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Thread: Your favorite country in East Asia

  1. #71
    ^Cool.. I have a good friend who worked in Kaohsiung and said good things about it. They have some nice mountains and the east coast drive along the ocean is supposed to be lovely. I love the Taiwanese chain Coco bubble tea now all over mainland China.

  2. #72
    Thailand for the people, great food, beaches, cost of living and ease of getting around.
    Myanmar for stunning beauty, lack of development, people, relative isolation and low number of western tourists.

  3. #73
    Hong Kong was my favourite.

    Thailand was second favourite,though that was from years ago.

    Philippines/Malayasia would be my destination if i ever made a move again.

  4. #74
    Thailand for sure. I know it well and can speak the language. Vietnam for history food, adventure and natural beauty, but the people are too aggressive to live there full time.

  5. #75
    Thailand Lifer xiao mo's Avatar
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    For me 'favourite' equates to most livable, so Hong Kong definitely, the rest are holiday destinations. Now as to where I have lived and worked:

    PRC ( mainland China Shanghai and HK is not China despite the motherland claims as otherwise) Loved Shanghai as I was in the old French concession, lots of lubbly old historic houses, tree lined streets and the feel was not that of a claustrophobic city. The place is absolutely huge and smothering after a while, escaping to places like Hangzhou, mountains etc was the candy for me, Shanghanese are power/money hungry basically will rip you a new arsehole to get what they want.

    Best past of PRC is no religious bs and the efficiency and resourcefulness of the people. You may bang on about the lack of human rights, pollution, disrespect for the environment, the bladdy commies but in all it is a one galaxy many planets country depends which city you are in. South China is the best because of the proximity to Hk, Cantonese are great peeps. 'Civilized'. Places like Beijing are gawdawful. Traveled extensively and learnt the lingo, Mandarin anyway as in HK Cantonese rules.

    Singapore: A 'fine' city literally. Never really took to it as the Sings are elitist snobs, expensive, the city itself to me is like a hospital environment with the exception of a few areas. Skyline is ugly and nothing compared to HK or even SH, best part of Sing was driving over the border to Malay for grocery shopping. Interesting mix of cultures and modern but nah.

    WeChat Image_20180919060141.jpg



    Malaysia: The Isamic shit got to me after a while, people are friendly, food is good, some fascinating places to visit like crocodile farms in Miri, beaches, but KL itself is horrible imo. Malay is now touted as a retirement destination don't see it.

    Brunei: For a stint was tax free, all expenses paid and a good destination work wise for families. Islamic to the max, one guy was fired for sitting on a desk full of qu'rans and playing his guitar to the kids. Unless you joining the yacht club nothing much to do unless you're into bird watching or hash harriers, the beer runs to Miri or Kota Bharu were fun. Split weekend which meant Friday off, Saturday on, Sunday off so you couldn't really take the time to explore the environs and Brunei is tiny as in to Malay unless it was holidays and then most buggered off back to where they originated from.

    Thailand: Burnt me out. The fake smiles, fake Buddhists, beggars, prostitutes, sexpats, scammers and cons, the inefficiency the general mind set and no Thai bashing here as not all are the same. Beautiful places, beaches, temples, food is brilliant and still one of my fave cuisines but after three years, nah, good holiday destination from HK but not livable imo for the rest of your natural life.

    So that's my take on places in SE Asia to live and work in. Holidays in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Phillipines, Indonesia but not places I'd live in for sure good for a holiday though.

  6. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by xiao mo View Post
    For me 'favourite' equates to most livable, so Hong Kong definitely, the rest are holiday destinations. Now as to where I have lived and worked:

    PRC ( mainland China Shanghai and HK is not China despite the motherland claims as otherwise) Loved Shanghai as I was in the old French concession, lots of lubbly old historic houses, tree lined streets and the feel was not that of a claustrophobic city. The place is absolutely huge and smothering after a while, escaping to places like Hangzhou, mountains etc was the candy for me, Shanghanese are power/money hungry basically will rip you a new arsehole to get what they want.

