Rediscovering Old Asia

Development is encroaching fast, so catch the sights while you can

As Asia rushes headlong into development, much of its old charm is being paved over with concrete. New bridges, tunnels, airports, superhighways, and apartment complexes are replacing huge sections of the exotic East that for centuries have lured and fascinated travelers. With little regard for restoration or preservation, most Asian nations are opting for the gleaming skyscraper over the tranquil pagoda. True, Singapore has spent big bucks restoring old sections of the city to retain the architectural legacy of colonial times. But that's the exception. Throughout Asia, "there has been no compunction about tearing down old buildings to make way for development," says Taipei architect Carl Shen.

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