U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Asia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 04-12-2013, 05:37 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,384,878 times
Reputation: 11862

Advertisements

These countries have changed tremendously in the past 15 years or so, so I'm interested to hear about people's first hand experiences travelling or even living in any of these countries prior to the year 2000. How noticeable was the change? What were the main differences? Do you think most changes were for better or worse?

China
Vietnam
Thailand
Cambodia
Laos
Myanmar
Nepal
India
Sri Lanka

Prior to 2000 I only have experience with Singapore and Malaysia within Asia, which were of course relatively developed back then.

 
Old 04-12-2013, 11:06 AM
 
9 posts, read 11,023 times
Reputation: 15
I have been to Beijing, very dirty city. Greased up and the hutongs were horrible
 
Old 04-12-2013, 08:34 PM
 
5 posts, read 4,579 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
These countries have changed tremendously in the past 15 years or so, so I'm interested to hear about people's first hand experiences travelling or even living in any of these countries prior to the year 2000. How noticeable was the change? What were the main differences? Do you think most changes were for better or worse?

China
Vietnam
Thailand
Cambodia
Laos
Myanmar
Nepal
India
Sri Lanka

Prior to 2000 I only have experience with Singapore and Malaysia within Asia, which were of course relatively developed back then.
I tend not to visit the same countries more then once so the only country on your list that I visited pre-2000 and post-2000 was India and I went to different parts of the country so again I can't really compare but quite honestly it did not seem much different.

On your list I have been to Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, India and Sri Lanka and I would love to go back to Myanmar and see what it is like now. I was there in 1997.

This is not on your list but aslo in 96 I went to the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia and there was no electricity. It was very primitive and I heard it is very different now.

Totally off topic but I spent several weeks in Morocco in 1995 and was in a very sleepy town called Essaouira. In Zanzibar I met a British woman who owned houses in Essaouira that she rented out and it is not the same place. It is completely built up now. Those are the places I am glad I got to see before they were destroyed.
 
Old 04-12-2013, 10:42 PM
 
Location: The Big O
590 posts, read 664,052 times
Reputation: 435
On your list, I have only been to China before the year 2000. Differences are mostly in infrastructure. Back in 1996, not every provincial city had new modern skyscrapers and countless airports were under construction. The old airport in Beijing was a true nightmare before the new one opened in 2000.

Culturally, the biggest change seemed to have occurred in Shanghai as its residents are not noticably more refined and law abiding, including drivers and pedestrians waiting at street crossings.

Also, during the past 17 years, the number of "stare cities" have dwindled. By stare cities, I mean cities in which you will be stared at my locals because they are so shocked to see a foreigner in person. Because foreigners are much more common in China today, the staring has almost stopped. I actually miss that experience occasionally.

Unfortunately, my favorite city of Shanghai is no longer a cheap place to stay or live. As an American, Shanghai people used to assume that I was wealthy. However, now they assume that I am probably poorer than they are. : )
 
Old 04-14-2013, 12:36 AM
 
1,099 posts, read 1,669,514 times
Reputation: 971
I visited Beijing many years before 2000 and after 2000. The differences are shocking. When I first visited there, people wore blue Mao suits, rode bicycles and called each other "comrade". You could immediately be identified as a foreigner by the way you dress even if you wore something as simple as blue jeans. Also, foreigners used "foreign exchange certificates" while locals used the renminbi. The only place to get Western goods was the Friendship Store which only accepted foreign exchange certificates. The longest queue I have even seen in my life was the one going in Mao's mausoleum and right next to that near Qianmen is KFC, which was the only Western fast food restaurant in Beijing at that time! There were only 2 subway lines then. After 20 years, this has all changed. I cannot believe this is the same city I visited before! Blue jeans are as common as anything. All types of Western restaurants are all over the city and there are more than 10 subway lines!

I haven't visited Shanghai before 2000 but the changes there are dramatic also. In a span of about 7 years between my visits, the subway lines also increased from 2 to more than 10! Unfortunately, so did the cost of everything.

I visited Thailand in 2000. It seemed reasonably developed already at that time. From photos of my relatives who visited earlier, I would say it developed rapidly around the early 1990s. When the financial crisis hit in 1997, the growth slowed down. Although not first hand experience, the transformation there occurred around the early 1990s rather than around 2000.

