Hey, Basically i am travelling for the first time for a once in a life time oportunity. I want to see different cultures, taste different foods, see nature, relax on beaches and also see some amazing scenary!
I plan on heading through Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, starting somewhere between July and september and i am after some advice on the best cities/towns to visit and stay i have done some research already and plan on going to Pengang, Langkawi, Kuala Lumpur, Melaka then though to Singapore.
I would appreciate some feedback on what you think, should i be going somewhere different? am i visiting the wrong places for the experiences i want?
In Malaysia I stayed in Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur, in a place called Grocer's Inn. I loved it! There was so much going on... massive markets, street vendors selling delicious and cheap food (or smelly durian fruit!) and at night you could watch all the hustle and bustle from the balcony of the hostel! Absolutely loved it! Also loved the Malaysian zoo which isn't exactly fitting with the experiences you've listed but still a really brilliant place to visit if you want a break from the city!
If you want to see some nature and do some decent trekking, Cameron Highlands in Malaysia was a great place to taste teas, visit plantations and do some good day hikes. Beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and tea plantations plus a cooler temperature than the rest of Malaysia experiences.
Dont miss out Borneo especially Mulu Caves and Mt Kinabalu which ardm the only two world heritages in Borneo
#4 childly1979 has been a member since 27/10/2010. Posts: 24
MM - are you the single one-man-band tourist recruitment agency for Pattaya?! I suspect you are pushing a barrow up hill on this one. I can't imagine Pattaya rates too high for many of the people that visit this forum.
Caveat: I haven't been there, but from what I've heard, there probably isn't much to draw me there when given so many other choices in SEA. The same applies to other areas of Thailand (Phuket, the busy areas of Koh Samui, KSR, etc)
Well Liz, you could go to Boys town and get a threesome. Or if you are Lesbian you could get two girls... Pattaya has endless options!
I'm not pushing Pattaya, just being a little contrarian. The level of political correctness ruling the mind sets here is just a touch comical because it contrasts so starkly with the Thailand I live in. I actually don't like Pattaya - it's like Patpong on steroids. But you and I know guys aren't coming here for two months on their own and being celibate. But to date I've only seen one guy mention that fact here.
Maybe you're addressing the wrong crowd on that one then. There is a certain mindset of people who like to visit Pattaya, et al - and I doubt that they they are the ones coming to this site looking for 'best places not to miss'!
I think I'll leave Boystown and the threesomes to the sexpats and other junket tourists!
There is, of course, the hard core sex tourist who is not going to visit Travelfish. I got that. But of the men who come to this site who are coming alone to SEA and staying for a protracted period, they are not just coming for "the culture". That just flies in the face of human nature. That's why it's comical. I will concede women are quite different in this respect. None of us fit into neat categories because we are human. So sometimes "Travellers" go to a bar and pick up a girl, sometimes "sex tourists" go to Surin and check out the elephants. The huge aversion to the obvious is just funny from where I sit. It always was.
Actually I find MM's incessant attempts to steer the conversation towards the sex industry quite comical too...never works does it? Can't you see that most people on TF just aren't interested MM? What was it that attracted you to Travelfish in the first place BTW? Just curious because there are other forums which would seem to be far more your cup of tea....worldsexguide.com (travel guide for sex tourists) teakdoor (Thai expat forum) or even TT if you're more interested in wasting time playing contrarian than answering travel queries. If you don't like the questions that get asked then you're probably on the wrong forum.
Seems the poor mongerers you frequent have practically no option but to go to the ugliest most overdeveloped beaches in Thailand. They have to put up with filthy sand and sewage effluent in the water because that's where all the hookers hang out. But you say they don't mind so that's OK....leaves more space on nicer beaches for the majority of tourists.
Personally I much prefer beaches like this
But this kind of beach is difficult to get to, has only basic facilities (no A/C, hot water or wifi etc) and there is no nightlife whatsoever. So it wouldn't suit people like you and your friends MM.
Good...I'll keep my kind of beach then, and you can keep Pattaya, Samui and Patong.
Both happy. :-)
Hey SBE - just for a second there, I thought I recognised that wharf. It looks similar to this one - but then I realised your island has much more vegetation than mine!
"But of the men who come to this site who are coming alone to SEA and staying for a protracted period, they are not just coming for "the culture".
Mac - there is a chance that you might be right in some cases, but I suspect that you have just insulted the majority of males who visit this site and happen to be travelling alone.
