Figure out the best place to stay on Khao San Road in Bangkok and where to escape when you've had enough of the mayhem. From Singapore Slings to the changes in Bejing after the 2008 Olympics, gab about it all here.

Asia Recommendations and Raves

Court

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  • Added on: May 10th, 2005
This is a new thread full of Asia information. It is to be used for Asia-specific tips, advice and recommendations ONLY. As a content-rich thread, we do not want any back-and-forth or questions. Please direct all questions via Private Messages (Click on "Go" in the left hand corner, select "My Space" and then "Private Messages") to the poster. You can also issue a PM by clicking on the poster's name and selecting "Private Message". Any post that does not contribute relevant information will be deleted. Examples include: responses to previous posts in the thread and questions. The information can be on any city, region or country in Asia. Enjoy!
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Girl Travels World

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  • Added on: May 11th, 2005
Japan:

~Yokoso! Do yourself a favor in this very non-English speaking country and learn some basic Japanese.

~Buy the Japan Rail Pass and you must do so before you leave your own country...you have to have 'temporary visitor' status on your passport to use it. So, you cannot be a resident or citizen of Japan. Buy the Ordinary pass; don't spend the extra yen for the Green pass. You can use all JR subways and express Shinkansen trains (Hikari & Kodama with the exception of the Nozomi). Choose the Hikari over the Kodama whenever possible because the Kodama stops at nearly every local station and adds time onto your ride. Activate the Rail Pass when you get to NRT because the train ride into Tokyo on the Narita Express (an hour long) is included and will save you $30USD right off the bat. Save the Railway Timetable that they give you at the airport! It's in English and is infinitely valuable.

~The cheapest hostel/guesthouse at 2000 yen (about $20USD)/night is currently the Khaosan. They have two locations...one in Asakusa, for which they advertise and one in Ueno, which they do not use unless they overbook the one in Asakusa. If you can, go to the one in Ueno because if you're using the Rail Pass you don't have to pay the extra yen required if you stay further out in Asakusa; and it's generally a better value.

~Or if you prefer a Japanese style inn...Ryokan

~Have an adequate amount of yen on you since credit cards are not widely utilized. Exchange as much as you can at the airport because the ATMs can be a challenge.

~Shop at the 100 Yen store (dollar store) for whatever you can to offset the higher costs of Japan.

~Get your maps at the visitor's center in the airport.

~Imperial Palace

~Mt. Fuji

~Hiroshima

~Shibuya: crazier than any intersection in NYC.

~Harajuku: Japan's most flamboyant area.

~Tsukiji Fish Market

~Sumo (seasonal)

~Temples

~General Information

~Have fun and don't get run over by the millions of bicycles!

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  • Added on: May 11th, 2005
Hong Kong:

~The Hong Kong Airport is on Lantau Island. If you plan to use public transportation from the airport and during the course of your stay, then you should invest in the Octopus card.

~The MTR train runs through HK including the airport (Airport Express).

~On Hong Kong Island, visit Victoria Peak via the peak tram or you can walk up or down, but it's a peak...so the walk is strenuous for some.

~The ever-present antique green trams run up and down HK island. The cost is $2HKD (a little more than a US quarter), exact change only. Go to the top of the double decker for the best views.

~The Hong Kong Zoo is free and worth is as is the Hong Kong Park and Kowloon Park

~Go to Repulse Bay if you want a taste of the beach on HK Island.

~Further south on HK Island is Stanley and it's markets.

~To cross from Hong Kong Island over to Kowloon, use the ultra cheap ($1.70HKD)Star Ferry

~Ladies' Market, Goldfish Market in Kowloon.

~Mai Po Wetlands...you have to call 2 weeks in advance for a reservation.

~Lamma Island

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  • Added on: May 11th, 2005
Macau:

~A short and inexpensive high speed ferry ride from Hong Kong on the TurboJet

~Get away from the casinos and take a ride on the local bus

~City Guide

coderot

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  • Added on: May 26th, 2005
KUALA LUMPUR ++ MALAYSIA

