Best Places to Visit in Asia

As you might imagine, the largest continent on Earth hosts an incredible array of vacation destinations. From mega-metropolises to remote islands, Asia's top travel spots offer adventure and ancient history side-by-side. However, the greatest challenge of visiting these places is coping with the high cost of airfare and difficult time change. Taking into consideration the local prices, the accessibility and the variety of things to do in each destination, U.S. News Travel has ranked the best vacations in Asia.

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Why Go: The Maldives brims with lavish resorts, over-the-water bungalows, colorful reefs and crystal blue waves. This collection of 1,190 islands satisfies the dreams of every newlywed and beach bum — it's a heavenly paradise. Be forewarned, the Maldives remains difficult to reach, but then again, that's part of its allure. Read More»

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Why Go: China's capital may not be the nation's most populous city (Shanghai) or its fastest-paced one (Hong Kong), but Beijing hosts the country's most significant cultural sites — the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City, to name two. With all its attractions, Beijing deserves many more years in the limelight. Read More»

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Why Go: This former British colony is one of the easiest introductions to China. But make no mistake: Hong Kong distinguishes itself from both China and Britain, with its own currency and its own judiciary system. This massive city also promises a fresh adventure, with mountains to climb, skyscrapers to admire and theme parks to explore. Read More»

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Why Go: Renowned as a culinary mecca, Singapore offers travelers a manageable taste of Asia. The nation's diverse population has brought an international flavor to the local culture. And this fusion has led to prosperity that takes physical form in the city's mind-blowing skyline. Plus, Singapore accommodates families very well, offering plenty of kid-friendly attractions. Read More»

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Why Go: Bali has long been a dreamy escape for honeymooners. But ancient temples, beaches and luxury hotels are just part of the Indonesian island's allure. Bali possesses a rugged interior ripe for adventure-seekers and nature-lovers. Plus, you can book accommodations for surprisingly affordable rates at independent hotels. Read More»

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Why Go: No dilly-dallying here — Tokyo is as fast-paced as cities come. As a visitor, you'll have a hard time keeping up with the fashions, the traffic patterns and even the high hotel prices. But should you accept the challenge, you're in for a wild ride of museums, temples, skyscrapers and sinfully good sushi.  Read More»

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Why Go: South Korea's capital is a well-oiled machine, rocketing toward global prominence. Pedestrians, bikes and cars whiz through the streets at an alarming rate and skyscrapers grow 24/7. It's a marvel to witness, particularly since Seoul is hungry for tourists. The city has renovated its hotels, historical sites and urban parks to complete its universal appeal. Read More»

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Why Go: While Tokyo is Japan's financial and political capital, Kyoto proudly stands as the nation's cultural hub. The city's wealth of historical treasures — a total of 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites — brings visitors back to ancient Japan. If you tire of shrines, temples and palaces, slip into a traditional teahouse for a caffeine boast. Read More»

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Why Go: Composed of vibrant neighborhoods, Bangkok is sure to surprise you. Here, shopping takes center stage: Whether you're perusing clothes in a modern mall or shifting through handmade jewelry on roads lined with stalls, you're sure to discover some hidden treasures. Read More»

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Why Go: In recent years, Phuket has been stealing the spotlight from chaotic Bangkok, with its spectacular scenery. Its lush green hills, soft beige beaches and cerulean waters comprise an image of paradise that few Asian destinations can rival. Additionally, hotels here are extremely affordable, making Phuket appealing to both backpackers and luxury seekers.

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