Back to you potta_boro - what are the must-see places?
Malaysia - Melaka is good for a few days; personally I wouldn't bother with KL unless you have to pass through it anyhow. I understand the Perhentians are pretty good although I haven't been there. The rest of my knowledge of Malaysia is about 20 years out of date so I'm can't offer to much else.
Thailand - I love the islands, so would recommend the Andaman islands for some quiet time, and Koh Phangan if you want a bigger, busier island. Regardless of whether you are into the Full Moon Parties or not (I'm not) - I think KPN has something for everyone, esp if you travel a bit further north. If you are into big cities, Bangkok rocks. Check out Amphawa for a much more interesting local-style floating market experience. I didn't think much of Chiang Mai (but maybe I was having an 'off' week) but loved it further north around Chiang Dao for a small town, countryside visit.
Indonesia - check out Flores if you want to see somewhere a bit less touristed, but with still enough facilities to make it OK for a hardy newbie traveller. Lembongan is a favourite of mine (just off of Bali) - and I am looking forward to getting back to Penida, again a very untouristed island, but very easy for a newbie). There is Bali of course, which I always have a soft-spot for. Go to Java to check out Mt Bromo and Borobudor template. Or get really adventurous and head to Sulawesi - you could easily just spend a month there alone.
At this point, I'm just rattling off place names that I have enjoyed and that come to mind. You really just need to start reading through the itinerary planners on this site and work out what grabs your interest. Things will soon start falling into place.
"Actually I find MM's incessant attempts to steer the conversation towards the sex industry quite comical too...never works does it?"
Never. Not just the sex industry, but sex, which is such an organic part of this environment.
"Can't you see that most people on TF just aren't interested MM?"
Plenty of men are interested. They just don't want to talk about it because they know it's politically incorrect to do so.
"What was it that attracted you to Travelfish in the first place BTW?"
There's a lot of good info on travelfish. I've also met a lot of cool people here, two of whom have visited me at my home and I had the pleasure of showing around Mukdahan.
"Just curious because there are other forums which would seem to be far more your cup of tea."
Because I visit travelfish does not mean I do not visit other forums.
"Seems the poor mongerers you frequent have practically no option but to go to the ugliest most overdeveloped beaches in Thailand. They have to put up with filthy sand and sewage effluent in the water because that's where all the hookers hang out. But you say they don't mind so that's OK"
There is no ampur in Thailand where if you are looking for company for the evening you can't find it. Some places are more full on (Pattaya, Nana, etc.) and some cater more to the tourist market, but it's everywhere. I don't like the ocean much anyway, and I have a wife which means I'm not on the prowl, but I would have to be deaf and blind not to notice it.
"But this kind of beach is difficult to get to, has only basic facilities (no A/C, hot water or wifi etc) and there is no nightlife whatsoever. So it wouldn't suit people like you and your friends MM."
You make it sound like there's something wrong with that. I have lived like an animal for four years in the worst kinds of places, it holds no charm for me. And I am a dancer, so nightlife is important for me. Is that a bad thing? Are those who come to Travelfish only suppose to fit a certain, nature loving, culturally attuned profile?
"Good...I'll keep my kind of beach then, and you can keep Pattaya, Samui and Patong.
Actually I spend almost all of my time in Issan. I go to Bangkok about two to three times a year. I've been to Pattaya twice - both times with my wife. But point taken. I don't have a problem with those who prefer Pattaya. Whatever floats your boat. It's still a free country.
"Mac - there is a chance that you might be right in some cases, but I suspect that you have just insulted the majority of males who visit this site and happen to be travelling alone."
Well we could take a poll. In my view, any man who runs around here alone for a couple of months and remains celibate is suspect. I mean, that's not natural for men. Can't speak for women. But I've talked to a lot of guys of a lot of stripes, and when women are around, they lie their assess off, because they know what women want to hear. But get them alone...
potta_boro said, quote:
I want to see different cultures, taste different foods, see nature, relax on beaches and also see some amazing scenary!
Doesn't sound to me like Pattaya is a particularly helpful suggestion, given his stated wish list MM but I could be wrong because he then goes on to says he wants advice on what the best towns and cities are to see nature, relax on beaches and see amazing scenery.
To me that is a contradiction in terms ....maybe you're right and he was thinking of urban scenery, nature and beaches. I'm not quite sure what he's looking for exactly!
