Top Ten Asian Cities

Top Ten Asian Cities

  1. Shanghai, China

           Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010. Following rapid development over the last two decades it has become a leading global city, with significant influence in commerce, culture, finance, media, fashion, technology and transport. It is a major financial center and the busiest container port in the world. Located in the Yangtze River Delta in eastern China, Shanghai sits at the mouth of the Yangtze River in the middle portion of the Chinese coast. The municipality borders Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces to the west, and is bounded to the east by the East China Sea. Once a fishing and textiles town, Shanghai grew in importance in the 19th century due to its favorable port location and was one of the cities opened to foreign trade by the 1842 Treaty of Nanking. The city then flourished as a center of commerce between east and west, and became the undisputed financial hub of the Asia Pacific in the 1930’s. However, with the Communist Party takeover of the mainland in 1949, the city’s international influence declined. In the 1990’s, the economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping resulted in an intense re-development of the city, aiding the return of finance and foreign investment to the city. Shanghai is a popular tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks such as The Bund, City God Temple and Yuyuan Garden, as well as the extensive and growing Pudong skyline. It has been described as the “showpiece” of the booming economy of mainland China.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions, Temples, Top Ten Asian Temples, Museums and Galleries, Top Ten Asian MuseumsTop Ten Pagodas, Top Ten Clock TowersTop Ten Neon Lightshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai,
  2. Tokyo, Japan

           Tokyo, “Eastern Capital,” is the capital and largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family. Tokyo is located in the Kantō region on the southeastern side of the main island Honshu and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo Metropolis was formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. The Tokyo Metropolitan government administers the 23 special wards of Tokyo (each governed as a city), which cover the area that was the city of Tokyo, as well as 39 municipalities in the western part of the prefecture and the two outlying island chains. The population of the special wards is over 8 million people, with the total population of the prefecture exceeding 13 million. The prefecture is part of the world’s most populous metropolitan area with upwards of 35 million people and the world’s largest metropolitan economy with a GDP of US $1.48 trillion at purchasing power parity in 2008, ahead of New York City, which ranks 2nd on the list. The city hosts 47 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, the highest amount of any city. Tokyo has been described as one of the three “command centers” for the world economy, along with New York City and London. This city is considered an alpha+ world city, listed by the GaWC’s 2008 inventory and ranked 3rd among global cities by Foreign Policy’s 2010 Global Cities Index. In 2010 Tokyo was named the 2nd most expensive city for expatriate employees, according to the Mercer and Economist Intelligence Unit cost-of-living surveys, and named the 4th Most Liveable City and the World’s Most Livable Megalopolis by the magazine Monocle. Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics and is currently bidding to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.
    Links: Top Ten Japanese Attractions, Top Ten Towers, Top Ten Bridgeshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo,
  3. Bejing, China

           Beijing, also known as Peking, is the capital of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 (2010). The city is the country’s political, cultural and educational center and home to the headquarters for most of China’s largest state-owned companies. The metropolis, located in northern China, borders Hebei Province to the north, west, south, and a small section to the east, and Tianjin Municipality to the southeast. Governed as a municipality under the direct administration of the national government, Beijing is divided into 14 urban and suburban districts and two rural counties. It is a major transportation hub, with dozens of railways, roads and motorways passing through the city, and the destination of many international flights to China. Few cities in the world have served as long as the political and cultural centre of an area as immense. Beijing is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. It has been the heart of China’s history for centuries, and there is scarcely a major building of any age in Beijing that does not have at least some national historical significance. The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, and huge stone walls and gates. Its art treasures and universities have long made it a center of culture and art in China.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions, Temples, Top Ten Asian TemplesTop Ten Stadiumshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beijing,
  4. Seoul, South Korea

