Central and eastern Asia, the continent of Australia, and the island nations and communities of the southeast Pacific Ocean have many common cultural bonds reflected in the respective cuisines and hospitality styles of each region. The major Pacific port cities of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo offer world class hotels and dining options. Bangkok, despite its dense population, continues to reflect the refinement of Thai culture in the service quality of its hotels and restaurants, as do the resorts on the Thai peninsula of Phuket along the Indian Ocean. Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, including its mainland downtown area and any of the 63 surrounding islands, just north of the Equator in Malaysia offer the finest in Asian accommodations. South of the Equator, Bali, east of Java in Indonesia offers white sandy beaches along its south shore and black volcanic sand beaches along its north shore.
Beijing in mainland China, site of the palace of Kublai Khan, contains centuries of Peking history along with state of the art office buildings and skyscrapers. In the northwestern corner of Asia, eastern Istanbul is across the Bosphorous Strait or 'Golden Horn' of the Black Sea from western Istanbul and Europe, the only city in the world which straddles two continents.
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