The best cities of Asia are those towns where you wanted to stay on schedule two nights but eventually got stuck for a week or more. We selected them for you: 5 towns and villages in Asia, where the atmosphere is so relaxed that you never want to leave.
1. Hoi An (Vietnam)
The textbook example of the ultimate suspension town where the atmosphere is so beautiful and relaxing that you really will want to live permanently. Hoi An is in the middle of elongated Vietnam and is your ideal stop during a journey from south to north or vice versa. In the car-free center, you find attractive streets full of lanterns, old wooden houses, and great (cheap!) boutiques, small hotels, friendly restaurants, and bars. Rent a bike and ride at the countryside or to the quiet beach.
2. Luang Prabang (Laos)
How natural and charming the Lao capital Vientiane is, in the sleepy Luang Prabang you’ll be enchanted. Luang Prabang is also called the ‘Pearl of the Orient.’ Dozens of Buddhist temples, smiling monks, lantern-lit streets, ornate French-Indochinese architecture and a picturesque location in the hills between the Mekong and Nam Khan River. Luang Prabang works magnetizing. Rent a bike and meander through the back streets of the Old Quarter, visit the colorful night market of the Hmong and let you pamper in one of many spas (5 euros for an hour massage!). Do take a cooking class. The local cuisine is a refined fusion of French and Asian. Just outside Luang Prabang are the beautiful Kuang Si waterfalls and the holy caves of Pak Ou, which suffice Buddhists.
3. Chiang Mai and Pai (Thailand)
We call them here together because the short Pai visit without the first two has been not even an option in Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is the second most largest city in Thailand and for decades a traveler’s favorite. The town (admittedly, it’s not a town) is in the green, mountainous northern Thailand and is not only a pleasant, medium-sized living city full of charming boutique hotels, trendy coffee bars, safe street, delicious food stalls, ancient temples and bustling markets. Chiang Mai is also the base for the energetic trekking, zip lining, rafting, elephant- or quad biking, scooter trips along crocodile farms and botanical gardens: the beautiful, natural surroundings of Chiang Mai you can continue working.
4. Kampot (Cambodia)
Kampot is close to the Vietnamese border on the Kampot River, a few kilometers from the Gulf of Thailand. It is a typical sleepy river town in Cambodia with houses in old, dilapidated French colonial style. Some of them are now nice cheap store burrows, restaurants or bars. Kampot is developing gradually into a popular tourist resort, but for the time being continue to have a laid-back vibe. Thanks to the French influences include croissants, wine and even fondue (in the Auberge du Soleil restaurant) to the possibilities here, as indeed just pizzas, burgers, espresso and even tapas. The decor of the city is the Bokorgebergte whose summits pierce the fog. Must do: spend a day with the scooter driving around the countryside outside of Kampot. Everywhere friendly locals waving from their bike or verandas of their simple wooden houses. Especially the dusty road towards Kep (also a tip!) is beautiful.
5. Ubud (Bali, Indonesia)
Ubud is the cultural and spiritual heart of Bali and is beautifully situated on the rainforest and rice terraces. It is the place where fans of “Eat, Pray, and Love” go and get indulged in massages, Ayurvedic treatments, and yoga classes. Lovely floaty and spiritual, all of them. In and around the main street of the town, Jalan Raya Ubud, you will find many local craft shops, little seaside galleries, cafes, and restaurants. In the Puri Saren Agung Palace performances are given daily by several Balinese dance groups. Visit the Monkey Forest and the Monkey Cave. The nature around Ubud is breathtakingly beautiful; you can hike through the magnificent rice fields, cycle in the area or raft on the Ayung River in Ubud.