The Best 10 Cities in Asia 2020

Jul 23, 2020

This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on March 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented due to COVID-19. The results, therefore, reflect our readers’ experiences before the pandemic. We hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your trips to come—whenever they may be.

1. Hoi An, Vietnam

Undiscovered it is no longer, but little Hoi An, in central Vietnam, still overflows with quaintness, pops with color and even offers pockets of serenity now. Stroll its lantern-lit car-free downtown for local crafts, speedy tailors, chill wine bars and a mélange of cultural influences—Cham, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese and Indian—leftover from its centuries as an important trading port. Straddling a river and a 15-minute cycle to the famous beaches south of Danang, the city has recently become a hub for foodies of the locavore, sustainable, community-minded variety.

Score: 90.52

Well-preserved streets lined with shophouses keep travelers returning to this picturesque city. Another plus: superb tailors who create bespoke suits and dresses.

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2. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Score: 89.62

3. Kyoto, Japan

Score: 88.77

* On the list for the past 10 years

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4. Udaipur, India

Score: 88.49

5. Luang Prabang, Laos

Score: 88.17

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6. Ubud, Indonesia

Score: 88.16

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7. Bangkok, Thailand

Score: 87.91

* On the list for the past 10 years

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8. Jaipur, India

Score: 87.87

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9. Tokyo, Japan

Score: 87.67

* On the list for the past 10 years

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10. Siem Reap, Cambodia

Score: 87.38

* On the list for the past 10 years

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Hotels & Resorts

Anantara Hoi An

On the banks of the Thu Bon River, this little colonial portico–lined haven is conveniently tucked just a couple of blocks from the center of old town, so you can retreat to its garden pool when touristing gets too hot at midday then head back out for dinner. hoi-an.anantara.com