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View Poll Results: Which Asian countries are most interesting to Americans? (Pick up to 3)
Cambodia 3 4.48%
China 16 23.88%
Japan 43 64.18%
Indonesia 7 10.45%
Laos 1 1.49%
Malaysia 4 5.97%
Philippines 10 14.93%
Singapore 8 11.94%
South Korea 10 14.93%
Taiwan 4 5.97%
Thailand 32 47.76%
Vietnam 11 16.42%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 67. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-09-2017, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Tulsa
1,807 posts, read 810,785 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
Biggest impression of tourists I get of Thailand over the last decade is that it looks like they just made it a province of China.
I don't know.

I visited Thailand in late December, and Chinese tourists were a minority. But I saw signs written in Chinese everywhere, I think it's all about timing. Chinese tourists are the majority during Chinese public holidays, not Christmas.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:50 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ginmqi View Post
This is curious to me. ...I wonder if there are other reasons Thailand is such popular with older Americans)
for many 'older' visitors, Thailand is for medical and dental care. For many of us in USA (retired, but under age 65), Foreign healthcare is the only option we have. 15m worldwide use medical tourism, and Thailand supports that industry with some of the best international hospitals and medi-vacation facilities.

https://www.patientsbeyondborders.com/

Europeans have been using Thailand as a medical destination for 50 yrs.

Plus... (as mentioned) it has a lot of variety (terrain / events / food), is near many great destinations, and it is affordable. (and they accept USA exiles)
While in Thailand, I flew to other countries nearly every weekend. ~ $30 - $50.
Not a bad choice for the $$

Singapore is no longer affordable, but is very convenient and secure for USA tastes (since most in USA prefer / only know English). It is great 2-3 day stopover for Europeans and Oceania (NZ / AU) travelers enroute to far away destinations.

I do enjoy the very different culture / nice people and sites of Japan.
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:57 PM
 
Location: NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ginmqi View Post
This is curious to me. I know as a young person I'm biased towards the more modern/cosmopolitan Japan but I figure elderly folks also travel to China as well.

Do we have data to show that Americans do love Thailand much more and if so...I wonder why? (aside from the usual jokes about certain activities that Thailand is notorious for....I wonder if there are other reasons Thailand is such popular with older Americans)

Bangkok is the world's #1 tourist destination in terms of numbers & I know Phuket is the #1 beach destination in Asia. BKK, once one acclimates to it, has the best hotels in the world for the least money spent, I am a retired former working jerk & through Priceline I used to stay at 4 Star hotels some considered top in Asia, for a little over $125/ngt; amazing shopping for almost anything at good prices - high quality stuff at good prices too; first rate medical/dental services... and the food is an amazing adventure & worth the trip almost by itself. Thailand is also very safe, mostly. And the Thai people's friendly attitude towards visitors is also a big factor. I know rice is their biggest export but I wonder if tourism brings in more money than even that, they are very conscious of how important it is to their economy.

Retired western expats are clustered around rough & rowdy Pattaya, Chiang Mai & the quieter Hua Hin as well as other places. I considered retiring there but the heat/humidity was a big negative for me, for others it's paradise at a bargain price - one could live there very comfortably & travel on no more than Social Security income.

Last time I visited Thailand (5 years ago?) there was an obvious increase in Chinese & Russia tourism. The Thai government was aggressively marketing to them. The Russkies weren't very popular & I think there are no tears shed over the collapse of their economy again & curtailed travels. The Chinese, the new middle -class, travel in groups herded from hotel to bus to designated tour sights & restaurant group reservations & aren't independent travelers so their $$$ is spent in only a few designated places, so many Thai businesses don't see much direct benefit. Westerners are much more independent & wander around & bargain with the locals & are more easygoing & thus more popular. It's very, very common for a first time visitor to become infatuated with Thailand & revisit many times.

I have never gone to Japan mostly because I think it would cost too much, I would love to visit sometime.
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:25 PM
 
Location: NoVa
2,129 posts, read 2,914,011 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ginmqi View Post
This is curious to me. I know as a young person I'm biased towards the more modern/cosmopolitan Japan but I figure elderly folks also travel to China as well.

Do we have data to show that Americans do love Thailand much more and if so...I wonder why? (aside from the usual jokes about certain activities that Thailand is notorious for....I wonder if there are other reasons Thailand is such popular with older Americans)
No official data but if I were to take a wild guess, it's because Thailand has better tourist infrastructure compared to, say, The Phillipines or Indonesia - both countries also offer breathtaking coast lines and good food.