           Seoul is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world. The Seoul National Capital Area is the world’s 2nd largest metropolitan area with over 25 million inhabitants, which includes the surrounding Incheon metropolis and Gyeonggi province. Over half of South Korea’s population lives in the Seoul National Capital Area, and nearly a quarter in Seoul itself, making it the country’s foremost economic, political and cultural center. Seoul has been a major settlement for over 2,000 years, with its foundation dating back to 18 BC when Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, established its capital in what is now south-east Seoul. It continued as the capital of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty and the Korean Empire. The Seoul National Capital Area is home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Changdeokgung, Hwaseong Fortress, Jongmyo Shrine and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty. Today, Seoul is considered to be a leading global city, ranking among the top ten global cities in the Global Cities Index of 2010. It is one of the world’s top ten financial and commercial centers, home to major multinational conglomerates such as Samsung, LG and Hyundai-Kia. In 2008, Seoul was named the world’s 6th most economically powerful city by Forbes. Seoul has a highly technologically advanced infrastructure. Seoul was the first city to feature DMB, a digital mobile TV technology and WiBro, a wireless high-speed mobile internet service. It has a fast, high-penetration 100 Mbit/s fiber-optic broadband network, which is being upgraded to 1 Gbit/s by 2012. Seoul Station houses the 350 km/h KTX bullet train and the Seoul Subway is the 3rd busiest in the world, with over 2 billion passengers every year. Seoul is connected via AREX to Incheon International Airport, rated as the best airport in the world by Airports Council International. Seoul hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics, 2002 FIFA World Cup and the 2010 G-20 Seoul summit. The city was named the World Design Capital for 2010 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design.
    Links: Top Ten South Korean Attractions, Top Ten Bridgeshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seoul,
  5. Hong Kong, China

           Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of China, the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China’s south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbor. With a land mass of 1,104 square km (426 sq mi) and a population of seven million people, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Hong Kong’s population is 95% ethnic Chinese and 5% from other groups. Hong Kong’s Han Chinese majority originate mainly from the cities of Guangzhou and Taishan in the neighboring Guangdong province. Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the First Opium War (1839–42). Originally confined to Hong Kong Island, the colony’s boundaries were extended in stages to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 and then the New Territories in 1898. It was occupied by Japan during the Pacific War, after which the British resumed control until 1997, when China resumed sovereignty. The time period greatly influenced the current culture of Hong Kong, often described as “East meets West,” and the educational system, which used to loosely follow the system in England until reforms implemented in 2009. Under the principle of “one country, two systems,” Hong Kong has a different political system from mainland China. Hong Kong’s independent judiciary functions under the common law framework. The Basic Law of Hong Kong, its constitutional document, which stipulates that Hong Kong shall have a “high degree of autonomy” in all matters except foreign relations and military defense, governs its political system. Although it has a burgeoning multi-party system, a small-circle electorate controls half of its legislature. An 800-person Election Committee selects the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, the head of government. As one of the world’s leading international financial centers, Hong Kong has a major capitalist service economy characterized by low taxation and free trade, and the currency, Hong Kong dollar, is the 8th most traded currency in the world. The lack of space caused demand for denser constructions, which developed the city to a center for modern architecture and the world’s most vertical city. The dense space also led to a highly developed transportation network with public transport travelling rate exceeding 90%, the highest in the world.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese AttractionsTop Ten Bruce Lee MoviesTop Ten Kung Fu MoviesTop Ten Martial Artistshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong,
  6. Tianjin, China

    Tianjin is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government. Tianjin borders Hebei Province and Beijing Municipality, bounded to the east by the Bohai Gulf portion of the Yellow Sea. As a dual-core city, Tianjin is divided into the old city and the Binhai New Area. Binhai New Area is a new growth pole in China, and it maintains an annual growth rate of nearly 30% of the GDP. As of the end of 2010, 285 Fortune Global 500 companies have established branch offices in Binhai. It is a base of China’s advanced industry, financial reform and innovation. In terms of urban population, it is the 6th largest city in China, and its urban land area (Binhai New Area is not included) ranks 5th in the nation after Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Tianjin’s urban area is located along the Hai River, which connects to the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers via the Grand Canal in Tianjin. Tianjin was once home to foreign concessions in the late Qing Dynasty and early Kuomintang era. The municipality incorporates the coastal region of Tanggu, home to the Binhai New Area and the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA).
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions, Top Ten Towers, Top Ten Train/Railway Stations, Top Ten Ferris Wheels, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tianjin,
  7. Xi’an, China

