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Old 04-05-2019, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
1,353 posts, read 544,581 times
Reputation: 1102

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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
My feeling is that less Americans go to Canada because of 9/11. Pre 9/11 you didn't need a passport to visit Canada, now you do. I know my family didn't go to Canada when we went to Niagara Falls last summer, didn't have passports and weren't going to get them just to see the other side of the Falls.
You can apply for a Passport Card, in lieu of Passport, to visit Canada. The fee is halved and the size is just like another State ID.

And you missed a lot. The best view of Niagara Fall is from the Canadian side.
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Old 04-05-2019, 02:01 PM
 
2,845 posts, read 3,934,653 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
add the roosters, discos (till 3AM), 4AM nightly dogfights, then the scooters start racing by about 5AM, the neighboring mall broadcasts "Blue-Light-Specials" starting at 6AM.

There are some challenges...
Oh yeah, I forgot those. Also the call to prayer five times a day. Day after day, over a loud speaker. "Allahuuuuu Ahkbar. Allahuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu Ahkbarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!! Bismillahi rahmani rahim."

I can understand the OP's excitement about traveling in "Exotic Asia" for the first time.

I will bet that he hit all of the Bucket List spots: Angkor Wat, Sihanoukville, Siem Reap, Chiang Rai, Luang Prabang, Buddhist temples, Khao San Road, Patpong 1, Nana Plaza, Koh Phi Phi, and Koh Samui.

He also drank Beer Lao and sampled the local herb specialties with the other foreigners. He went zip lining in the limestone hills of Laos. Rafting or inner tubing down the Mekong River. Hung out with the European and Australian/New Zealand crowd at a Full Moon rave.

Hanging out where the foreign backpacker crowd hangs out isn't really experiencing the cultures unless it is the foreign backpacker culture one wants to experience.

Traveling in Asia can be fun; living there, not so much.
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Old 04-05-2019, 02:02 PM
 
5,452 posts, read 2,292,432 times
Reputation: 16437
Quote:
Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
I recently returned from a 6 week adventure travel trip to Laos and Cambodia. I traveled by bus, boat and motorcycle. It was the experience of a lifetime. I was very struck by how few Americans I encountered - practically none! The tourists/travelers were overwhelmingly Euros, Aussies, Kiwis and Canadians. These were not wealthy people, just regular working folks with the curiosity and will to see the world, eat new food and push outside their comfort zone. Americans, it seems, are interested mostly in inclusive resorts and Disneyland.



Why is this? Please don't respond that you've personally been where ever. That may well be. But I'm speaking of the extreme scarcity of Americans getting out and seeing something different and exotic. It's undeniable. What's wrong with us? Fear? Lack of education? Lack of curiosity? Spending money on fancy cars, houses, whatever, and that's it?

It's lack of vacation time.



The average American gets two weeks' vacation. When they hit five years of service, some companies bump that to three. Take away events such as a wedding, go to visit family, and the such, that means that an American might have one week to actually go do something. Given that flying to Europe or -- even more to the point -- Asia and Australia will require a good two-three days of travel, then it's just not worth it. By the time you recover from the jet lag, it's almost time to go home.



Compare that to countries with the following minimum paid leave: Australia (20), Canada (10-20), and the United Kingdom (20). In Europe, 20-25 days is pretty much the standard.



My wife and I went to South Africa last year. It was the first time my wife, who had been in the workforce for 30 years, had ever had a two-week vacation. But that also entailed 24 straight hours of traveling from my city to Atlanta to Johannesburg to Durban.



The other factor? The United States is so diverse, that there's a ton to do and see without ever getting a passport. It's considered to be quite an accomplishment among Americans to visit all fifty states. I travel a lot on business, and I've only managed to reach 39.




It's not a desire to not go. It's just a matter of available time.

Last edited by MinivanDriver; 04-05-2019 at 02:10 PM..
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Old 04-05-2019, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Santa Monica, Ca
6,900 posts, read 3,829,163 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian_Lee View Post
You can apply for a Passport Card, in lieu of Passport, to visit Canada. The fee is halved and the size is just like another State ID.

And you missed a lot. The best view of Niagara Fall is from the Canadian side.
The best view of Niagra Falls is from the air.
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Old 04-05-2019, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
1,353 posts, read 544,581 times
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I would not recommend Laos and Cambodia as OP does to other Americans if that is their 1st, 2nd or 3rd trip to Asia.