@potta_boro. You say you're planning on going to Indonesia and Thailand but you don't mention a single place you'd like to see in either of those countries, so it's hard to give any advice, especially when there's no indication how long you'll be traveling for.
Thailand is quite manageable as far as transport is concerned because it's mostly mainland with a few easily accessible islands in various stages of development scattered round the edges. Practically all the islands in Thailand have facilities set up for tourists. Which island you choose depends on how much partying/quiet you want, what time of year you're going (different coasts of the peninsula have opposite weather patterns), and what comfort standards you want in your hotel/guest house.
Indonesia on the other hand is huge, vast distances and 17,000 islands (according to TF). The choices range from the tourist mecca of Bali to places where nobody has ever seen a westerner before. The weather patterns are the opposite of most of Thailand ....rains from late November till April in most places.
In Malaysia you get different weather patterns too ...will be dry on the east coast and wet on the west coast of the Malaysian peninsula in July-September. You say you've done research and have chosen a beach destination on the west coast so presumably you already knew that and rain doesn't matter to you. Maybe Langkawi sounds more your kind of place than east coast islands like the Perhentians or Lang Tengah?
Would help if you specified time and budget constraints and were a little more specific about what kind of places you're looking for. Do you want party or quiet? Upmarket accommodation or cheap? Do you want things to be as easy and comfortable as possible and stick to the main tourist highlights or do you fancy getting off the beaten trail a bit?
Your trip will be starting sometime between July and September ....and ending when? You also haven't mentioned what kind of budget you have. With a time frame and some idea of what your budget is it's easier to suggest an itinerary which takes into account weather, costs and logistics etc.
PS. Hi Lizzy, sorry, forgot to answer you! That beach was on one the Togean Islands... the vegetation in the Togeans is a bit lusher than around Flores as you rightly say, but both places are quite scenic.
I didn't go to Kanawa when I was in Labuan Bajo...I stayed about a week on another island near there though, Suraya. It was quite pleasant apart from a psychotic deer that threatened to disembowel you every time you tried to go to the restaurant. (I seem to remember reading somewhere that the murderous deer got deported after it did actually attack a tourist so maybe it wasn't there any more when you visited)
You did both those islands on your last trip I think? Which one did you prefer?
I thought your island might have been in the Togeans. That's on my list for my 2013 trip!
I only went to Kanawa, so I can't really compare with Suraya. There was a deer running around the place but he seemed fairly placid. Either it was a distant relative of the Suraya deer, or he finally had his spirit broken. We went to Kanawa because we couldn't get a flight out for 3-4 days, so we figured it was a better place to kill the time than LBJ. Only problem was we didn't have enough books, etc to help fill in the time. The snorkelling was pretty good however, and we had the entire island to ourselves aside from the 3-4 hotel staff. The food sucked though - mainly because they didn't have anything to offer aside from nasi goreng (3 x day!)
Catch a flight from KL to Kota Kinabalu, take a bus from KK to the Kinibatangan River basin. There you will find nature! Day and night jungle trekking, crocs, rare birds, cats, probiscus monkeys and orangutans. The place is amazing and relatively easy to get to. I tried a home stay there (actually 5 different ones for a total of about 7 weeks) and loved it. Live with a family for a while and you'll get a taste of life! Check out www.sabahtourism.org for home stay info in borneo or just get to a village (ie Kundasang - for Mt.Kinabalu treks and views) and walk around - you'll find plenty!
Thanks for all the great reading people, i love a good debate! Just to clear things up when i posted this thread, nothing was set in stone, whereas now ive booked my flights and arrive in bangkok on the 11th August, and will be staying til roughly the 25th November (My brothers girlfriend is pregnant and due the 29th other wise it would be longer) Also the dreaded budget, I'm thinking of having about £4000 between us, tight i know! But i dont mind eating street food and local food, thats what its all about! I also dont mind staying in average Hostels with fan rooms(not too shabby)
Sorry to disappoint Mac i am not travelling alone i'll be with my girlfriend so i think i'll be staying clear of pattaya. Thanks anyway.
Lizzy thanks for the suggestions they are a great help and i will definitely be considering them!
SBE - The picture of the beach you posted looked amazing, right up my street for the 'relaxing' part of my trip! Oh also yes i said i had did some research but sadly this was at the very beginning of my planning and did not include looking at weather, Doh! so looks like i need to be on the east coast, right?
