This article first appeared on Skyscanner’s The 15 most hipster neighbourhoods in Asia Pacific
Listen up, hipsters! Hanging out at the neighbourhoods of Berlin and Brooklyn? Been there, done that?
Today's hipsters have gone global, and these 15 locations in Asia Pacific is where it's at. With the same cafe culture, indie music, vintage fashion, and quirky-cool sensibilities… and much, better street food! Skyscanner brings to you 15 most hipster neightbourhoods to hang out around Asia Pacific.
1. Fitzroy, Melbourne
Source: © Shantanu Starick photographer
Fitzroy is the undisputed hipster heartland of Melbourne. Traipse along the main drag of Brunswick Street, chock full of vintage boutiques and second-hand bookstores.
At its idiosyncratic cafes and bars, grab an all-day brunch and some excellent Expresso, and hang out till late for classic cocktails. Check out local street art, visit the famed Centre of Contemporary Photography, and do some one-stop shopping for crafty treasures at the weekends-only Rose Street Artists Market.
2. Shimokitazawa, Tokyo
The trendiest neighbourhood in Tokyo, Shimokitazawa (or "Shimokita" to those in the know) is where Japan's hipsters want to live. A cosy maze of narrow alleys perfect for exploring on foot, Shimokita is incredibly popular for its quirky shops, chill-out vibe, and a great live music scene.
3. Wellington, New Zealand
Source: David Mark photographer
Perhaps the world's coolest capital city, vibrant and compact, Wellington has more cafes, bars and restaurants per head than New York City! Enjoy locally-made craft beer along Courtenay Place and browse the off-beat shops of Cuba Street.
For the truly bizarre, check out the quirky-cool colossal squid exhibition at Te Papa, New Zealand's national museum.
4. Tiong Bahru, Singapore
Spend a lazy weekend chilling out at the hipster heaven of Tiong Bahru.
Singapore's oldest housing estate is a delightful contrast between old and new, as uber-cool coffee bars, legendary bookstores, and lifestyle shops share space with mom-and-pop stores from the 1940s and a traditional wet market.
Wander around the historic pre-war apartments, with their round balconies and spiral staircases, then pop into 40 Hands Coffee for a cosy cuppa.
5. Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Take a break from the relentless bustle of cosmopolitan Hong Kong at laidback Sheung Wan.
Browse the knick-knacks and antiques on Hollywood Road, stroll through colourful traditional medicine shops, and hang out with creative types at the independent boutiques and restaurants.
6. Hongdae, Seoul (South Korea)
Like pop-culture mecca Harajuku in Tokyo, Hongdae buzzes with cutting-edge fashion, urban art and indie music.
Already exciting during the day, it's most energetic in the evenings, where students from the nearby universities converge to shop, eat, and party.
7. Ximending, Taipei
Historically known for theatre, Ximending is a favourite hangout for the young and fashionable.
Here you'll find everything from subcultures and shopping, to themed restaurants and tattoo parlours. There on a weekend? Catch a street performance, album launch, or indie concert.
8. Tian Zi Fang, Shanghai
The centre of Shanghai's art and craft scene, Tian Zi Fang's historic alleys are perfect for getting lost in.
Explore the craft shops, galleries, boutiques and cafes, converted from once-abandoned factories, and soak up the evocative charm of restored Shikumen houses on Taikang Road.
9. Bandra, Mumbai
Creative and casual, Bandra offers a welcome break from the fast-paced Mumbai life.
A well-known shopping haven and food paradise, Bandra has become the epitome of urban cool, made even trendier by the many Bollywood stars who live along the seafront.
Explore the narrow streets by foot or tuktuk, and head to the Pali Market for the latest in fashion. Don't forget to haggle!
10. Ari, Bangkok
Up-and-coming hipster central, Ari is an undisputed foodie destination for both cheap eats and chic restaurants.
From fantastic street food on Soi Ari to authentic cocktail bars, indulge your tastebuds in this charming neighbourhood.
11. Gulou, Beijing
Source: institute artist
Right in the middle of Beijing is Gulou, a charming old neighbourhood with narrow alleys and historic hutongs.
Unlike elsewhere in the steel-and-concrete Chinese capital, these traditional courtyard houses have been preserved and converted into funky new restaurants, offbeat independent shops and cool cocktail bars, inspiring a new generation of stylish young Chinese.
12. Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Source: le pirate life
At the centre of Hanoi is Hoan Kiem Lake, and around it are the labyrinthine streets of the Old Quarter.
Here you'll find French Colonial architecture and Parisian-style cafes, boutiques specialising in original fashion, jewellery and furniture, and old-fashioned shops selling traditional crafts and trinkets.
Nightlife? Join the locals at the rooftop bars andstreetside watering holes that rock on into the early hours!
13. Maginhawa Street, Manila
Move over, Salcedo. Manila's hipsters have declared a newer, cooler and more authentically hipster neighbourhood at laidback Maginhawa Street.
Also known as "Eat Street", the area is packed with an endless range of restaurants and cuisines to suit any craving. Book-lovers on a budget will also enjoy Bookay-Ukay, a haven for inexpensive second-hand books.
14. Haji Lane, Singapore
Source: © Lushangel.com
It used to be a narrow street of empty shophouses, but in the past few years it's been filled with fashion boutiques and blog shops run by up and coming designers, live music bars like BluJazz, sisha cafes and tiny record shops dedicated to alternative music.
It's a great place to people-watch, with many trendy hipsters taking photos for their fashion blogs or Instagram accounts there. Sip on a hand-crafted cocktail or indulge in a decadent cappuccino.
15. Section 17, Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur
Almost under the radar, the unassuming neighbourhood of Section 17 has become quite a collection of charming new eateries.
Hang out with friends to grab a coffee and play some board games at the cheerful Pitstop Cafe, before catching some stand-up comedy or local music acts at PJ Live Arts.
Bonus: Panglima Polim, Jakarta
In chaotic, traffic-choked Jakarta, where's the ideal hipster 'hood? Undoubtedly Panglima Polim, with its cool cafes, vibrant street art, beautiful houses and wide tree-lined streets. Located a short jaunt from Little Tokyo and nearby Blok M, it's the perfect escape for the city's cool cats.
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