• Sign in / uponeworld
    Cathay Pacific
    Marco Polo Club Members’ Choice Awards 2019: 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? Read on for the winner and shortlist for Asia's most transformed city in the 2019 Marco Polo Club Members' Choice Awards
    Marco Polo Club Members' Choice Awards: Asia’s Most Transformed City
    Credit: Shutterstock
    Find the best fares to

    Credit: Getty Images

    Asia’s most transformed city

    Winner: Shenzhen

    Shenzhen’s explosive growth has made it the biggest economy in southern China and cemented its status as a high-tech hub. It’s also developed an integrated transportation system and implemented plans to establish itself as a fully smart city, while cultural and design initiatives have also flourished.

    ‘The past five years in Shenzhen have seen the opening of the Design Society, the world’s first Muji hotel and one of China’s most creative arts venues in OCAT, which comprises galleries, artists’ studios, outdoor sculptural installations and an extensive art library.’ –Cynthia Rosenfeld, award-winning journalist and part of our panel of travel experts

    Asia’s most transformed city shortlist


    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.


    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.

    More inspiration

    Find the best fares to