5 best long-haul city breaks

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Gardens by the Bay, Singapore. Photo: Shutterstock

These five glorious cities are worth a stopover or a holiday in their own right. Read on to find out why we've chosen these five Asian cities as the best long-haul city breaks.

1. Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an eternally appealing city: full of glistening skyscrapers set against a spectacular mountain backdrop, impressively futuristic buildings and some of the SAR’s oldest Chinese communities, all combined with beautiful walks and good beaches. Take a ferry across the harbour for fabulous skyline views, climb Victoria Peak, marvel at temples and mansions and hunt for treasures in Hollywood Road. Exploring the city from Central and Mid-levels to Kowloon and the New Territories has never been more exciting.

To have an experience like this in Hong Kong, see Hong Kong Island Insights.

Tourist tram at the Peak, Hong Kong. Photo: ShutterstockTourist tram at the Peak, Hong Kong. Photo: Shutterstock

2. Singapore

Cosmopolitan Singapore knows how to do luxury, home to some of the world’s top hotels and spas, fine dining with explosive flavours, pristine cleanliness and shopping worth splurging on, it’s the perfect city for a stopover or a relaxed break. Visit Orchard Road’s shops, cruise along the river, stroll through the beautiful Gardens By the Bay, visit museums and the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve or just take a step back and relax along Sentosa’s sandy shores.

Like what you hear? Take a look at our trip Indulgent Singapore to find out more.

Tropical beach, Sentosa, Singapore. Photo: ShutterstockTropical beach in Sentosa, Singapore. Photo: Shutterstock

3. Beijing

Explore Beijing and see all of its amazing sights, from The Great Wall to Tiannamen Square. The Forbidden City lies at the heart of the city, while other treasures are tucked away in the city's hutongs or alleyways. South of here is Tiannamen Square. You can see the city at your leisure with a private guide before you journey to ancient Xi’an to see the Terracotta Warriors, then head to Guilin for a cruise along the Li River. Spot water buffalo and the area’s iconic limestone peaks; visit pagodas and impressive remnants of ancient dynasties. Journey into the Yangshuo hills, hop on a bullet train and get a taste of local cultures, village life and colourful markets. Finally, spend a few nights in stylish, commercial Shanghai with its modern energy, old town and glitzy colonial past.

To find out more about this trip, see The Best of China.

The Forbidden City, Beijing. Photo: ShutterstockThe Forbidden City, Beijing. Photo: Shutterstock

4. Bangkok

No visit to Thailand is complete without a stopover in Bangkok. Vibrant, cosmopolitan and sometimes a little bit crazy, this is a city worth exploring. Spend your days amid ancient Buddhist temples, taking in the Old City’s charms; spend your nights exploring Chinatown, street-side restaurants and Khao San Road, one of the hippest destinations in town. 

You can also visit the Grand Palace on an Afternoon City and Temples, including Grand Palace Tour on our trip Bangkok Sustainable Trails

The Thai King's palace and golden guard ship, Bangkok. Photo: ShutterstockThe Thai King's palace and golden guard ship, Bangkok. Photo: Shutterstock

5. Kuala Lumpur

Take in Kuala Lumpur's vast malls, architecture, landmarks and gardens. The capital city of Kuala Lumpur is a buzzing, cosmopolitan metropolis. After spending some quality time in glitzy KL, discover the lure of irresistible Penang; learn about the heritage of its capital Georgetown with its maze-like streets and fabulous architecture, savour mouth-watering cuisine in gourmet restaurants, cramped coffee shops and from roadside stalls, watch eagles soar, kayak through mangroves and simply loll on Langkawi’s idyllic deserted beaches – kick back and savour total luxury and relaxation.

Like what you see? Find out more details on our trip: Indulgent Malaysia.

Rooftop pool with a view, Kuala Lumpur. Photo: ShutterstockRooftop pool with a view, Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Shutterstock