           Xi’an is the capital of the Shaanxi province, and a sub-provincial city of China. One of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history, the city was known as Chang’an before the Ming Dynasty. Xi’an is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history, including Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui and Tang. Xi’an is the eastern terminus of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army. Since the 1990’s, as part of the economic revival of interior China especially for the central and northwest regions, the city of Xi’an has re-emerged as an important cultural, industrial and educational centre of the central-northwest region, with facilities for research and development, national security and China’s space exploration program. It’s now one the most populous metropolitan area in inland China with more than 8 million inhabitants, including urban parts of Xianyang (Weicheng and Qindu districts).
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions, Sculptures, Top 100 Asian Sculptures, Top Ten Pagodas, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xi%27an,
  8. Singapore
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    Singapore is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 137 km (85 mi) north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia’s Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to its south. Singapore is highly urbanized, though almost half of the country is covered by greenery. Singapore had been a part of various local empires since it was first inhabited in the 2nd century AD. Modern Singapore was founded as a trading post of the East India Company by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819 with permission from the Sultanate of Johor. The British obtained full sovereignty over the island in 1824 and Singapore became one of the British Straits Settlements in 1826. Singapore was occupied by the Japanese in WWII and reverted to British rule after the war. It became internally self-governing in 1959. Singapore united with other former British territories to form Malaysia in 1963 and became a fully independent state two years later after separation from Malaysia. Since then it has had a massive increase in wealth, and is one of the Four Asian Tigers. The economy depends heavily on the industry and service sectors. Singapore is a world leader in several areas: It is the world’s 4th leading financial center, the world’s 2nd biggest casino gambling market, and the world’s 3rd largest oil refining center. The port of Singapore is one of the five busiest ports in the world, most notable for being the busiest transshipment port in the world. The country is home to more US dollar millionaire households per capita than any other country. The World Bank notes Singapore as the easiest place in the world to do business. Singapore is a parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government. The People’s Action Party (PAP) has won every election since the British grant of internal self-government in 1959. The legal system of Singapore has its foundations in the English common law system, but modifications have been made to it over the years, such as the removal of trial by jury. The PAP’s popular image is that of a strong, experienced and highly qualified government, backed by a skilled Civil Service and an education system with an emphasis on achievement and meritocracy; but it is perceived by some voters, opposition critics and international observers as being authoritarian and too restrictive on individual freedom. Some 5 million people live in Singapore, of whom 2.91 million were born locally. Most are of Chinese, Malay or Indian descent. There are four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.
    Links: Top Ten Ferris Wheels, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore,
  9. Yokohama, Japan

