Little India, Singapore
Mixing the mutinous anarchy of India with the sterile order of Singapore has resulted in the best of both worlds on the humid island state. One of the city’s most attractive and colourful sectors, Little India is bursting with open-fronted sweet shops, chai houses and authentic curry restaurants, where you’ll be expected to make like the locals and eat with your hands in the traditional style.
A long-standing bastion of hippie ideology, central Copenhagen’s Christiania has been a counter-culture commune since the abandoned military barracks was occupied in 1971. The 35-acre area is home to a thousand-strong community, not strictly an ethnic enclave but a popular attraction for visitors during the long Scandinavian summer days, who come to enjoy the atmosphere, live music, and special herbs sold in the world’s only open cannabis market.
Thames Town, Shanghai
Having written the textbook on western knock-offs, China went one step further with its bizarre ‘One City, Nine Towns’ housing initiative. Local Shanghai government built Thames Town, a suburb of the country’s financial capital resembling an English village, replete with mock-Tudor, Victorian red-brick houses and red phone boxes. Only the mandarin script, intense humidity and suspiciously unfaded appearance suggest you aren’t in Blighty.
A summer capital built by the British in the Himalayan foothills of Himchal Pradesh to escape the heat of the plains below, Simla (or Shimla as it was then known), looks rather more like Chester than Chandigarh. Check out the Downton-esque Viceregal Lodge, wander the mock tudor-lined ‘Ridge’, and ride the toy train that ferried imperialists to and from this surreal monument to the British Raj.
“Patagonia seemed like the ideal place” to found an outpost of Welsh values, according to one of the original 153 settlers that stepped off the boat in Argentina’s Chubut province in 1865. Gaiman, the cultural centre of ‘Y Wladfa’ or ‘The Colony’, attracts tourists with its Welsh protestant chapels, tea rooms serving astronomically-priced cream teas and its annual cultural festival, ‘Eisteddfod de Chubut’, every October.