Light on luggage but heavy on savoir-faire, flashpacker journeys are making backpackers rethink their traveling style! Ditch the couch surfing and instant coffee, and embark on a one-bag wander coupled with pre-planned tours, local delicacies and snazzy accommodations.
Filipinos love their culture and heritage. In fact, they love it so much that they set aside two entire months for celebrating! Dozens of festivals take place across the islands in May during National Heritage Month. And locals mark History Month in August with various commemorations and festivals. If your Philippines holiday doesn’t take place in May or August, don’t fret! Most national landmarks are open 365 days a year, and there’s a good chance you’ll catch a festival nearby.
Singapore sightseeing usually centers around the city’s contemporary buildings and state-of-the-art attractions, but every bit of the Lion City’s cutting-edge architecture is built around historic Singapore landmarks. Spend a night dining in a former convent at CHIJMES heritage building, or tour the president’s office during an open house at The Istana.
AGODA EXTRA: the official mascot of Singapore, the Merlion, is a mythical creature that represents the city’s origin as a fishing village and the city’s original name, Singapura, which means “lion city,” (even though native lions have never actually been seen in Singapore). Still, the half-fish, half-lion statue and fountain serves as one of Singapore’s most coveted icons and popular selfie spots. Tag your friends in a pic taken at Merlion Park in Marina Bay.
Singapore might be one of the smallest countries in the world, but don’t let that fool you! This cosmopolitan city is loaded with contemporary architecture and colonial charm. And with less than 300 square miles to explore, choosing where to stay in Singapore isn’t tough. Just choose a place near any of the city’s most popular attractions!
AGODA EXTRA: Singapore is one of only three city-states in the world. The only other destinations on the planet that are both cities and countries are Monaco and Vatican City.
Singapore attractions range from dazzling modern wonders to primitive battlegrounds, making this Southeast Asian hot spot one of the world’s most popular places to travel. While it’s true that Singapore’s first-world status does come with a price tag, traveling on a budget in Singapore is more than possible, especially if you start with these most popular things to do!
AGODA EXTRA: Because of safety regulations at Paya Lebar Airbase, skyscrapers in Singapore are limited to a height of 918 feet (280 meters). However, the city has allowed one exception. Completed in 2016, the Tanjong Pagar Center, also called Guoco Tower, tops the Singapore skyline at a height of 951.4 feet (290 meters).
Tackle your Tokyo shopping spree district by district to discover glitzy department stores, traditional markets and even street-side vending machines. More of a window shopper than a go-getter? If you’re sightseeing in Tokyo, chances are good that you’ll be in the center of a shopping district anyway. Tokyo’s shopping districts are built around some of the city’s most popular landmarks, notable attractions and convenient subway stations.
AGODA EXTRA: Tokyo streets are lined with vending machines that sell almost everything you need to survive a holiday in Japan. Stock up on toilet paper and tank tops, or grab a burger and a beer!
Thanks to Japan’s modern transportation system, day trips from Tokyo are simple and affordable. Hike up world-famous mountains, or go sightseeing along the seaside. With a little planning, you can fit several stops into one day!
AGODA EXTRA: The cherry blossom is Japan’s national flower, and annual spring blooms draw in tourists from across the globe. One of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo is at Ueno Onshi Park, where more than 1,000 trees cover the park with shades of pink and white. Visit during late March to attend the annual Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival.
Japanese food varies in flavor from region to region, but locals throughout the land share a love for many of the same dishes. You’ll find ALL the best Japanese cuisine in Tokyo! From hand-rolled sushi to house-made sake, Tokyo is considered to be the world capital of gastronomy.
AGODA EXTRA: Tokyo takes the cake when it comes to breaking world records. Home to the world’s biggest wholesale fish market, Tsukiji Market, and former title holder of the largest number of beer toasts conducted in one venue (Meiji Jingu Stadium), Tokyo also takes the prize for most restaurants with Michelin stars! Top venues in Tokyo have earned more stars than restaurants in Paris and New York combined, and some restaurant icons, like Usuki Fugu Yamadaya and Sukiyabashi Jiro, maintain their coveted three-star status year after year.
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Tokyo landmarks embody everything from religion to modern culture. Photograph the city from the observation deck of a skyscraper in Minato, or adore ancient temples and sumo wrestlers in Asakusa. Tokyo may have built its whirling reputation on modern technology, but underneath the glow of the neon lights lies dozens of landmarks just waiting to be explored.
AGODA EXTRA: While bopping around Tokyo, you’re bound to end up at the busiest train station in the world. Shinjuku Station accommodates, on average, about 3.5 million passengers per day and contains a whopping 36 platforms. You’ll find 17 more platforms outside for connecting railways, but good luck finding the right one on the first try. With more than 200 exits to navigate, getting into Shinjuku Station is as adventurous as getting out!