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Southeast Asia

Southeast AsiaTrip Plan

By Ellen
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My husband and I are looking forward to a romantic adventure for a few weeks in between the chemotherapy and radiotherapy that I'm undergoing for breast cancer. We chose to take a cruise because we're unsure about my energy level and felt that it would be safest to indulge in some luxury. The choice of Azmara specifically was made because of the long stays in several ports. We hope to maximize the experience by travelling in land from some of the ports, with overnight stays elsewhere.

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Hue
See + Do Hue, Central Vietnam

Still off the standard itinerary for many foreign visitors, Hue served as the capital of unified Vietnam from 1802 until 1945. In addition to being the seat of... more

Editor's Pick

Eating Brother's Café, Central Vietnam

Brother's century-old colonial building is the loveliest setting in all of Hoi An—and that's saying a lot in a city that's a designated UNESCO World... more

Editor's Pick

Eating Apsara Restaurant, Central Vietnam

Da Nang's most upscale restaurant is located in a converted home just a short three-block stroll from the Museum of Cham Sculpture. The kitchen specializes in... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do Dalat, Vietnam

Founded a century ago as a French hill station, this Central Highlands retreat remains, quite literally, a breath of fresh air for Vietnamese looking to beat... more

Editor's Pick

Cooking Schools
See + Do Cooking Schools, Central Vietnam

Resorts such as Hue's La Residence offer instruction in Vietnamese cooking, but the most hands-on fun may be Hoi An's Red Bridge Cooking School. Classes gather... more

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Shop Yuen Po Street Bird Garden, Hong Kong

For a genuine slice of Hong Kong life, visit this market, where hundreds of songbirds tweet in elaborate mahogany cages while stall managers feed them... more

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Shop Temple Street Night Market, Hong Kong

This is the liveliest night market in Hong Kong, with 400 stalls selling clothes, CDs, and fake designer watches. When the superficiality of shopping kicks in,... more

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Shop Stanley Market, Hong Kong

Located on the southeastern side of Hong Kong Island, this bargain-stocked waterfront promenade is well known to every taxi driver. Look for supple bed linens... more

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Shop Shanghai Tang, Hong Kong

The brainchild of flamboyant local designer David Tang, Shanghai Tang (which now has London and New York branches) sells upscale traditionally... more

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See + Do Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

At 1,810 feet tall, Victoria Peak is Hong Kong's highest and most notable landmark, as well as its ritziest residential area. Its well-heeled 19th-century... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do Tours of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Hong Kong may have been called a barren rock by its first foreign visitors, but these days it's so packed with attractions that it's hard to get oriented. The... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do Tai Chi, Hong Kong

Limbering up and clearing your mind—Asian style—is a great way to start the day. Free tai chi lessons are given by English-speaking instructors near... more

Editor's Pick

Eating Luk Yu Tea House, Hong Kong

The best—and certainly the most traditional—dim sum in town is served here. Its 1930s rosewood furniture, creaky ceiling fans, brass spittoons, and... more

Editor's Pick

Eating Hutong, Hong Kong

Hutongs, traditional alleyways lined with ancient thatched-roof houses, are gradually disappearing from the capital, but happily this gorgeous restaurant set... more

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Eating Green T. House, Hong Kong

Most visitors to Hong Kong stay amid the snaking streets of the Central District, but it's worth making the westward trek to the high-tech enclave of Cyberport... more

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Eating Fook Lam Moon, Hong Kong

One of the city's top Cantonese restaurants since 1972, Fook Lam Moon is old-school—both in cuisine and decor (look for the shrine to the kitchen god near... more

Editor's Pick

Eating Dumpling Shops, Hong Kong

No matter how many McDonald's and KFC franchises open up in Hong Kong, savory dumplings are the city's fast-food staple. The ubiquitous dumpling shops offer the... more

Editor's Pick

The Peninsula Hong Kong
Hotel The Peninsula Hong Kong, Hong Kong

We'll come right out and say it: The Peninsula is one of the finest hotels in the world, and has been since 1928. Upon arriving in Hong Kong, guests are whisked... more

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Editor's Pick

Shop Mai Gallery, Hanoi

A five-minute walk west from Apricot Gallery, this narrow, three-story showroom is the exclusive agent for up-and-coming young Vietnamese artists such as Nguyen... more

Editor's Pick

Shop Apricot Gallery, Hanoi

The elongated colonial-era house that houses this respected gallery is a work of art in itself, especially the central atrium originally built for light and... more

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See + Do Thang Long Water Puppet Theater, Hanoi

It might seem a bit hokey in an Xbox age, but this 1,000-year-old art form still manages to enchant. The best place to catch a water-puppet performance is this... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do Temple of Literature, Hanoi

Many travelers to Asia come down with a case of pagoda overload during their visit. So be sure to make time early on for Hanoi's most beautiful and historic... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi

A good way to get your bearings in Hanoi is to take a quick stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake, a pleasant 30-minute circuit. The lake is fringed with willows,... more

