Lifestyle Asia

No getaway is complete without some shopping, good food, and entertaining attractions.

As the largest continent in the world, there is so much of Asia to explore. From scenic landscapes to bustling cities, where do we even start? Most travelers would be on the search for shopping destinations, delicious cuisine, and entertaining spaces.

If you’re planning your itinerary for your next Asian trip, here are just some of the best destinations for shopping, dining, cultural attractions, and more.

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Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

Ginza is already a world-renowned luxury shopping destination, but there is also more to the area than that. You can also find authentic Japanese dining, vintage shopping, and super Instagrammable attractions.

Ginza in Tokyo, Japan
Image courtesy of the Japan National Tourism Organization

Located close to the center of Tokyo, you’ll know you’re in Ginza once the shops around you grow more upscale, the lampposts more ornate, and the pavement more even. Big luxury brands line the streets and there are a couple of malls perfect for some retail therapy.

Aside from international luxury brands, there are also dozens of smaller boutiques owned by Japanese designers. For some vintage shopping, Ginza is known for its stores that carry second-hand luxury items, especially designer bags. In Japan, preloved items are still considered an investment.

The Art Aquarium in Ginza
Image courtesy of the Japan National Tourism Organization

Take a break from shopping at the picturesque Art Aquarium. The place is filled with artistically   done and aesthetically pleasing displays. You can also catch traditional Kabuki theater playing at the Shochiku and Kabukiza which is a unique Japanese experience. For a breath of fresh air, take a stroll around Hibiya Park with its carefully maintained trees, grass lawns, and flower beds.

Gangnam, Seoul, South Korea

Gangnam may have risen to fame thanks to Psy’s hit song, but this district is also well-known for its malls, theme park, and everything K-pop. One of the biggest attractions is the COEX Shopping Mall, home to prestigious brands such as Dior, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and more.

Starfield Library inside COEX Shopping Mall
Image by Stephen Tam via Pexels

The mall also hosts events such as art exhibitions and fashion shows. Meanwhile, the COEX Aquarium is the largest in South Korea, boasting world-class facilities with over 180 display tanks. At the center of COEX, you’ll find the popular Starfield Library, perfect for photos with a backdrop of tall bookshelves.

Get a feel of old Korea at the Bongeunsa Temple, located across COEX Mall. At the temple, there’s a 28 meter stone statue of Maitreya, the Future Buddha. It’s one of the tallest stone statues in the country. With more than 1,000 years of history, the temple has become a place to relax for the busy city people.

Lotte World's indoor amusement park
Image via Instagram @happylotteworld

For a fun experience for the whole family, Lotte World is also nearby. The area comprises an indoor and outdoor amusement park, an observation tower, an aquarium, a museum, and more.

Siam, Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok has become another center for shopping in Asia with the rise of its many malls. Siam is home to one of the largest landmarks in the center of the city, Siam Paragon. The shopping destination puts an emphasis on fashionable, luxury living.

Siam Paragon in Bangkok, Thailand
Image via Siam Paragon’s website

Inside you’ll find a host of international high-end fashion brands, local Thai designer brands, Southeast Asia’s largest aquarium, a luxurious cinema experience, and cuisine from all over the world.

The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) is home to the city’s burgeoning art scene. Featuring a range of contemporary art, design, music, theater, and film, the BACC hosts exhibits from both Thai and international artists alike. With curving walls and a spiral walkway, the structure is reminiscent of the Guggenheim in New York City.

The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
Image via BACC’s website

In the middle of the city, among all the modern shopping malls, you’ll also find several temples and shrines such as the Pathum Wanaram Temple, Erawan Shrine, Trimurti Shrine, and Ganesha Shrine.

Banner image courtesy of the Japan National Tourism Organization.

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