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Old 10-18-2012, 06:16 PM
 
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I'm going to Thailand for a trip in about a week and was thinking of going a few days early and routing my flight though one of these cities Which one would you go to?

It's my first trip to Asia. The Air Asia flights are cheap from Singapore or Saigon to Bangkok and I'm eager to get going (it's so hard to get any work done when you know are about to go on vacation!...so I thought about pushing it up a bit and hitting one more city).
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Brisbane
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Do you want to experience, a quiet, clean, crime free, easy to navigate city, with an excellent metro system, where you can buy designer clothing everywhere and the beers come at $15 a pop.

Or a loud, dirty city where you constantly have to watch you back, bargin for everything, get around on motor bike or tuk tuk, put up with an endless rows of people trying to sell you stuff that is not always legal , and the beers come at $2 a pop.

Last edited by danielsa1775; 10-19-2012 at 07:15 AM..
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,956 posts, read 36,258,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsa1775 View Post
Do you want to experience, a quiet, clean, crime free, easy to navigate city, with an excellent metro system, where you can buy designer clothing everywhere and the beers come at $15 a pop.

Or a loud dirty city where you have to constantly have to watch you back, bargin for everything, get around on motor bike or tuk tuk, put up with an endless rows of people trying to sell you stuff that is not always legal , and the beers come at $2 a pop.
That sums it up nicely!
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:04 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Singapore is more than the stereotypes of a clean, modern, orderly city-state. It may lack the chaos of other Asian cities, but it still has some of that vibrancy and authenticity. There are areas which could easily pass for Hong Kong or Chennai, and the city is easy to get around from and really catered to tourists. As an introduction to Asia to easy to digest variety of food and culture is unmatched and I think it's the ideal gateway to Asia. I found Saigon a bit boring, although there's still plenty to keep a Westerner intrigued. The markets are interesting, and the food is cheap and delicious, but as mentioned above watch out for cheats. Vietnam is still a lot less developed and international than Singapore, but for someone whose never been to Asia I'd recommend the Lion City over Ho Chi Minh.
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:44 AM
 
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I was thinking of choosing a reputable hotel and having them pick me up at the airport in Saigon. Then just wandering around a bit & maybe finding some recommendation though the hotel for a taxi or tour guide to drive me around and give me a tour. I'd like to get out to Mui Le or the Mekong Delta but 2 days I think I'd just have time to hang out in the city. But maybe Saigon and then Bangkok 2 days later would be too much craziness for my first trip to Asia. Maybe Singapore would be more mellow place to start. More people I have asked have said Vietnam is a more interesting place.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:05 AM
 
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So Trimac20 looks like if you were me you would choose Singapore. Tiger Beer how about you? Which one would you prefer for a 2 day stop?
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:40 PM
JL
 
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I would do Saigon. The loud, grungy, in your face reality is sometimes good for you. I kinda like haggling over price...seeing and experiencing things that might be unique for you...you want to see everything from good to bad...that is what life experiences is all about. Experience the streets of Saigon!!


The Streets of Saigon - YouTube


Last edited by JL; 10-19-2012 at 07:04 PM..
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:27 PM
 
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of course, anyone who looks caucasian would be prize meat in asia.

i've been to singapore over a decade ago, and while it is really neat, clean, and organized, a lot of it felt very manufactured and sterile, not organic. im not sure how singapore is now, though i do have to say i loved the few days i stayed there.

saigon, which may be more chaotic, may have a more organic charm to it. never been to vietnam, but i feel it's like my home country hehehe
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:44 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctr88 View Post
I was thinking of choosing a reputable hotel and having them pick me up at the airport in Saigon. Then just wandering around a bit & maybe finding some recommendation though the hotel for a taxi or tour guide to drive me around and give me a tour. I'd like to get out to Mui Le or the Mekong Delta but 2 days I think I'd just have time to hang out in the city. But maybe Saigon and then Bangkok 2 days later would be too much craziness for my first trip to Asia. Maybe Singapore would be more mellow place to start. More people I have asked have said Vietnam is a more interesting place.
You can't compare a city state to an entire country the size of Germany with about the same population. If you do decide on Saigon, I think you can see a lot in just one day. Either find a trustworthy xie om driver (I know sometimes it's hard to tell). I highly doubt you'd find him, but if you find a guy named Anh (he has a photo album with pics) he's really good. There are probably many Anh's in Vietnam, but he was probably the best I had my time there. I think he gave me his phone number but unfortunately I lost it. The War Remnants museum may be of some interest, the two markets, Ben Tayh and Ben Tinh, Post Office, followed by an evening stroll down the river would be what I recommend. When crossing the road do as the locals do: it's a hairy and scary proposition even if you've done it a few times. You'll have time for a day trip to the Mekong delta, or perhaps Cat Tien or Vung Tau (the latter isn't really a must see and you'll see better beach resorts in Thailand). Mui Ne is a bit far for a day trip.

If you decide on Singapore hit me up with your interests and I can give you recommendation. Although not truly my 'hometown' I was born there and have been back many times so am very familiar with it. I was last there just last week.
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Old 10-20-2012, 03:26 PM
 
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Looks what I'm going to end up doing is routing my flight though Hong Kong from the U.S and do my 2 day stopover before Thailand there vs. Saigon or Singapore. I have a friend in HK and can crash on his couch and save money on hotel costs and get to see HK on the cheap. I'd like to take a second trip back to Asia and focus just on Vietnam for a few weeks and Laos too. Thanks for the tips on Vietnam Trimac20.
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