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View Poll Results: Which city would you rather visit most?
Hong Kong 61 53.98%
Singapore 16 14.16%
Seoul 10 8.85%
Tokyo 26 23.01%
Voters: 113. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 04-04-2013, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Macao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ice Cream Man View Post
I have heard by many......

Hong Kong has the worst food of the four and Singapore has the best. Agree or disagree?
I'd disagree. Much more complicated than that.

I love Korean food, so obviously Seoul is great for Korean food. But, if someone dislikes Korean food, than Korea would be horrible for food.

Hong Kong is way too huge and too international to be the 'worst for food'. You can find all kinds of cuisines there.

Actually, I don't think you can say any city is 'worst for food' when you have four large international cities like Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:46 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,377,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ice Cream Man View Post
I have heard by many......

Hong Kong has the worst food of the four and Singapore has the best. Agree or disagree?
Yes it depends on your tastes.

If you prefer a spicier mix of different Asian cuisines then Singapore is more you.

If you love Korean food, Seoul.

Japanese food, obviously Japan.

Cantonese Chinese, Hong Kong.

Fine dining Michelin-star restaurants - Tokyo

Western food - HK, Singapore and Tokyo are all quite good. Seoul probably the worst out of the 3 but it still ain't bad.

Street-food - Probably Seoul. HK is more restaurants and Singapore is more hawker centres and food courts.

Affordable western food - Singapore.

Desserts and sweets - Singapore.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:00 AM
 
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I found Korean food in the US kind of monotonous. Basically the same kind of taste for everything.
But my experience is limited to "Korean food" in the US.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:20 AM
 
Location: The North
5,083 posts, read 9,093,954 times
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FYI, haven't been to Seoul so I'll leave it out.

Airport Cleanliness
Cleanliness? No problem at any, but just for utility and quality of airport nothing is close to Changi. The shopping, the amenties, the relative short distance to downtown, the ease of getting there on transit. HKG and NRT are a little too far out there and neither feels as new. Plus the immigration people at Changi are surprisingly nice, they might actually have a conversation with you and make you feel welcome.

Architecture
Hard to beat the HK skyline. Tokyo's surprised me by being so spread out. I'm sure with its new tower its even better, but HK has a look you immediately recognize everywhere. Plus I find it entertaining many of the iconic buildings has a nickname which are often a bit crude, nothing like telling it like it is. Singapore's is a bit bland, although the Sands is quite unique.

Culture
This one is to each their own. Singapore has the most mixed by far. Tokyo's is very Japanese through and through although with some interesting twists. HK doesn't feel as western as I expected it to be, it feels very Chinese other the business district.

Food
I'm not a good judge because I don't really like northern Asian cuisine. Lack of interest in Korean food is probably a big part of why I haven't bothered going to Seoul. SE Asian food is far more my taste. What I did find kind of shocking is how easily one could eat a very similar US diet with so many US fast food chains around. There are plenty in HK and Tokyo too, but it seemed they were double the number in Singapore and all of them were quite crowded.

Neighborhoods
Tokyo wins here, it really feels distinctly different when you get off the train in a new area. I like the scale of it too, many single family homes or townhouses, not quite as many apartment blocks like in the others. Hong Kong has some nice green areas, but inside the city I didn't feel much different wherever I went. Singapore has a few distinct areas close to the center, but they aren't that large and feel sort of like a Chinatown you would see in a US city.

Nightlife
Not that big a nightlife person, all had plenty of options. Did seem though that there were always a lot more people out in the streets or in the bars at night in Tokyo so it probably wins this one too.

Safety
I can't imagine this being much of a concern.

Transportation
Singapore's is the easiest to use due to a more compact city size and cleaner system. Hong Kong's subway and buses were a bit dirty. Tokyo's system is rather confusing and the larger scale of the system made it harder to use. The maps at first look like hieroglyphics.