    Best past of PRC is no religious bs and the efficiency and resourcefulness of the people. You may bang on about the lack of human rights, pollution, disrespect for the environment, the bladdy commies but in all it is a one galaxy many planets country depends which city you are in. South China is the best because of the proximity to Hk, Cantonese are great peeps. 'Civilized'. Places like Beijing are gawdawful. Traveled extensively and learnt the lingo, Mandarin anyway as in HK Cantonese rules.

    Singapore: A 'fine' city literally. Never really took to it as the Sings are elitist snobs, expensive, the city itself to me is like a hospital environment with the exception of a few areas. Skyline is ugly and nothing compared to HK or even SH, best part of Sing was driving over the border to Malay for grocery shopping. Interesting mix of cultures and modern but nah.

    WeChat Image_20180919060141.jpg



    Malaysia: The Isamic shit got to me after a while, people are friendly, food is good, some fascinating places to visit like crocodile farms in Miri, beaches, but KL itself is horrible imo. Malay is now touted as a retirement destination don't see it.

    Brunei: For a stint was tax free, all expenses paid and a good destination work wise for families. Islamic to the max, one guy was fired for sitting on a desk full of qu'rans and playing his guitar to the kids. Unless you joining the yacht club nothing much to do unless you're into bird watching or hash harriers, the beer runs to Miri or Kota Bharu were fun. Split weekend which meant Friday off, Saturday on, Sunday off so you couldn't really take the time to explore the environs and Brunei is tiny as in to Malay unless it was holidays and then most buggered off back to where they originated from.

    Thailand: Burnt me out. The fake smiles, fake Buddhists, beggars, prostitutes, sexpats, scammers and cons, the inefficiency the general mind set and no Thai bashing here as not all are the same. Beautiful places, beaches, temples, food is brilliant and still one of my fave cuisines but after three years, nah, good holiday destination from HK but not livable imo for the rest of your natural life.

    So that's my take on places in SE Asia to live and work in. Holidays in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Phillipines, Indonesia but not places I'd live in for sure good for a holiday though.
    That's a good post, mo. I never made it to Singapore yet.. but hope to one day.

    Interesting to read your post about China. I found China to be eye opening just in regards to sheer population. The spitting and pushing took awhile to get used to and never really enjoyed that part of it, but learned how to live with it. The traffic was a bit insane as well. I agree about the money hungry Shanghainese, but many people from the provinces go there to make money and get a job. It is a very greedy, superficial and money grabbing place, but there are some really cool things to see and do. I liked to see the differences between the Puxi and Pudong sides and how it's grown so much in so little time. It is truly amazing how built up and modern it is now. The amount of people was a turn off for me, and it was worse than Beijing in that people were always in a rush and didn't care about rules one bit. Everyone is in a rush for that bottom dollar. Beijing was very controlled or should I say patrolled (cameras everywhere). Just my two cents..

  7. #77
    When it comes to places to work

    Thailand: I really enjoyed my 8 years there, and still miss it. School was chilled out but not apathetic and there were plenty of PD opportunities. Kids were well mannered, smart and keen to learn. Admin were easy to work with and would always help out. Still of friendly terms with my old boss, better not to burn bridges, make a friend instead! I lived in laid back semi rural Rangsit, it has changed so much and is not pretty developed.

    Myanmar: I had a love and hate relationship with working and living here. Some of the brightest kids I have ever taught; multi lingual in the truest sense and very little in the way of behavioral issues, I really grew as an educator here. Admin were power mad prats, with more faces than a clock tower. 6 of us moved on, all 6 of us were given poor references- they took leaving incredibly personally and were just cruel and petty in the last month. Admin have a lot of growing up to do- I went through a recruiter, who have a great reference, I feel sorry for the direct hires. I'd go back to Myanmar, just a different school. Housing was gross, but better than how 90% of the population lives. Nice expat circle, but very heavy drinking, which gets old after the first month for me.

    Mongolia: Not SE Asia but....
    It is an easy place to live, you can get anything you want and healthcare is free and pretty decent. Harsh winters, bland food and pollution are some big negatives for some. As for student behavior, it's the worst I have seen in 11 years of teaching. A co-worker was spat on and others have been scratched, pushed,kicked etc. A friend got a student from my school who actually threw a punch at her. Pretty shocking tbh

  8. #78
    Thailand Lifer xiao mo's Avatar
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    With China, which is a snakepit in terms of schools/employment you really need to do your homework.

