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ANA, Japan’s leading airline, is set to launch a new route from the United States this summer, with daily flights from Houston to Narita Airport in Tokyo starting on June 12. Two other Asian capitals will also be easier to reach, with twice daily flights from Narita to Singapore launching on June 11 and Narita to Bangkok starting on August 1. (ANA already has twice daily flights to both cities from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.)
Now that it will soon be that much easier to visit Asia, our local experts in these three cities share some places that you should include on your itinerary.
Photographer Jon Sheer was born in New York and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but he has called Tokyo his home for the last 17 years. He has found inspiration in Tokyo’s Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines as well as the city’s landscapes and peoples.
Some of Jon’s must-see sights:
The city’s famous Tsukiji Fish Market is scheduled to move in 2016, before the 2020 Olympics, so now is the time to visit it at its historic location. Arrive by 5 a.m. to see the tuna auctions and then have a sushi breakfast at one of the nearby restaurants.
Ascend to the 54th floor observation deck of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Nishi-shinjuku for sweeping views of one of the world’s largest cities.
An easy day trip from Tokyo, the mystical Hakone shrine feels almost magical in its forested setting.
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A life-long avid traveler, Duncan Forgan began his writing career as a journalist for The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday newspapers, but he left the UK for Dubai in 2008 and then in 2010 moved to Bangkok. He has written about Southeast Asia for a number of publications including Esquire, Tatler, and Travel+Leisure, in addition to serving as AFAR’s Local Expert.
Stops on Duncan’s short list of places to visit in Bangkok include:
The neighborhood of Ari is a rare surprise in this crowded city. It has retained a village like feel and is a great area to spend a few hours strolling along its leafy streets.
Talad Rot Fai (the “train market”) is the place to shop for everything from vintage clothing to vintage motorcycle parts. A number of bars nearby are perfect for a post-shopping drink.
There are many places in Bangkok to experience a traditional Thai massage, but Thann Sanctuary’s three locations offer a refined and serene atmosphere—as well as an expert massage.
Arwen Joyce’s expat parents raised her with a passion for travel. After completing her undergraduate and law degrees in the United States, she moved to London for four years and used her time there to also explore the rest of Europe. She has now lived in Singapore for the last four years, and her writing and photographs have appeared in a number of publications as well as on AFAR.com where she is the Singapore Local Expert.
Here are some of the places Arwen recommends to visitors to the city:
Little India is crowded with shoppers and temple goers and a uniquely South Asian crush of color and people. The streets are atmospheric and the air filled with the fragrances of flowers and curries.
An evening walk through the Gardens by the Bay is a unique stroll through a grove of “Supertrees”—man-made, tree-like structures that glimmer in the night and that also serve as vertical gardens for tropical plants.
Singapore is famous for its cuisine, from street food to Michelin-starred restaurants. Dining outdoors is especially delightful in this city with balmy temperatures year round. Keppel Island and Club Street in Chinatown are two popular areas with a number of restaurants to choose from.
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