Asian destinations populate a best-of urban beauty list
Asia’s urban life will never fall short of drama and style, as evidenced in Condé Nast Traveler‘s latest round-up of the 50 most beautiful cities in the world.
It appears the continent has beauty in spades, embodied in everything from hallowed grounds to unholy concrete towers. Around a dozen Asian cities on the list held their own against traditional tourist juggernauts such as New York City, London and Paris.
7. Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam’s largest city shows the contrasts of a modern metropolis and a compelling relic. “New office towers sparkle alongside ornate temples and stone citadels, remnants of a fraught colonial history,” Sebastian Modak wrote of the “frenetic” HCMC, ranked the 48th most beautiful city in the world. Around 8.5 percent of Vietnamese respondents in a recent Financial Times survey mulled purchasing an apartment in 2017, the highest level of confidence in the country’s housing market since 2013.
Busan is South Korea’s answer to Los Angeles and Miami. With its miles of wide sandy beaches, seaside vistas, and busy quayside scene, Busan has been rated the 33rd most beautiful city in the world, ahead of Dubrovnik (a Game of Thrones filming location), Vienna, and Quebec City. Busan is one of South Korea’s frothiest residential property markets.
Rome, Stockholm, San Francisco, etc. apparently are not as beautiful as China’s most pulsating mainland city. sitting pretty at number 23, Shanghai got CNTraveler editors’ attention for equal parts its skyline-defining landmarks and colonial sights and traditions. Shanghai was the world’s fifth strongest-performing real estate investment market in Q4 2016.
India’s most beautiful city is the palatial Jaipur, also number 21 on the list. “Rajasthan’s capital, aka the Pink City, isn’t the kind of place to hide its true colors,” Hanya Yanagihara wrote of the “flamboyant” city. Jaipur is one of 20 cities picked by the government to take part in its “smart city” redevelopment program.
According to Maria Shollenbarger, Singapore’s beauty is “both natural and man-made,” as exemplified by its greening initiatives. That is why it is the 15th most beautiful city on earth. The city-state recently relaxed several cooling measures, an effort that could lead buyers back to the market.
With 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines, one of the most well-preserved historical cities in Japan is the 12th most beautiful in the world. Prices of residential properties in Tokyo and Kyoto have risen due to increased Chinese investments, with buyer inquiries from the mainland rising for five consecutive months in the second half of 2016.
1. Hong Kong
Upstaged only by Venice, Hong Kong has been hailed as the world’s second-most beautiful city. “Hong Kong is impressive from many angles—beneath the towering skyscrapers, or from a ferry crossing Victoria Harbour—but you can see its finest side from the air,” Laura Dannen Redman wrote. The home price index in Hong Kong entered its 11th consecutive month of increases in April.