16 Ways Asian Cities Make America Look Like The Third World

Kansai Airport Osaka

Despite the global economic slowdown, Asia’s cities are continuing to widen the perceived technological gap between themselves and their American counterparts.

The juxtaposition is visible from the moment your feet leave the plane. Many of the airports in Asia’s biggest cities are stunning, engineering marvels — and make those in the U.S. seem outdated.

Has America’s early leadership in technology and engineering evaporated? Or is it hidden at first glance?

The Shanghai Magnetic Levitation (Maglev) floats on magnets and is the world's fastest commercially operated train, travelling at speeds up to 268 mph.

Seoul's local government has launched a $44 million plan to blanket the city with free Wi-fi.

Source: Fast Company

Some Japanese street signs have heat maps to relay congestion information to drivers and directly influence traffic patterns.

Automated customs let people enter Hong Kong using a smart identity card and a fingerprint scanner

Source: GovHK

Hands-free toilets in Japan have been around for a while.

Dubai is home to the world's longest fully-automated metro system.

Source: Khaleej Times

Beijing uses cloud seeding technology to alter weather patterns.

Source: BBC

Seoul's man-made Cheonggyecheon stream looks remarkably futuristic. Although it lies next to one of Seoul's busiest streets, it still offers visitors a serene and quite experience because it lies 15 feet below street level.

Source: Time magazine

The Octopus, Hong Kong's smart card payment system, is completely contactless (meaning you just tap it to make a payment), and can be used for most public transportation, parking meters, vending machines, and in convenience stores and fast-food restaurants.

Source: Octopus.com

Osaka's Kansai International Airport is built on a earthquake and tidal surge-proofed man made island.

Source: MSN Travel

Source: TechCrunch

'Green Kites' in Beijing are used to measure the wind, gauge distances, and test for pollution.

Source: CNet Asia

Tokyo's futuristic ferry, Himiko, looks like it belongs to a Bond villain.

Source: TokyoTimes.org

Dubai's famous artificial islands project consists of 250-300 separate man-made islands shaped like the world's continents.

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