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Old 11-06-2012, 07:48 AM
 
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If you could move to any Asian city to base yourself for a year which would you choose? I'm considering living in an Asian city for a year. I have a Internet based job + savings so I don't need a local job wherever I go. I'm on my first Asia trip now and visited Hong Kong (mainly b/c I have a friend there), Macau, Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Of the 4 cities I've visited so far I would prefer Bangkok or Chiang Mai for a year of living. Wherever I base myself, I would still travel around to other parts of Asia during that year. I'm a 42 year old single male from the U.S.

Some other options:
-Singapore (would be expensive but could probably find a way to swing it)
-Tokyo or another Japanese city (would be expensive but could probably find a way to swing it)
-Seoul
-Taipei
-Bali (I know that is radically different from the above cities but I'm throwing all options)
-Saigon
-Kuala Lampour

Out of all the choices I'm leaning towards Bangkok or Chiang Mai. I really like the laid backness of Thailand, friendliness of the people, low cost, warm weather all year, and central location for cheap flights to other parts of Asia. Other wild cards that are very unlikely but thought I'd throw them out there for purposes of brainstorming... Jakarta, Cebu, Pusan, Penang. Did I miss anywhere? Thanks for your feedback!
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
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I would pick Taipei because I love Taiwan. Also, Taipei is a travel hub for asia with cheap daily flights to all the cities in the region. The food is great, Taiwan is a safe first-world country with very friendly people. Taiwan is as wired as Japan but much cheaper, so for your job you'd be in a Tech hub. Taipei has a lot of telecom and internet/computer expos and a whole district selling discount electroics, computers, parts, etc.

The downtown Taipei airport has direct flights to major Chinese cities and other regional destinations and it's easy to get to by bus, cab, or metro. I don't know if the metro line to the larger Taoyuan airport is open yet. If not it's a 45 minute commute by bus to this main airport which has more flights to more destinations.

For local fun, there are festivals, concerts, and tons of things to do in Taipei and in the surrounding countryside. Beautiful beaches are just 30-45 minutes away and if you want to take a train for a few hours you can reach the pristine East coast (with a climate like Hawaii) or the warm south coast with golden beaches and a more Thailand-like climate.

On the downside:
-You have to fly to go anywhere outside of Taiwan.
-You will be fine with English, but it will be less prevalant than in places like Bangkok.
-Taipei is very rainy and chilly (High 50's) for the winter months, and it can be very muggy (with more rain) in the summer. The rest of the island has a much better climate, though, so it's easy to escape from the rain for some tropical fun down in Kenting.

My second choice[s] would be Bangkok or maybe Tokyo, though Tokyo would be VERY expensive.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:38 AM
 
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Thanks Sponger42, that is good insight on Taipei. I will consider that and take a closer look.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Macao
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I'd probably go with southeast Asia. You're money goes further.

But they're all good, and this is so subjective.

If you like Thailand, stick with it. Many Northeast Asia expats regularly spend their vacations in Thailand more than anywhere else.

Generally speaking, if hong kong didn't appeal to you as much as Thailand, than it's doubtful that japan/Korea/Taiwan would win it over for you over Thailand either than.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:17 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, California
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the Philippines , being able to communicate with the locals would be much easier

or Thailand
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:22 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Why is Malaysia being overlooked again?

It's almost as cheap as Thailand, English is more widespread, it's a bit easier to adapt to, and the food, imo, definitely competes with Thailand. I would rather live in Penang or Melaka rather than KL though. Even Kuching.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:17 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Why is Malaysia being overlooked again?

It's almost as cheap as Thailand, English is more widespread, it's a bit easier to adapt to, and the food, imo, definitely competes with Thailand. I would rather live in Penang or Melaka rather than KL though. Even Kuching.
For me, I'd go with Malaysia or Bali (of the OP's original list).

But, generally, I think single guys like Thailand because of Thai women. I think the women is also the attraction toward the Philippines, and sometimes other countries like Japan, etc. I think people aren't so comfortable with Malaysia being muslim, and the fact that the women are more conservative.

That being said, being that I'm married with a kid, those considerations are very low on my list. Malaysia offers a lot for a great cost of living, very affordable there, lots of English-speakers, very multi-cultural. So, Malaysia easily goes to the top of my list.

If I were single though, I might be thinking of other countries though....just my guess though, as to why it is so often overlooked.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:29 AM
 
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Thailand does have very attractive women. I didn't get a chance to vote in that poll a while back on this forum but I would have put them near the top. One reason is because there is such a wide range of looks. You have some with a very Chinese look with light skin, and some with a darker skin more exotic look and some in between. Must have been lot's of ethnicities mixing historically. I think there is more of a wide range of looks in Thai than Korea/Japan/China. They also have a warmth about them that kind of reminds me of the "spirit of Aloha" Hawaii used to have and still does to some extent. They are pretty humble and not cocky (unlike attractive American girls!). I had an ex gf local girl that grew up in Hawaii & the Thai girls remind me of her in their laid back warmth and friendliness.

By the way I am not the type into bar girls at all, that is NOT my scene and not why I'm considering Thailand. I like to stay as far away from that scene as I can. However a nice Thai girl with a normal job and college degree...I would certainly consider

Since I have a lot of flexibility I could always give Bangkok a try for a while and if I don't like it just pick up and head to Taipei or Japan. 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. Bangkok doesn't have that feel, especially over towards Banglampoo and Khoa San Road. I like the outdoors though and I hear the hiking can be great in Hong Kong in the outer islands. That is a plus for HK...no hills close to BKK.

Bangkok is a great hub for Air Asia too. Lot's of cheap flights to explore all over SE Asia. I've been using Air Asia a lot on my current trip in Thailand, what I love about them is you can buy a ticket online 4 hrs before a flight and it's the same price as if you bought 2 weeks in advance. You can make last minute decisions and be very spontaneous.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:36 AM
 
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Trimac...I would consider Malaysia...I had KL and Penang on my original list. I would have to check them out and compare the vibe to other places. Just know very little about them.

Seems like hiking and outdoors with Taipei is another plus over BKK. BKK area is just very flat and nice beaches and hills are more of a trek, not quite in the backyard. Getting outdoors is big with me, I'm OK with living in a big city, but I have to be able to escape a few times a week to hike or get somewhere peaceful. Like I can easily in my current home of San Diego CA.
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:43 AM
 
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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.
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