As our regular blog readers already know, AIRGOFX is proud to offer up more than just the cheapest international money transfers and the best currency exchange rates in the industry. We'd like to be nothing less than your first choice when it comes to travel financial firms. That's why we present a little something extra each week in the pages of our blog-- so we can provide valuable travel information as well as our usual array of services.
The extra touch this week is our list of the Top Five Places to Visit in Asia. Other than the well-known city of Shanghai, we've gone out of our way to come up with some compelling Asian locales you might not have considered as possible holiday destinations. Either way, you're certain to find something that appeals to your taste on this diverse list.
The first spot on our list is Shanghai, China. It's a location you don't hear as much about as you once did, but that doesn't mean it's lacking in attractions for British travelers. In fact, this incredible metropolis has so much to offer that it's difficult to know where to start when describing its appeal. But we'll give it a shot nevertheless. Here are just a few of the reasons so many people visit Shanghai during their trips to Asia:
The Bund. We strongly recommend you spend a few hours walking this gorgeous 1.5 km promenade in the heart of the city. Lined with beautiful examples of colonial architecture, the Bund is like a walking tour through a living museum of Shanghai history.
The Yùyuán Gardens. Located in the Old Town district, The Yùyuán Gardens are a delight for all five senses, with the scent of flowers in the air at all hours, the buzz of the crowds who fill up the kitschy neighboring bazaar, and the botanical sights of pine trees and flowers growing in beautifully composed patterns.
The French Concession. This is one of the most sophisticated areas in all of Shanghai, with luxury villas dotting the streets and wonderful dining and people watching opportunities all day long and most of the evening.
Situated just east of Bali, the Indonesian island of Lombok is known for its powdery sand beaches, the variegated beauty of its landscapes, and its wonderful blend of natural and man-made attractions. The natural attractions include some of the best surfing in all of the South Pacific and Mount Rinjani, the second highest volcano in Indonesia and the perfect spot for memorable photographs and daylong guided tours.
The city of Senggigi is a must see city on Lombok. Like Lombok's other man-made attractions, the line of hotels and restaurants in Senggigi emerge gracefully from the natural landscape. Great surfing spots abound on the Senggigi Beach and some of the most dynamic nightlife is located nearby as well.
Northern Kerala, India
Another lesser known jewel you may want to consider is Northern Kerala in India. Comprised of incredible beaches and an array of homey villages along the Malabar Coast in the southern part of the country, Northern Kerala has an authentically Indian feel and very much deserves its suddenly growing popularity.
The British tourist in Northern Kerala chooses from a variety of sun drenched beaches on the Arabian Sea without the crowds and pushy vendors that often accompany them elsewhere. There are also opportunities for steamy rides on rice barges and a dazzling blend of delicious cuisine, pristine natural beauty, and abundant wildlife. But you'd better get there soon if you want to get in ahead of the rush of tourists that are sure to arrive as the region continues to rise in popularity.
The Vietnamese capital is a city where a number of different cultural influences converge. Visitors to Hanoi find a unique blend of Chinese, Southeast Asian, and French flavors in everything from the cuisine to the architecture, yet the city still remains truly unique.
Points of interest in the city include the formidable Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural, which is over 4 km long and was constructed in honor of the capital's 1,000 year anniversary. Sometimes called "The Paris of the East," Hanoi manages to retain its unique Vietnamese air even in the midst of so many interesting artifacts of the French Colonial Period.
Last but certainly not least, we present the fascinating city of Krabi, Thailand. Located some 500 miles south of Bangkok on the west coast of the country, Krabi has a variety of exotic charms to offer the British traveler. Much of the city is devoted to well-preserved National Parks, where visitors can witness the beauty of Thailand in its purest state.
Krabi is also well known for its many gorgeous beaches. One of the most outstanding is Railay Beach, where tourists can partake of ice cold drinks and sumptuous Thai food while surrounded by beautiful limestone cliffs and some of the most crystal clear water in the world. Its proximity to Ao Nang and Phuket gives visitors to Krabi a number of other wonderful beach options as well.