It will never compare to Bangkok or Hong Kong for sheer in-your-face exoticism, but Kuala Lumpur (KL) is cool in its own kind of way. The capital of Malaysia, KL creates the impression of being a more down-to-earth, poorer version of its rich southern neighbor, Singapore. As in Singapore, you can see remnants of a British Empire colonial administration. Just like Singapore, the place is a mixture of Chinese, Indian and Malay inhabitants. But unlike Singapore, Islam is the dominant religon here, and even the skyscrapers in the city center have been designed to remind the observer of mosques and other Islamic patterns and motifs. It works well, this fusion of old Islam and modern capitalism, with tattered remnants of British colonialsm thrown in at the base. But I have to honest, the biggest drawcard for me in KL is the cuisine, which is both worldclass and cheap. Indian food is my pet interest at the moment, and on this count, KL boasts a wide range of Indian cafes and restaurants serving incredible (and incredibly cheap food.) I can never eat enough fish head curry or chicken tandoori washed down with a mango milk shake!
Go to Kuala Lumpur, it is not as dull as some people make out. The two best attractions in town are the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park and the Tamil Hindu Batu Caves. The first place I went to (and enjoyed.) The second place I didn't make it to, to my eternal regret.

jphayden

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  • Added on: May 27th, 2005
Central Asia

A little more off the beaten path, but so much to offer. I've spent two years in Kazakhstan and haven't seen a fraction of what's out there. Here are my favorite spots in and around Almaty (the old capital of KZ):

Charyn Canyon
Ili River
Chimbulak Resort
Big Almaty Lake

If you love the outdoors, you'll love Central Asia. Hike the Pamirs, the Tien Shan, paraglide, raft, climb.

For history buffs, hit the Silk Road cities of Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva in Uzbekistan. Here's an article I wrote for GoNomad on traveling to Bukhara if anyone is looking for some good details.

Would be happy to talk to anyone interested in this part of the world. When I first moved here I knew so little about Central Asian history and culture and I've truly fallen in love with it.
Jess
www.jesshayden.com

TedKarma

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  • Added on: June 3rd, 2005
.B]Koh Phuket, Thailand[/B]

Phuket is my home - and I think it is a lovely lovely place. If you visit Phuket, it is important to get away from the tourist trap of Patong to find the true beauty of the region. There are many more lovely beaches you can check out at Best Beaches, many fine restaurants you can learn about at My Favorite Restaurants. Rent a bike and check out The Best Island Drives for back country beauty that even the local expats don't know about.

If you'd like to stay on Phuket a while, check out Teaching English on Phuket

I hope you love it as much as I do!
Learn about Teaching English Abroad. Check out TEFL Newbie

gdimension

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  • Added on: August 17th, 2005
Jeju Loveland!

I have been in Korea, living on Jeju Island (off of the southern coast), since '98. If your travels take you to South Korea, I highly suggest our fair island.

For this post specifically, I would like to introduce you to a "park" called Jeju Loveland. Besides being a great laugh, this place is interesting in that it seems to go against social mores in this rather conservative country. I went there recently with my wife, and this is what I found...

You buy your ticket, walk through the gate, and are immediately assaulted by every possible representation of the human genitalia and fornication...all in giant (and I mean "colossal"!) size. All this while strolling through manicured grounds accompanied by comforting (arousing?) music pumped through the outdoor sound system.

Fun for the whole family! (And yes, there were a few families there, along with every other age group, including the elderly. Needless to say, everyone had a smile on their face.).

(There are a few pictures of Loveland here, and many others of Jeju here.)

If you come to Korea, Jeju is a great place to check out. And, if you come to Jeju, don't miss Loveland. It's good for a laugh.

bvell

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  • Added on: September 9th, 2005
Highlight of SE Asia:

- Southern Thai beaches
- Angkor Wat
- Myanmar
- Remote villages in Northern Laos

Email me for more specifics on any of the above

Bear

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  • Added on: September 11th, 2005
Northern Pakistan! Absolutly beautıful, not at all what most people thınk of Pakıstan. Safe and(very)cheap too!
These blogs really tie the room together...
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/bear/
http://bearfalugo.blogspot.com/

Court

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  • Added on: October 7th, 2005
From a writer, Martin Williams:

Don't be fooled by the relentless promotions of shopping and dining; Hong Kong is a many-splendoured place - with much to offer beyond the city. You can explore hiking trails through great scenery, find waterfalls, old s China villages, temples, sub-tropical forests, rugged headlands and islets...

Over 40 percent of the land area is designated as country park. There are
resurgent sub-tropical forests - recognised as an important bird area -
as well as wetlands with globally rare birds, pink dolphins, more coral
species than the Caribbean.

