Parts of Thailand's capital are ablaze with neon at night, roar with traffic by day, and amid the ramshackle chaos, there's always something colourful to draw your eye. From gold-spired Buddhist temples and monks' robes to flowers in a hidden market and the T-shirts of touts. It's a vast, tropical, assault on the senses and home to 11 million. Pack your curiosity, fortitude and sense of adventure. Bangkok is ready for you.
It's come a long way from origins as a rough and ready tin-mining town. Ethnic Malays, Indian migrants, British colonials and Chinese prospectors all helped carve out Kuala Lumpur, or 'KL', from the jungle at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak Rivers. Today Malaysia's capital merges modern high-tech skyscrapers and flourishing commerce with street side hawkers and ancient temples.
There are more than 5 million in this city state – which includes 63 islands – at the tip of the Malay Peninsula. Yet, the streets are clean, the buildings gleam and traffic jams are non-existent. More than 50 per cent of its area is parks and this 'garden city' is known for its top shopping and fine food. Singapore is also a major global finance, logistics and travel hub. Only just north of the Equator, there a no distinct seasons here – it's pretty much sunny, with a heavy shower or 2, each day.