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Old 09-17-2012, 02:35 AM
 
788 posts, read 1,598,645 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art2ro View Post
I've been retired 15 years now and have lived in the Philippines since 1998 and my wife and I are both Filipino/American citizens.
The Philippines have predominantly English speaking Filipinos and Americans visiting here don't have any problems communicating with the locals in the English language, except in the outer provinces not exposed to tourists!
We've been to Thailand, Japan and Hong kong and enjoyed our short vacations there, but had difficulty with the language barrier!

YES Philippines is very underrated as a vacation destination. It is an amazingly beautiful country with hospitable people and CHEAP travel. Philippines is the cheaper, less-touristy, better English speaking, less sex-oriented version of Thailand.

Hong Kong is awesome too and travel between Manila & HK on cebu pacific can cost less than $100 rt. Likewise Cebu Pacific will get you across the Philippine islands for very cheap!


PS: Having lived in Hong Kong (new territories), I'm surprised you had a noticeable language barrier. I know the English doesn't compare to that of PI, but I've found it isn't much of a problem... except with taxi drivers, who are all from the mainland.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:46 AM
 
Location: In The Pacific
986 posts, read 1,179,524 times
Reputation: 1233
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhanifin View Post
YES Philippines is very underrated as a vacation destination. It is an amazingly beautiful country with hospitable people and CHEAP travel. Philippines is the cheaper, less-touristy, better English speaking, less sex-oriented version of Thailand.

Hong Kong is awesome too and travel between Manila & HK on cebu pacific can cost less than $100 rt. Likewise Cebu Pacific will get you across the Philippine islands for very cheap!

PS: Having lived in Hong Kong (new territories), I'm surprised you had a noticeable language barrier. I know the English doesn't compare to that of PI, but I've found it isn't much of a problem... except with taxi drivers, who are all from the mainland.
When we took a short vacation in Hong Kong about 3 months ago, their taxi drivers were very rude and couldn't speak any English! As soon as we familiarized ourselves with Hong Kong's bus, ferry and railway system, we avoided using their taxis all together! Hong Kong is a nice and clean place to visit!
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:44 AM
 
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 24,841,505 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art2ro View Post
When we took a short vacation in Hong Kong about 3 months ago, their taxi drivers were very rude and couldn't speak any English! As soon as we familiarized ourselves with Hong Kong's bus, ferry and railway system, we avoided using their taxis all together! Hong Kong is a nice and clean place to visit!
Speaking English is not a requirement.
Why would you think that it was?

Hong Kong island or Kowloon is clean?
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:25 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,430,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhanifin View Post
YES Philippines is very underrated as a vacation destination. It is an amazingly beautiful country with hospitable people and CHEAP travel. Philippines is the cheaper, less-touristy, better English speaking, less sex-oriented version of Thailand.

Hong Kong is awesome too and travel between Manila & HK on cebu pacific can cost less than $100 rt. Likewise Cebu Pacific will get you across the Philippine islands for very cheap!


PS: Having lived in Hong Kong (new territories), I'm surprised you had a noticeable language barrier. I know the English doesn't compare to that of PI, but I've found it isn't much of a problem... except with taxi drivers, who are all from the mainland.
I think people still perceive the Philippines as being a dangerous place from the Marcos era. Wonder what the crime stats are. I have heard that many Filipinos speak English well, which is quite surprising, I'm sure it's much more common than in Thailand.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:35 AM
 
Location: In The Pacific
986 posts, read 1,179,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chielgirl View Post
Speaking English is not a requirement.
Why would you think that it was?

Hong Kong island or Kowloon is clean?
That's an unusual remark! Did I say it was a requirement! No I didn't! I just thought if one is a taxi driver it would be to his/her advantage to know some English since one would think newly visiting foreigners commonly use taxis! The driver got so flustered we just pointed to where we wanted to stop right then and there and took another taxi with a driver who spoke some English and understood where we want to go! Luckily the driver took us to the railway station and then on a bus where our hotel was. Hong Kong was decent and so was Park Island where we stayed, but we didn't go to Kowloon and I didn't even mention it in my post!
If you know anything about Kowloon, why didn't you just throw in your 2 cents worth of info out there to share! Yes, we plan to go back to Hong Kong and any info would be appreciated!
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:45 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,430,478 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art2ro View Post
That's an unusual remark! Did I say it was a requirement! No I didn't! I just thought if one is a taxi driver it would be to his/her advantage to know some English since one would think newly visiting foreigners commonly use taxis! The driver got so flustered we just pointed to where we wanted to stop right then and there and took another taxi with a driver who spoke some English and understood where we want to go! Luckily the driver took us to the railway station and then on a bus where our hotel was. Hong Kong was decent and so was Park Island where we stayed, but we didn't go to Kowloon and I didn't even mention it in my post!
If you know anything about Kowloon, why didn't you just throw in your 2 cents worth of info out there to share! Yes, we plan to go back to Hong Kong and any info would be appreciated!
Don't take it for granted that cabbies will speak English even in touristy areas. This would also apply in somewhere like Paris, mind you. It helps to have a card or something or have someone write the address of the place you want to go, perhaps in Chinese. But as you discovered, in HK the ferry and MTR are the way to go.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:41 AM
 
