I’ve only visited a few destinations (mostly because of the fact that I’ve visited Tokyo and Niseko Village both three times between 2008 and 2011), but I do have an outstanding five destinations that I love.
My favourite urban cities – Taipei, Tokyo and Singapore
Just to note that since we usually travel with a small one, we won’t go to Tokyo to the near future as not to affect the child’s growth by radiation (I’m a freak, I know).
Tokyo is basically a cleaner and safer New York. Gone are the strip clubs, replaced by sushi bars, and the discos, replaced by traditional Japanese inns, but overall the vibe in Tokyo is really Western. Staying in Shinjuku (more accurately, at the Century Southern Tower) every time I went to Tokyo (last time I went was 2010), the lighting and the overall feel just felt like I was literally somewhere like Union Square. And judging the fact that it’s a lot quieter, it combines the best of both worlds.
If I had to choose a city most similar to Tokyo, it would be Taipei. The language is absolutely different, but it’s actually advantageous for me since I can speak Mandarin. It’s basically a vibe combiner between southern Taiwan and Tokyo, and I’d have a hard time choosing between either of them, so I basically love Taipei.
I love Singapore as well. It’s really friendly on the whole, but does feel slightly different from Taipei and Tokyo (the heat, I guess). I’d compare Singapore to Hong Kong – which, based on the website’s name (didn’t you notice?), I live in – and am patriotic for. It’s got a more leisure but still existent vibe, and I think the main writer’s covered Singapore up pretty well in this post (yes, I did sneak in and tweak a thing or two). What makes Singapore so interesting, though, is that the most highly rated Singaporean hotels in TripAdvisor are subsidiary hotels like the Ritz-Carlton and Conrad – both of them beat their parent hotels, Marriott and Hilton (respectively).
My favourite leisure destinations – Okinawa and Rotorua
We’re going to Kyushu again in August, but unfortunately Okinawa isn’t one of these destinations. We’ll be back soon, though.
Though the Renaissance Okinawa is nowhere we’ll be going again (it made one of the three hotels in my “NO LIKE” list), Okinawa is a fine place to relax and enjoy. It’s not exclusively beach like Koh Samui (which is a great place with a low price tag though I’m not itching to return), but it has golden beaches to sit on and relax as well. (Next time in Okinawa I’ll choose the Ritz-Carlton, Sheraton or the ANA InterContinental…)
We had a blast in Rotorua last February, which doesn’t have a particular vibe but is beautiful and filled with geothermal parks. Rotorua’s not a beach destination, like there’s not a single beach there, but it is a place filled with volcanoes, geothermal lakes and geysers. Along with that the forest life is nice too, so it is a good place to walk around in. That said, I’d really like to see what the fuss in Queenstown is, so soon you’ll probably be seeing a trip report of HKG – SYD – ZQN.
I’m itching to visit Auckland, Queenstown, Munich, Berchtesgaden and Abu Dhabi, so I’ll be talking about these in another post.
I don’t think I’m the only one keen to visit this place…