    If you have all the bells and whistles quals and experience wise you will get top foreign passport international IB or bilingual schools with an international stream etc and real expat packages which include accommodation, relocation allowance, flights yearly and a good salary usually paid 60% in rmb 40% in USD.

    Agree with your take on the place PB. The masses of people when I first experienced Shanghai was something else. People's Square the metro station like ants from every direction. Overwhelming to be sure. City wise, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Canton would be the only places that pay top money and are actually livable. I can't deal with the pollution or other hassles you get in other places in China, Beijing being one for the pollution alone, and climate also is a factor in choosing a city in China. If I had to do China all over again I'd still go for Shanghai though, great city.

  9. #79
    Thailand Lifer xiao mo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Yakman View Post
    When it comes to places to work

    Thailand: I really enjoyed my 8 years there, and still miss it. School was chilled out but not apathetic and there were plenty of PD opportunities. Kids were well mannered, smart and keen to learn. Admin were easy to work with and would always help out. Still of friendly terms with my old boss, better not to burn bridges, make a friend instead! I lived in laid back semi rural Rangsit, it has changed so much and is not pretty developed.

    Myanmar: I had a love and hate relationship with working and living here. Some of the brightest kids I have ever taught; multi lingual in the truest sense and very little in the way of behavioral issues, I really grew as an educator here. Admin were power mad prats, with more faces than a clock tower. 6 of us moved on, all 6 of us were given poor references- they took leaving incredibly personally and were just cruel and petty in the last month. Admin have a lot of growing up to do- I went through a recruiter, who have a great reference, I feel sorry for the direct hires. I'd go back to Myanmar, just a different school. Housing was gross, but better than how 90% of the population lives. Nice expat circle, but very heavy drinking, which gets old after the first month for me.

    Mongolia: Not SE Asia but....
    It is an easy place to live, you can get anything you want and healthcare is free and pretty decent. Harsh winters, bland food and pollution are some big negatives for some. As for student behavior, it's the worst I have seen in 11 years of teaching. A co-worker was spat on and others have been scratched, pushed,kicked etc. A friend got a student from my school who actually threw a punch at her. Pretty shocking tbh
    Good learning curves for you, always strive for a balance, I do anyway, the $$$, the climate, the environment, the people, the deal, the daily grind, the general ease of getting things and getting things done are all factors to consider. You see many people stuck in places because the money is good but they are simply miserable and hate the place.

    As you get older things that piss you off in a place become amplified and health has to be a top priority. HK gets pollution but nowhere near what you described or PB's Beijing experience. Emphysema express places are not for me. I have fond memories ( not) of peeps throwing all their lunch rubbish off the Great Wall, when a few laowais commented the reply was 'It gives someone a job'. Admittedly years ago and China is a fast changing monster.

  10. #80
    ^^ Good post, Hugh! Best of luck in Mongolia. The place sounds pretty harsh. I see they are hiring in Mongolia a lot. I hope you can keep warm. I heard it is brutal in the winter.

    Quote Originally Posted by xiao mo View Post
    With China, which is a snakepit in terms of schools/employment you really need to do your homework.

    If you have all the bells and whistles quals and experience wise you will get top foreign passport international IB or bilingual schools with an international stream etc and real expat packages which include accommodation, relocation allowance, flights yearly and a good salary usually paid 60% in rmb 40% in USD.

    Agree with your take on the place PB. The masses of people when I first experienced Shanghai was something else. People's Square the metro station like ants from every direction. Overwhelming to be sure. City wise, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Canton would be the only places that pay top money and are actually livable. I can't deal with the pollution or other hassles you get in other places in China, Beijing being one for the pollution alone, and climate also is a factor in choosing a city in China. If I had to do China all over again I'd still go for Shanghai though, great city.
    Yeah, I was in an IB and a good school in Beijing, but the pollution got to me after three years, sadly. I don't know if you lived in Shanghai for any length of time to experience the winters? The houses are not insulated, nor do they come with double glazed windows. It is very cold and damp in the winter. I never made it to Shenzhen, but heard good things.

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