Location: USA
3,966 posts, read 9,420,954 times
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I don't want to seem like a cop out, but why not Japan? See the extreme city of Tokyo, ride a bullet train, eat different food, different people. Go during Cherry Blossom season, go to far south Japan to see the giant whirlpools and mt. miyanoura.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:24 AM
 
4 posts, read 3,952 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ny1964 View Post
???????????
as a person who was transferred to asia in 1996 (banker) & took an early retirement/severance package in 2003 ( thank you lord) & stayed on i can only say do your research fully & determine exactly what you want.
-generally at best (having spent considerable time in s.korea, thailand, s'pore, philippines & main based japan) you have to decide budget, & whether you want 1st world, courteous-safe-clean-solid infrastruture or whether third world conditions are acceptable.
-you will not understand asian culture in any country....unless you live there / have some language skill -at best you will "surf" the culture

not sure you are well read or well studied - but can only suggest you do those things, with a purpose & it will all fall into place. great places - all to visit & see depends what your personal interests are & quality of tourism/life you are looking for.

personal views..........no attacks need
-singapore, gem of the pacific, beautiful to visit, fully globalized, 1st world living conditions. safe & clean, but tiny & after a few days relatively boring
-s.korea, aggressive, exciting, vibrant, dynamic open people - easy to laugh easy to anger, outside of seoul difficult for a foreigner
-thailand, trying to emerge from 3rd world status, outside of bangkok relatively rough & rugged - great tourist destination with wonderful healthcare, & super places to "tourista" phuket, chiang mai, western coastline....safety (especially on the roads always an issue)...merchants hounding you everywhere a bit of an issue
-japan...completely safe, amazing infrastructure, train bus anywhere on time 24/7, clean neat & some of the prettiest areas in the world ( like nara & kobe), people amazingly courteous
-philippines....people in general as gracious as it gets, manilla modern, severely polluted & imo dangerous.
very pretty areas outside of main city & some of best scuba diving in the world. its too bad the country overpopulated as a result of buy into religion - it use to be quite well off
-india, cannot comment on but will not go (for reasons not needed here)

good luck
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:47 AM
 
Location: In The Pacific
986 posts, read 1,179,524 times
Reputation: 1233
I've been to Japan about half a dozen times! I love everything about Japan, but it's just too crowded and expensive for my taste to even live there on a full time basis, unless I had the adequate income to live in a less populated area and conveniently close to everything I would need! Language is the only barrier though, it would take me years to learn!
My wife and I have permanently retired in the Philippines just a few years ago, but we do try to travel to other Asian countries on short turnaround vacations at least once a year and flights are very affordable. Besides Japan, we've been to Hong Kong and Bangkok, Thailand, others to follow when the weather is right.

Last edited by Art2ro; 09-17-2012 at 12:01 PM..
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:00 PM
 
Location: USA
3,966 posts, read 9,420,954 times
Reputation: 2199
Quote:
Originally Posted by waterfront kobe japan View Post
personal views..........no attacks need
-singapore, gem of the pacific, beautiful to visit, fully globalized, 1st world living conditions. safe & clean, but tiny & after a few days relatively boring
-s.korea, aggressive, exciting, vibrant, dynamic open people - easy to laugh easy to anger, outside of seoul difficult for a foreigner
-thailand, trying to emerge from 3rd world status, outside of bangkok relatively rough & rugged - great tourist destination with wonderful healthcare, & super places to "tourista" phuket, chiang mai, western coastline....safety (especially on the roads always an issue)...merchants hounding you everywhere a bit of an issue
-japan...completely safe, amazing infrastructure, train bus anywhere on time 24/7, clean neat & some of the prettiest areas in the world ( like nara & kobe), people amazingly courteous
-philippines....people in general as gracious as it gets, manilla modern, severely polluted & imo dangerous.
very pretty areas outside of main city & some of best scuba diving in the world. its too bad the country overpopulated as a result of buy into religion - it use to be quite well off
-india, cannot comment on but will not go (for reasons not needed here)

good luck
Really good list. I would check out India if the USA didn't have the current conflicts going on. S. Korea would be another good one.
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