Travel Awards

Asia’s Most Transformed City

In the past five years, new landmarks, infrastructure projects and cultural hubs have sprung up – but which city has seen the biggest change? Find out in the nominees for Asia's most transformed city in the 2019 Marco Polo Club Members' Choice Awards


With a commitment to innovation and improving the city, recent development in Singapore has included an expanded Changi Airport, and a focus on maintaining its status as one of the greenest, most prosperous cities in Asia.

Phnom Penh

Cambodia’s capital has seen significant urban growth coupled with development in transport, infrastructure and construction, which has resulted in foreign investment and increased tourism. Art and culture has blossomed alongside.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City has ambitions to become Vietnam’s first smart city. It’s also the gateway to one of the world’s fastest growing economies. The emerging megacity has modernised rapidly and will soon welcome a metro system.


This ancient city, home to Ming-era architecture, imperial museums and the Terracotta Warriors, has developed into a hi-tech and education hotspot, drawing visitors and investors as a city of the future.


Post-war Seoul has transformed into a design city with high profile architecture and investment in technology. The wave of Korean pop culture that took the world by storm can also call the capital home and it reflects its dynamism.


In recent years Shenzhen has exhibited explosive growth to become the biggest economy in southern China, cemented its status as a high-tech hub, developed an integrated transportation system and implemented plans to establish itself as a smart city.


New commercial and lifestyle destinations continue to mushroom up to join Bangkok’s skyline, while other developments look to more sustainable development, such as the recent anti-flood green infrastructure Chulalongkorn Centenary Park.

Kuala Lumpur

One of Southeast Asia’s fastest growing metropolitan centres, Kuala Lumpur has enjoyed significant development, particularly in infrastructure with the launch of its MRT, improved pedestrian access, and an emphasis on greener living.


A new, world-class cultural centre in the Macan Museum plus the opening of the first line of its MRT has Indonesia’s biggest city starting to look to the future. It has also implemented the Smart City concept for more efficient urban planning, with the intention of further alleviating its well-known congestion problems.


Guangzhou has experienced rapid urbanisation amid a booming economy, but development has included improved infrastructure, new landmarks and considered regeneration with the city expertly embracing both preservation and advancement.

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