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View Poll Results: Choose your overall favorite in the poll:
Taiwan 15 44.12%
South Korea 11 32.35%
Thailand 8 23.53%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-18-2012, 09:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Thailand is the tourist/backpacker etc. darling of Asia. Best places with the best bang for your buck. If someone is going to travel somewhere, that's the place of the three.

South Korea has a ton of nightlife, and really rages all night. But, Korea is more 'for the Koreans'. I lived there for many years, and loved it. I don't know many visitors who love it though. It's an acquired taste, and can be great fun, but not as interesting for the short-term visitor.

Taiwan is the quiet one. Thailand and Korea have a lot of nightlife. Taiwan is more known for being tea-drinking and relaxed, etc. People are very nice there. It's a 'nice' place.

Thai people seem to quite like Korea though. Korean culture through K-Pop and Korean movies is everywhere in Asia, and most people in southeast asia seem to love it.

Of the three, Thailand is the most different from Korea and Taiwan. Both Korea and Taiwan have more confucianism and more northeast asia thinking, which is just completely different than southeast asia.

Country for living. Thailand attracts everyone. Personally, I'm not too crazy about Thailand, but most people generally are crazy about Thailand. They all have benefits and negatives. Korea is great for making money, whereas Thailand is horrible for making money, etc. Taiwan is in the middle.

Best to visit, Thailand.
Thailand may be the best out of the three to visit first, but Taiwan and South Korea still have plenty to offer, are interesting, and impressive too.

For living in, Thailand seems like the easiest for foreigners to live in. Taiwan is in the middle. South Korea probably is the most difficult for foreigners to live in.

Those 3 countries still seem friendly and open to foreign visitors, even if they are not that ethnically diverse yet. It seems like they may be getting more diverse over time with that.

How exactly did you move to South Korea and for what reasons? That sounds like a lot of fun to live in South Korea for 7 years, even if it takes some adjusting.

That is a nice paradox that South Korea has such workaholics and study/work a lot in schools/careers while also being a place with a lot of nightlife/partying/entertainment activities.

I knew Taiwan was quieter compared to the other 2 countries, but I assume the entertainment/nightlife type of activity is still vibrant enough, and not lacking or deficient.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
I'm actually thinking about the 'which country would I prefer to live' question.

Originally, I was thinking 'none of the above'. Mostly because I already lived in Korea for 7 years, and I prefer Japan for living. I've never personally liked Thailand all that much, although I would admit it pretty much has everything a person could possibly want and more.

So, I think I'd choose Taiwan. It is quite lush and tropical, with beaches and nice scenery. Plus it's a million times more comfortable than mainland China, and a person would still be constantly exposed to the Chinese language, which is globally important for the future. The future seems to be with China anyways. But Taiwan seems like a much better variation of it.
I still think China is a fascinating country with plenty to see there, and has more good qualities about it than bad flaws.

The politics/government just does not seem that bad to me over there, and I am rather neutral about it. China is becoming increasingly capitalist and less communist. The communism it had never seemed as bad as Russian communism and was expressed differently.

China appears to have a paradox and a very mixed state in corruption levels sociologically, with a lot minimal low corruption but also some other things being a bit more corrupted simultaneously.

Either way, it is a must see for visiting. A lot of foreigners that live there (especially in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing) seem to enjoy it and find more good about it than bad.

I like Taiwan but I probably prefer China over Taiwan, especially for Shanghai/Hong Kong.

The future is definitely not only just with China. I think the future is with plenty of different countries all over the world (Around 25 to 35 different countries total that are the collective leaders). Those leaders of the future are mostly plenty of European, Asian countries+ USA/Canada/Australia.

My favorite Asian countries are China/Japan/Thailand/South Korea/Taiwan/Singapore/Vietnam/India.

Overall, I enjoy Europe, Asia, and North America equally and I find them equally interesting.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Macao
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Originally Posted by Thepastpresentandfuture View Post
How exactly did you move to South Korea and for what reasons? That sounds like a lot of fun to live in South Korea for 7 years, even if it takes some adjusting.

That is a nice paradox that South Korea has such workaholics and study/work a lot in schools/careers while also being a place with a lot of nightlife/partying/entertainment activities.

