Singapore's Keong Saik Road ranked 4th in Lonely Planet's 'Best in Asia' travel destinations

Singapore's Keong Saik Road ranked 4th in Lonely Planet's 'Best in Asia' travel destinations
PHOTO: Facebook/ Potato Head Singapore

One wouldn't think that a crime-riddled red light district would become a desirable travel destination in the future.

Once lined with dull shophouses and brothels, Keong Saik Road has since transformed into a beautiful street exuding a "heritage chic" vibe with several boutique hotels, art galleries, and dining establishments including Meta, a one Michelin-starred restaurant, and Potato Head, which offers a rooftop bar.

No wonder it made it on Lonely Planet's 'Best in Asia' list of travel destinations.

Other landmarks that made it on the list include Melaka City, Malaysia (ranked 8th), which was given a UNESCO World Heritage title in 2008, and Northern Kerala (ranked 3rd), India which features coastal villages alongside its pristine beaches.

Keong Saik Road among Lonely Planet's top 10 Asian travel destinations for 2017

Here is the full list of Lonely Planet's new esteemed travel destinations.

1. Gansu, China

Get ready your cameras for the photogenic Danxia National Geopark, a rainbow desert that doubles as dessert to your eyes.

With the addition of a new metro service and upgraded highways this year, travelling to the province's capital Lanzhou is made much smoother and easier.

2. South of Tokyo, Japan

At the southern part of Japan's busy capital lies two cities, Yokohama and Kamakura.

Yokohama is a bayside location distanced at a 20-minutes train ride from the capital. You can look forward to contemporary art projects happening from Aug 4 to Nov 5 this year.

Besides, Kamakura also offers some leisurely spots with its relaxed cafes and restaurants, amidst its popular surfing scene. If you have more time to spare, you can take a trip to its venerable temples and shrines in the verdant hills surrounding the city.

3. Northern Kerala, India

Marking India's 70th year of independence, a new international airport in Kannur is opening which will be Kerala's largest.

The region's clean beaches and wildlife sanctuaries are bound to keep the adventurer in you alive as well.

4. Keong Saik Road, Singapore

Congratulations to our up-and-coming hipster hangout for making the list, and giving our tourists a different view of Singapore that's not just skyscrapers and the Marina Bay Sands.

5. Astana, Kazakhstan

The oil-grown city features the world's largest marquee and stained-glass pyramids that aim to transform Astana into a futuristic region, as idealised by President Nazarbayev.

Citizens of 45 countries (including those of the EU, USA, Canada, and Australia) are now welcome to visit Kazakhstan without a visa for up to 30 days, as of 2017. The operation of a light rail transit (LRT) in addition to its existing bus network also makes the city a promising travel destination.

6. Takayama, Japan

Famed for its bi-annual Takayama Festival which goes back to the 1600s, celebrate seasons of spring and fall with parades featuring ornate, gilded floats and puppet shows which will make your eyes glisten.

7. Xi'an, China

Formerly the eastern starting point of the Silk Road, Xi'an is the place to visit if you're looking to cycle along the historical Ming Dynasty's city walls - full circuit.

Its iconic Army of Terracotta Warriors is also celebrating 30 years as a Unesco World Heritage Site this year.

8. Sri Lanka's Hill Country

Escape from the city's noise into a landscape of tea plantations as you relive the British Empire's colonial times in the stately hotels and nostalgic tea rooms.

There's definitely some peace and quiet to be enjoyed here.

9. Melaka City, Malaysia

With the UNESCO Heritage site title comes a major makeover for the heritage buildings of Melaka, inviting the setting up of boutique hotels, restaurants, and galleries.

Now that's definitely a place to visit that's not too far from Singapore. Check out AsiaOne's travel planner for the best sights and deals.

10. Raja Ampat, Indonesia

At first sight, the unusual mushroom-shaped islets would already spark your interest. 

The region undoubtedly takes the crown of islands for what it offers - white-sand beaches, lush jungles, and over 200 diving spots. No wonder it's named "raja", which means 'king'.

ongymm@sph.com.sg

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