I personally think Indonesia has better food than Thailand, cheaper too, and it offers a lot more diverse landscape, culture, cuisines, than all the other countries in South East Asia. But, Indonesia is harder to get around, then there's that pesky 'most populous muslim country in the world' tag that scares the beejesus of Americans.
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:27 PM
 
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Thailand is much more popular with Europeans than Americans. The distance from N America to Thailand is a big hindrance.
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Tulsa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nn2036 View Post
Thailand is much more popular with Europeans than Americans. The distance from N America to Thailand is a big hindrance.
Thailand is even more popular among Aussies.

The distance from America to any Asian destination is far enough to hold many people back. That's why Mexico is more popular than Asia.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:44 AM
 
Location: NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graceC View Post

I personally think Indonesia has better food than Thailand, cheaper too, and it offers a lot more diverse landscape, culture, cuisines, than all the other countries in South East Asia. But, Indonesia is harder to get around, then there's that pesky 'most populous muslim country in the world' tag that scares the beejesus of Americans.
So I haven't been to, but my #3 in the poll was Malaysia, it could've been a few of the others as well. I've never actually been there but I have read extensively on it & now would consider it to be a place to visit or retire to almost on par with Thailand: cheap, perhaps even better food, one of the best retirement schemes in the world - much better than Thailand's. It is probably my next SE Asian place to visit, I'm particularly interested in Georgetown, Penang.

They were once a British colony so there is wider English understood & Malay is easier to learn than Thai. Like Indonesia they are officially Muslim but it is a liberal, easygoing version mostly - live & let live. Every country has it's fundamentalists that try to force their beliefs & all of these countries' governments are pretty corrupt.

And one can use KL as a base for low cost airline travel for the region.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Taipei
6,776 posts, read 5,131,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodHombre View Post
Japan is a developed country, and yes, it's easier to prefer Japan but it's very bland for tourists. Japan is immaculate except for there's not much to do. Most tourists don't bother to visit Japan again.
That says more about you than about Japan. And most tourists revisit Japan. Speak for yourself.


I feel like some statistics would be useful.

Top Destinations of US Residents Traveling Abroad (2015 census):

1. Mexico
2. Canada
3. UK
4. Dominican Republic
5. France
6. Italy
7. Germany
8. Jamaica
9. Spain
10. China - 1,213,000
11. Bahamas
12. India - 1,082,000
13. Costa Rica
14. Japan - 885,000
15. The Netherlands
15. The Philippines - 820,000
17. Ireland
18. Aruba
18. Colombia
20. Hong Kong - 557,000
20. Israel - 557,000
20. Switzerland
20. Taiwan - 557,000
24. Australia
24. South Korea - 492,000
24. Peru
27. Austria
27. Thailand - 459,000
29. Greece
29. Turkey
29. UAE - 426,000
32. Brazil
33. Czech Republic
33. Hungary
33. Vietnam - 328,000
36. New Zealand
37. Argentina
38. Singapore - 230,000
38. South Africa
40. Poland
41. Morocco

Btw, Mexico and Canada alone account for more than 50% of all outbound tourists.

Last edited by Greysholic; 08-10-2017 at 11:56 AM..
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:30 PM
 
6,726 posts, read 6,614,442 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ginmqi View Post
This is curious to me. I know as a young person I'm biased towards the more modern/cosmopolitan Japan but I figure elderly folks also travel to China as well.

Do we have data to show that Americans do love Thailand much more and if so...I wonder why? (aside from the usual jokes about certain activities that Thailand is notorious for....I wonder if there are other reasons Thailand is such popular with older Americans)
Japan is the most clean, well-ordered etc. But for modern or cosmopolitan looking (just the hardware), many Chinese cities are on the top now.
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:47 PM
 
Location: NoVa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefe View Post
So I haven't been to, but my #3 in the poll was Malaysia, it could've been a few of the others as well. I've never actually been there but I have read extensively on it & now would consider it to be a place to visit or retire to almost on par with Thailand: cheap, perhaps even better food, one of the best retirement schemes in the world - much better than Thailand's. It is probably my next SE Asian place to visit, I'm particularly interested in Georgetown, Penang.

They were once a British colony so there is wider English understood & Malay is easier to learn than Thai. Like Indonesia they are officially Muslim but it is a liberal, easygoing version mostly - live & let live. Every country has it's fundamentalists that try to force their beliefs & all of these countries' governments are pretty corrupt.

And one can use KL as a base for low cost airline travel for the region.
Penang is great but KL is boring. And to assume English is widely understood just because it's a former British colony is like assuming French is widely understood in Vietnam because France used to colonize Vietnam. But, I highly suggest you visit these countries to see it for yourself. You'll enjoy some of the best dishes for sure! I heard about Malaysia's retirement program for foreigners but never looked into it closely.
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