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Old 02-02-2014, 09:58 PM
 
215 posts, read 310,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
To the OP:

It's your money, it's your prerogative. I don't know what the purpose of this thread is at all and I still find it hard to believe that you cannot find a Singapore travelogue online.

Anyway, Asia is much more than just Tokyo and Hong Kong. If you like those two, then why skip the rest of Asia? And there's really no reason why you have to decide to skip Asia altogether now. Tokyo and Hong Kong may be the premier cities in Asia, but they are not the only ones worth visiting. And if you're worried about costs, Tokyo and Hong Kong are among the most expensive in the world. You may decide to skip Singapore this year, why not open up the possibility of visiting other parts of Asia in the future?

I suggest before you jump into conclusions that you try to write down what your expectations are for your travel destinations, what you liked and disliked from your previous travel experiences. You need to list out what your interests are, so some people can help you suggest where to go.

With regards to Singapore, it's farther from North America, so plane fares are normally higher. You would most likely have to stop by Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul, or Taipei before flying to Singapore. Hotel costs in Singapore are high too. So I would say that it definitely is not worth the costs to ONLY visit Singapore from North America for only a few days. Airlines like Cathay Pacific have Visit Asia promos where in you can plan to visit more cities if you take the trans-Pacific flight from them. That might be more "worth" it for you.

If you like Tokyo and Hong Kong, the cities that are more similar are Seoul, Osaka/Kyoto and Taipei. Taipei is much cheaper than either Tokyo and Hong Kong as well as the airfare should not cost too much from the USA. Definitely nothing 3rd world about Taiwan as well. Even the other countries that you label as "3rd world", it's not really that bad if you research where to stay. In these countries, you can pretty much stay at a 5-star hotel at half the price of a 4-star hotel in Hong Kong. It's not like you need to stay in a hut in the jungle. And in larger cities in "3rd world" countries, you'll be surprised how modern, how sheltered and how good foreign expats have it in these places and how much more a $ can get you.
I really appreciate your response, it was long and well thought out. I should have said this before but I know some will get ticked - anyways, here goes. I truly only want to visit first world countries/cities. I mean as an American I could drink the tap water if I wanted to. I want the country to be extremely developed and safe. I have been to many countries abroad but they are all in Western Europe. I have been to Tokyo and HK but they are extremely developed too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
No most of the touristed parts of Asia are nothing like the really bad places in the world, like parts of India or Africa. There are slums in some cities like Manila, Jakarta, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, and some poor, shabby rural areas, but most of the tourist areas are pretty clean and safe.

You say you're not interested in Malaysia, but how much do you know about it? It's a good introduction to Asia, imo, being a blend of various cultures and food, being more westernised and easy to get around (with the food). If you like nature it offers beaches, the most extant rainforest on mainland SEA, amazing sights like caves and mountains, like Mt Kinabalu in Borneo. Kuching is a clean and friendly city, as is Miri and KK. I find Malaysia underrated in some ways. Plus there's fewer touts hassling you like in Thailand or trying to cheat you. On the peninsula check out KL, Taman Negara, the east coast (more Malay culture and nicer beaches), Melaka, Penang. A trip to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand would be a good introduction to South-East Asia. Vietnam or Cambodia would be a bit more of a 'culture shock' for you.
See my above post. Malaysia doesn't come across as a truly developed country, their HDI is on par with Libya. This is not a good thing IMHO. The U.S. warns tourists about travel to Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and India because of a high terrorism threat. I'm a 6'2, 210 pound American, extremely white, walking around with a NYC hat on - obviously I'm American. The threat of terrorism is too high in these countries for me, along with them not being developed. They have low HDI's too so I'm not interested in them.

Last edited by The Lunatic & A Therapist; 02-02-2014 at 10:39 PM..
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:03 PM
 
1,102 posts, read 1,680,146 times
Reputation: 972
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
No most of the touristed parts of Asia are nothing like the really bad places in the world, like parts of India or Africa. There are slums in some cities like Manila, Jakarta, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, and some poor, shabby rural areas, but most of the tourist areas are pretty clean and safe.

You say you're not interested in Malaysia, but how much do you know about it? It's a good introduction to Asia, imo, being a blend of various cultures and food, being more westernised and easy to get around (with the food). If you like nature it offers beaches, the most extant rainforest on mainland SEA, amazing sights like caves and mountains, like Mt Kinabalu in Borneo. Kuching is a clean and friendly city, as is Miri and KK. I find Malaysia underrated in some ways. Plus there's fewer touts hassling you like in Thailand or trying to cheat you. On the peninsula check out KL, Taman Negara, the east coast (more Malay culture and nicer beaches), Melaka, Penang. A trip to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand would be a good introduction to South-East Asia. Vietnam or Cambodia would be a bit more of a 'culture shock' for you.
From the little info that the OP has shared, I will not recommend Malaysia or Singapore. I love Malaysian/Singaporean food myself, but some of my family members cannot handle spicy food. All people talk about in Penang is food and which hawker stall is good. If you are not into Malaysian-Singaporean food and if you like visiting historical places, Malaysia/Singapore is not a great destination. Even though Malaysia is often advertised as "multi-cultural", it does not have a long history. Thailand and Vietnam have a lot more of these historical/cultural sights.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,319,623 times
Reputation: 2833
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lunatic & A Therapist View Post
I really appreciate your response, it was long and well thought out. I should have said this before but I know some will get ticked - anyways, here goes. I truly only want to visit first world countries/cities. I mean as an American I could walk up to and drink Tao water of I wanted to. I want the country to be extremely developed and safe. I have been to many countries abroad but they are all in Western Europe. I have been to Jaoan and HK but they are extremely developed too.



