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Thread: Where's the most exotic place you've visited and would you go back?

  1. #51
    Thailand is the most exotic place I used to see... But I can't say I liked it a lot. Don't get me wrong, it was interesting but I think I'm just not a fan of exotic vacations. And it's very hard to stay in such a climate for europeans, not talking about mosquitoes which are real beasts there. The point is that I'll never spend my vacation in Asia again. I felt much better in Prague or Rome, for example.

  2. #52
    Yeah, I'd imagine Thailand is quite an...."adjustment". I really want to go there. Seems one of the more "safer" places to go in Asia while still keeping an "exotic" vibe about it. Hope to go next year if I can.

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by 3RDegree_Robert View Post
    Yeah, I'd imagine Thailand is quite an...."adjustment". I really want to go there. Seems one of the more "safer" places to go in Asia while still keeping an "exotic" vibe about it. Hope to go next year if I can.
    Virtually all of East Asia is extremely safe, in the standard sense of the word - except possibly for traffic accidents in SE Asia. While in one sense East Asia can jar you out of a cultural comfort zone (a very good thing in my view) there is a widespread and immediate recognition of the foreigner-as-visitor/guest that mitigates the initial shock or otherworldliness. As you suggest, Thailand may serve as gentler gateway, but from remote Indonesian islands to Japanese mountain villages, everyone knows that you are an outsider and adapts accordingly. Somehow, it’s all very reassuring.

    Having lived and traveled in the region for 30 years, Canada can seem exotic to me now, and places like Texas and the American Deep South are almost impossibly ‘other’. Quebec actually frightens me.

  4. #54
    Teddy - agreed. I've only been to one Asian country (China) but found the people there warm and welcoming to a guy who was taller and fatter than pretty much all of them, and didn't speak their language worth a darn. (A few phrases were useful, most important of which was "yao dian" [if I'm recalling correctly after 5 years] for "drugstore".) Some of them teased me a bit about my girth (the word "Buddha" came out now and then), but I simply smiled and said, "wo hen hao," I am large, and got friendly laughs.
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  5. #55
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Not particularly attracted by tropical SE Asia (but I could be invited to Kuala Lumpur one of these years), but I've had many friends going there the "trekker" way... taking local busses & train and shopping on local markets for food.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3RDegree_Robert View Post
    Yeah, I'd imagine Thailand is quite an...."adjustment". I really want to go there. Seems one of the more "safer" places to go in Asia while still keeping an "exotic" vibe about it. Hope to go next year if I can.
    I don't view most SE Asia countries as "unsafe" for western tourists, but I'd avoid the hills of Laos, Northern Thailand (close to Burma/Myanmar) and some of these barely-developed island like Borneo (divided in three countries, including the newly near fundamentalists Brunei) or Papua (divided into two countries)... in other words, in relatively isolated area.
    In more populated areas, my guess where you'd have to be the most careful would be in parts of Indonesia (not just the independence rebels, but there are Islamist strongholds there), Burma and behave like the perfect model tourist in Singapore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy Vengeance View Post
    Virtually all of East Asia is extremely safe, in the standard sense of the word - except possibly for traffic accidents in SE Asia. While in one sense East Asia can jar you out of a cultural comfort zone (a very good thing in my view) there is a widespread and immediate recognition of the foreigner-as-visitor/guest that mitigates the initial shock or otherworldliness. As you suggest, Thailand may serve as gentler gateway, but from remote Indonesian islands to Japanese mountain villages, everyone knows that you are an outsider and adapts accordingly. Somehow, it’s all very reassuring.

    Having lived and traveled in the region for 30 years, Canada can seem exotic to me now, and places like Texas and the American Deep South are almost impossibly ‘other’. Quebec actually frightens me.
    I wouldn't say "extremely" about most places (Japan, Korea & Taiwan would be the safest, but I don't consider that "tropical" SE Asia) and unless waving a US flag in para-military dressing in Hanoi, you won't encounter a problem, if respecting the laws and the locals.
    Thailand was the most tolerant in terms of debauchery (sex & drugs) for decades, but in the last decade's political unrest, today I'd not name it ahead of places like Malaysia or even Cambodia.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  6. #56
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    In Japan, they see us here in the US as dangerous. Not just crime wise, but the safety, or lack thereof, of our tap water.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  7. #57
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    Spent 15 months living in Australia about 2 decades ago. Highly recommended and hope to get back there someday. I've visited New Zealand which was beautiful and also would want to see more of it. Ireland was on my bucket list until a couple of years ago and I would happily go back. As time goes by though I realize that I want to do more of the US. I've never been out west except to land and takeoff from the airports

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    I wouldn't say "extremely" about most places (Japan, Korea & Taiwan would be the safest, but I don't consider that "tropical" SE Asia) and unless waving a US flag in para-military dressing in Hanoi, you won't encounter a problem, if respecting the laws and the locals.
    Thailand was the most tolerant in terms of debauchery (sex & drugs) for decades, but in the last decade's political unrest, today I'd not name it ahead of places like Malaysia or even Cambodia.
    A guy I work with just came back from two weeks spent mostly in Vietnam. I asked him about how Americans were perceived there, and he said he had nothing but warm friendly experiences. He treked around quite a bit of the country as well as the cities.

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    I don't view most SE Asia countries as "unsafe" for western tourists, but I'd avoid the hills of Laos, Northern Thailand (close to Burma/Myanmar) and some of these barely-developed island like Borneo (divided in three countries, including the newly near fundamentalists Brunei) or Papua (divided into two countries)... in other words, in relatively isolated area.
    In more populated areas, my guess where you'd have to be the most careful would be in parts of Indonesia (not just the independence rebels, but there are Islamist strongholds there), Burma and behave like the perfect model tourist in Singapore.