I knew Taiwan was quieter compared to the other 2 countries, but I assume the entertainment/nightlife type of activity is still vibrant enough, and not lacking or deficient.
I was teaching English in South Korea. They take a ton of english teachers, all the time. Anyone with a college degree, can easily live and work in South Korea.

Plus, they'll give you free housing.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:15 PM
 
Location: In the heights
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Originally Posted by Thepastpresentandfuture View Post
South Korea has Seoul and Taiwan has Taipei, but what other great cities/towns do they both have? I assume they have other great cities/towns too and may reach or even surpass Thailandís level in cities/towns options. Or maybe Thailand has the best variety of cities/towns options?

Excitement/Things to do and what someone looks for in that can vary a lot depending on the individual so the answers for that can depend on someoneís preferences.

For nature scenery, Taiwan does probably win, even though all 3 countries have impressive nature scenery.

I like that Taiwan has subtropical/tropical beaches and a lot of mountainous scenery all over the island to complement that. Thailand has good tropical scenery and beaches but it lacks mountains.
South Korea probably has good 4 seasons/more temperate type of scenery, maybe similar to Northern Japan/Central Japan in nature scenery.

For music scene, other than original music from there, I also was referring to the music preferences the people have in those countries and music concerts/festivals options.

I assume that a lot of people in Thailand, South Korea, and Taiwan listen to Rock níRoll and Electronic/Trance/House and that is great. I donít know what Asian pop music is like but it probably combines rock níroll/electronic trance and is much better than the pop music in the USA/UK England.

For food/cuisine I was referring to original food from there but also the level of cosmopolitan food options those countries have. It seems like those 3 countries have a lot of types of cuisine, other than the original cuisine they have.

Is Taiwanese cuisine exactly similar to Southern Mainland China Sczehuan/Cantonese food? One of my favorite cuisines is Thai. I also enjoy Southern Chinese food.

That is true in economy and that Thailand is catching up with the wealthiest Asian nations such as South Korea/Taiwan, but it still has some more catching up to do.

For Architecture, Thailand does appear to have the most grandiose/extravagant architecture with a nice blend of historic and modern. Also, varying density levels, at least in Bangkok.

Taiwan may be close behind. I wonder how much of Taiwanís architecture is similar to Taipei 101/Tuntex Sky tower buildings/and the national palace museum. Those are nice impressive buildings.

South Korea is clearly in last place, but it still has some good architecture too.
That is true South Korea-Taiwan are much more similar to each other compared to Thailand that stands out more.

However, I wonder to what extent South Korea-Taiwanís similarities are and I assume they still have noticeable/substantial differences from each other.
I can answer a few of these things in regards to Taiwan (my parents are Taiwanese and I've lived there off and on).

Taipei is very obviously the big city, but the cities of Kaohsiung and Taichung are decently large cities as well--the good thing is that these are all connected by very high speed rail, so they are fairly accessible. They are both far more relaxed and slower-paced cities but good in there own ways. Taipei is a fantastic and very vibrant city, though like almost all large cities in East Asia, most of the architecture is fairly utilitarian and a bit on the ugly side save for some skyscrapers and a few remnants of earlier eras. If you want to see some beautiful traditional architecture, one good example is the mountain and almost seaside town of Jiufen. It was mostly ignored for a good long while so it kept most of its architecture up until people started caring about preserving architectural heritage--if you're familiar with Miyazaki's movies, Jiufen was actually the template for the village in Spirited Away. It is in some ways jawdroppingly beautiful, but it is very much a (mostly local) tourist city at this point.

Taiwan does have a fairly vibrant underground music scene, but even the underground tends towards the poppier side of things--it could still be good in spots, but not all that innovative for the most part. There is a drastically undervalued native Taiwanese scene that's really awesome and earthy. It has parts of Japanese enka in there along with some strange attachment towards 70s arrangements and instrumentation. The aboriginals also have their native folk songs. The more interesting bit of Taiwan's art scene isn't music though (since they tend strongly towards pop, and Taiwan ceded its leadership in East Asia for that a good while ago), but its independent movie scene and graphic design firms. It also has some interesting native art traditions that China seems to have subdued such as Taiwan's traditional puppet scene (which has some transmogrified in sectors to modern day video and technical gadgetry oriented puppet television shows).

The defining trait I hear the most about Taiwanese people from people who go to visit or live in the country is that the Taiwanese are astoundingly nice--not just polite (which they also are), but really nice. They seem to bend over backwards sometimes to help friends, acquaintances, or strangers out without expectation of compensation.

