Shanghai, From Towering Skyscrapers to a Picturesque Old Town

Shanghai, in China, is one of the fastest growing cities on the planet. But as well as being an ultra modern city with one of the tallest buildings in the world, the city has pockets of history and culture that will transport you back in time. When you are ready to go, Brightsun Travel has discounted airfares to Shanghai all year round, so you can experience the old and new in Shanghai this holiday.

A Sci-fi Skyline

A Sci-fi Skyline

The incredible metropolis of Shanghai, a city that has developed at such warp speed that it boasts contemporary skyscrapers and urban architecture like no other Chinese city, has an almost sci-fi skyline, which includes one of the tallest buildings in the world, the Shanghai Tower, towering above old laneways and local markets.

Contemporary Architecture

Contemporary Architecture

Across Shanghai you will find incredible architecture, centred around the Pudong district, where you can go to the top of the Oriental Pearl Tower, or the Jinmao Tower, for a bird’s-eye view of the city. Or head to the Power Station of Art, Shanghai’s answer to the Tate Modern, and explore a contemporary gallery housed in a former power plant.

Traditional Shanghai

Traditional Shanghai

Almost as an antidote to the city’s mega-skyscrapers, a tour of the city’s Old Town would reveal Shanghai’s more traditional side. Head to the historic district of Bund, and you will discover many heritage buildings that have been preserved for their cultural importance, including Art Deco and neoclassical buildings, old hotels and classic buildings housing traditional British Gentlemen’s clubs.

Shikumen

Shikumen

In some parts of Shanghai, like in Tianzifang, you can walk through Shanghai’s last remaining shikumen complexes, alleyway complexes (or gated communities) that traditionally provide low-rise dwellings for families, and part of the city’s historic landscape. In Xintiandi you could tour the Shikumen Open House Museum and imagine what life in Shanghai was like just a few decades ago.

Wuzhen

Wuzhen

When you are ready to leave the city, just 90 miles from Shanghai, is the ancient water village of Wuzhen, built around waterways and canals, where you can experience the traditional side of China, showcasing a very different way of life to its more space age neighbour. Here you can take a boat trip along winding canals and imagine what life was like in ancient China.

Getting there

Contact Brightsun Travel about a wide range of direct and cheap flights to Shanghai, and take a memorable city break to China this holiday.

 

Manila: One of Asia’s Coolest Cities

The cosmopolitan city of Manila offers a diverse mix of attractions for visitors, from Spanish colonial architecture, to up and coming creative enclaves boasting edgy art galleries. The list of things to do in Manila is endless. Here we have put together 10 of our favourite things to do in Manila, to help you navigate the city’s highlights. When you are ready to go, contact Brightsun Travel about discounted airfares to Manila, and discover one of Asia’s coolest cities.

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1.Parks

Royal Park, covering a massive 60 acres in the heart of the city, is an iconic landmark in Manila, with ornate gardens and atmospheric walkways winding past monuments of great historical significance.

2.Churches

Manila’s architecture includes beautiful old churches, like the San Agustin Church, the oldest church in the Philippines, with an ornate interior and delicately decorated ceilings.

3.Palaces

In Manila you could visit the incredible Malacañang Palace set on the Pasig River. This palace complex, dating back to the 18th century, has been the official residence of the Filipino president since 1935.

4.Historic Buildings

A must-see in Manila is the beautiful Casa Manila, a reproduction of a Spanish colonial house, and a beautiful spot to while away a tropical Manila afternoon, surrounded by atmospheric architecture.

5.Museums

Manila is full of museums, including the National Museum of the Filipino People, with artefacts dating back to 24,000 BC, plus a range of indigenous textiles and ancient shipwrecks.

6.Galleries

The world class Metropolitan Museum of Manila is one of Manila’s top art spaces and galleries, where you could spend an afternoon exploring a range of local contemporary and experimental art.

7.Gardens

Head to the Manila Orchidarium and you could escape the city and surround yourself by hundreds of orchids. The gardens also have attractive water features and walking bridges that are a world away from downtown Manila.

8.Promenades

Take in impressive views of Manila Bay from its pedestrianised Baywalk, running along its central Roxas Boulevard, passing important landmarks, like the Quirino Grandstand.

9.Forts

The city’s premier tourist attraction is Fort Santiago, with restored 18th century military barracks, landscaped gardens and magnificent fountains to keep the whole family entertained.

10.Shopping

Escolta Street was once known as the Fifth Avenue of the Philippines, and after a long economic decline, has been recently rejuvenated, now boasting cafes, boutiques, galleries and restaurants.

Flights

Brightsun Travel runs regular Manila cheap flights offers, and has a range of hotel and holiday packages so that you can secure a fantastic city break to Manila this holiday, and discover one of Asia’s fastest growing cities.

 

Exploring Hong Kong’s peninsulas and islands

With an ever-expanding transport network, travelling across Hong Kong is a dream, and more and more people are venturing out of Hong Kong Island to discover its surrounding peninsulas and islands. Brightsun Travel has amazing cheap flights to Hong Kong as well as hotel packages and holiday deals to suit a range of tastes and budgets, so that you can explore all of Hong Kong this holiday.

Kowloon Peninsula

Kowloon Peninsula

Kowloon, thanks to Hong Kong’s ever expanding rail system, has been through a kind of urban face lift in recent years. The newly opened West Kowloon Cultural District has been at the centre of the action, with impressive museums and galleries in former industrial buildings and warehouses, attracting a young stylish crowd away from Hong Kong Island. After exploring Kowloon’s contemporary art scene, you can practice tai chi with the locals in Kowloon Park.

Lantau & Lamma Islands

Lantau Island

Lantau Island

When you are ready to explore the islands surrounding Hong Kong, Lantau and Lamma Island offer a glimpse into Hong Kong’s old way of life. A trip to Lantau Island would take you to traditional fishing villages, as well as Hong Kong’s most incredible beaches. Here you could hike the 934 metre high Lantau Peak or take the 70 kilometre Lantau Trail past remote bays, ancient temples and beautiful rivers.

Lamma Islands

Lamma Island

Lamma Island is full of forests, beaches and villages where you can visit organic farms, stroll main streets lined with cafes, bars and boutiques, and relax in a car-free environment. Here you can spend your days on small secluded bays, and trekking rugged landscapes. Take a hike from the beach and pass by thick forested hills, atmospheric caves and century old temples, ending up in small seafront settlements where you can dine in old seafood restaurants.

Tai O

Take a short day trip from Hong Kong Island and you could literally be transported back in time. Around Lantau and Lamma Island you can stumble across ancient fishing villages, like Tai O village, offering a taste of ancient life in Hong Kong. Tai O is one of the few traditional and authentic fishing villages left in Hong Kong, where you’ll discover lush green hills and mountains, plus traditional homes on stilts.

Hotels

Rambler Oasis Hotel – Stay on Tsing Yi Island in the heart of Kowloon
Hotel Novotel Nathan Road Kowloon – An enviable location in Kowloon
Eaton, Kowloon – With a rooftop pool and Michelin-starred restaurant

Flights

Brightsun Travel has a wide range of cheap tickets to Hong Kong from UK so that you can explore the city’s peninsulas and islands for yourself this holiday.