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Old 11-30-2009, 07:47 PM
Location: Alaska & Florida
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I'll be graduating from my university in May. I want to travel to either Hong Kong or Tokyo to celebrate the start of my independence. I'll be traveling alone. I've been to both cities when I was young, so I don't remember much. I'd like to meet some locals. I think traveling alone will force me to step out of my comfort zone and get me to mingle with locals. Which city would be better for this? I'll be booking the flight using miles, so I have to choose by the end of this month.

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Old 11-30-2009, 10:32 PM
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Do you speak Japanese or Cantonese?

I can't speak for Tokyo but if you can only speak English it might be hard to make friends in Hong Kong.

To me Tokyo seems more exciting, although Hong Kong is pretty cool. Both cities are very vibrant and interesting in their own way.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:30 AM
Location: Alaska & Florida
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I don't speak either language. I'm leaning more toward Tokyo. I heard many Japanese locals like to help foreigners so they can practice their English.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:07 AM
Location: underworld
45 posts, read 144,131 times
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I love both equally and many in HK do speak the international business language plus all the Brits and their descendants who live there.
If you are staying a while, Japan is obviously a large country compared to tiny HK so you have more to see and do.
My last trip I took the Bullet train from Tokyo to Hakone for a massage and hot springs filled week at the Fujiya hotel. That made my year.
The Ginza for the nightlife is unmatched anywhere in the world.
I do prefer the food in HK as some of the best Chinese chefs live there.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:43 AM
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if you dont speak either language I would say Hong Kong is better since theres more english signs, more english speakers and less of a cultural shock (remember it used to be british). If you want a brand new experience, more "high tech", cleaner etc than I would say Tokyo. If you love tall skyscrapers than Hong Kong is better. Although Tokyo is currently constructing the tallest tower in the world (and 2nd tallest building in the world after the Burj Dubai in Dubai), the "tokyo sky tree" which will be 634 M or 2,080 ft.

If you like food tokyo is better though, since it is the #1 destination for food lovers according to michelin guide and has been for awhile. If you do choose tokyo be sure to do your research about where you will stay and go. Don't expect locals to be able to help you much, Japanese can be very shy and dont really speak english at all.

Here is a video of driving in Tokyo my friend made (also has alot of other videos). Watch it all and in HD

I'll PM you something.
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:01 PM
Location: Alaska & Florida
1,629 posts, read 4,856,568 times
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I wish I could take a month to travel, but I have to start my career as soon as I return. I'll have about 1-2 weeks available. That must have been an amazing massage for it to have made your year lol. I heard the night life in Tokyo is amazing. I love clubbing and dancing. Do most clubs have a cover charge?


I really don't know which city to choose. I want a culture shock and to feel lost and have to try to find my way home. However, it still has to be possible for me to find my way around lol. I love food, shopping, and night life. The Tokyo Sky Tree looks awesome, I can only imagine the view from it once it's completed. Thanks for the vid and I watched it in HD lol.
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:47 PM
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If you want a cultural shock than tokyo definately. Japan is a first world developed country (arguably even more so than the US and definately more than HK). While you might have trouble you will never be in danger. If anything you can just contact the authorities which are everywhere in tokyo (they even have police places near the road). Japanese are polite.

But as I said before be sure to do alot of research and to get a map.
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Old 02-08-2010, 04:34 AM
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Tokyo is much more interesting than Hong Kong. You can get by in Tokyo with no Japanese, but not outside of Tokyo. I'd choose Tokyo in a heartbeat. I have lived in both places.
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:34 PM
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Tokyo is a superb destination hands down.
I would recommend HK as a short stay-over if you are in transit to other country/city.

Helpful information can be found here:
Web Japan : Top Page
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:34 PM
Location: Bike to Surf!
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I agree with the general consensus of Tokyo.

If you have a big budget (USD 100-150/night) I can recommend the Sunroute Shinjiku business hotel. It's nice reasonably-priced accomodation for Tokyo. It's close to Shinjiku station a major transportation hub for Tokyo as well as the surrounding countryside. If you have an extra day (and USD 200-400), you can catch the Romance Express out to the Mt. Fuji area in the morning, spend an afternoon and evening relaxing in a traditional Onsen resort, see Fuji-san the next morning, and be back in Tokyo for dinner and nightlife.

Be sure to take a harbor cruise and check out the shopping and nightlife. A guidebook is helpful and you'll get very lost in the metro system if you aren't used to asian mass transit systems. But don't sweat it, the city never sleeps and you'll have plenty of fun stuff to do as you meander your way back home. Cabbies can always be your last (expensive) resort. Yes, the Japanese are quite shy about foreigners and few speak much English. Hotel staff almost always do, though.

Tokyo--and all of Japan--is quite safe. Actually, most of the developed world is quite safe when compared to the United States.

Hong Kong is a fun city as well, but it is much more westernized. There's no need to speak Cantonese as the international business language--English--will get you anywhere you need to go. HK/Kwoloon is a pretty small, condensed, place compared to Tokyo, but you can spend extra days exploring HK's rural areas, hiking trails, and beaches. You cannot visit the PRC without a special visa, but you could hop over to Taipei in the ROC for a few days if you want a REALLY foreign experience (assuming you're travelling on a US passport). The Taiwanese are much nicer and more friendly than their mainland counterparts, though they don't speak much English. Taipei is an amazing city and a HK/Taipei trip would be at least equivilant to a Tokyo trip, IMO.
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