SINGAPORE – Let’s face it; travelling broadens our mind and it’s built in our desires to see the world. While work can be stressful, home chores are annoying and your friend can’t stop talking about their investments, some of us relish in the idea of planning one (or a few) trips in a year. And there’s nothing wrong with splurging some major bucks on a nice five-star resort stay, or to jump off a flying airplane - you do you, and your travels will guide you to manage a better balance between wisdom and compassion. This year, you - our Yahoo readers - shook off complacencies and searched for the next best travel destinations to visit with loved ones or friends.
Here are the top 10 places:
Berlin is best summed up by the mayor’s compliments, ‘poor but sexy’. Post-war, artists and creatives take over abandoned buildings with cheap rental, forging an underground scene in music and arts. While the city’s youthful, rebellious spirit is felt across the capital city, you will also want to check out its five-renowned museums, soak in the sun at various green spaces and party away in the best nightclubs like Berghain.
Ah, the coffee life! Laid-back Melbourne is comparable to its showy sister Sydney, with its coffee culture, impressive exhibitions in museums and art galleries, dining experiences and green spaces. The cosmopolitan has so much to offer, that we would want to return over and over again. With wonderful weather all-year round, travelling in Melbourne is also easy, whether on foot or on trams, head out to suburbs like South Melbourne if you’re looking for a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.
When you conjure images of Sydney, places like Bondi Beach, Opera House and the Royal Botanic Gardens, come to mind. Dig deeper and you’ll find the dazzling harbour city attracts both local and international visits for its weekend farmers’ markets, watering holes, plus its growing food and wine scene. If you’re looking to escape to the beach, there’s always the suburbs like Bondi or Coogee to slow down the day.
Seoul may be known for churning out carbon copies of K-Pop acts, but the wired city is bent on setting its own trends across hallyu culture, its own distinct flavour in the food and drinks scene and of course, street fashion. With its impressive skyscrapers and infrastructure, the fashionable city was even awarded World Design Capital in 2010, thus cementing its cool title. Travellers know to head straight for upmarket district Gangnam to dine at stylish cafes, Myeongdong to shop for the latest cosmetics and Apgujeong to try on classy threads. With all that incessant shopping and walking, loading up on bibimbap (an assortment of meats and vegetables served on rice), kimchi (fermented cabbage) and nokdu bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes), is a must.
For this City of Light, both Instagrammers and travellers alike can count on the city’s rich heritage to snap selfies in front of memorable landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Musee d’Orsay. To fully experience the city like a true Parisian, most of us find ourselves lost in the less touristy arrondissements like Central-Saint Martin (which was used as the background for films like Amelie and Hotel du Nord) and Belleville (a hotspot for elaborate street art and graffiti).
Not just known as the birth town of bubble tea drinks, Taipei has so much to offer besides dumplings in the restaurants and night markets; and pepper pork buns, fried chicken and stinky tofu at the Shilin Night Market. Besides the city, adventurous travellers can also head up north to hike one (or two) of the majestic mountains, Xiang Shan (Elephant Mountain) and Yang Ming Shan mountain.
Listed as the second metropolitan city after Tokyo, Osaka is much more laid-back and charming, and in many ways, the soul of Japan. Brimming with temples, and the well-known Osaka Castle, time your visit here to catch the Festival of Light, or even the Ramen expo. That said, all visitors should also visit the Kita and Minami districts, known for their entertainment, shopping and dining offerings.
Most of us have a love/hate relationship with London, but it’s evident here that you, readers, enjoy the multicultural metropolis. A proper visit to London (layovers do not count), means lots of walking around neighbourhoods like the upscale Chelsea and Mayfair; gritty East London and the popular sites like Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, London Bridge and Parliament.
The capital city of Japan makes its mark on the second spot of Yahoo’s most-searched travel destinations and we are delighted! Tokyo is always oh-so inviting for its rich choice of dining, shopping (vintage shopping is addictive!) and entertainment. Travellers appreciate the city’s history, which you can find in the Asakusa, Ueno, Harajuku and Roppongi districts.
Ah, Bangkok, the City of Angels. You won’t have to break the bank in order to enjoy the city’s wonderful historic landmarks, stylish stays, cheap shopping and culinary gems - which is why Bangkok lands the top spot of this list. With its longstanding sleazy image, the Thais’ friendly demeanour balances the city’s sins with a human touch for warmth and friendliness. The cafe scene - with cute huskies or even porcupines as a draw - is enough to lure travellers to revisit the city over and over again.