4 Of The Best Capital Cities In Asia

November 20, 2018Niry Fidelis

Be  prepared for the massive culture shock


Sri Lanka

Asia is one of the most diverse and exciting places in the world. There is
so much to discover out there but for newcomers, it can be quite daunting. The
cultures you find in Asia are so different to anything you’ll find closer to
home and that culture shock puts some people off. People tend to have a certain
picture of Asia in their mind and it tends to be tied into stereotypes about
backpacking. They often think that a trip to Asia means trekking around vast
countrysides and staying in bare bones hostels or huts in the middle of
nowhere. If you’re used to a different type of travel and you usually stay in
luxury hotels, that might put you off. But the thing is, that’s only one of the
many different experiences that you could have in Asia and there are plenty of
places that are just as developed as other parts of the world. If you’re a bit
unsure of Asia and you don’t know whether it’s for you, you’re better off
starting in the capital cities. It’s the ideal way to experience the wide range
of cultures in Asia without straying too far outside your comfort zone. There
are so many great capital cities in Asia, these are some of the best ones for
first time visitors. 

Sri Lanka





Colombo, Sri Lanka

One of the best things about visiting the capital city of a country is that
you get a cross section of everything the country has to offer. That’s
definitely true of Colombo, the capital

city of Sri Lanka. This beautiful port
city has a very long colonial history which means that there is a big mix of
cultural heritage there. You’ll be able to experience the cultures and
religions of a lot of different groups from around Asia and beyond. It’s a city
of contrasts where you’ll find luxury mansions and hotels, and


fine dining
restaurants
alongside packed out slums in the poorer areas of the city. But if you’ve
got a good travel budget, you can have a great luxury travel experience in
Colombo.

The city has a thriving art scene so there are plenty of great galleries
displaying traditional Asian art dating back to the 4th century as well as
plenty of contemporary stuff. The best place for food is probably
the Mt Lavinia beach
region
. This laid back
suburb of Colombo is packed with some amazing restaurants serving local
seafood. If you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, there are plenty of
great shopping districts in the city where you’ll find some of the most popular
high end brands in the world.

As well as all of that modern stuff, you’ll be able to get a taste of the
traditional Sri Lankan heritage in the capital city. The
Gangarama Vihara is one of the most popular
tourist attractions in the city. This amazing temple is decorating with
impressive brass and stone carvings and houses a great museum where you can
learn about the history of Buddhism.

If you’re a nature lover, you should absolutely visit the zoological
gardens in Colombo where you can see all manner of interesting wildlife
including birds and marine life in their natural habitat.

While you’re in Sri Lanka, you should definitely make sure to visit the spice
gardens
. You’ll have to
take a tour out of the city to get there but it’s a great day trip that gives
you a chance to experience the more rural areas of the country and learn about
a lot of the ingredients that you cook with at home. Never buy things there! 





Jakarta, Indonesia

The capital of Indonesia, on
the coast of the beautiful island of Java, is another great melting pot of cultures.
It’s ideal for first time visitors to Asia because there are people from China,
Malaysia, India, and Europe living there and you can experience an exciting
blend of all of those cultures. Jakarta has been through a lot of rapid
development over the last few decades which is a good and a bad thing. It’s
good in some sense because it means that there are a lot of great new
properties where travelers can stay during their visit (Check out the
rumah kontrakan site to see what is on
offer). The downside to that expansion is that there are a lot of high rise
buildings and busy roads which some people don’t like.

However, the rich cultural heritage that makes Jakarta such a great place
is still there. The food is one of the best things about Jakarta because you
have such a blend of cultures and culinary styles. The
Istiqlal Mosque is an absolute must as well.
It’s the largest mosque in all of Southeast Asia and an impressive sight to
behold.





Hong Kong
Hong Kong is its own
independent territory within China and it’s very different from the rest of the
country. It’s a former British colony so western culture is very prominent
there. China itself is a very different country and it may be overwhelming for
travelers that haven’t visited Asia before. That’s why Hong Kong is such a good
introduction to the region. When people think of Hong Kong, they usually
picture a thriving metropolis filled with business people from around the
globe. That is true but that’s only a small part of what Hong Kong has to
offer. Most people don’t realize that over 70 percent of Hong Kong is filled
with mountainous countryside and amazing parks. 

Once you get outside of the city you’ll find lots of traditional villages
and hiking trails around remote islands. It’s ideal for first time visitors
because you can stay in the familiar westernized city area and venture outside into
the more rural areas if you feel comfortable. The city is in love with food so
you’ll never be short of
amazing places to eat. There are some great
Cantonese and Japanese restaurants if you want to sample traditional Asian
cuisine but if you want something more contemporary, there are plenty of top
chefs pushing the boundaries of food in Hong Kong.

The culture in Hong Kong is just as diverse as the food. One day you could
find yourself in a traditional bamboo theatre listening to a Chinese opera or
taking part in a tai chi lesson. The very next day you might end up in a
contemporary art
gallery
showcasing the
best in Chinese artists.





Pyongyang, North Korea
People might think that this is an odd entry to have on the list because
North Korea isn’t top of anybody’s list of places that they want to visit. But
if you want a unique travel experience, you’ll definitely find it here. It’s
a very different
travel experience
to any other you’ve had before because it’s incredibly restrictive. You
can only visit the capital city and you’ll be escorted by a guide wherever you
go, you won’t be able to go off on your own anywhere. You’ll get a tour of all
of the local monuments and visit some local restaurants. The hotels that you
will stay at have a lot of amenities because you’ll need to stay there in the evenings.
A lot of people that go to Pyongyang will tell you that it isn’t a relaxing
trip but it’s an incredibly unique experience that gives you some small insight
into the most secretive country in the world. 

These are all great cities to visit if you’re intrigued by Asia but you’re
not sure whether you’re prepared for the massive culture shock that you’ll get
in the more rural areas. 


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