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Old October 2nd, 2005, 07:04 AM   #1
richpol
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Askmen.com's Top 10 Asian Cities

We have all, at one point or another, sought to travel to the Far East to learn more about different cultures and see how much Western civilization has influenced others abroad. The following 10 cities are prime examples of old thoughts versus new rhetoric, and traditional culture versus modern societies. In many ways, these cities ultimately represent the result of decades worth of struggles and clashes between the East and the West.

Some of these locations are more for the single man looking for an adventure, while others are for the married man who wishes to show his family something new. Check them out and enjoy.

Number 10
Hanoi, Vietnam
Ask people to mention a city in Vietnam, and Saigon -- of Fall of Saigon fame -- comes to mind, but Hanoi is another Vietnamese city that can claim the throne there. As investment has started to flow in, the government is basking in the added economic freedoms and the amenities that come with it.
If there is one Asian country that would be incomplete without its country life, it is Vietnam, where the rural charm and authenticity far outweigh the city life.

Who is it for? Someone who likes the city life, but cannot wait to hide out in the docile countryside every now and then.
Must-see: Hoan Kiem Lake, the social and very spiritual heart of Hanoi that serves as the gathering spot for residents.

Number 9
Jakarta, Indonesia
Jakarta is like most large cities in Asia: today's prosperity and desperate attempt to modernize clashes with yesterday's remnants and abject poverty. Imagine having large avenues crossing unpaved roads and lavish hotels hanging over impoverished boroughs.
Be careful and always keep your eye on the road, as modern cars seem to fight for parking spots with pedicabs.

Who is it for? Someone who favors extremes in a city.
Must-see: Miniature Park, which includes 27 traditional houses

Number 8
Seoul, South Korea
Unlike its troubled northern brother, South Korea recently captured our imaginations when it played host to the 1988 Summer Olympics. Seoul is by every standard the commercial, cultural, educational, financial, political, and recreational center of Korea.
The city boasts great theaters as well as other modern entertainment complexes. But the city's true charm lies in the fact that Seoul was a seat of government during the Paekche Kingdom over 1,500 years ago, as well as the capital of the Chosun Dynasty in the 14th century.

Who is it for? Someone who likes to relic in the historical riches of a mountainous area.
Must-see: Seoul Metropolitan Museum of Art, where you can see centuries of Korean art and history unfold before your eyes.


Number 7
Manila, Philippines
Manila was a thrilla even before September 30th, 1975. Manila is an urban area covering the cities of Caloocan, Makati, Pasay, Pasig, and Quezon, as well as 12 other towns. Manila is like many Asian cities: a cross between modern amenities and deep tradition. The area has no set center or downtown and as a result, it's difficult to go from spot to spot.
Who is it for? Someone who enjoys traveling without a set itinerary.
Must-see: The Intramuros, which is Manila's ancient walled city, built by the Spaniards in the 16th Century.


Number 6
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur's profile was boosted, as was expected, when the Petronas Twin Towers were built. Besides these monstrous erections, the city has great restaurants and prominent hotels, blending many cultures in a cost-efficient setting. But the city is true to its roots; its colonial past revolves around the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and the Royal Selangor Club.
Who is it for? Someone who needs to see the world's tallest twin skyscrapers.
Must-see: Petronas Twin Towers

Number 5
Bangkok, Thailand
Amid the many cities with tall buildings and modern streets, Thailand stands out like a sore thumb (but is very much like the rest of Asia). Locals call it Krung Thep, or the City of Angels; Westerners call it Bangkok.
If you thought rush hour on the LA expressway was bad, then stay away from Bangkok. The city is more known for its side streets and alleys (or sois ) than its landmarks. But once the dust settles (literally -- air pollution is horrible), you immediately notice the calm of the people and their friendly demeanor.

Who is it for? Someone who thrives in confusion.
Must-see: Grand Palace, where the original monarchs inhabited.

Number 4
Shanghai, China
Shanghai, or "City on the Sea," has grown to represent China's economic resurgence, potential might and lofty prospects. Shanghai's bliss today is attributed to its storied past.
Back in the days, Shanghai's culture and lifestyle reflected a boisterous reality: brothels to the right, chic restaurants to the left and glamorous clubs for the foreigners who took a liking to the women there.

