Asia’s cosmopolitan hubs are booming centers for commerce, with the biggest spenders dropping serious dollars—or yen and yuan—on high-end entertainment and hospitality. We’ve compiled a list of Asia’s most expensive cities, rated using human resource firm Mercer’s cost of living survey that looks at everything from the cost of transportation to entertainment for U.S. visitors. Read on to find out where to splurge across Asia and click through our slideshow for the full list of cities.
Tokyo tops our list as the most expensive city in the world. Expanding vertically over the past 20 years and with high prices on imported products, Tokyo also serves up some seriously expensive sushi. Head to the unassuming Sukiyabashi Jiro—subject of this year’s Jiro Dreams of Sushi documentary—for a fast-paced parade of sushi that costs 30,000 yen, or $382, a person.
It’s no surprise that one of the world’s most expensive cars was recently launched in Singapore, home of huge expatriate salaries and one of the world’s busiest ports. The Italian-made Pagani Huayra starts at $2.9 million, and the city provides plenty of luxe places to drive it, including the Five-Star Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, which offers full days of indulgent treatments.
The bustling financial metropolis of Hong Kong boasts some of the world’s priciest real estate—along with top-shelf culinary experiences, like The Krug Room at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, which serves creative tasting menus alongside Krug champagnes in front of an open kitchen.
While Shenzhen, located in southern China, isn’t the first place that comes to mind for big-ticket vacations, the strengthening of the yuan has moved it up the list since last year. As a strategic gateway between Hong Kong and the rest of China, the manufacturing hub has attracted luxury hotels like The St. Regis Shenzhen—the city’s highest hotel—situated on the top floors of the Kingkey 100 skyscraper, attached to the upscale KK Mall, home of Shenzhen’s first IMAX theater.
Photo of Singapore courtesy of iStock, Tomm L