It is just like recommending someone to go to Albania or Kosovo for their first trip to Europe.
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Old 04-05-2019, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Australia
893 posts, read 327,146 times
Reputation: 1644
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian_Lee View Post
I would not recommend Laos and Cambodia as OP does to other Americans if that is their 1st, 2nd or 3rd trip to Asia.

It is just like recommending someone to go to Albania or Kosovo for their first trip to Europe.
I tend to agree. Of course Singapore is the easiest place and that was where we took our kids for their first holiday outside of Australasia. But a really good place to visit is Sabah in Borneo. They speak good English, the food is amazing, the prices are cheap, there is a lot to do and the people are just lovely.

We love Hong Hong and also China. I was reading that less Aussies are going to China whereas the numbers going to Japan are going up quickly. It used to be very expensive for us but not so much now.

The Americans we met in Vietnam seemed to be enjoying themselves. We did go on a tour but found it a very safe and pleasant place to travel.
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Old 04-05-2019, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
1,353 posts, read 544,581 times
Reputation: 1102
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarisaMay View Post
I tend to agree. Of course Singapore is the easiest place and that was where we took our kids for their first holiday outside of Australasia. But a really good place to visit is Sabah in Borneo. They speak good English, the food is amazing, the prices are cheap, there is a lot to do and the people are just lovely.

We love Hong Hong and also China. I was reading that less Aussies are going to China whereas the numbers going to Japan are going up quickly. It used to be very expensive for us but not so much now.

The Americans we met in Vietnam seemed to be enjoying themselves. We did go on a tour but found it a very safe and pleasant place to travel.
Quite hesitant about Sabah. Especially if one stays in some of the resorts on the outlying islands.

In recent years, there were some cases of kidnapping of tourists from these resorts by the Islamic terrorist groups in Northern Philippines facing Sabah. The victims were released only after hefty ransom was paid. One victim was killed after the family could not pay the ransom on time.
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Old 04-05-2019, 03:43 PM
 
2,289 posts, read 1,294,216 times
Reputation: 1520
Quote:
Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post

It's not a desire to not go. It's just a matter of available time.
Perhaps people in other countries assume that we have as much vacation time as they do.
BTW, as I understand it, all Americans are supposed to be rich.

So if we are all rich, and have plenty of time off...

The obvious explanation for our absence is that we are uncultured, knuckle dragging cave man.

Last edited by Tim Randal Walker; 04-05-2019 at 04:18 PM..
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Old 04-05-2019, 05:09 PM
 
Location: On the road
5,922 posts, read 2,885,080 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teak View Post
Patpong 1, Nana Plaza
Heh. Naughty.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian_Lee View Post
Quite hesitant about Sabah. Especially if one stays in some of the resorts on the outlying islands. In recent years, there were some cases of kidnapping of tourists from these resorts by the Islamic terrorist groups in Northern Philippines facing Sabah. The victims were released only after hefty ransom was paid. One victim was killed after the family could not pay the ransom on time.
They've had a couple incidents a few years ago but that's hardly a reason to avoid such a huge patch of Malaysia. The last one I heard about it wasn't on the islands it was in Sandakan.
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Old 04-05-2019, 09:38 PM
 
Location: NYC
12,899 posts, read 8,730,792 times
Reputation: 14150
Americans take the least amount of vacations compare to the rest of the world. Europeans take the most because it's mandatory and part of the culture.

Europeans and Asians typically travel or visit another country annually. You hear Europeans frequently visit other countries in the EU or travel to the US. Asians are probably the biggest global tourists.

Americans, not so much because few have generous vacations. Even managers in big companies do not go for long vacations. Usually you have 1 manager decides to visit another country and after they return they regret going because of the culture shock, Americans are generally impatient with how people in other countries like to take their sweet time having dinner or other festivities. Americans prefer fast food, scheduled events that happen right on time and ends right about time.

If you go see a movie in another country, many of them have intermissions where people take a 15 min break to go bio, drink, or smoke cigs. Americans are probably sitting there frustrated and waiting.

In general a lot of Americans don't like to travel abroad because they are not accustomed to the culture and foods. So it is a huge inconvenience.
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