Chiang Mai and Bangkok make Travel + Leisure’s list of World’s 15 Best Cities for 2016

U.S. magazine Travel + Leisure asked their jet-setting readers to rate the best urban centers in the world and Chiang Mai and Bangkok made their list of the 15 World’s Best Cities for 2016.

Chiang Mai was number two on the list and Bangkok was eighth. Interestingly, Bangkok took sixth place last year and Chiang Mai was not on the list at all.

The first-place winner was a city that many people may have never heard of, and even fewer have visited: Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston displaced Kyoto, Japan, which won first place for the two previous years.

Luang Prabang, Laos, was featured on the prestigious list for the first time and Siem Reap, Cambodia, dropped ten spots from third-place to thirteenth, reported Bangkok Post.  

Travel + Leisure noted that their readers rank cities based on tourist sights, landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping and overall value. Their city rankings are part of a larger series of annual World’s Best Awards, which also award the best islands, airlines, and cruise lines.

Of their second-place winner, the magazine said: “Chiang Mai might not be Thailand’s largest city, but it’s first our readers’ hearts — probably because it’s much more manageable. It has a busy downtown with restaurants and must-see markets, but quiet resorts are a quick drive away.”

They went on to note that “The cities of Southeast Asia are on the rise. Urban centers in the region, such as Bangkok; Siem Reap, Cambodia; and Luang Prabang, Laos — hailed for their affordable and delectable dining, historic sites, warm locals, and exciting culture — made up more than half of our list of Best Cities in Asia list this year. There’s never been a better time to go to Asia.”

The complete list of their 15 Best Cities for 2016 is:

1. Charleston, South Carolina

2. Chiang Mai, Thailand

3. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

4. Florence, Italy

5. Luang Prabang, Laos

6. Kyoto, Japan

7. New Orleans, Louisiana

8.  Barcelona, Spain

9. Savannah, Georgia

10. Cape Town, South Africa

11. Rome, Italy

12. Beirut, Lebanon

13. Siem Reap, Cambodia

14. Bangkok, Thailand

15. Cuzco, Peru

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