I Mainly want to visit quiter parts of places where there is not as many tourists but obviously the tourists are there for a good reason so i dont want to be missing out on what they are seeing do i? I'm not really going for nightlife either, if i wanted to party everyday i'd head off to ibiza, its just not the experience im looking for, i pretty much wanted to stop drinking on this tripa and maybe lose a bit of weight but reading peoples blogs and things, alls people seem to do is drink, so looks like my plan of not drinking has gone out the window!! Plus what else is there to do on the night times??
Now my itinerary - I think i have pretty much got Thailand boxed off regarding places im gunna' go but obviously my plans are quite loose as i know things are almost certainly going to change when i arrive, meet people ect.
Where as Malaysia and Indonesia havent really got a second thought as ive been putting all my attention into Thailand! so thats basically were i am struggling!
I'm not really going for nightlife either, if i wanted to party everyday i'd head off to ibiza, its just not the experience im looking for, i pretty much wanted to stop drinking on this tripa and maybe lose a bit of weight but reading peoples blogs and things, alls people seem to do is drink, so looks like my plan of not drinking has gone out the window!!
Well, it doesn't have to, you know!! I actually find that I drink less when travelling (not that I'm a big drinker in the first place) The fact that I have yet to acquire the taste for beer helps, of course. It's too hot for me to deal with wine, and spirits and cocktails eat up too much of the budget.
Booze significantly adds to costs (even beer does) so if you can cut down then do so! Good for the figure and the wallet.
@ MM. Well if we are the best people who can help then I hope Tilapia knows all about Malaysia. Lizzy says her info is out of date and I won't be much use either. I've been to Penang and KL a few times but that's it. Perhentians have always been closed every time I've been in that general vicinity (monsoon months).
I'm sure there are plenty of other people on TF who know far more than I do but yes, if it were me I'd definitely head for the east coast of the Malaysian peninsula for beaches rather than Langkawi. This said, the Perhentians will probably be quite busy in August, peak season, and prices probably high too. I'd be rummaging around for a slightly less well known island myself. Quick google brings up this
Now all you need to do is a bit more online research for feedback about the places and prices (don't forget transport prices). If feedback is very thin on the ground then that could mean not too many tourists know about that particular island and it won't be too full. (No guarantees in August though...tends to be busy everywhere in August, lots of people on holiday then).
Tyler's recommendations for Borneo sound pretty cool too...no idea about costs but maybe s/he'll be able to fill you in on details. Try and do some more research first yourself though. It's much easier (not to mention far less time consuming for the person answering) to reply to specific questions rather than very vague ones like "Where should I go on holiday?"! Check out Air Asia for cheap flights to KK from Kuala Lumpur.
Sulawesi might suit you very nicely from what you say. Not too expensive but it's got lots of nice beaches, good snorkeling and diving, plus interesting culture, spectacular mountain scenery and trekking opportunities (Tana Toraja area) and a bit of wildlife too. Transport can be a little bit uncomfortable but that's a price you have to pay to get away from the main hordes of tourists.
Would recommend avoiding going to Sulawesi in August ...particularly if you want to go to the Togeans where that island you liked the look of is. The Togeans get mobbed in August and every available bed in the archipelago is not only full but overflowing. One GH owner told me up to 50 people sometimes showed up at his place last August. He had just five bungalows (2 more under construction when I was there) so people were sleeping 5 to a bungalow, on the restaurant floor, in hammocks and in staff accommodation. Really recommend waiting till at least mid September if you want to go there. (October is an even better month for the Togeans).
I never go south of Bangkok, so compared to me, you're an expert. All I know about the areas he's talking about is what I've read.
In general, most trevelfishers seem to focus on Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. Burma gets short shrift because it's run by Nazis, and for reasons not completely clear to me Malaysia, Indonesia and the PI don't seem to get much write up here either. A bit, but not like "the big four".
Women are top of the list. As SBE says, for many here that won't be an issue, but for you single guys - it's a visa fee.
Booze. As SBE says, three or four beers a day add up.
Transportation costs. If you are going from place to place every couple of days, this cost can add up too, depending on how you are getting around.
Visa fees. A different country every week and visa fees are costing you two days worth of budget each time.
Hotels are a big variable obviously. But unless you plan on sleeping on the street, it's a cost you can not avoid entirely.