    I wouldn't say "extremely" about most places (Japan, Korea & Taiwan would be the safest, but I don't consider that "tropical" SE Asia) and unless waving a US flag in para-military dressing in Hanoi, you won't encounter a problem, if respecting the laws and the locals. Thailand was the most tolerant in terms of debauchery (sex & drugs) for decades, but in the last decade's political unrest, today I'd not name it ahead of places like Malaysia or even Cambodia.
    As a frequent visitor to almost all of these countries, I can reassure you that you'd be in virtually no danger in the hills of Laos, N. Thailand (why?), anywhere except Rakhin state in Myanmar, or Indonesia. Unless you did something really stupid, the chances of being targeted for crime or terrorism, or getting caught up in political violence, are so minimal as to be not worth considering. It would be the equivalent of me avoiding Belgium because of recent events there. I'd go so far as to say that Myanmar may be the least likely of any country in South Asia in which Western tourists would be in danger.

    The chances of an Islamist in Malaysia/Indonesia seeing you as an inviting target are virtually zero (Mindanao in the Southern Philippines could have such issues though, and the very far south of Thailand is dubious). As for being pro-American in Hanoi, not at all. There seem to be no grudges in Vietnam and they actually expect foreigners to root for their own countries. China is seen as the biggest threat there.

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Thailand was the most tolerant in terms of debauchery (sex & drugs) for decades, but in the last decade's political unrest, today I'd not name it ahead of places like Malaysia or even Cambodia.
    Do not mess with drugs in any Asian country (double exclamation mark). Thailand has never been liberal on this point. In Cambodia, however, marijuana-laden dishes are pretty easy to find and more-or-less accepted/allowed. Tuk-tuk drivers will ask you if you want the harder stuff but you are absolutely playing with fire if you do. The sex scene in Thailand is limited to a few places (Pattaya, Lower Sukhumvit, Patong in Phuket). If you behave like a sex tourist outside of these zones there could be a backlash - certainly 99% of Thai ladies want nothing to do with such characters. Most countries in East Asia have a visible P4P scene but the extension of this to the belief that local women are fair game for Western men to drop their inhibitions towards will lead to resentment. Seeing unscrupulous Westerners aggressively hitting upon local ladies as if its their birthright is a recipe for a smackdown.
    Last edited by Teddy Vengeance; 04-10-2019 at 03:57 AM.

  11. #61
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    A guy I work with just came back from two weeks spent mostly in Vietnam. I asked him about how Americans were perceived there, and he said he had nothing but warm friendly experiences. He treked around quite a bit of the country as well as the cities.
    as I said...

    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    and unless waving a US flag in para-military dressing in Hanoi, you won't encounter a problem, if respecting the laws and the locals.
    ... stupid provocation could be offensive

    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy Vengeance View Post
    As a frequent visitor to almost all of these countries, I can reassure you that you'd be in virtually no danger in the hills of Laos, N. Thailand (why?), anywhere except Rakhin state in Myanmar, or Indonesia. Unless you did something really stupid, the chances of being targeted for crime or terrorism, or getting caught up in political violence, are so minimal as to be not worth considering. It would be the equivalent of me avoiding Belgium because of recent events there. I'd go so far as to say that Myanmar may be the least likely of any country in South Asia in which Western tourists would be in danger.
    OK, I think I might not have been clear enough in my scribblings, but I did speak of isolated areas, not just of the possible independence rebels, but isolated mountainous areas have always traditionally belligerent locals, sometimes prone to looting & pillaging for centuries (but I don't think this a likely threat either), but my main point was sanitary (and re-reading my post, I realize I made no mention of that)... Of course, the actual terrorists threat is no greater in Jakarta than it is Makassar, Manilla, New York, Brussels or Rio de Janeiro, but again, it's not what I meant: I was more thinking of rapture and demand for ransom... or simply being robbed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy Vengeance View Post
    Do not mess with drugs in any Asian country (double exclamation mark). Thailand has never been liberal on this point. In Cambodia, however, marijuana-laden dishes are pretty easy to find and more-or-less accepted/allowed. Tuk-tuk drivers will ask you if you want the harder stuff but you are absolutely playing with fire if you do. The sex scene in Thailand is limited to a few places (Pattaya, Lower Sukhumvit, Patong in Phuket). If you behave like a sex tourist outside of these zones there could be a backlash - certainly 99% of Thai ladies want nothing to do with such characters. Most countries in East Asia have a visible P4P scene but the extension of this to the belief that local women are fair game for Western men to drop their inhibitions towards will lead to resentment. Seeing unscrupulous Westerners aggressively hitting upon local ladies as if its their birthright is a recipe for a smackdown.
    Well opium-smoking-dens still exist in some of these countries, but indeed, foreigners better not being caught in them.

    Mmmhhh!!!... I would say that most of these countries regards the Arabs as the worst sex abusers/offenders nowadays... Not only do they think they're entitled to it by spreading the dough, but they're also very brutal if not violent. It's a behaviour that's not limited to Far-East-Asia, but also within the muslim world as well, but also in Europe (there have been many rapes inside Hiltons and other hotel chains). Ask Moroccans how they feel about Saudis.
    While there could be a slight touch of white male superiority complex in the sex-tourists of Thailand, it's more to do with the power of money and the relatively assurance to get away with it (which is less & less the case with time, especially for paedophiles)... IMHO, of course.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

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