The one you didn't mention is cleanliness. Hong Kong just felt dirty all over. The men spitting and blowing out snot rockets was not a pleasant site, plus sometimes you really had to fear going into the public restrooms. Streets and sidewalks are very dirty too, plus that air is getting to be legendary. I saw some postcards of the view on a clear day and had to laugh. I wonder do they even get days like that anymore? Add in the trash cans everywhere seemed to be overflowing. I mentioned it to another traveler at a bar and he said if you think HK is dirty, you need to go up to Shenzen and you'll be blown away so I guess its just a Chinese thing.

So of the three:
1. Singapore - really clean and orderly. My first impression was this is like Vancouver with the heat turned on. Good mix of things to do and cultures and food. The English spoken is quite strange and would drive a grammar teacher crazy, but so nice not to have any communication issues. I think the shopping blows the others away. The food is so amazing you'll probably want to eat 5 times a day and gain a bunch of weight, yet for all the eating you do your food budget will come in very low. It feels very comfortable for a westerner and I can see why it has so many expats, but its unique enough and conveniently located enough to be a base for a longer Asian vacation. Only thing which makes me leery of going there is that heat is oppressive and takes a few days to get used to.

2. Tokyo - such a unique place, you leave there and really do think there is nowhere in the world like it. I don't get people trying to compare it to NYC or whatever, nothing is like Tokyo. Communication is a big issue, you can get around and survive, but it will be frustrating. The first time you try to read a train map you might cry, but give it a few days and you'll have it figured out. Your daily expenses really add up here though, not a place for a budget traveler. I never got comfortable paying $6 for a cup of really lousy coffee or $4 for a tiny soft drink or water.

3. Hong Kong - been to this place enough. See it once, take in the skyline and architecture, do the ferry ride, watch the light show and go for a hike in the green areas and then be done with it. Too dirty and crowded for my tastes and the shopping is too sketchy (what's real and what's not is probably a sport there). Feels like a transit point, which is what I was doing during most of my visits there. In other words a good place to spend a day on a layover, but not much more. Everyone I met living there or who lived there before said you only move there because of the money.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:29 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,377,277 times
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List of cities with the most high-rise buildings - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Interesting I just found out Tokyo has only about as high high-rises as Toronto! I guess it's the earthquake risk, but I thought it would at least equal Singapore.

Changi airport immigration people friendly? Haha that's the opposite to my experience most times I've been.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:52 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,633 posts, read 8,324,180 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ice Cream Man View Post
I have heard by many......

Hong Kong has the worst food of the four and Singapore has the best. Agree or disagree?
The beauty of Singapore's food scene comes in sheer variety. I hate to say it like this but I always give diverse cities the leg up on the food scene, well not always but it's a formula that works here in America, doesn't mean they all compete but it gives them a good potential to tap into their resources and apply them into their signature cuisines.

Singapore is stellar across the board, whether you like seafood or not or just testing around the differences between different Indo-Chino peninsula cuisines and their influences. I haven't been to Seoul or Tokyo but I would imagine them to be more niche than that, albeit I'm not going to knock them because as large cosmopolitan cities they surely do have variety but I would figure less than Singapore. Hong Kong is stellar but it's going to cost you more to hit the sweet spot in your stomach compared to Singapore and of course there will be less variety offered too.

Southeast Asian food is awesome, it takes a little bit from all over Asia and blends it into it's own unique format.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:24 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valentro View Post
The beauty of Singapore's food scene comes in sheer variety. I hate to say it like this but I always give diverse cities the leg up on the food scene, well not always but it's a formula that works here in America, doesn't mean they all compete but it gives them a good potential to tap into their resources and apply them into their signature cuisines.

Singapore is stellar across the board, whether you like seafood or not or just testing around the differences between different Indo-Chino peninsula cuisines and their influences. I haven't been to Seoul or Tokyo but I would imagine them to be more niche than that, albeit I'm not going to knock them because as large cosmopolitan cities they surely do have variety but I would figure less than Singapore. Hong Kong is stellar but it's going to cost you more to hit the sweet spot in your stomach compared to Singapore and of course there will be less variety offered too.