MM. Sorry, but I can't quite grasp why you seem to assume that single guys (and single women presumably) either have to remain celibate for the entire duration of their travels or pay for sex?
This is SEA. I suppose a backpacker might hook up with another backpacker... but assuming you are going local, you invariably pay for sex. Hell, one way or another I even pay for it with my wife. Maybe for a young guy... maybe.
Of course backpackers hook up with each other all the time....old ones, young ones, all sorts of different nationalities (including backpackers who happen to be Asian). If guys struggle to get laid then it probably has a lot to do with their general attitude towards women.
Some guys have no idea what the right attitude is though....hint: it's not male macho.
You have lived here right? Long enough to know the rules here are not the rules in Western Europe. I lived in Germany for 18 years, and no, you needn't pay for it there. But here, if a lady is willing to have a one night stand there is an expectation of renumeration, even if she doesn't engage in that full time. This is not speculation on my part. Any Thai man will tell you this. Women here don't give it away - at least not often. It's not the way the game is played.
As for Backpackers - not, nor ever was, my circle. But I would assume that yes, they hook up.
We live in completely different circles I think MM. Actually I know plenty of sexpats ...they seemed pretty bored most of the time. Reason I think this is because I kept getting hit on by them, in spite of their gorgeous trophy GFs and wives. Can't count the number of times expats have explained to me that they are "Thaied out" and need a woman they can actually relate to and talk to. Unfortunately they all seemed to imagine I'd be willing to do what their Thai women do...ie devote my entire life to making them feel good about themselves. Wrong attitude I'm afraid, what's in it for me? Absolutely nothing. Women aren't going to do that for free, stands to reason, and I don't need their money.
Besides, would have meant settling down and living in one place all the time ...domesticity, no traveling to speak of ... yeuch! ;-)
Most of the guys who come here to live come for two reasons:
Booze and women. You can live here cheaply, so if you've made your money, then you can reside at low cost and drink yourself to death without spending a lot to do so. And if you're 60, and you want to get it on with a girl who's 20 - well, this is a good place to do that.
But there are those who have other motivations. Family, overall cost of living, climate...
But the bottom line remains for the tourist. If you come here alone, and you're not young and good looking, then at least vis-a-vis locals, you pay for sex. That's the way it is. This culture is terms of sex and the paying for it is radically different from the US or western Europe. Surely you know that.
I'm not a bloke MM. All I know is that it's radically easier for a Western woman to hook up with a guy in Thailand than it is in Europe... no money involved. Surprised? So was I.
Right. Can we get back on topic now? Where's potta_boro gone? He's not very interested in this stuff either. Don't you have friends you can discuss these things with in Mukdahan?
I'm not surprised at all. I have a friend (I'll leave the name unmentioned - though no one here should know her) who has come to visit my place three times and she isn't coming just because of my charming company. She loves the attention she gets out here. She lives in Germany back home.
SBE, actually he said in post 18:
"Thanks for all the great reading people, i love a good debate!"
OK - maybe we just need to do a little survey here for all the male TF'ers in the 18-30 age group: hands up if the primary reason you come to Thailand is for the unlimited and uninhibited sex? Go on, don't be shy!
And how many of you come for the other drawcards such as the beaches, the food, the trekking, nature and wildlife, the history and culture - and just generally having a little holiday away somewhere more exotic than home?
That is not how I would phrase the question. Male Travelfishers probably don't come here BECAUSE of the availability of sex. The question is, do single male travelfishers come here and never participate in the sex for hire industry? As I said before, I doubt many would answer this honestly. But maybe if they are pretty anonymous here.
Can't believe there's another thread about the sex industry in S.E.Asia but I was mulling over this comment by SBE and can offer an answer.
'Can't count the number of times expats have explained to me that they are "Thaied out" and need a woman they can actually relate to and talk to'
Get yourself a Russian they seem to be everywhere these days and are fairly European in attitude and pretty free and easy.
Actually, MM, I think I DO have the question right. People come on here asking for the 'must see' places - and you lead them to Pattaya, and follow up with a post that sex is there for the taking.
I'm not saying that they don't have sex while they are travelling. But they can get it (paid or not) regardless of where they are. Therefore, unless they coming ONLY for the sex, they don't need to be pointed in the direction of Pattaya every time they ask for general travel info.
Apologies to potta-boro - your thread had been truly hijacked now.