Taiwan's food scene is further from Cantonese and closer to the Fujian areas of China. However, the big KMT exodus from China altered the demographics so that about 15% of the population are from or recent descendants from various parts of the Mainland. There are also remnants of Japanese culture and cuisine there. All this combines for a fairly eclectic cuisine. Taiwan also has a strong night market scene where continuous innovation happens almost as if by accident. Stuff like boba/pearl milk tea or mango slush are products of this kind of small level innovation.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
I can answer a few of these things in regards to Taiwan (my parents are Taiwanese and I've lived there off and on).

Taipei is very obviously the big city, but the cities of Kaohsiung and Taichung are decently large cities as well--the good thing is that these are all connected by very high speed rail, so they are fairly accessible. They are both far more relaxed and slower-paced cities but good in there own ways. Taipei is a fantastic and very vibrant city, though like almost all large cities in East Asia, most of the architecture is fairly utilitarian and a bit on the ugly side save for some skyscrapers and a few remnants of earlier eras. If you want to see some beautiful traditional architecture, one good example is the mountain and almost seaside town of Jiufen. It was mostly ignored for a good long while so it kept most of its architecture up until people started caring about preserving architectural heritage--if you're familiar with Miyazaki's movies, Jiufen was actually the template for the village in Spirited Away. It is in some ways jawdroppingly beautiful, but it is very much a (mostly local) tourist city at this point.

Taiwan does have a fairly vibrant underground music scene, but even the underground tends towards the poppier side of things--it could still be good in spots, but not all that innovative for the most part. There is a drastically undervalued native Taiwanese scene that's really awesome and earthy. It has parts of Japanese enka in there along with some strange attachment towards 70s arrangements and instrumentation. The aboriginals also have their native folk songs. The more interesting bit of Taiwan's art scene isn't music though (since they tend strongly towards pop, and Taiwan ceded its leadership in East Asia for that a good while ago), but its independent movie scene and graphic design firms. It also has some interesting native art traditions that China seems to have subdued such as Taiwan's traditional puppet scene (which has some transmogrified in sectors to modern day video and technical gadgetry oriented puppet television shows).

The defining trait I hear the most about Taiwanese people from people who go to visit or live in the country is that the Taiwanese are astoundingly nice--not just polite (which they also are), but really nice. They seem to bend over backwards sometimes to help friends, acquaintances, or strangers out without expectation of compensation.

Taiwan's food scene is further from Cantonese and closer to the Fujian areas of China. However, the big KMT exodus from China altered the demographics so that about 15% of the population are from or recent descendants from various parts of the Mainland. There are also remnants of Japanese culture and cuisine there. All this combines for a fairly eclectic cuisine. Taiwan also has a strong night market scene where continuous innovation happens almost as if by accident. Stuff like boba/pearl milk tea or mango slush are products of this kind of small level innovation.
There are around 30 to 50 countries I am especially fascinated with, and Taiwan is one of them and makes my top 25.

Taiwan appears pleasantly exotic, with plenty of charm, so it is very intriguing to me.

Where did you live in Taiwan? I assume you lived in Taipei.

I am glad to see Taiwan has other big cities other than Taipei such as what you said with Kaohsiung and Taichung. All three appear to have more than 2 million people each around 2.5-2.7 million and close to the same amount of population, being easily accessible to each other.

I just looked up Jiufen on google images/wikipedia. That was such a great surprise and a hidden treasure! The historic architecture, stores/commercial activity on the streets, and location in the mountains and seaside is appealing while still being very nearby from Taipei. But of course there is more to Jiufen then what google images/wikipedia reveals.

I like that Taiwan has a lot of higher density/urban scenery areas in the northern/western sides of the island and all the lower density/nature scenery areas in the central/eastern areas of the island.

What was your experience with Taiwan’s beaches, and mountain ranges? Some people say Taiwan’s nature scenery is similar to Hawaii. The nature scenery areas of Taiwan I heard also has some scattered historic buildings sites, hot springs, tea houses, with very lush scenery, and subtropical/tropical beaches.

Suao-Hualien coast/Cingshuei Cliiff in Taiwan looks like a blend of Big Sur coast California/Na Pali coast Hawaii.

