolitan Hong Kong, including the city’s must-see museums, parks and cultural centers. Explore Edo-era architectural treasures in Tokyo. Discover China’s iconic Terra Cotta Warriors, a day trip from Shanghai. Learn what breathtaking sights await on a cruise of Vietnam’s Halong Harbor. And get a preview of Indonesia’s Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist temple and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.