Discover Little Paris in Asia

By Deidre Casandra M. | 22, Aug, 2023
Discover Little Paris in Asia

Suppose you're a Muslim traveler seeking to experience the charm of Paris while exploring Asia. In that case, several destinations offer a blend of architectural beauty, cultural influences, and Muslim-friendly amenities.

Discover the "Little Paris" corners in Asia, where you can immerse yourself in a similar ambience while enjoying the comforts of Halal food and Muslim-friendly facilities.

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1. Da Lat, Vietnam
Da Lat, Vietnam

Image Credit: Đằng Nguyễn on Unsplash

Da Lat, located on the picturesque Lam Vien Highlands at an elevation of 1,500 meters, is often compared to a romantic and elegant lady. With its stunning blossoms, enchanting frost, and old-fashioned French structures that have endured for over a century, the city embodies the charm of a "Little Paris." As Vietnam's first and most complete French resort town, planned in the early 19th century, Da Lat is the largest resort town in Indochina.

Exploring Da Lat's highlights includes:

  • Traversing the scenic Prenn Pass with its green pine forests
  • Visiting Lang Biang Mountain
  • Exploring Cu Lan Village
  • Experiencing the city's unique French architecture.

The old villas, Da Lat Train Station, and iconic landmarks like the Da Lat Diocese Cathedral and Bao Dai Mansion captivate visitors with their historical significance. Indulging in Da Lat's renowned cuisine, which features delicacies such as starchy căn cakes, kem bo or avocado ice cream, and strawberry treats, is a must-do while enjoying the town's moderate climate and fruit abundance. There are a few restaurants where you can find Halal food but, if you're looking for Halal Vietnamese cuisine while traveling here, check out Kampung Pandan and Fatimah Restaurant.

Read: 5 Things Muslim Travelers Can Do in Da Lat, Vietnam


2. Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang, Laos

Image Credit: Swapnil kulkarni on Unsplash

Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Laos, served as the capital of the French Protectorate of Laos, infusing the city with a touch of "Little Paris." The fusion of traditional Laotian and French colonial architecture graces its streets, showcasing splendid colonial-era buildings, Muslim-friendly restaurants, and charming tree-lined avenues.

Lee Yo-han, a research professor at the Korea Institute for ASEAN Studies, aptly describes Luang Prabang as a remarkably well-preserved town that transports visitors through time, reminiscent of the romantic ambience of the French capital. Its faithful preservation, mirroring century-old photographs, has earned it the renowned reputation as a place "where time stops."

Despite the absence of towering historical sites or breathtaking natural landscapes like Angkor Wat, Luang Prabang thrives on its artistic heritage and harmonious blend of cultural traditions, beautifully complemented by its natural surroundings. The UNESCO World Heritage status safeguards the town's integrity, ensuring restrictions on tall building construction. The relaxed atmosphere and a delightful array of French-inspired cuisine add to its allure. Muslim visitors can explore the city and discover Muslim-friendly accommodation options, all within the enchanting embrace of Luang Prabang's "Little Paris" charm.

For more things to do in Laos, check out: Things to do in Vientiane, Laos


3. Bandung, Indonesia
Bandung, Indonesia

Image Credit: Arfan Husni Hasibuan on Unsplash

In the early 20th century, during the Dutch colonial period, Bandung became a favored destination for wealthy tea and coffee plantation owners who owned vast expanses of undulating tea and coffee plantations. During this time, Bandung earned the elegant nickname of the "Paris of Java" or the "Parijs van Java." Today, traces of this historical legacy can still be found in Central Bandung, where exquisite Art Deco buildings from the Dutch colonial era are a testament to the city's past. Notable examples include the Governor's office building known as "Gedung Sate," the Bidakara Homann Hotel, and Gedung Merdeka, which served as the venue for the Asian-African Conference and now houses a museum.

Bandung is also a very Muslim-friendly city. You can find Mosques conveniently located throughout the city, providing spaces for prayer and reflection. Additionally, numerous Halal restaurants serve a wide range of delectable cuisine, ensuring Muslim visitors can enjoy authentic local dishes without compromising their dietary preferences. Embrace the historical charm, explore the architectural wonders, and savor Bandung's Muslim-friendly culinary delights.

While Paris holds its unique charm, these "Little Paris" corners in Asia allow Muslim travelers to experience elements of French-inspired architecture and ambience while enjoying Muslim-friendly amenities. Embrace the cultural diversity, indulge in local Halal cuisine, and create cherished memories as you explore these Muslim-friendly corners reminiscent of the City of Lights.

For more Muslim-friendly travel like this, check out the rest of our blogs here!

Creative life learner by passion, digital marketeer by profession.

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