Editor picks – 20 destinations and luxury hotels in Asia that should be in your bucket list

From the bustling 21st century city of Tokyo to ancient temples in Tibet, Asia is a land defined by diversity, contrasts and heritage. The fashionable cities of Hong-kong and Singapore compete with the western cities of Milan and London. Home to architectural marvels like the Great Wall of China in Beijing and the impressive towering skyscrapers of Dubai, Asia has one of the most distinctive landscapes in the world.

Scenic coastlines, snow-capped mountains, white sandy beaches and wildlife infested jungles, Asia has it all! Freshness and flavour of Asian cuisines are recognised globally from tangy Indian spices to fresh Japanese seafood. Above all, Asia is a spiritual place – inculcated with the gods of past and present: the ancient spirits of the land and the family, the teachings of Buddhism, the deities of Christianity and Hinduism and the rules of Islam.

After countless debates and adhering to factors from culture to shopping to nightliffe to scenery to luxe and a lot more we have listed 20 destinations across Asia that are a must visit. Hotels play a very crucial role in experiencing the city / destinations essence, apart from being at the best of the locations the hotels we have picked offer top notch service and facilities. Before further ado here is the list –

20. Chengdu – China
From modern skyscrapers and neon lights to unearthed kingdom and old-fashioned artisans, Chengdu is a fascinating mix of old and new. The conventional wooden buildings and streets teeming with trees have now been trumped by massive designer malls, rising skyscrapers and expansive residential complexes. Well, this is 21st century China – what else can on expect? Yet, this contemporary city sports old-time artisans and clusters of hibiscus flowers. Fortunately in 2001, historians unearthed a 3000 year old Shu empire. Located in the western suburbs of the city, the ruins are easily accessible to tourists. The tomb of Wáng Jiàn is China’s only mausoleum that features an above ground chamber. Wang Jian was an empire of China’s Tang dynasty. For many, sighting of a Panda would be a rare phenomenon, however in the city of Chengdu, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is home to over 50 giant and red pandas. In Chengdu, Asia’s first UNESCO-listed city of gastronomy, experimenting with tongue-numbing Sichaun cuisine is a unique experience all together. Be it the standard street fare or the elaborate three course menus at the city’s fancy restaurants, the experience never fails to disappoint.

Where to stay – Marriott’s luxury brand, Ritz Carlton recently made its debut in Chengdu with its 353 room luxury hotel. Through its themed rooms and restaurants, the hotel makes no mistake in keeping the vibrant city’s tea culture identity alive. Of course, it hosts all your amenities – a spa, a beauty salon and a state-of-the-art fitness center. These facilities surround an indoor swimming pool.

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19. Ubud – Indonesia
For more than a century, Ubud has been the Bali’s finest centre for culture. While it once was a haven for scruffy backpackers, cosmic seekers, artists and bohemians, Ubud is now a hot spot for literati, glitterati, art collectors and connoisseurs. Elegant five star hotels and sprawling mansions now stand on its outskirts, overlooking the most prized views in Bali. Nonetheless, Ubud is still popular with backpackers, mystics and all the finest fringe elements of global society. The best way to observe Bali’s traditions and culture is through mingling with the locals and watching their daily routine. In this town, you can visit the temples and villages that have remained relatively unchanged through the years. For keepsakes, make sure to visit South of Ubud. You can find hundreds of craft shops offering art products and handmade souvenirs, especially made of stone or wood.

Where to stay – The twenty-nine-room plush Uma Ubud is conveniently isolated from the noisy beachfront resorts. Designed by Koichiro Ikebuchi, there is plenty of natural light and airflow, and the interiors blend simplicity with traditional Balinese materials. For hardcore relaxation, you’ll want to head to the COMO Shambhala Retreat. The Kemiri serves Balinese and Asian cuisine and is available to for all-day dining.

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