Top 5 Most Visited Cities in Asia

Global tourism is on the rise, and certain destinations in Asia are getting a lot of attention. That's nothing new. The vibrant and modern cities of Asia have a lot to offer adventurous world travelers, and many destinations in Asia have dominated the tourism rankings for a very long time.

In this article, we'll take a look at the top five Asian cities for tourism. The ranking is based on the number of international visitors that each city receives per year.

5. Dubai: 16,010,000 Visitors Per Year

The fifth most visited city in Asia is Dubai. It's the largest city in the United Arab Emirates and has been one of the world’s most popular destinations since the early 2000s. There's an almost endless list of things to see and do there.

Sun-seekers in Dubai can enjoy the white sands of Jumeirah Beach and take a dip in the azure waters of the Persian Gulf. A row of cafes borders the beach, offering great places to cool down and have lunch.

In Dubai, Palm Jumeirah is a must-see. It's one of the largest artificial islands in the world, constructed to look like a palm tree, and it features beautiful views and a wide range of high-end shops and hotels.

The Burj Khalifa also deserves a visit. Measuring 2,716 feet, the Burj Khalifa is the world's tallest tower. The view of Dubai from one of this building's many observation decks is said to be breath-taking.

Just outside of Downtown Dubai, visitors can experience the wonders of the Arabian Desert. Among other things, you can ride a camel or book an extreme-sports desert safari, complete with off-road quad bikes and sandboarding.

4. Macau: 16,299,100 Visitors Per Year

Next on the list is Macau, in southern China. With a massive population for a city of its size, Macau and the surrounding area is the most densely populated region in the world. Macau was a colony of Portugal until 1999, when it was returned to China. It has matured into a major resort city and become one of the world's top gambling destinations.

If hanging out in Macau's extravagant casinos gets old, there's plenty of other things you can do in this "Las Vegas of Asia," as the city is sometimes called. The architecture of Macau shows Portuguese and Chinese influences, and parts of the city have an old-world feel, with cobblestone streets and well-preserved colonial mansions. Macau's Senado Square is a popular public space that features shops, heritage sites, restaurants, and more.

Near the square is one of the most famous historical structures in Macau—the Ruins of St. Paul's. This world heritage site preserves what remains of a 17th-century complex that was St. Paul's College and the catholic Church of St. Paul.

The food in Macau is excellent, with many restaurants' offerings being based on hundred-year-old traditions. Mostly a fusion of Cantonese and Portuguese cuisine, Macau's cuisine also draws influences from Indian and Malay dishes, a nod to the area's various inhabitants during centuries of colonial rule.

3. Singapore: 17,681,800 Visitors Per Year

The third most visited city in Asia is Singapore, an island in Southeast Asia. The city attracts a huge number of visitors from all over Europe, China, India, and around the world. It's an ultra-clean, modern metropolis that features world-class restaurants and hotels. But it's not all about tourism in this jewel of the East—Singapore is also a globally important center for finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and technology.

Those who visit Singapore have a wide range of activities to choose from. One popular itinerary item is the Gardens by the Bay, a beautiful mix of nature and city landscapes. The complex features many exciting attractions and a 419-foot-long aerial walkway that allows views of both the gardens and Marina Bay.

There's also Singapore's Chinatown, a neighborhood that offers access to excellent shops and food stalls. The Tangong Pagar district has plenty of chic bars and karaoke lounges. If you don't stay out too late, you can get up at the crack of dawn and head over to the Telok Ayer district for an early-morning tour of beautiful, ancient mosques and temples.

Even when you're on vacation, city life can create stress. If you want to get away from it all without traveling too far outside of Singapore, the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve would be a good option. It's just eight miles from Singapore’s city center. The reserve exists to protect a variety of plant, animal and insect life, but visitors can explore its natural wonders, see the monkeys and exotic birds that live there, and access the highest natural spot in Singapore, Bukit Timah Hill.

2. Bangkok: 23,270,600 Visitors Per Year

Bangkok, the capital and most populous city of Thailand, gets the second most visitors of all the Asian cities.

Located in central Thailand, Bangkok was a small trading post during the 15th century, but it later became the key to Thailand's modernization in the 19th century. It's now an extremely significant part of the country's politics, economy, and society in general. Bangkok's population is over 8 million, and a huge number of people visit the city each year.

The Temple of the Reclining Buddha, or Wat Pho, is one of the most interesting places to see when in Bangkok. It's a nearly 200-year old temple, and one of the largest in Bangkok. Tourists also flock to Wat Arun, a temple that was designed to architecturally favor Mount Meru, the center of the universe in the Buddhist religion.

As with all of the Asian destinations discussed here, Bangkok expertly mixes old and new. After a day of viewing ancient wonders, you can visit Siam Paragon. It's a huge mall with an impressive collection of shops and restaurants, plus, it features an aquarium, an art gallery specializing in Thai art, and a beautiful concert hall.

1. Hong Kong: 25,695,800 Visitors Per Year

The most visited city in Asia is Hong Kong. Once a sparsely populated collection of farming and fishing villages, the territory has grown into one of the world's most important financial centers and commercial ports. It features more skyscrapers than any other city in the world, and those modern buildings, with a backdrop of Victoria Harbor, provide a unique cityscape.

High-end hotels and restaurants are not hard to find in Hong Kong, and there are countless attractions and activities to choose from.

For example, you can take the Peak Tram up to Victoria Peak. Better yet, take a 45-minute hike along the Morning Trail—it will get the blood pumping, and, on a clear day, you'll be rewarded with a picture-perfect view of Hong Kong.

Another amazing view of the city can be seen from a traditional junk boat. Once a common means of transport in China, only a small number of the boats still exist. Travelers can experience history aboard one of two beautifully restored junk boats, taking a 45-minute ride around the scenic Hong Kong harbor. Those seeking a more in-depth look at this region's fascinating history can find temples built between the 12th and 15th centuries. Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan, for example is a common destination.

Tourists from all over the globe flock to these five modern Asian cities to experience different cultures and, sometimes, to indulge in the extravagant amenities offered by their world-class resorts. We hope your travels take you to some of these amazing places, and that you have enjoyed this brief look at the most visited cities in Asia.