Top 5 sleepiest cities in Asia

Enjoying the big lights and frenetic pace of cities like Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Shanghai may be one thing, but where in Asia can you find the exact opposite?

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5. Chiang Mai is most certainly the sleepiest area in Thailand. While tourism increases the speed of the daily life somewhat, the locals of the city are reliant on this tourism trade to boost income, so they won’t be too concerned. However, that doesn’t stop the habits of a lifetime when you are born and raised in Chiang Mai. Any city that offers lazy elephant rides through slow-moving rivers and uninhabited jungles must surely get a mention on this list.

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4. Ubud is the cultural heart of the island of Bali. Much like Chiang Mai, tourism increases the average speed of this sleepy rural enclave, yet you will be surprised at just how laid back the Balinese people are! It will not be hard for you to see the locals going about their business in the fields, growing crops and using the eponymous Bali Cow to drive a hard bargain. Where work is concerned, the Balinese are simply too cool for school! To see what I mean, check out my experience in the spiritual heart of Bali.

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3. I never spent much time in Paro, but from what I saw there, this is certainly another contender for the most sleepy city in Asia. Not many people come to Paro, so the city is still without any mass tourism, unlike the other cities mentioned in this list. It was fascinating to see how laid back the local were as they went about their daily basis. I often wondered if they knew how special it was for tourists to visit their lazy backyard!

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2. Bagan in the centre of Myanmar is surely a sleepy city. Aside from the famous historical area of Bagan, where the marvellous temples and pagodas are situated, there is a good old-fashioned community in the city too, where you can observe the locals washing their clothes in the river, herding up cows and goats, and the kids frolicking around without a care in the world!

 

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1. The most sleepy city in Asia as far as I am concerned must be Luang Prabang in Laos. It is not a typical tourist country, although clearly it is popular with backpackers on a shoestring. If you make it Luang Prabang you won’t be disappointed, as apart from Buddhist monks collecting alms in the morning, you will be able to see many little nuances that prove that this small city simply never gets out of first gear! It seems that even for the workers here, every hour is a lunch hour, and if they earn some money in so doing, then even better! Check out my experiences in sleepy Luang Prabang and the equally sleepy (at times) Mekong river cruise!

So what do you think is the number one sleepy city in Asia? Ever been somewhere that was so laid-back that it simply took you aback?

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8 thoughts on “Top 5 sleepiest cities in Asia

  1. It’s interesting to see many of the locals sleeping right alongside busy roads and noisy markets in the middle of bustling cities too during working hours. I must admit though that I’m often jealous because it’s just so hot out! The expression “a blanket of heat” surely comes from the Asian experience.

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    1. Yep, in Spain they have Siestas in the afternoon, but you’re right, in Asia the heat and humidity makes the whole day a siesta! 😀 I always see taxi/rickshaw drivers sleeping as they wait for their next customers haha

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  2. I always wanted to visit Luang Prabang! Lucky you!! Thank you for the list!
    Talking about sleepy – I will say that will be Candi Dasa in Bali – it is super sleepy and could led to boredom 😀 I have heard also that Lovina in Bali is sort of that area but it is a perfect place for seeing nature on the land and ocean (some say that there are plenty dolphins to see in Lovina). But I have never been in Lovina myself..

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    1. Candidasa, well I didn’t visit there as far as I can remember, but I think people go there for the beaches; not much else to do there! 😛 Lovina is lovely in the north, along with Singaraja, not very touristy (not by Bali standards anyway), and yep the dolphins are awesome to see! 😀

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