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See + Do Halong Bay, Hanoi

The limestone pillars of Thailand's Phang Nga Bay may have gotten the screen time in The Man With the Golden Gun, but for sheer spectacle, nothing compares to... more

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See + Do The French Quarter, Hanoi

Lying to the south and east of Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi's French Quarter has grand boulevards and elegant French colonial buildings. These include the stately... more

Editor's Pick

Eating KOTO, Hanoi

Just across the street from the 1,000-year-old Temple of Literature, this teaching restaurant offers an educational opportunity for hundreds of... more

Editor's Pick

Eating Cha Ca La Vong, Hanoi

This bare-bones eatery in the Old City market district has been around for more than a century. The service is monosyllabic and there are no napkins, only... more

Editor's Pick

Eating Café Moca, Hanoi

Run by American Jeff Richardson and his Vietnamese partner, Truong Viet Binh, Café Moca is a busy establishment near the city center. Seven varietal and... more

Editor's Pick

Eating Café Lam, Hanoi

One of Hanoi's oldest cafés, this slightly musty one-room establishment is practically a historical monument. Its proprietor, Nguyen Lam, provided... more

Editor's Pick

Shop The Lost Art, Ho Chi Minh City

Interior designers, design-driven expats, and quality-conscious Vietnamese all frequent Bao Toan's tasteful downtown showroom, which features his custom... more

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Shop Gaya, Ho Chi Minh City

This is a one-stop design center for upgrading your style. Gaya reps some of Southeast Asia's top tastemakers, from dressmaker Romyda Keth to furniture designer... more

Editor's Pick

Shop Apricot Gallery, Ho Chi Minh City

While Vietnam's art scene rests in Hanoi, the walls of this spacious three-story gallery, originally a French colonial building, are filled with oil paintings... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do The Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh City

Two hours' drive south of Saigon, Vietnam melts into a waterland of rivers, rice paddies, and canals. The fertile Delta region, formed by the silt-rich Mekong... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh City

It's difficult to regard the orderly rubber trees and rice paddies and realize this rural landscape 40 miles northwest of Saigon was the most heavily bombed,... more

Editor's Pick

Eating Quan An Ngon, Ho Chi Minh City

The owner of this popular restaurant scoured the streets for the best dishes he could find, then offered the sellers a gig at his new restaurant at a regular... more

Editor's Pick

Eating Mandarin, Ho Chi Minh City

Mandarin, a sister property to Hoi An, is a sophisticated place; there are Chinese screen paintings and timber beams, and often a live classical trio plays... more

Editor's Pick

Eating Lemongrass, Ho Chi Minh City

Tucked away on a side street just a block from the Opera House and Lam Son Square, this 80-seat restaurant serves a mix of locals, expats, and tipped-off... more

Editor's Pick

Eating Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City

This restaurant specializes in the intricate cuisine of the eponymous central coast town, which was influenced by progressive waves of settlers (Chinese and... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do Cambodian Genocide Museum and Killing Fields, Phnom Penh

This pair of Phnom Penh sites, Tuol Sleng prison and Choeung Ek killing field, vividly commemorate the abuses and the victims of the nightmarish 1975–79... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do Tonle Sap, Angkor

Just south of Siem Reap lies the Tonle Sap ("Great Lake" in Khmer), the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. One of the hydrological wonders of the world,... more

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See + Do Day Spas in Siem Reap, Angkor

Nearly every top-tier Siem Reap hotel has its own spa, but even budget travelers can indulge in the pampering Siem Reap offers. Reputable massage and... more

Editor's Pick

Angkor Wat
See + Do Angkor Wat, Angkor

The apotheosis of Khmer civilization, 12th-century Angkor Wat remains the national symbol of Cambodia. It's well worth spending at least half a day here. Make... more

Editor's Pick

Eating Viroth's Restaurant, Angkor

Located east of the Siem Reap River (near La Résidence d'Angkor) in a quieter, mostly residential section of town anchored by the venerated Wat Bo temple,... more

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Eating Meric, Angkor

A foodie favorite since its 2005 opening, the Hotel de la Paix's fine-dining establishment marries Continental classics and Khmer creations developed by... more

Editor's Pick

Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor
Hotel Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor, Angkor

The attractive Art Deco decor is probably this famed hotel's greatest draw. Definitely don't bother staying here if you can't get one of the "landmark" rooms in... more

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$$$$

Editor's Pick

Shop Siam Square, Bangkok

This veritable shopping sprawl stretches across central Bangkok from Rama 1 Road to Chulalongkorn University and from Phayathai Road to Henri Dunant Road.... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do Wat Pho, Bangkok

Just south of the Grand Palace complex near the Tha Chang pier, this temple, which was also Thailand's first public education center, was originally built by... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do Prasart Museum, Bangkok

This teakwood house is an exact replica of the former queen's house and much of the museum's Thai art and antiques come from the royal collection. Located on... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do Pak Klong Talaad (Flower Market), Bangkok

The buying and selling frenzy at this market starts around 2 am when boats on the Chao Phraya River begin to dock with a cornucopia of fresh cut flowers,... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do National Museum, Bangkok

