The Far East is an intoxicating mix of exotic foods, ancient temples, and sweeping landscapes juxtaposed with futuristic design and neon signs. One day can be spent in a burgeoning metropolis desperately trying to order a bowl of soup, followed by a day spent in a tranquil village amongst soaring peaks with little old ladies desperately trying to give you a bowl of noodles. Both are Asia, and no trip is complete without these bipolar experiences.
Currently, Singapore Air is having a sale on flights to select Asian destinations for travel from September 1 through December 9. We put together five not-to-miss Asian destinations to take advantage of these cheap rates.
5 Not-To-Miss Asian Destinations
Stepping off a plane in Tokyo gives the impression that you have landed on a futuristic planet from a Sci-Fi novel. Japan's capital city is a unique experience and you could spend an entire week exploring it, but we recommend you take some time to explore some of the Land of the Rising Sun's other highlights.
Japan's famous high-speed bullet train (shinkansen) will get you to Osaka in under 3 hours. Osaka is a great place to eat and pick up a dizzying array of cheap electronics before you head to neighboring Kyoto, the once capital of Japan, for a more tranquil and traditional view of Japan. Feed the deer at Tōdai-ji temple in Nara and savour the gastronomical wonder of Kobe beef in, well, Kobe. We found flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Tokyo (NRT) from $900.72.
Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is now Vietnam's largest city and the engine driving the country's current resurgence. Learn about Vietnam's participation in the Vietnam War (or Second Indochina War), explore Vietnam cuisine by starting your day with Pho breakfast soup, and get yourself some incredibly-tailored cheap threads while you wait.
From Saigon, take a trip south to Mekong Delta and barter for food at the floating river markets. Brown canals and rivulets crisscross this watery landscape of green fields and sleepy villages. We found flights from Houston (IAH) to Ho Chi Minh (SNG) starting from $989.06.
Gangnam style, named for the neighborhood it developed from in Seoul, is a perfect representation of the whacky, OTT, creative, and cool vibe that you will find in Seoul. Located in the center of the Korean Peninsula, Seoul has served as the country's capital for 600 years and now serves as a hub of Northeast Asia.
Take in Korea's unique history at Gyeongbokgung Palace, ogle the enormous, futuristic retailers in Gangnam, stroll along an underground stream in a below-ground pedestrian park, shop all night in so-cheap-its crazy Dongdaemun, and stuff yourself with Kimchii and other Korean street food at Gwangjang Market. We found flights from from San Francisco, (SFO) to Seoul, (ICN) starting from $825.19.
Use Bangkok as a jumping off point for exploring the Land of a Thousand Smiles, as Thailand is known. Head north to explore the 16th century Ayutthaya ruins and continue on to Chiang Mai, the capital of the former Kingdom of Lanna. If you prefer to stick close to the coast, chill out on the western islands of Phuket and Krabi or island hop from Koh Samui to Koh Pha Ngan in time foa Full Moon party. If you're interested in scuba diving, continue on from Koh Phangan to the tiny island of Koh Tao, famous for its turtles. We found flights from San Francisco (SFO) to Bangkok (BKK) from $1,146.36.
Hong Kong ranks beside New York, Paris, and London as one of the most important economic centers in the world today. This vertical city was once a British colony, leaving the major advantage of English as one of the official languages. Visitors can gawk at the giant Tian Tan Buddha statue at Po Lin monastery, take the ferry across Victoria Harbour, and spend all night Mong Kok, where the city never sleeps. We found flights from San Francisco (SFO) to Ho Chi Minh (SNG) starting from $965.78.
If Asia is just a little too exotic for your taste, check out our other airfare deals; we've got something for everyone, no matter where you want to go!