Southeast Asian food is awesome, it takes a little bit from all over Asia and blends it into it's own unique format.
Agree about diverse cities with large international populations. Unless someone 100% loves ONLY Korean food.....than I'd put Seoul at the bottom. There is SOME international food, as any large city will have that, but 99.99% of the restaurants you see in Seoul will be 100% Korean.

Tokyo would be a step up. They seem to make international foods significantly better than Koreans do. Japanese have a better sense of the flavors that go into the international foods. Although, like Seoul, Tokyo is mostly locals making the international foods. But, a few more foreigners have been able to start their own restaurants than foreigners are in Seoul.

Hong Kong would have a lot more international restaurants than either Seoul or Tokyo, and you'd have more authentic foreigners making the international foods. Plus, you just have more foreigners in general in Hong Kong.

Singapore would top the other three though. Just a whole lot more within Singapore's local population that come from varied backgrounds, and than on top of that, they just seem to have more international restaurants and foreigners starting them as well.

In short, if food was based solely on international options and sheer variety....than:

SIngapore
Hong Kong
Tokyo
Seoul

That being said, if someone really loves Japanese or Korean food way more than they love Indian, Chinese, Malay, on and on....than Tokyo or Seoul would be above the others for that person, etc.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:38 PM
 
582 posts, read 994,756 times
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I just heard on a travel show that in Singapore it costs roughly 100,000 to own a license for 10 years. This license allows a person to own a car, sounds expensive. I guess this is why I never see traffic jams in pictures of Singapore.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:07 PM
 
Location: In the heights
22,145 posts, read 23,656,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Agree about diverse cities with large international populations. Unless someone 100% loves ONLY Korean food.....than I'd put Seoul at the bottom. There is SOME international food, as any large city will have that, but 99.99% of the restaurants you see in Seoul will be 100% Korean.

Tokyo would be a step up. They seem to make international foods significantly better than Koreans do. Japanese have a better sense of the flavors that go into the international foods. Although, like Seoul, Tokyo is mostly locals making the international foods. But, a few more foreigners have been able to start their own restaurants than foreigners are in Seoul.

Hong Kong would have a lot more international restaurants than either Seoul or Tokyo, and you'd have more authentic foreigners making the international foods. Plus, you just have more foreigners in general in Hong Kong.

Singapore would top the other three though. Just a whole lot more within Singapore's local population that come from varied backgrounds, and than on top of that, they just seem to have more international restaurants and foreigners starting them as well.

In short, if food was based solely on international options and sheer variety....than:

SIngapore
Hong Kong
Tokyo
Seoul

That being said, if someone really loves Japanese or Korean food way more than they love Indian, Chinese, Malay, on and on....than Tokyo or Seoul would be above the others for that person, etc.
I would say that Tokyo has really good international food, though a bit pricey compared to the very good native Japanese food there. There seems to be a pretty strong demand for authenticity in Tokyo and I found foreign international food there to be quite good (though, as I said earlier, a bit pricey). I would maybe put it on par with Hong Kong in that regard. I've never spent much time in Singapore, but I can believe that it's even more more international but its smaller size makes me think there will be a smaller variety in absolute numbers.

I think that if we're doing large cities in developed countries in East/Southeast Asia, Taipei probably should be a part of the conversation. Taipei also has fairly great local food and has a lot of the broad expanse of Chinese cuisine as well as a strong unique local cuisine. International food-wise, I'd place it lower than Tokyo and Hong Kong but it has a number of highlights though similar to Hong Kong a lot of restaurants and eateries cater a bit too much for local taste which makes thing really hit and miss. I would say that its Japanese cuisine selection is also quite good.

Also, it'd probably make sense to throw in Osaka and its environs since it's also a developed megacity in the region; and probably Nagoya as well.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:54 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,159,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
There seems to be a pretty strong demand for authenticity in Tokyo and I found foreign international food there to be quite good (though, as I said earlier, a bit pricey). I would maybe put it on par with Hong Kong in that regard.
I agree, especially with the authenticity part. I've had amazing Korean and American and Italian and other cuisines in Japan, simply because they master the true taste.

Whereas in Korea, they Koreanize everything with added kimchi, pickles, spices and whatever else the locals think would make it better.
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