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Old 11-07-2012, 05:53 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Speaking of Taipei, I just wrote a travel blog on it:

Taipei: friendly, food-obsessed and fashionable - Taipei, Taiwan Travel Blog

Let me know what you think.


I would say it is good for day-trips and hiking. With the High Speed Rail (HSR) you can be almost anywhere on Taiwan within a few hours. It's an amazing 90 minutes from Taipei to Kaohsiung in the south, a distance of some 300 kilometres. You're right Bangkok itself is a bit far from the more wilderness areas, and transport isn't as quick or slick.

Thais do come off as friendly and many are, but in places like Bangkok and Phuket it's obvious a lot of it is for a reason. I think as a Westerner you might be better be able relate to Malaysians, but more Thais are learning to speak English. I just feel the Malaysians who speak a lot of English have a more Western way of thinking/seem more confident. I think they recently opened up the housing market to foreigners, I remember in Phuket they were trying to sell a lot of beachside condos. Phuket or Chiang Mai would probably be preferable to BKK imo. An advantage to Penang is it's close to Thailand, so you're never far from Phuket, Krabi, Hat Yai. I wouldn't recommend Hat Yai but Krabi could be another option. Also remember that Malaysia is a multicultural, multi-faith society and over half of Malaysians aren't Muslims. There is also a diversity in 'looks' you will not find in other Asian countries. Speaking of that, even though Vietnamese is more mono-cultural the girls in the south of the country seem to have a few different looks. It's probably harder to adapt to living there as a foreigner, but HCM is becoming more international.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Macao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctr88 View Post
Hong Kong was OK, but the air smelled so bad, maybe it was just those few days I was there. Also it has a lot of beat up high rises from the 60's that are an eye sore and has kind of a sterile-ness in some respects with the giant sea of high rises.
I love that look of Hong Kong. If Hong Kong looks beaten and weathered with a smell to it, you'll probably think similar thoughts about Korea and Taiwan.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Macao
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Originally Posted by ctr88 View Post
I would consider the Phillipines but where in the PI? I hear so many talk about the dangers of Manilla and also the poverty levels are pretty intense I hear.
I've spent a lot of time in the Philippines. Overall, I like it. But, there are just enough stuff about it, that I don't like. For example, the islands are absolutely amazing. But living on an island is good for a max of about 4 days, and than I want a city.

Manila has so much to offer as a city. Amazing nightlife, tons of restaurants, lots of shopping. Really has a lot, but you have to deal with real scum throughout the city. Everyone from taxi drivers who constantly give you the runaround, to people on the street constantly trying to run some scam or another. Manila can really wear you down quickly.

Cebu or Davao are much safer and saner Manila alternative. Plus, Filipino people outside of Manila, are just so sweet and kind and fun-loving. Generally speaking, if someone was intent to live in the Philippines, I'd probably suggest Cebu or possiby Davao.

That being said, Cebu/Davao is a bit 'off' from the proximity of all the other SE Asian cities you could be visiting, if you lived in the heart of things like Thailand or Malaysia. Both Thailand and Malaysia have a lot of cheap tickets to go all over the place throughout Asia. Philippines, not as much. You'd feel more locked to just being in the Philippines. Manila would have a few more international options, but Manila can really grind a person down quickly though.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:38 AM
 
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That's great feed back on the P.I. Tiger Beer (by the way I'm enjoying a few of those Tiger Beers down here in Ko Lanta). I'm also think I may get bored in Bangkok after a while, I'm sure there is enough to do or enough outdoor activities. And I may yearn for a more modern city. Hong Kong or Taipei may end up being better overall places for me. But I won't try to think it out too much, I may just pick one & land there, see how it goes.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:33 AM
 
Location: Liberal Coast
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Manila is only one of the cities of Metro Manila (the capital region), though. It's a huge area with many different areas to it. You could live in an area that isn't filled with "scum."
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
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I would choose Fukuoka Japan (Kyushu). It is a beautiful and vibrant city.....(I love Japan)....it is large but not so large it would intimidate me.....and I have friends there....and there is little to no crime....and the people love Americans and are willing to help.

I also like Nagasaki (but the hills are a killer.....and make walking really difficult.)
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:46 PM
 
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Thanks elston I will give that a look. Is someone who can't speak Japanese able to operate OK on a day-to-day basis?
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Shaw.
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The expense of Tokyo is a bit exaggerated, but it is more expensive than the other Asian cities listed. It's comparable to New York or DC. It's not cheap, but millions of people who aren't rich live there.

I agree that Fukuoka is pretty cool. I think you can survive without Japanese, but it would be helpful to learn some basics (please give me this, thank you, etc.) The main areas of the city all have signs in English, there's usually an English mode on things like ATMs, and there's a sizable expat community there.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:44 AM
 
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for best all-around, Chiang Mai can't be beaten. If it is too farang, go to Khon Kaen. Most get bored with Chiang Rai, but it is a permanent alternative to CNX for quite a few. Laos is landlocked, and food is more expensive. A million Kip still goes pretty far, though. I hear beers are 30 cents during Happy Hour in Phenom Penh, and that seems to be the choice of many, who are fed up with corruption in Thailand.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:25 AM
 
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Thanks sutyotsuk. I'm thinking Chiang Mai might be a little slow for me. I do like CM a lot though, it is very laid back and very cheap. Looking for something a little more cosmopolitan. I think I would give Bangkok a shot first in Thailand and move if I didn't like it. BKK has a little more big city energy and cosmopolitan feel than Chiang Mai. If I was 20 yrs older and retired I might think more Chiang Mai. When I first got to CM I was a little shocked by all the tourists in the old town, but once I got used to it and accepted it, it was pretty cool.
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