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Old 12-21-2018, 12:35 PM
 
1,504 posts, read 521,825 times
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Singapore all the way.

It's got the highest GDP per capita of any country in Asia outside the Middle East (on par with Kuwait, slightly higher than the UAE, second only to Qatar.)

Mercer's Quality of living survey ranked Singapore 25th out of 230 cities in the world. Has been first in Asia for over a decade now. Tokyo is second in Asia, at around 50th place or so. Also, Singapore typically ranks first in personal safety for Asian cities, the only Asian city in the top ten.

Singapore's Changi airport usually ranks first in customer satisfaction in the world.

Singapore has virtually no earthquakes or typhoons or snow or volcanic eruptions or tsunamis or any other natural disaster to speak of other than flash flooding (but hey, even Phoenix, in the desert gets flash flooding). Just warm weather all year round, with a good sea breeze and refreshing afternoon rain showers, and wonderfully lush, tropical vegetation year round. The air is always very clean except during the haze from forest fires in Indonesia, but these past two years they've cut down the haze dramatically.

I have never been to another city with as little traffic as Singapore, or with a subway as nice, modern, and efficient as Singapore's, except maybe Hong Kong.

The country is landscaped and maintained like Disneyworld. All the freeways feature lush, manicured tropical vegetation and are spanking clean and freshly paved.

Singapore is truly the Irvine of Asia, a city with all the big city convenience of NYC, but with all the masterplanned suburban perfection of a sunbelt suburb like Irvine.
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Old 12-21-2018, 01:02 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Taipei--the food, the museum, the tropical coastline. Did I mention the food?

Ulan Ude, Buryat Republic (Russian Federation). The historic quarter, with tree-lines streets, and log houses with elaborately-barbed window dressing and eaves. The promenade along the river. The culture: rich museums, Buddhist monastery nearby and other buddhist elements around town. The harmonious color scheme of the city: many buildings are painted in Buddhist colors of red and saffron. The traditional food: juicy large meat dumplings. Good people, if you have an "in" to society there. Beautiful countryside, Lake Baikal, spectacular mountain landscapes referred to as "Little Tibet". But that's far outside the city.
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Old 12-21-2018, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete98146 View Post
So even though many of her family still in Philippines, she has no desire to go back in visit, let alone live there. In Thailand, she can get all of her Asian culture and her family is only 3 hours away. Plus Thailand has so much more infrastructure compared to Phils. All of these reasons help add to why she loves Thailand.
Gotcha. That is too bad that she has to feel that way about her home country but it makes sense. Good luck to you guys in the transition!
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Old 12-21-2018, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
4,366 posts, read 1,660,383 times
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Another vote for Bangkok. You can depend on a Bangkok stranger to be friendly and helpful, which is decidedly not the case in the rest of Thailand.

Among the less traditional places, I'd offer Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. It has that wonderful Soviet air about it, that makes one think it is still the 60s, and the Kyrgyz are friendly and laid back.
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Old 12-22-2018, 03:42 AM
 
Location: Taipei
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Tokyo or Kyoto.
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Old 12-22-2018, 10:00 PM
 
Location: On the road
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cebuan View Post
Another vote for Bangkok. You can depend on a Bangkok stranger to be friendly and helpful, which is decidedly not the case in the rest of Thailand.
This is silly, people in Bangkok aren't by virtue of being there any more helpful or not helpful than people in other cities. If anything Bangkok is more random since it's very transient, they come from all over Thailand for the work opportunities.
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Old 12-22-2018, 10:11 PM
 
Location: On the road
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
Interesting list, I had never heard of Kota Kinabalu. I'm curious - what can you tell us about it?
It's a Malaysian city in eastern part of Borneo, a bit more modern than "the other big city" on the west side called Kuching.

It's a nice place to visit especially for nature lovers. There are islands off the coast with nice beaches and jungle paths to explore, and it's a nice jumping off point to wilderness areas where one can see wild orangutans, crocodiles, and pygmy elephants. One can also catch a van from downtown to go to Mount Kinabalu Natl Park, which is popular with hardcore climbers but also has many wonderful hiking trails through mossy jungles for the more casual hiker. River rafting is also popular.

The city itself is okay, it's big enough to have things like shopping malls, cinemas, intl airport, etc. but not too big to feel like a metropolis. You can see monkeys in the trees on walks through the city, and it's where I got my first attached leech on an urban trail. They have a nice seafront with harbors for the boats to the islands and a wonderful seafood market where you pick your critter and they fry it up.

From a more utilitarian perspective, Kota is more expensive than Kuching but it's still nothing like Singapore or KL. It's easy to get to Air Asia has a ton of cheap flights direct from KL, or if you're feeling punchy fly to Kuching and go all the way across Borneo on river and land. Then you can see other places along the way Miri, Sibu etc. Where we were last there (2015) there were still some problems on the coast around Sandakan with Muslim groups coming from Sulu that had kidnapped folks, but I don't think that is really an issue with Kota itself.

Some pics =

City proper:



Trail in Kinabalu Park, one day we hiked for five hours and didn't see a soul:





Rollin' down the river:



Sunset from the pier:



The spread at the market:





Yes, it's a Muslim area and the ladies do have swim gear:



Some locals, six foot monitor lizard and wild orangutan near Sandakan:



Last edited by lieqiang; 12-22-2018 at 10:57 PM..
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Old 12-23-2018, 02:18 AM
 
Location: Middle of the Pacific Ocean
11,665 posts, read 6,271,423 times
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As food is a (the) major part of travel for me, I'd have to say New Delhi or Mumbai. I ate like a pig/king when I was there and would love to return, if for the culinary experience alone.

The most beautiful city I've been to in Asia has to be Istanbul.
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Old 12-23-2018, 09:52 AM
 
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Tokyo hands down. It is my 2nd favourite city in the world and my #1 in Asia.
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Old 12-23-2018, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
5,819 posts, read 9,470,378 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
It's a nice place to visit especially for nature lovers.
A good enough reason for me, I'll add it to my list.
Quote:
Trail in Kinabalu Park, one day we hiked for five hours and didn't see a soul
That's what I like.
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