Everything you ever wanted to know about Thailand—its history, art, religions, culture, and more—in a complex that includes a former royal residence... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do M.R. Kukrit's Historical House, Bangkok

Former Thai prime minister Mom Rajawongse Kukrit Pramoj lovingly assembled these five traditional teak stilt houses over the course of 20 years. Ceramics,... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do Jim Thompson House, Bangkok

James H.W. Thompson was perhaps the most legendary expat in all of Thailand (rumor has it that letters addressed simply 'Jim Thompson, Bangkok' reached him in a... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaeo, Bangkok

One of Thailand's most impressive sights: 54 acres featuring a collection of palatial buildings, golden stupas, sculpted nine-foot demons, and richly ornamented... more

Editor's Pick

Eating Mango Tree, Bangkok

When Bangkok locals want to celebrate a big occasion, they book a table at this elegant Thai restaurant—either in the entry courtyard, where live... more

Editor's Pick

Eating Gallery Café, Bangkok

Owned by one of Asia's top antique dealers, this naturally lit, well-located restaurant near the Oriental Hotel is generously decorated with indigenous... more

Editor's Pick

Eating The Deck, Bangkok

Savvy diners who can find the barely marked, shrine-filled alley across from Wat Pho will be gastronomically and visually rewarded at this waterfront café... more

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Eating Cabbages & Condoms, Bangkok

Don't let the name fool you into thinking that this is a hot spot in the red-light district. Cabbages & Condoms is in fact a quirky, tasty restaurant in the... more

Editor's Pick

The Sukhothai
Hotel The Sukhothai, Bangkok

"Sukhothai" means "dawn of happiness," and the Sukhothai period (1238–1376) was the golden age of Thai art and architecture. The Zen atmosphere at this... more

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Editor's Pick

New Asia Bar
Nightlife New Asia Bar, Singapore

The views from this panoramic split-level bar 71 flights above Singapore could make anyone's head spin. For an even trippier time, make advance reservations to... more

Editor's Pick

Shop Orchard Road, Singapore

Singapore's main shopping drag is a riot of every brand imaginable and then some, mixing designer bags with American snack foods, bespoke perfumes with sassy... more

Editor's Pick

Shop Little India, Singapore

Visit Singapore's vibrant Indian neighborhood on a weekday morning before temperatures rise and the streets begin to swarm with local shoppers. Take in the... more

Editor's Pick

Shop Chocolate Research Facility, Singapore

This sleek all-white "lab" in the Millenia Walk mall stocks 100 bespoke chocolate bars in innovative flavors from bergamot to yam with almond. The bars, made... more

Editor's Pick

Shop Chinatown, Singapore

Scattered amidst the ports and warehouses of the Singapore River are jewelry-box-size gold shops; grocery stores spilling out into the street with abalone,... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do Singapore Zoo & Night Safari, Singapore

Most Asian zoos are squalid, depressing animal prisons, but the Singapore Zoo, on the northern side of the island, is one of the best in the world—home to... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do Red Dot Design Museum, Singapore

In 2005, the former Singapore Traffic Police Headquarters was transformed into a creative hub dubbed the Red Dot Traffic building. Its main attraction is this... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do National Museum of Singapore, Singapore

The museum's neo-Palladian facade in central Singapore sparkles since its much-needed whitewashing in 2006, but what's inside is infinitely more awe-inspiring.... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do Bumboat Rides, Singapore

One of the best ways to get your bearings in Singapore is to take a river cruise in a bumboat. These sturdy, low-slung vessels were once the main transport for... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore

Singapore's confluence of Chinese, Indian, and Malay cultures makes it the ideal place to learn about these civilizations and their historic interactions, and... more

Editor's Pick

See + Do Substation, Singapore

Those who know Singapore for its sometimes repressive government will be delightfully surprised by this boundary-pushing, multidisciplinary arts center. The... more

Editor's Pick

Raffles Hotel
Hotel Raffles Hotel, Singapore

This legendary property, built in 1887, is probably Singapore's most famous tourist attraction. Long before the 1991 renovation that transformed the hotel from... more

Book now ›
$$$$

Editor's Pick

Eating Mag's Wine Kitchen, Singapore

Though set up like a bar—one raised woodblock communal table extends the length of the room—food is hardly an afterthought at this wine and cigar... more

Editor's Pick

Eating Imperial Herbal Restaurant, Singapore

This culinary address is a must for foodie travelers with a sense of adventure. Enter with an open mind: The waitress feels each diner's pulse, then inspects... more

Editor's Pick

Eating Graze, Singapore

The 5,000 square feet of gardens and alfresco tables that front this bright colonial bungalow hint at the relaxed vibe of Graze, a contemporary Australian... more

Editor's Pick

Eating Buko Nero, Singapore

Buko Nero can be roughly translated as "hole in the wall" in Italian. And though it does only have 20 seats, the monthlong wait to get a table clearly places... more

Editor's Pick

Eating Banana Leaf Apolo, Singapore

This humble curry house in Little India may well be the most famous restaurant in Singapore. The huge, air-conditioned dining room, with its fluorescent lights... more

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