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15 Most Hipster Neighbourhoods in Asia Pacific

Check out the most hipster neighbourhoods in APAC.

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The Western hemisphere is constantly heralded for its hipster hideouts in Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Berlin and Amsterdam. Here are the APAC’s answers to hipsterdom, complete with beards, vintage attire, and organic coffee. Oh, except the street food here is so much better

1. **Fitzroy, Melbourne**

Fitzroy still reigns supreme as the chief hipster hideout in the Southern Hemisphere. It hosts some of the most beautiful older buildings in the city, as well as the Centre of Contemporary Photography and the annual International Comedy Festival. Brunswick Street has tonnes of vintage clothing stores, second-hand bookshops and cafes that draw in the thriving young and bohemian cliques.

© Shantanu Starick photographer

2. Shimokitazawa, Tokyo

If hipsters ran Japan, this is what it would look like. The majority of shops are run by people under 30, and their crafts and wares have attracted the young and trendy crowds to this Japanese neighbourhood.

3. Wellington, New Zealand

Fact: Wellington has more eateries per-capita than NYC. However, the city itself is far more similar to the West Coast bohemia, San Francisco. Stroll around the suburbs for unexpected art installations, beautiful marina views and the cultural commune on Cuba Street.

David Mark photographer

4. **Tiong Bahru, Singapore**

This might be Singapore’s greatest indie enclave. It all started in 2011, when Books Actually and 40 Hands Coffee opened up shop. Naturally, when great coffee and second hand books were served up, hipsters flocked in. Now, you can find boutique fashion finds at Nana & Bird and Flee and Tree. After seeking out the vintage finds, find fuel in the Tiong Bahru markets to soak up some of the culture with coffee and coconut toast.

5. **Sheung Wan, Hong Kong**

With such a thriving CBD, it’s inevitable that the students and creative types would have to be pushed to either end of the island. Luckily, this has created a hipster heaven within the West, Sheung Wan. Visitors to this part of the island see a different way of life; it’s peaceful, calm, and authentic. Trawl the Upper and Lower Lascar Rows for antiques, vintage trinkets and general nic-nacs you won’t find it the more commercialised districts.

6. **Hongdae, Seoul (South Korea)**

This is another student hive cum creative hub, thanks to its proximity to the Universities in the area. Naturally, this has bred an innate love for the arts, indie bands, and boutique shopping. It’s similar to Harajuku, Tokyo, for its contemporary fashion and pop up store culture.

7. **Ximending, Taipei**

No hipster neighbourhood is truly complete without a well-equipped tattoo parlour, and Ximending has them in dozens. This actually used to be one of the best theatre streets in Taipei in the 1930’s, and now they hark back to that cultural heritage with a multitude of street performers and artists you’ll see lining the streets.

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8.**Tian Zi Fang, Shanghai**

If Shanghai is the Paris of the East, say hello to Montmartre. Not long ago, Tian Zi Fang was destined for demolition, however after a quick spruce up many contemporary artists fled to the revamped Shikumen houses. Now, you can see their influence through the crafts and wares boutiques dotted around the quaint alleyways.

9. **Bandra, Mumbai**

If you’re looking for refuge amongst Mumbai’s chaos, Bandra offers a slower, sleepier pace to the rest of the city. That might be why the young & the beautiful Bollywood crowd have chosen to settle on Bandra’s seafront. The narrow laneways make it difficult for taxis to manoeuvre, so make your way round this neighbourhood via tuktuk, and make sure to get some grub at the Pali Market.

10. **Ari, Bangkok**

You wouldn’t expect to find a hipster hideout in South East Asia, but Ari seems to have attracted them in their hordes. This neighbourhood is a favourite amongst locals and expats alike, and Soi Ari (the main street) has some of the best street food in the city.

11. **Gulou, Beijing**

After the New York Times hailed it as “A Streak of Brooklyn in Beijing”, it’s no surprise Gulou made it onto our list. One of the most interesting points the NY Times focuses on is the unique style philosophies found here; one of their interviewees said he based his style on “architecture and culture around him”. _So _hipster.

12. **Hoan Kiem, Hanoi**

Luckily, Hanoi’s answer to hipsterdom comes with delicious street food and rooftop bars. The Hanoi Social Club caters for all hipsters; coming with vegan options and a subscription to Frankie magazine. Alternatively, take your egg white cappuccino for a stroll and observe some of the French Colonial architecture – it’s the melding of older architecture and new cultures that has made Hoan Kiem a creative commune.

13. **Maginhawa Street, Manila**

Ah. Foodies, students and artists of the Phillippines, unite. Although Salcedo has always been proclaimed the ‘hipster hangout’ of Manila, their rising prices have pushed the flocks away into nearby Maginhawa Street. The vibe here is far more laidback, which gives you plenty of time to explore Bookay-Ukay – Maginhawa’s little goldmine for second-hand books.

14. **Section 17, (Petaling Jaya), Kuala Lumpur**

Although it sounds like something from The Hunger Games, Section 17 is actually a charming quarter of KL. Your day should definitely start of at Pitstop Café for a quick game of Monopoly, before you make your way over to PJ Live Arts, where you can find a host of comedians and musicians lighting up the stage.

15. **Panglima Polim, Jakarta**

A hop, skip and a jump away from Little Tokyo, Panglima provides the café culture that indie kids crave. Like Fitzroy, the roads are lined with street art, cool restaurants and leafy trees, making it the perfect hideaway in an otherwise bustling young city.

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