Who is it for? Someone who wants to see what happens when the West meets the East (ironic for a communist country).
Must-see: Yufo Si is a Buddhist temple that houses a 6½-foot-high, 455-pound Buddha with white jade and rare gems.


Number 3
Singapore, Singapore
Westerners know one thing about Singapore: that chewing gum will get you a spanking. But Singapore has mesmerized millions since it was founded in 1819 as a trading center.
Independence was only granted in 1965; since then, it has earned a spot among the tigers and has been Southeast Asia's most modern city. It's fairly easy to wander around and discover the sights.

Who is it for? Someone who likes to travel by foot... once you're there of course.
Must-see: Singapore Botanic Gardens dates back to the mid-19th Century and one can see its Victorian influence.


Number 2
Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is, for all intents and purposes, a city of staggering proportions, both in terms of area and population.
It is probably for this reason that its transportation system is geared to being very efficient. After all, it has to be when you consider that in a year, Tokyo transports about 1.5 billion travelers. Also, as a result, any spot you wish to visit is only walking distance from a train.

Who is it for? Someone who feels comfortable in big crowds.
Must-see: Toshogu, a shrine that dates back to the early 17th Century.

Number 1
Hong Kong, China
If you spoke Cantonese, you would know that Hong Kong means "fragrant harbor." Chances are that this name was given to the island for the perfume factories of days gone by.
Handed back to China in 1997, Hong Kong remains a commercial artery for the mainland. A trip there, however, will prove that most of Hong Kong is, in fact, rural.

Who is it for? Someone who's willing to spend big bucks.
Must-see: Hong Kong Island: nightlife, corporate finance, shopping, and everything else in between.

If you've gone to one of these Asian cities or want to share your travel experiences with other AskMen.com readers, visit Cafe AskMen's Lifestyle forum.
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Old October 2nd, 2005, 07:07 AM   #2
ChinaboyUSA
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Where is Beijing?

and Taipei
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Old October 2nd, 2005, 07:07 AM   #3
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Manila has no set downtown? How about Makati? lol wtf
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Old October 2nd, 2005, 07:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChinaboyUSA
Where is Beijing?

and Taipei
maybe because one of the criteria is western influence?? i dunno, check the source.
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Old October 2nd, 2005, 07:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richpol
maybe because one of the criteria is western influence?? i dunno, check the source.
It is true that Shanghai and Hong Kong grab more attention in the western point of views.

Let Beijing show its color on 2008 Olympic Games.
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Old October 2nd, 2005, 08:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotrfan55345
Manila has no set downtown? How about Makati? lol wtf
Maybe to them its either Makati and Ortigas...so "no set downtown"
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Old October 2nd, 2005, 08:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyX
Maybe to them its either Makati and Ortigas...so "no set downtown"
Is it true that back in the 70s, Quiapo was considered downtown or is it just my dad's pride because he went to UST?
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Old October 2nd, 2005, 12:19 PM   #8
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Escolta was the gimik place back in the 60's, while Binondo was the "makati" of the past. i'm not too sure about Quiapo
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Old October 2nd, 2005, 12:32 PM   #9
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From Fodors.com---Why Manila lacks a city center

"Because Metro Manila is a conglomeration of cities and towns, it lacks a defined center, and you certainly won't find an easy-to-navigate grid layout. Adding to the confusion is a lack of consistent urban planning..."
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Old October 2nd, 2005, 10:57 PM   #10
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Strange list!
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Old October 2nd, 2005, 11:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
South Korea recently captured our imaginations when it played host to the 1988 Summer Olympics
How old is this?
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Old October 2nd, 2005, 11:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richpol
Number 10
Hanoi, Vietnam
Ask people to mention a city in Vietnam, and Saigon -- of Fall of Saigon fame -- comes to mind, but Hanoi is another Vietnamese city that can claim the throne there.
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Old October 4th, 2005, 01:27 PM   #13
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quite disapointed tokyo below hk.
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Old October 4th, 2005, 01:31 PM   #14
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quite happy HK above Tokyo
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Old October 4th, 2005, 02:40 PM   #15
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Hanoi? wtf

Manila higher than Jakarta and Seoul?

What the hell's going on
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Old October 4th, 2005, 03:10 PM   #16
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That ranking is just made by a tourist.
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