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Singapore, Taiwan, or Hong Kong - Which should I visit, and why?


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#1 of 5 OFFLINE   Kevin Alexander

Kevin Alexander

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Posted February 07 2012 - 02:21 PM

Greetings fellow HTF'ers. It's been a long time. I still lurk, but don't post as much. Anyway, I will be in the Philippines next month and have an opportunity for a mini excursion to either Singapore, Taiwan, or Hong Kong. Has any of the members here been to any of these places? I'd appreciate some pros and cons on price of food, lodging, entertainment, attractions, and just overall fun. This will be my second time in the Philippines, and it is a gem of a place to visit. The people are some of the nicest in the world, but I'd like to visit one of the other places since I'm so close. Anyway, any help/tips/helpful opinions will be appreciated. Thanks.
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#2 of 5 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted February 07 2012 - 04:57 PM

I've been to Hong Kong, granted it was 20 years ago, but was not impressed. The beautiful five star hotels were great, but once you're out playing tourist, it's like being on another planet. There was incredible poverty outside the main business district and it wasn't pleasant. I'm just an average sized white guy, but I felt a great deal of discrimination. Also watch out for deals in counterfeit merchandise, it was everywhere at the time. Not sure where you're returning to, but you bring back the wrong things and customs can be a bitch. Maybe things have changed since China took over and my experience was a while ago. Maybe others will chime in with their experience. Had a friend spend a week or so in Taiwan about six years ago and he loved it. Took lots of pictures and described some wonderful experiences. He was there on business so was probably shown the best of Taiwan, so missed out on the real culture and sights a tourist might see. Singapore I truly have no opinion, other than what they present to the world. Clean, polite, litter free, but also very, very expensive from what I've read. I think all three areas are in credibly humid, so be prepped for the climate. Wherever you go, this is a good start. Get as much info as possible and enjoy.
Stan

#3 of 5 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming

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Posted February 08 2012 - 03:44 AM

As my 'location' says, I'm from Singapore.

Not as expensive as you might think, but yes not cheap either -- any thoughts of a bargain Asian holiday are quite misplaced.  I suppose another way of looking at it is, with the strong Singapore Dollar right now, I didn't find Manhattan inordinately expensive when on holiday last year (although it certainly wasn't cheap either).


Language-wise Singapore will probably be the easiest to navigate, with the average standard of English far better than that in either Hong Kong or Taiwan.  Singapore is also quite the mish-mash, a multi-cultural place, which might make a visit more interesting, whereas Hong Kong and Taiwan are most definitely "Chinese" culturally -- Singapore is majority-Chinese, but the Malay and Indian communities are quite large, and as such for instance local food has a distinct South-East Asian flavour to it that those from China would find alien (there was a recent spat about immigrants from China complaining about their neighbours cooking curry, but let's not go there...)


If you have specific questions, feel free to PM me and ask.



#4 of 5 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted February 08 2012 - 06:28 AM

out of those choices, I've only been to Hong Kong where I found it like a major city with lots of traffic, some very very rich (and I'm sure some very very poor). Clean, good public transportation, and some variety with Hong Kong island and then the places along the mainland. It was definitely very very humid when I was there which was in the March timeframe. Food didn't last long, the air was misty in the morning all the time. I stayed in Kowloon but made forays into a lot of the different areas. And eventually, after one of my cousins got married, my family took off to go visit China and points inland... Jay
You are the crispy noodle in the vegetarian salad of life

#5 of 5 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted February 08 2012 - 06:50 AM

Definitely must second Jay's comment about Hong Kong being humid. Wow what a shock when you step out of the airport. Be sure to wear very loose, comfortable clothing. If you show up in a business suit, you will be roasting. I remember playing tourist for a while and thought it would be fun to ride the Hong Kong funicular, basically a short but extremely steep train ride, 48 degree angle if I'm correct. Lots of fun going up, but about halfway up it became so humid, we were literally in the clouds, absolutely no view of the city, the bay or surroundings. If you do have a chance to ride it, be sure it is a very sunny day.
Stan