For music scene, is it mostly Rock n Roll and Electronic/Trance/House, including in the pop music there? Is the awesome and earthy side of the music scene different from the pop scene? I bet Taiwan’s pop scene is much better than USA’s “pop scene.” In the USA it should not even be called “pop” because it became so trashy and plenty of people do not follow it.

Taiwan’s movie scene/arts scene sounds fun and interesting.

The Taiwanese people I did meet do seem nice, easygoing, simple, and very intellectual at the same time.

I wonder how different Fujian Cuisine is from Cantones/Szhehuan cuisine. My guess is it might be a bit less spicy and more herbal/mint tasting. Taiwan has so much tea to go with that. I had bubble tea before and it tastes great, especially Black Sesame/Honeydew/Coconut Almond bubble tea flavors.

There is quite a few bubble tea places in some areas of the USA. However, I never saw a restaurant in the USA that was labeled as a “Taiwanese restaurant.” It is always labeled instead as a Chinese restaurant. Most people in the USA as a result do not know what Taiwanese cuisine is, and just classify all of it as Chinese cuisine.

Taiwan was part of China for a long time but it is now a separate country, with a separate character.

Last edited by Thepastpresentandfuture; 06-19-2012 at 11:02 PM..
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:15 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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^ I've been to Fujian province, which I hear is the most similar part of mainland China to Taiwan, since a lot of immigrants to Taiwan were from the province. Some of my ancestors hail from there, although the villages where my great great grandparents apparently came from was a bit of a dump - quite literally, there were piles of rubbish everywhere. There is plenty to see in the province as a whole, though, I'd recommend the historic port city of Xiamen (Amoy), some of the countryside like Wuyishan, and the Hakka roundhouses. The cuisine actually does remind me a bit of Vietnamese cuisine - more fresh vegetables, herbs, soup, than Cantonese cuisine, with more subtle flavours as well.

There are some 'Taiwanese' restaurants here, many vegetarian, as well as a local restaurant/bubble tea chain that serves vegetarian food. The Taiwanese people I've met have also seemed very friendly and outgoing.
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I've been to Fujian province, which I hear is the most similar part of mainland China to Taiwan, since a lot of immigrants to Taiwan were from the province. Some of my ancestors hail from there, although the villages where my great great grandparents apparently came from was a bit of a dump - quite literally, there were piles of rubbish everywhere. There is plenty to see in the province as a whole, though, I'd recommend the historic port city of Xiamen (Amoy), some of the countryside like Wuyishan, and the Hakka roundhouses. The cuisine actually does remind me a bit of Vietnamese cuisine - more fresh vegetables, herbs, soup, than Cantonese cuisine, with more subtle flavours as well.

There are some 'Taiwanese' restaurants here, many vegetarian, as well as a local restaurant/bubble tea chain that serves vegetarian food. The Taiwanese people I've met have also seemed very friendly and outgoing.
What are all the areas of China that you visited other than Fujian province?

I still thought Taiwan was much wealthier per capita and more progressive than Fujian province, becoming more different from that place. I thought Taiwan is becoming more similar to parts of Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces. Those two provinces in China appear much more progressive and wealthier than Fujian.

Other than having Singaporean ancestors, you also have Fujian Chinese, and Malaysian ancestry. That is quite a vibrant mix.

Usually I donít stereotype entire nationalities/ethnicities but some of the nationalities/ethnicities really are easier to figure out and more predictable than others.

Taiwanese people appear to be one of the easiest nationalities/ethnicities to figure out/most predictable, and with very good impressions that was already said. However, I am sure there is still some variation between different Taiwanese people and they do not all have the same character.

I do not know of any restaurants labeled as Taiwanese restaurants anywhere in the USA. At least not in Pacific Northwest/Seattle, and Northeast/New York City. There might be few in coastal California.

It is interesting that Australia has some Taiwanese restaurants, including in Perth. I am glad to see Australia has such a cosmopolitan varied food scene with lots of exciting options. My favorite cuisines are Thai/Indian/Italian/Chinese/Malaysian/Vietnamese/and Mexican. Other than those cuisines, there is plenty of other foods I enjoy too.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA, USA
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Originally Posted by Thepastpresentandfuture View Post
What are all the areas of China that you visited other than Fujian province?

