Accessible Asia: Diverse Destinations Easily Reached from the US

1 June 2023

There are no two ways about it — Asia is a decent distance from North America. But the continent's myriad exotic wonders are not as far-flung as many travelers imagine. Direct flights from major US airports, such as New York and Los Angeles, have made it convenient to reach places once considered far away and complicated. Here are five incredible destinations—Japan, Korea, UAE, Singapore, and Taiwan—easily accessed by air.

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There are no two ways about it — Asia is quite a distance from North America. But the continent's myriad wonders are not as far-flung as many travelers imagine. Direct flights from major US cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, have made it convenient to reach places once considered far away and complicated. Here are five diverse destinations—Korea, India, UAE, Singapore, and Taiwan—easily accessed by non-stop flights from the US. 


Shadow of Shadow - Flower Blossom by Kim Young Won, Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Travelers can reach the dynamic and culturally rich nation of Korea in just under 14 hours from LA, and around an hour longer from NYC. Seoul, the capital, offers a captivating blend of history and cutting-edge technology, fashion, and dining. Explore the happening streets of Myeongdong district — indulging in its many options for shopping and street food — and the trendy neighborhood of Hongdae, known for its art, music, and nightlife. Shop for world-class cosmetics, record your own Kpop hit in a professional studio, or head to Majang market to sample its highly-prized Hanwoo beef. Heritage travelers, meanwhile, will appreciate historic highlights like Insadong and Bukchon Hanok Village, and the ancient palaces of Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung. Dining is another Seoul specialty, with traditional Kbbq options sitting comfortably alongside Michelin-ranked venues like La Yeon and Jung Sik.

Suggested Itinerary: Classic Korea


A new perspective on an old favorite

India is Asia’s most exuberant and colorful nation. It’s fair to say — to denizens of the western hemisphere — it’s also the most exotic. Visiting here can be addictive, which is just as well as at just over 15 hours from JFK and 16 hours from LAX, it is surprisingly easy to parachute into a completely different world. As well as the treasures of old Delhi itself, the Indian capital is the perfect base to explore India’s Golden Triangle. To the south, the iconic Taj Mahal demands at least one visit in a lifetime, while to the west the famous tiger-spotting national park of Ranthambore is home to one of our favorite properties in Aman-i-Khas. Farther west, the evocative Land of Kings, Rajasthan, is an absolute must. Discover the ancient cities of Jaipur, Udaipur, and Jaisalmer, while staying at converted heritage buildings like Taj Rambagh Palace.

Suggested Itinerary: Classic India


The colossal Dubai Frame

A world of opulent wonders awaits in the United Arab Emirates. Hop on a direct flight from NYC and in around 12 hours, you'll arrive in Dubai, a city of awe-inspiring skyscrapers and lavish resorts. Enjoy desert safaris by 4x4, visit the iconic Burj Khalifa, or indulge in retail therapy at world-class shopping malls. Dubai’s already impressive dining scene has evolved thanks to the entrance of the Michelin Guide in 2022. The destination now has a duo of two Michelin-star venues, Il Ristorante – Niko Romito and STAY by Yannick Alleno, which sit alongside perennial favorites like Burj Al Arab's Al Muntaha. Abu Dhabi is slightly more reserved than its upstart neighbor. Yet architectural marvels such as the immense Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, as well as a huge cache of cultural treasures — including the Louvre and Guggenheim — make it well worth a visit.

Suggested Itinerary: Classic UAE


Gardens by the Bay

Singapore, now accessible non-stop from LAX (17 hours) and JFK (19 hours), has long shaken off its 'boringly safe' reputation, transforming into one of Asia's most compelling metropolises — perfectly manicured, innovative, and ultra-modern. Enclaves close to its traditional downtown area buzz with life and vitality. New galleries offer a fitting stage for the best in Asian and international contemporary art, while new speakeasy-style bars, and hip dining venues open with the regularity of a ticking metronome. Other highlights include the iconic Gardens by the Bay, a futuristic oasis of stunning flora, and the famous Supertrees. For a different perspective on proceedings take in the breathtaking views from the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark. Among the best places to stay are the harborside Fullerton Bay and the stately Raffles. 

Suggested Itinerary: Classic Singapore


Taipei 101

With direct flights from LA and NYC, you can reach Taipei in 14 and 15 hours respectively. One of Asia's most dynamic architecture hubs, the city is dotted with landmark new projects like the showpiece Taipei Performing Arts Center and Songshan Cultural Park, a showcase for design, visual and cross-disciplinary events. That's not to say that Taipei is not in touch with its past. Smoky temples, Qing-era shophouses, and must-visit treasure troves such as the National Palace Museum will sate the appetite of the most voracious heritage lover. Add a vibrant nightlife scene, famously welcoming locals, and some of the world's best street food, and you begin to see why Taipei is such an appetizing proposition.

Suggested Itinerary: Classic Taiwan




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