Forget Berlin and Brooklyn**. Any self-respecting hipster who is looking for the latest "in" place should check out some of these Asia Pacific hotspots. You’ll find the same funky facial hair, vintage threads and the freshest organic coffee, with an extra twist. Oh and way better street food!**
1. Fitzroy, Melbourne
Melbourne’s very own Fitzroy is Australia’s number one hipster hideout. Home to the Centre of Contemporary Photography, as well as some of the city’s oldest and most impressive architecture, you can pick up the perfect cup of Joe and have a giggle at the annual International Comedy Festival held here. Want to perfect your op shop style? Head to Brunswick Street for heaps of vintage clothing stores and second-hand bookshops to find some boho bargains.
2. Shimokitazawa, Tokyo
Hang out with Japan’s bright young things in uber cool Shimokitazawa, Tokyo. Pop-up shops and independent boutiques are run by a crowd of stylish 20-somethings and their creative designs have hoards of hipsters flocking to this neighbourhood every weekend.
3. Wellington, New Zealand
With more restaurants and cafes per-capita than NYC and the same artsy San Fran feel, Wellington is the foodie arts capital of the southern hemisphere. Check out the city’s family-run cafes and the cultural commune on Cuba Street, you’re bound to bump in to an unexpected art installation or two along the way!
4. Tiong Bahru, Singapore
This neighbourhood, the first social housing project in Singapore, used to be home to the concubines of the city’s rich and infamous. Now you’ll find plenty of great coffee spots, including 40 Hands Coffee, one of the first to put the area on the hipster hitlist when it opened in 2011. What accompanies a great coffee better than a good read? The streets are lined with second-hand bookstores and boutique fashion shops.
5. Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
On the western outskirts of Hong Kong CBD lies Sheung Wan. Take a trip to this part of the island and experience a whole new, more laid-back, side to this vibrant city. Spend the afternoon searching for vintage trinkets and beautiful antiques for souvenirs with a difference.
6. Hongdae, Seoul
Students and creative types from the local universities throng the streets in Hongdae. Similar to Harajuku, Tokyo, you’ll find fashionistas strutting their stuff in the latest styles, plenty of pop-up boutiques and lots of opportunities to hear some live indie music.
7. Ximending, Taipei
Get inked in Ximending, where you’ll find dozens of tattoo parlours and some very talented artists. True to its heritage as one of the best theatre streets in Taipei, you’ll find lots of street performers here showcasing their talents.
8. Tian Zi Fang, Shanghai
Once abandoned and left to crumble, Tian Zi Fang has been revitalised by local contemporary artists and cliques of Shanghai’s cool set. Visit the revamped Shikumen houses and stroll through the hidden alleyways to find some unique handicrafts.
9. Bandra, Mumbai
Escape the dizzying chaos of Mumbai and head to Bandra for a slice of Indian culture at a slightly slower pace. Bollywood’s ruling stars have settled along Bandra’s seafront and whilst the narrow laneways make it difficult for taxis to manoeuvre, the best way to see this charming town is by tuktuk. Get your driver to make a stop at Pali Market for some tasty refreshments.
10. Ari, Bangkok
Southeast Asia’s hipsters have made Ari, in Bangkok, their temporary home. Thai locals and expats hangout here, attracted by the chic cocktail bars and some of the best street food in the city which can be found on Soi Ari street.
11. Gulou, Beijing
The New York Times once hailed Gulou as “_A Streak of Brooklyn in Beijing_” and now it has firmly made it on to the hipster hit list. With its off-beat style and the quirky attitude of its locals, one of the interviewees featured in this article said he based his style on the “architecture and culture around him”. How…alternative!
12. Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Another Southeast Asian hipster hideout is Hanoi, Vietnam. Here you’ll find delicious street food, rooftop bars and stunning French Colonial architecture. The Hanoi Social Club caters for all cool kids, with an extensive vegan menu and the chance to subscribe to Frankie magazine. Wander through the French Quarter, armed with a cappuccino and croissant whilst exploring the local pagodas, a truly east-meets-west experience!
13. Maginhawa Street, Manila
Calling all foodies, artists and students: Manila’s chief hipster hangout, Salcedo is the place to see and be seen. However, rising prices have caused many creative types to move to nearby Maginhawa Street, where the vibe is far more laidback. Explore Bookay-Ukay, a treasure chest full of cheap second-hand books.
14. Section 17, Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur
With a name straight out of The Hunger Games, Section 17 is actually a charming quarter of Malaysia’s capital. Start your day with a coffee and a quick game of Monopoly at Pitstop Café. Come sundown, head over to PJ Live Arts, and be entertained by some live music and a host of comedians.
15. Panglima Polim, Jakarta
Just a short distance from Little Tokyo, Panglima is teaming with some of Indonesia’s liveliest café culture. Like Fitzroy, you’ll find lots of interesting street art, brilliant restaurants and shady tree-lined avenues. It’s the perfect retreat in an otherwise bustling young city.