I still thought Taiwan was much wealthier per capita and more progressive than Fujian province, becoming more different from that place. I thought Taiwan is becoming more similar to parts of Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces. Those two provinces in China appear much more progressive and wealthier than Fujian.

Other than having Singaporean ancestors, you also have Fujian Chinese, and Malaysian ancestry. That is quite a vibrant mix.

Usually I donít stereotype entire nationalities/ethnicities but some of the nationalities/ethnicities really are easier to figure out and more predictable than others.

Taiwanese people appear to be one of the easiest nationalities/ethnicities to figure out/most predictable, and with very good impressions that was already said. However, I am sure there is still some variation between different Taiwanese people and they do not all have the same character.

I do not know of any restaurants labeled as Taiwanese restaurants anywhere in the USA. At least not in Pacific Northwest/Seattle, and Northeast/New York City. There might be few in coastal California.

It is interesting that Australia has some Taiwanese restaurants, including in Perth. I am glad to see Australia has such a cosmopolitan varied food scene with lots of exciting options. My favorite cuisines are Thai/Indian/Italian/Chinese/Malaysian/Vietnamese/and Mexican. Other than those cuisines, there is plenty of other foods I enjoy too.
I know a few restaurant labelled as Taiwanese restaurants- mostly in California. But, I've been to a couple in the Seattle area- "Facing East" and "Boiling Point" which is a hot pot restaurant. They are both in Bellevue, WA.
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:19 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,377,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thepastpresentandfuture View Post
What are all the areas of China that you visited other than Fujian province?

I still thought Taiwan was much wealthier per capita and more progressive than Fujian province, becoming more different from that place. I thought Taiwan is becoming more similar to parts of Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces. Those two provinces in China appear much more progressive and wealthier than Fujian.

Other than having Singaporean ancestors, you also have Fujian Chinese, and Malaysian ancestry. That is quite a vibrant mix.

Usually I donít stereotype entire nationalities/ethnicities but some of the nationalities/ethnicities really are easier to figure out and more predictable than others.

Taiwanese people appear to be one of the easiest nationalities/ethnicities to figure out/most predictable, and with very good impressions that was already said. However, I am sure there is still some variation between different Taiwanese people and they do not all have the same character.

I do not know of any restaurants labeled as Taiwanese restaurants anywhere in the USA. At least not in Pacific Northwest/Seattle, and Northeast/New York City. There might be few in coastal California.

It is interesting that Australia has some Taiwanese restaurants, including in Perth. I am glad to see Australia has such a cosmopolitan varied food scene with lots of exciting options. My favorite cuisines are Thai/Indian/Italian/Chinese/Malaysian/Vietnamese/and Mexican. Other than those cuisines, there is plenty of other foods I enjoy too.
We flew into Hong Kong, spend about 3 nights there, because flying to Xiamen (Amoy) to meet a friend who showed us around Xiamen (highlight included the old city with all it's alleyways and Gunlang-yu, where many of the colonial powers headquartered when Amoy was a major trading post, even before Hong Kong reached prominence I believe). Then we drove from Xiamen to the provincial capital Fuzhou, the scenery was nice but it was also quite bleak with a lot of factories. The village I spoke about is now a city outside the port city of Quanzhou, where of the departure points for many immigrants to other countries, many of them merchants but many poor farmers, like some of my ancestors, escaping poverty and famine.

Fuzhou itself is a pretty non-descript, large, provincial capital. We then flew to Beijing, spent about 5 nights there, which was great (if cold!), saw all the main sites, then onto historic Xian, then flew to Chongqing, where we met another friend and took the ferry down the Yangtze past the Three Gorges to Yichang. From there we just bussed back to Chongqing and flew back to Hong Kong then home.

Yes my ancestry is somewhat mixed - actually my Singaporean side came from Fujian just before the turn of last century (around 1900). I know nothing of my pre-Singaporean ancestry, but my great grandmother and grandmother lived in a village when Singapore was still quite rural, and she lived quite a hard life.

Fujian is one of the wealthiest provinces per capita in China - probably not as rich per capita as Taiwan, which I believe is between the PRC and South Korea in terms of wealth per capita. Actually Taiwan is beginning to interest me more, especially the indigenous culture and scenery. I saw a Taiwanese aboriginal girl at the airport - I'm sure she was, she had dark skin, curly hair and looked Polynesian but spoke Mandarin.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:37 AM
 
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thanks for sharing....
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