DarwinLocated midway along Australia's northern coast, Darwin is a youthful city known for its optimism and its melting-pot culture. Named after famous evolutionist Charles Darwin, the city is the capital of the Northern Territory and the gateway to several Southeast Asian countries. Strongly rooted in history, Darwin is also on the cutting edge culturally, which makes for interesting exploring. Meander the compact downtown, go for a bike ride along the harbor or venture into one of the many bustling open-air markets.
Bandar Sri Begawan (Muara)The port of Muara is located 17 miles east of Bandar Seri Begawan, a neat, modern city, split into three main areas: an "old" 1950s-built central area, which is being redeveloped with new buildings around the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque; the Seri Complex, a commercial area on the way out to the Sultan's palace, which dates from the 1970s; and Gadong, with its newly built shopping center and numerous restaurants. Muara is mainly known for its spectacular beach and fish market. On a clear day there are fine views across to Mount Kinabalu.
Hong KongHong Kong is divided into four sections: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, the New Territories, and the numerous outlying islands. One hundred sixty-four square miles of dense real estate dominate Hong Kong Island, including enormous skyscrapers with futuristic architecture, opulent hotels, residential compounds on Victoria Peak, and some of the oldest Chinese communities in the region. All these elements create one of the most exotic and exciting ports of call in the world; one that is universally loved by tourists and its own enterprising citizens.
Benoa, BaliThe most popular destination in the country, Bali's breathtaking beauty is what draws travelers to the island's magnificent shores. Surrounded by vibrant reefs close to shore, snorkeling from the white sand beaches of the south is a must-do. The fertile, volcanic nature of the island supports a lush, tropical flora. Renowned for its highly sophisticated art forms, including, sculpture, painting, woodcarving, and performing arts.
SemarangA commercial port located halfway between Jakarta and Surabaya, along Java's north central coast, many of the island's most important exports, including tobacco, sugar, rubber, coffee, and cacao are shipped through Semarang. Because of its accessibility to the island's interior, it is an ideal gateway to numerous coffee plantations and the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site of Borobudur.
Kuala LumpurMalaysia's modern capital city. A blend of native Malaysian, Chinese Imperial, and European influences has created a city that is as breathtakingly beautiful as it is alive with culture. Replete with fine dining, a fertile arts community and plenty of nightlife, Kuala Lumpur has earned a reputation as a must-see world destination.
MalaccaThe city boasts 600 years of history, which can be found around every corner. The buildings and architecture inherited from centuries of Portuguese, Dutch and British rule give off an unmistakable Old World vibe. As a mix of old and new, Malacca is your gateway to experiencing mouth-watering cuisine, unique heritage and witnessing various customs and cultures of its people.
PenangEver since its founding over two centuries ago, Penang has been a favored destination of travelers for both its scenic beauty and places of ethnic and historic significance. Today, Penang is one of the most culturally diverse destinations in Malaysia. Established in 1786 as a trading post by the British, the island is a contemporary metropolis with old world charm, offering the best of both worlds while maintaining its illustrious, rich heritage.
BangkokBangkok is one of the most contemporary cities in Asia that has never lost its Thai charm, with the museums, temples, food and, of course, people that make Bangkok both quintessentially Thai and culturally diverse.
Ko SamuiTwenty years ago, only a few intrepid backpackers visited the island. Today, Koh Samui is a cosmopolitan melting pot, attracting budget travellers staying for a month or two in simple beachside fan bungalows, to the mega rich, dropping in for a weekend at a luxury resort or a villa by the sea.
PhuketPhuket, nestled in the balmy Andaman Sea waters, lies 536 miles south of Bangkok. Initially, Phuket derived its wealth from tin and rubber, and enjoyed a rich and colorful history. Located on a major trade route between India and China, Phuket was frequently mentioned in foreign trader's ship logs. Blessed with a natural heritage of stunning white-sand beaches, sapphire blue seas, exotic marine life and lushly forested hillsides, Phuket is one of Southeast Asia's most popular destinations.