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Travel to Southeast Asia : Places to Visit
Places in Southeast Asia are Accessible
Places in Southeast Asia (SEA) are very accessible from Manila where I used to hail. Hong Kong is just two hours away, Singapore is three hours, same almost as Bangkok. Indonesia and Malaysia and Vietnam are very near to Manila too.
Some places in SEA are very developed and rich like Singapore and Hong Kong, while at the other end of the ropes are Philippines, Indonesia, Laos and Vietnam which are continuously modernizing. The place is developing at a very fast pace and one of the many challenges it faced is the preservation of its old ways and customs while modernizing. It is really a region where the Western modern type of development meets the eastern ways of life and custom.
Where is SEA?
According to wikipedia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India and north of australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic and volcanic activity.
Well about food, who wouldn’t want noodles soup, hot and spicy to perk you up. Lots of different rice too. Hong Kong is a good place for Asian food, they are relatively more expensive than the rest of Asian countries, but they offer a good one for people who are not use to chili for example. Chinese foods are yummy. I like also tom yum kung soup (Thai soup), and Vietnamese pho beef noodles are the best. Tom Yum Kung is a classic spicy Thai soup that can be eaten as a complete meal, or as an appetizer. It is my favorite soup, good for colds and immune system. Can there be any better than noodles soup. I just love noodles (see my articles about best noodles. (http://hubpages.com/hub/The-best-noodles-soups-in-the-world). They definitely love noodles specially in SEA.
Asia is flooded with all things Made in China like the rest of the world. Their products are everywhere. Asia is also a place where you can buy all electronic gadgets at cheapest prices. Sometimes they are just out in the market and you can buy them anywhere in Asia already. You name it, cell phones, cars, laptops, computers, video games etc..
Aside from the food of course, Hong Kong is a haven place for shoppers. The malls are big, wide and lots of sale everywhere at Nathan Road, where you shop till you are tired and have some money of course. I also ride the ferry where you cross between Hong Kong and Kowloon. At first I said to myself I cant possibly appreciate Hong Kong because of its high rise building. I am claustrophobic. But I manage to climb International finance Center (the tallest building in HK), and the Victoria Towers (wow, I finally did it). The thing in Hong Kong is that the price of real estate is skyrocketing, they are growing vertically, and no more space horizontally. It is just a place where the buildings are tall and very closely built. It is little bit expensive in that place, people also usually stay or reside in high residential places. The place is highly accessible by trains. Car parking prices are very high.
Bangkok, Thailand is a tourist destination. You can see lots of temples, as many as 400 of them and the Grand palace is a must to see. The temples have nice architecture. If you want to see their museum you can also visit The National Museum, Jim Thompson's House, Vimanmek Mansion and Suan Pakkad Palace. Like Hong Kong, Bangkok is a haven for shoppers. Shop till you drop in many shopping places like department stores local markets and back streets where you can buy at very low prices. Stuff such as silk, handicrafts, clothes, souvenirs and lots of stuff are a reflections of the kind of life of the people here.
I was not shocked anymore to see red light district there, (unlike when I went to Amsterdam red light district). Women dancing in the stage with their different skills, amazing how they do things. Nightlife in Bangkok is also very lively and nice. The place is very lively and have lots of bars, restaurants to go to. The foods are awesome, with curries and seafoods plus spicy noodles. They also have floating boats market and crocodile shows everywhere. I saw also elephants walking down the streets. Manila and Bangkok has similarities. You can go to Pattaya (100 kms away from Bangkok), and enjoy the Pattaya elephant village tour and beaches too. Night life is abound also in south Pattaya, many bars, go-go bars, discoes and the famous strip known as Walking strip. Well not everybody would like to go to red light district but out of curiosity I went there.
In Singapore (there is no capital of Singapore). Shenton way is the financial district and Orchard area is the shopping paradise. The structural architecture and buildings are awesome, it is characterized by modern architecture and large and tall buildings everywhere. It is a financial and investment capital of Asia like Hong Kong. They have also stricter laws to maintain orderliness and cleanliness. I got a taste of McDonalds which is different from what I am familiar with in Manila. (Of course food chain like Mc Donalds have to some extent adapt their recipes with the local taste). I stayed at the National University of Singapore and I was awed at the academic offerings and settings there. The government is really putting a lot of investments in education there. Each room in the dormitories where people stay has a computer and it is connected to the net. Singapore like Bangkok , Hong Kong and Manila are shopping paradise. Singapore is a place where you can see that western development style of living is the mode while trying to preserve the old customs and ways. Singapore and Hong Kong are a place which is very expensive for households and families too.
Oh well, these are some of my experiences and the places I have traveled in Southeast Asia. There is no other way to learn other culture and way of life than to visit a place. You understand what they have come to be as a nation through what they are now and struggles. You come to appreciate and respect other peoples culture.