Useful info, I hope, on just published, free map, Hong Kong's Great Outdoors (ask at Hong Kong Tourism Board outlets).( I'm biased, as did much of writing and photography for this)
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crazyal

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  • Added on: November 4th, 2005
PATTAYA THAILAND

If you are all grown up now and just want to lay back and take it easy for a while - PATTAYA, Thailand is the place to go.

In Pattaya you will find some of the cheapest hotels in Thailand, some of the cheapest restaurants, and inexpensive transportation.

Hotels with A/C, TV, HW, private toilet/bath, and individual security boxes in the 300 to 600 baht range ($7.50 to $12 U.S.) Fan rooms available at cheaper rates.

Restaurants are cheap, ABF for 40 baht, all you can eat breakfast buffets 70 baht to 95 baht, offering Asian, European, American foods, including coffee, tea, juice, pastry and breads, and more. All you can eat for around $2.25 U.S. what a deal! Of course most of the fast food franchises you see back home are in Pattaya, family friendly McDonalds, Burger Kings, Dairy Queens, KFC's, and lots of restaurants selling back home favorites.

Lots of open air vendors selling local Thai crafts and souvenirs, open air markets at Naklua and Soi Buakhaw. If you want something more modern there are several big modern malls available, Royal Garden Mall and Big "C" malls are top notch.

If you like walking or hiking for exercise Pattaya is good for that. If you get tired or want to head back home just hail a passing Baht Taxi, hop on and only pay 10 baht for the ride (25 cents.)

Entertainment comes in all varieties, if you like bar hopping, Pattaya is the place to go. If you want to avoid the bar scene - you can do that too! Travel agencies have lots of toursavailable or offer special attractions at reasonable costs. Decent movie theaters showing current new releases for only 80 baht!

One of the best things about Pattaya is that it only costs 110 baht on an AirCon bus for the ride from Bangkok. If you don't like Pattaya or you have to get back to Bangkok quickly - just hop on the bus and head out for new places. Give Pattaya a second look!
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Travel the world now before you get too old to do it!

Riley Lewis

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  • Added on: November 7th, 2005
I think Cambodia was one of the best places in Asia I went to. Phnom Penh is an intense, yet amazing city. Be sure to visit S21 and the killing fields (If you go to the killing fields, take a motor bike, as tuc tucs are dodgy on the roads! You are airbourne for most of the trip). Of course, Siem riep is a must, and while there you have to see Ankor wat. If you are in Siem Riep, stay at "Popular Hotel". The staff are brilliant, and it's in an ok location.

You don't have to buy a three day ticket to Ankor wat if you are short on time/money. I recommend going the first day at around 4:30 to buy the ticket for the following day. Then, they will let you in for free for the rest of the evening; use this time to go and see the Ankor Wat temple (the main one) at sunset. Then, arrive early and spend the entire day at various temples. It's amazing...like nothing you have ever seen. If you have a good tuc tuc driver, it's even better, as they know exactly where to go, and they can sometimes tell you a bit about the history. If you have an extra $20; hire a guide for the day. will make the day more interseting - be sure they speak English though.

I think the best thing about Cambodia was the people. They are the kindest people I have met, and unlike a lot of people in South East Asia, they aren't out to get your money. Try your best to talk to people, and you will see what I mean. The street children are brilliant also. Don't buy things from them (break the cycle) but use the opportunity to talk to them. Great kids.

I will be going back to Cambodia again for more volunteer work. I'm addicted.

GCStanat

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  • Added on: November 23rd, 2005
Recently passed through Asia as part of our RTW trip. Hopefully some of these links can help pondering travelers decide where they'd most like to go:

vietnam entries
hanoi low down (summary, tips, etc.)
ho chi minh low down (summary, tips, etc.)

cambodia entries
cambodia low down (summary, tips, etc.)

bangkok entries
bangkok low down (summary, tips, etc.)

taiwan entries
taiwan low down (summary, tips, etc.)

japan entries
japan low down (summary, tips, etc.)

hong kong low down (summary, tips, etc.)

There are also links to galleries for all of the above, or you can go here:
galleries

Hope this helps!

Grace
------
our RTW travel site: www.thirteenmonths.com

So Dangerous Dave

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  • Added on: January 4th, 2006
Definitely Angkor!

Cambodia can be tough to travel through but the temples are more than worth it.

I've got some pics on my blog at:

http://www.dangerousdavestravelblog.blogspot.com

DD


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