           Yokohama is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture and the 2nd largest city in Japan by population after Tokyo. It lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshu. It is a major commercial hub of the Greater Tokyo Area. Yokohama’s population of 3.6 million makes it Japan’s largest incorporated city. Yokohama developed rapidly as Japan’s prominent port city following the end of Japan’s relative isolation in the mid-19th century, and is today one of its major ports along with Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya, Hakata, Tokyo and Chiba.
    Links: Top Ten Japanese Attractions, Top Ten Ferris Wheelshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yokohama,
  10. Osaka, Japan
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           Osaka is a city in the Kansai region of Japan’s main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the largest part of the Keihanshin metropolis, which comprises three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe. Located at the mouth of the Yodo River on Osaka Bay, Osaka is Japan’s 3rd largest city by population after Tokyo (special wards) and Yokohama. Keihanshin is the 2nd largest metropolitan area in Japan by population and one of the largest metropolitan areas highly ranked in the world, with nearly 18 million people, and by GDP the 2nd largest area in Japan and the 7th largest area in the world. Historically the commercial center of Japan, Osaka functions as one of the command centers for the Japanese economy. The ratio between daytime and night time population is 141%, the highest in Japan, highlighting its status as an economic center. Its nighttime population is 2.6 million, the 3rd in the country, but in daytime the population surges to 3.7 million, 2nd only after Tokyo (combining the Special wards of Tokyo. Osaka used to be referred to as the “nation’s kitchen”  in feudal Edo period because it was the center of trading for rice, creating the first modern futures exchange market in the world.
    Links: Top Ten Japanese Attractions, Castles, Top Ten Asian Castles, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osaka,
  11. Kobe, Japan
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           Kobe is the 5th largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, approximately 30 km (19 mi) west of Osaka. With a population of about 1.5 million, the city is part of Keihanshin, the Kyōto–Õsaka–Kōbe metropolitan area. The earliest written records regarding the region come from the Nihon Shoki, which describes the founding of the Ikuta Shrine by Empress Jingū in AD 201. For most of its history the area was never a single political entity, even during the Tokugawa Period, when the port was controlled directly by the Tokugawa Shogunate. Kobe did not exist in its current form until its founding in 1889. Its name comes from “kanbe,” an archaic title for supporters of the city’s Ikuta Shrine. Kobe became one of Japan’s 17 designated cities in 1956. Kobe was one of the cities to open for trade with the West following the end of the policy of seclusion and has since been known as a cosmopolitan port city. While the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake diminished much of Kobe’s prominence as a port city, it remains Japan’s 4th busiest container port. Companies headquartered in Kobe include ASICS, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and Kobe Steel, as well as over 100 international corporations with Asia or Japan headquarters in the city such as Eli Lilly & Company, Procter & Gamble, Boehringer-Ingelheim and Nestlé. The city is the point of origin and namesake of Kobe beef as well as the site of one of Japan’s most famous hot spring resorts, Arima Onsen.
    Links: Top Ten Japanese Attractions, Top Ten Towers, Top Ten Bridgeshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobe,
  12. Taipei, China
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           Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China (ROC) and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan Island. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean. Another coastal city, Tamsui, is about 20 km northwest at the river’s mouth on the Taiwan Strait. It lies in the two relatively narrow valleys of the Keelung and Xindian rivers, which join to form the Tamsui River along the city’s western border. The city proper (Taipei City) is home to an estimated 2,618,772 people. Taipei, New Taipei, and Keelung together form the Taipei metropolitan area with a population of 6,900,273. However, they are administered under different local governing bodies. “Taipei” sometimes refers to the whole metropolitan area, while “Taipei City” refers to the city proper. Taipei City proper is surrounded on all sides by New Taipei. Taipei is the political, economic, and cultural center of Taiwan. The National Palace Museum which has one of the largest collections of Chinese artifacts and artworks in the world is located in Taipei. Considered to be a global city, Taipei is part of a major industrial area. Railways, high speed rail, highways, airports and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island. The city is served by two airports, Taipei Songshan and Taiwan Taoyuan. Taipei was founded in the early 18th century and became an important center for overseas trade in the 19th century. The Qing Dynasty in China made Taipei the provincial capital of Taiwan in 1886. When the Japanese acquired Taiwan in 1895 after the First Sino-Japanese War, they retained Taipei as the capital of the island, and also advanced an extensive urban planning in Taipei. The Republic of China took over the island in 1945 following Japanese surrender. After losing Mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) resettled the ROC government to Taiwan and declared Taipei the provisional capital of the Republic of China in December 1949.
    Links: Top Ten Taiwanese Attractions, Museums and Galleries, Top Ten Asian Museums, Temples, Top Ten Asian TemplesTop Ten Roof Ornamentshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taipei,
  13. Mumbai, India
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           Mumbai, previously known as Bombay, is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the 4th most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million. Along with the neighboring urban areas, including the cities of Navi Mumbai and Thane, it is one of the most populous urban regions in the world. Mumbai lies on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbor. It is also the wealthiest city in India, and has the highest GDP of any city in South, West or Central Asia. The seven islands that came to constitute Mumbai were home to communities of fishing colonies. During the mid-18th century, Mumbai was reshaped by the Hornby Vellard project, which undertook reclamation of the area between the seven islands from the sea. Along with construction of major roads and railways, the reclamation project, completed in 1845, transformed Bombay into a major seaport on the Arabian Sea. Bombay in the 19th century was characterized by economic and educational development. During the early 20th century it became a strong base for the Indian independence movement. In 1960, following the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, a new state of Maharashtra was created with Bombay as the capital, which was renamed Mumbai in 1996. Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment capital of India and is also one of the world’s top ten centers of commerce. The city also houses India’s Hindi (Bollywood) and Marathi film and television industry.
    Links: Top Ten Indian Attractions, Top Ten Bridges, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai, 
  14. New Delhi, India
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           New Delhi is the capital of India and seat of the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of the Government of India. It is also the center of the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi and is one of the eleven districts of Delhi National Capital Territory. The foundation stone of the city was laid by George V, Emperor of India during the Delhi Durbar of 1911. It was designed by British architects, Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker. The new capital was inaugurated on 13 February 1931, by India’s Viceroy Lord Irwin.
    Links: Top Ten Indian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Delhi,
  15. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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    Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the 2nd largest city in Malaysia by population. The city proper, making up an area of 243 sqaure km (94 square mi), has a population of 1.4 million (2010). Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 7.2 million. It is the fastest growing metropolitan region in the country, in terms of population and economy. Kuala Lumpur is the seat of the Parliament of Malaysia. The city was once home to the executive and judicial branches of the federal government, but they have since moved to Putrajaya starting in 1999. Some sections of the judiciary remain in the capital. The official residence of the Malaysian King, the Istana Negara, is also situated in Kuala Lumpur. Rated as an alpha world city, Kuala Lumpur is the cultural, financial and economic centre of Malaysia due to its position as the capital as well as being a primate city. Kuala Lumpur is defined within the borders of the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and is one of three Malaysian Federal Territories. It is an enclave within the state of Selangor, on the central west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Residents of the city are colloquially known as KLites. Since the 1990’s, the city has played host to many international sporting, political and cultural events including the 1998 Commonwealth Games and the Formula One World Championship. In addition, Kuala Lumpur is home to the tallest twin buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers, which have become an iconic symbol of Malaysia’s futuristic developments.
    Links: Top Ten Malaysian Attractions, Top Ten Towers, Top Ten Mosques, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuala_Lumpur,
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