See my above post. Malaysia doesn't ckne across as a truly developed country, their HDI is in par with Libya. This is not a good thing IMHO. The U.S. warns tourists about travel to Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Makaysia because if high terrorism. I'm a going to be a 6'2, 210 pound American, extremely white walking around with a NYC hat on - obviously I'm American. The threat if terrorism is too high in these countries for me, along with terrorism. They have low HDI's anyways so I'm not interested.
Malaysia is nothing like Libya. Malaysia is a lot more developed and wealthy compared to Indonesia, Philippines or Thailand.etc. There are poor people there, but poverty is not as widespread as other places in SEA. If you stick to the tourist areas, it's mostly clean, safe, developed (roads, transport), with modern shopping malls as well as more authentic Asian things. The risk of terrorism in Malaysia is almost nil, maybe parts of Indonesia, but don't lump Malaysia and Indonesia together, Malaysia is much, much better. Many tourists visit it every year from all over the world and enjoy it. There are problems in the country, for sure, but not things that tourists would have to worry about.


Malaysia - Travel Video (1080HD) - YouTube


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1080HD) Travel Video - YouTube
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:23 PM
 
215 posts, read 310,038 times
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^ thx for replying. I hope you could understand with my misspellings, I edited.

I obviously have never been to Malaysia, but going off facts they have the exact same HDI as Libya in 2013.

Also, it's an extremely high threat of terrorism.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:33 PM
 
1,102 posts, read 1,680,146 times
Reputation: 972
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lunatic & A Therapist View Post
I really appreciate your response, it was long and well thought out. I should have said this before but I know some will get ticked - anyways, here goes. I truly only want to visit first world countries/cities. I mean as an American I could walk up to and drink Tap water if I wanted to. I want the country to be extremely developed and safe. I have been to many countries abroad but they are all in Western Europe. I have been to Tokyo and HK but they are extremely developed too.



See my above post. Malaysia doesn't come across as a truly developed country, their HDI is on par with Libya. This is not a good thing IMHO. The U.S. warns tourists about travel to Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Makaysia because of a high terrorism threat. I'm a 6'2, 210 pound American, extremely white, walking around with a NYC hat on - obviously I'm American. The threat of terrorism is too high in these countries for me, along with them not being developed. They have low HDI's too so I'm not interested in them.
HDI is just one measure. And the threat of terrorism is not really that high. And you'll be surprised you're not the only one but there are many other white guys in these places. But yeah, if it's a concern, can postpone it when you visited more countries, feel more comfortable, know someone who can show you around, or have a travel companion who has been to these places before.

Anyway, it's really not that bad. My last trip to Vietnam, I didn't feel threatened at all even if I was alone and my 1st time there. Ironically, the places that I feel threatened in my travels are in the USA. Subway ride from New York-JFK airport to the city passed by some pretty "rough" areas. Also, it's always been an issue of walking a few blocks in the wrong direction in downtown San Francisco and ending up at the Tenderloin.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:41 PM
 
215 posts, read 310,038 times
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^ oh I would never visit Vietnam or China. I refuse to support communists countries with my tourism dollars.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:03 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,319,623 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lunatic & A Therapist View Post
^ thx for replying. I hope you could understand with my misspellings, I edited.

I obviously have never been to Malaysia, but going off facts they have the exact same HDI as Libya in 2013.

Also, it's an extremely high threat of terrorism.
Who told you that? Malaysia doesn't have a high risk of terrorism, never heard of any terrorist attack there.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:30 PM
 
5,109 posts, read 8,094,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lunatic & A Therapist View Post
I really appreciate your response, it was long and well thought out. I should have said this before but I know some will get ticked - anyways, here goes. I truly only want to visit first world countries/cities. I mean as an American I could walk up to and drink Tap water if I wanted to. I want the country to be extremely developed and safe. I have been to many countries abroad but they are all in Western Europe. I have been to Tokyo and HK but they are extremely developed too.
With regard to SE Asia, I'd suggest spending some time in Bangkok. Much of what you'd likely experience there would fall into what you consider as a 1st world city. There are spots around the city that are not, but then there are spots around San Francisco that don't seem very 1st world either. There are plenty of luxury hotels and business class hotels that you might consider suitable. There are also lower priced accommodations which are great and are not sleezy dumps either. A good number of hotels have swimming pools for guests. Good for cooling off. Possible locations that I'd recommend are in the Sukhumvit Road area. Other good locations are around Siam Square area, or Silom Road area. The advantage of these locations is that they're pretty nice districts, near large shopping malls, close to the sky train and a lot of foreigners around. Bangkok does have a lot of traffic.

