My Top 10 Favorite Places in Asia: #7 – Hong Kong

In some ways, I’ve always felt that Hong Kong feels like the anti-Singapore (which was #8 on my list.) Singapore seems western in many ways – especially in infrastructure and city-planning. Hong Kong feels Asian. Hong Kong has the crowded streets, the messiness, the small shops, restaurants, outdoor eateries that make it so fun and fascinating. Now of course, Hong Kong is a spectacular city in its development. It has one of, if not the most, awe-inspiring skylines in the world. The topography of Hong Kong with its rugged mountains and hills is beautiful.

Hong Kong has it all. Dim sum. Shopping of all varieties. Hawker stalls and top-notch restaurants. The breath-taking Victoria Harbor. Make sure to ride the ferry from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island. It’s cheap and thrilling! Explore one of the many other smaller islands. We used to stay at a guest house on the quaint Cheung Chau Island, where motor vehicles were not allowed. What a wonderful and relaxing getaway on the edge of one of the world’s most exciting cities.

That’s why it’s number seven on my list. ┬áHere’s a recap of the countdown so far:

10. Malacca, Malaysia

9. Chiang Mai, Thailand

8. Singapore

7. Hong Kong

6. ?

My Top 10 Favorite Places in Asia: Not Making the Cut

I was doing an author’s interview recently and the interviewer asked what is my favorite place in Asia. That made me really stop and think. I’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled to some pretty cool places throughout east and southeast Asia. So I decided to do my blog’s first 10 ten series. I’ve compiled my 10 most favorite places I’ve been to in Asia.

Now, of course, a list like this is very subjective. So I do have a couple of rules.

1) This list includes only places that I have visited. Yes, there are a lot of great places not on the list which I simply haven’t been able to get to. So don’t be offended if your favorite place isn’t even mentioned. I probably haven’t been there.

2) Some of the places are more regional, and others more specific. I didn’t want to just say “My Top 10 Favorite Cities” because some of my favorite places aren’t necessarily in a city.

3) Some of these places I haven’t been to in years so my thoughts are based on my experiences whether recent or long ago.

So with those ground rules, I’ll be posting my picks over the next few weeks. I’d appreciate your comments.

Today, I’m starting with seven places which just didn’t make the cut. It’s not like I didn’t like these places; it’s just that only 10 places fit in a top 10. Here are a few leftovers in no particular order:

Bangkok, Thailand – Bangkok is a sprawling, bustling city, that always feels extremely hot. The temples and palaces are beautiful and the food is great. But it wasn’t enough to crack my top 10.

Vientiane, Laos – I remember driving through the capital for the first time and asking myself, ‘where’s the capital’? It’s an extremely laid back place. Very friendly people, but not a whole lot to do.

Bali, Indonesia – Some will wonder how this one didn’t crack my top 10. The beaches are beautiful, yes. However, I was turned off by the crowds. Everything was so busy and chaotic. It wasn’t the relaxing beach destination that we were looking for. It is pretty, though.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia – The capital of Cambodia is an interesting place to visit. A must are the relics which reveal the horror of the Killing Fields. The Cambodian people are fun and gracious.

Tokyo, Japan – It was big, confusing, and really expensive.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – KL is an interesting city with some fun stuff to do. I always like stopping by the administrative capital of Putra Jaya to the south. But really, if you are going to Malaysia, there are more interesting places.

central Vietnam – This one was hard to cut from my list because there are some really nice places to visit there. Hoi An, the ancient city, is quaint and pleasant. Danang has the wonderful China Beach, Hue, the former Imperial City, has some wonderful old palaces to visit. Come to think of it, how did this one not make the list?

These ten ahead of it must be something special.

Up next: #10