Although not in your list, just like you, I also visited Malaysia and Singapore before and after 2000. Although both were also relatively developed when I visited, there are a lot of improvements. I've been to the old KL airport and that really cannot be compared to the present one. In Singapore, there was no Marina Sands or Universal Studios. In fact, we were bored by the 3rd day on what to do there and decided to visit Johor Bahru. That was one of the biggest mistakes and JB was the most boring trip I ever had. I believe it only had half a million people at that time, and all we saw at the tour was a glimpse of the sultan's palace, as you can only see it from outside the perimeter fence from inside the tour bus. We also got to see the outside of their mosque, as we were not allowed to go inside, not being Muslims. I haven't been back after 2000 but may plan to go as Legoland is now open and there are now 4x as many people as my previous visit!

Last edited by GoldenTiger; 04-14-2013 at 01:58 AM..
 
Old 04-14-2013, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,164,246 times
Reputation: 9483
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
These countries have changed tremendously in the past 15 years or so, so I'm interested to hear about people's first hand experiences travelling or even living in any of these countries prior to the year 2000. How noticeable was the change? What were the main differences? Do you think most changes were for better or worse?

China
Vietnam
Thailand
Cambodia
Laos
Myanmar
Nepal
India
Sri Lanka

Prior to 2000 I only have experience with Singapore and Malaysia within Asia, which were of course relatively developed back then.
I've been to every country on that list, but at different times.

China, I went several times around the year 2000. Havent been back recently. Back than, I remember getting stared at a lot, and having a lot of people with cameras suddenly take my picture, with or without permission. I also though, at the time, that Beijing was super dull and boring with a lack of nightlife. However, I hear that now it has a very fun nightlife, and I think foreigners are quite commonplace throughout China as well. I think.

Vietnam. I went in 2000 and 2002 and haven't been back since. It was a hyper aggressive place, where people would follow you around, and relently ask over and over if I wanted anything. People would stick their hands out asking for handouts just for the heck of it. Stores would blatantly try to overcharge you regularly. I recall Anthony Bourdain taking his TV crew there many years ago, and absolutely hated Vietnam. But went again somewhat recently, and loved it. Apparently most of that aggressiveness is just gone, and they've become more 'relaxed' about not financially harrassing foreigners left and right.

Thailand. I went in 1996...and sporadically every 5 years or so, and was just there again last year. Thailand had tons and tons and tons of backpackers back in 1996, and still has a ton of them. If one thing I noticed over time, is there more and more Thai males are doing the sexchanges and ladyboy thing and are getting just as heavily involved in the sex trade as the women. I get annoyed walking around some Thailand cities, and trying to avoid ladyboys like the plaque. Aggressive and annoying. The other big change with Thailand is years ago, I don't recall seeing 100s of 1000s of Indian, Arabic, African and such. Seemed like mostly european and australian tourists everywhere. Now, it's massive massive tourists and shops and neighborhoods and peoples representing every nation on earth, it seems, and in large numbers.

Cambodia. I went around 2000, and haven't been back. When I went, people were still relatively scared to go there. Now, it's very solidly on the tourist backpacker track, and many buses and such cross right into Cambodia from Thailand, in large numbers. I don't recall there being any Thai/Cambodia border crossing possibilities way back than whenever it was I went.

Laos. I finally got the chance to go in 2012. Never saw it before than. It seemed relatively quite and relaxed in 2012, hard to imagine it being even more quiet and relaxed 15 years ago. That being said, I suppose I could imagine it with less businesses though.

Myanmar. I finally went in 2011 or 2012. Never been before, but seems like what I read it being like 15 years ago, it probably hadn't changed too much. Not sure though.

Nepal. I went in 1996 and never been back. Back than, it completely shut down at 9pm. Entire city it was lights out, and no businesses stayed open past 9pm. I heard that it goes quite a bit later now.

India. I finally went just a couple years ago for the first time.

Sri Lanka. Same trip with India. FIrst time just a few years ago.
 
Old 04-14-2013, 09:24 AM
kyh
 
Location: Malaysia & Singapore
383 posts, read 1,062,181 times
Reputation: 143
Myanmar will be very different within 1 or 2 years from now, with its doors opening to the whole world. I'm glad I made the trip last year and caught the last glimpse of Myanmar prior to mass commercialization and Americanization.
 
Old 04-14-2013, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,259,760 times
Reputation: 36087
Yes, all of them except Cambodia, which was still closed in 1996. And Sri Lanka, which I have not been to at all.

I have not been to any of them after 2000, so I cannot compare them by timeline.
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Closed Thread

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Asia
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top