Overall, I'd say Bangkok is safer than many large cities in the US, including SF. I think there was a thread here somewhere about Bangkok being rated as the world's #1 destination for travelers. There are a LOT of people who travel there.

Depending on how long you stay, there are tons of places for sightseeing all over the city. Air-con taxis are just about everywhere. Drinking water is not a problem. Bottled water is cheap and available all over. Polaris is a good brand.

As for food, while Thai food has a reputation of being spicy hot, that's not necessarily true. A lot of food is not spicy, and you can order food not to be spicy or mildly spicy. If you have a hankering for western or european food, or even american fast food, you can find it there.

My favorite location in Thailand is Chiang Mai in the northern part of the country which is about an hour away by air. Good sized city that has a slower paced feel to it. Not as hectic as Bangkok. It doesn't have the crowd of high rises like Bangkok, but it does have plenty of conveniences and is pretty international. You'll find a lot of foreigners there too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lunatic & A Therapist View Post
I'm a 6'2, 210 pound American, extremely white, walking around with a NYC hat on - obviously I'm American.
[snip]
They have low HDI's too so I'm not interested in them.
There are so many foreigners in Bangkok and other places in Thailand, that you might think you're still in the USA, well, sort of. 6'2" is pretty tall, but there are tourists of all sizes there. You'd fit right in. With the hot sun, wearing a hat can be a good idea. Keep in mind that it is tropical and hot. If you find communication to be a little awkward to understand, take along a phrase book. Hotels have business cards with information and directions written in Thai for taxi drivers, but chances are many understand English well enough to get you to where you want to go.

Not sure what HDI means.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:54 PM
 
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
1,022 posts, read 3,154,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Malaysia is nothing like Libya. Malaysia is a lot more developed and wealthy compared to Indonesia, Philippines or Thailand.etc. There are poor people there, but poverty is not as widespread as other places in SEA. If you stick to the tourist areas, it's mostly clean, safe, developed (roads, transport), with modern shopping malls as well as more authentic Asian things. The risk of terrorism in Malaysia is almost nil, maybe parts of Indonesia, but don't lump Malaysia and Indonesia together, Malaysia is much, much better. Many tourists visit it every year from all over the world and enjoy it. There are problems in the country, for sure, but not things that tourists would have to worry about.


Malaysia - Travel Video (1080HD) - YouTube


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1080HD) Travel Video - YouTube
Yeah dont lump Indonesia together with Malaysia, its totally different country having different culture and people. Terrorism in Indonesia is relatively low and are much safer than India and dont even compare it with Afganistan. Bali is heaven for tourist and is completely safe, as does other city having relatively low crime rate, security after the post bombing which do not have anything to do with Indonesians themself, are now fully fledged making it very hard for terrorist, airport and building security in Indonesia is even better than Thailand or Malaysia imho. All provinces in Indonesia is now very stable unlike 1990s, people enjoy equality and democracy, totally NOT terrorist danger zone. We also have no active insurgency like Thailand or Philippines.

Sorry postman but i dont see how Malaysia is a better choice than Indonesia, sure Malaysia have multiculturism and better HDI whatsoever. But the cultural experience that Indonesia offer could easily match its neighbor and even better, and Indonesia always has been associated with what tourist would call exotic. we have giant borobudur temple and cultures that varies from different islands and not to mention Bali, the ultimate heaven.

Lat note for op: we dont need person who are anti-asia to go here anyway, its pointless to spend your money here if you wouldnt like anything to do with third worldish experience or anything to do with the food. Skip Asia and spend your money in south americas or europe, they are better for you.

Last edited by Goshio22; 02-03-2014 at 12:15 AM..
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:00 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,961,504 times
Reputation: 2983
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lunatic & A Therapist View Post
I truly only want to visit first world countries/cities. I mean as an American I could drink the tap water if I wanted to. I want the country to be extremely developed and safe. I have been to many countries abroad but they are all in Western Europe. I have been to Tokyo and HK but they are extremely developed too.
I've been to most of Europe and Asia. Give me a list of countries or cities you consider developed enough for your tastes, and I'll give you a list of countries or cities in Asia that you could consider visiting.

I gotta tell you, though, it's odd to hear an American worry about safety overseas. Our country is much more violent and dangerous than pretty much all of the rest of the 1st world, and a good chunk of the developing world--especially for you as an American tourist.

Quote:
The U.S. warns tourists about travel to Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and India because of a high terrorism threat. I'm a 6'2, 210 pound American, extremely white, walking around with a NYC hat on - obviously I'm American. The threat of terrorism is too high in these countries for me, along with them not being developed. They have low HDI's too so I'm not interested in them.
You should understand that those warnings are to alert you that there are trouble spots in those countries--often near the borders. They aren't warnings that Al-Queda is going to abduct you from downtown Manila because you are wearing a Red Sox cap. It's similar to other countries warning their citizens not to take a walking tour of South Central LA on a Friday night, or go hiking on the southern border areas of the USA where the cartels are active.
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