Asian Tech Cities Calling Your Name
Move over, Silicon Valley. There’s a new threat in town (or a few) that are revolutionizing the way we communicate, get around, and do business; They just happen to be in Asia. Massive advances in quality of life have taken place over the past few decades as Asian cities and countries race ahead in innovation to provide new businesses, infrastructure, and ideas.
The fastest internet speeds in the world compete with the fastest trains on the market for global domination. If you’re interested in high-tech gadgets, gastronomical feats, and craning your neck at seas of skyscrapers, check out these cities on your next far east vacation.
Singapore is perfect for a first-time traveler to Asia. It’s safe, sparkling clean, and highly educated. It’s also hard to get too lost since it’s so small. Developers, investors, and entrepreneurs flock to this small country for its open economy, ease of access to funds, and thriving culture perfect for developing the latest tech genius. To marvel at some of the latest and greatest, you don’t even need to leave the airport.
The top-rated airport in the world, Singapore airport is a tourist attraction itself. The modern space houses topiary gardens, an indoor waterfall, and over 280 stores and restaurants. Featured in several movies and shows, the marvel of Marina Bay Sands stands out above the skyline with 3 skyscrapers connected by a rooftop garden with infinity pool and some of the best views in the whole country.
A rising middle class, more access to capital, and stubborn tech gurus have made Jakarta a hub for new businesses. With 60% of the population under 35 years old, it’s no surprise there’s been a surge of innovation in the last decade. Google is even expanding their Cloud services to the city in 2020.
The defining factor for Jakarta that makes this a must-visit city is the balance between old and new. Thousands of lights shine in the night on tall skyscrapers in the skylines in proximity to temples, cathedrals, and mosques. You can sit down at a nice rooftop bar and enjoy the sights or buy some authentic street foods from hawkers below.
Boasting the 4th largest venture capital in the world, Seoul is an entrepreneur’s dream. Dotted with skyscrapers, high tech subways, and shiny billboards, visit South Korea for the experience of a lifetime not even including the delicious foods. Head to Myeongdong to experience Korean beauty trends that have taken the cosmetic world by storm. Funky masks and treatments along with quirky ingredients are on the cutting edge of research, but you’ll have to test them yourself for any benefits.
Arguably the home of the first cat café, Seoul is famous for avant-garde ideas, restaurants, and even has a foot-long green tea ice cream cone for the ultimate brain freeze. Treat yourself to a k-pop concert, or if you think you’re good enough, head to one of the city’s famous karaoke bars and belt the lyrics yourself. Don’t worry, they have English songs too.
A favorite pastime of locals and tourists alike is standing along the harbor to watch A Symphony of Lights, the world’s most tech savvy light show across the skyline with dozens of skyscrapers as the backdrop. Hong Kong is a startup hub, so you’ll likely find new inventions every time you visit – (add a dash?) from ride sharing apps to a take on a cat café but with rabbits.
You can take an old school ding-ding (a type of bus similar to the old-school London busses with back entrances) around town to experience the history of Hong Kong or walk along the waterfront to old temples and landmarks. Heading into the future again, make your way to the Hong Kong Space Museum where you can interact with exhibits and see the stars in the cutting-edge planetarium.
By: Devyn Woolsey
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