Travelfish describes itself as a "Backpacking travel guide for Southeast Asia"
Which is probably why posters keep asking questions about backpacking and traveling in SE Asia and so rarely inquire what it's like to be a middle aged expat living in a house in Issan with a Thai wife.
And because MM doesn't know anything whatsoever about backpacking, is not interested in it, and has hardly been anywhere in SE Asia, does that mean the rest of us have to have his favorite topic *The Thai Sex Industry* rammed down our throats every five minutes?
I mean, it might be mildly interesting to some people (IF they haven't already heard it all before about10 million times) but I'm guessing it's not the main thing people come to TF to find out about.
I'd have thought the most posters read travelfish BEFORE they go on holiday. A few stick around after they get home but most don't need to.... because their holiday is over and they'll be going someplace else on their next vacation.
MM, your question asking how many guys had sex with Thai prostitutes while they were on holiday is not only very personal (and why should people reveal that kind of information on a public forum just so you can prove a point anyway?), it wouldn't give an accurate result even if people did answer.
It would be skewed towards repeat visitors to Thailand and expats, not backpackers like potta_boro who are on a once in a lifetime visit. People like him make up a large percentage of posters on this forum. They ask all the questions you can't answer because it's "not your circle".
Anyway, maybe you should start another thread potta_boro....wading through this one to get the actual backpacking travel info you need would be very hard work! Apologies also.
i tend to agree with SBE and lizzy on this one. from what i've read as well as what i've observed myself, most backpackers are interested in hooking up with other backpackers rather than local working girls. maybe it is a function of preference or just plain economics, but the thai sex trade isn't a big part of the backpacker scene in thailand. i guess i would compare it to the drug scene in cambodia. yes, you can get a mary jane pizza at many places, and yes, the odd question about it does come up, but for the majority of the backpacker set, it just isn't an issue and there is no reason to dwell on it.
I think it's deeper than economics or preference. There seems to be a strange, and very ironic, aversion to socializing with indigenous persons on any level beyond the superficial. Part of this is doubtless language. But there's something else going on here as well. I just can't quite put my finger on it. Backpackers have a very strong tendency t go to the same places, to do the same types of things and to have the same sense of outlook. And above all they have a strong need to be with other backpackers.
Of course you are correct, there is no way to do an accurrate survey, for the exact reasons you cited. But my advice - for what it's worth - is if you don't like my posts, don't read or respond to them. Like I said, it's still a free country. Nobody is going to grab you and force you to the computer screen and hook a TA-312 field phone to a sensitive part of your body and jolt you if you don't read them. Just ignore them.
Oh, and SBE one more thing - while it is true that I'm not much of a tourist, I have spent a great deal of time traveling around and living in Issan. This areaa I know and navigate in quite well. As I said before, while obviously you do not appreciate my point of view or insights, there are others who do to the point where they have come to visit me at my home.
'sayadian, SBE is a woman.'
I fail to see how that changes the nature of my point or suggestion??
Anyway, I was but justing.I haven't really been following this thread to closely to busy trafficing gap year girls and NGO's to massage parlours in Phnom Penh.(for those without a sense of humour it's a joke)
anyway from a lot of experience,I spend 8 months of the year in Thailand,Cambodia I can definitely say young guys take advantage of prostitution there.Their 'girlfriends' may like them but they still expect gifts and money.client/benefactor relationship is how the world turns in S.E.Asia.So if they expect presents doesn't that make them by definition prostitutes? anyway the Russians are much less complicated.apparently Koh Pangan is full of them.
Because MM suggested that the OP checks out Pattaya, and I made the 'mistake' of questioning the appropriateness of this recommendation given that not every new poster to TF is interested in the areas with hot girls and sex on a stick when asking for the 'must see' areas. :-/
And to the OP - as must as I dislike the very vague and open 'what are the must see areas' question, please post again in a new thread, and I promise I'll leave it alone (unless I can help in a constructive way).
Pattaya!! I speak to lots of guys who swear by it.I suppose if you ignore the mile after mile of bars and sleepy bargirls it does have a beach with polluted sea.Shopping is good there but that's it.
As far as 'must see' places.Just listen around and if you like a place hang around don't let a book dictate your life.Sites like Travelfish are great guides and they are wonderful help in finding accomm and food but to stick rigidly to Lonely Planet itinerary is craziness.Be aware that the Islands in Malaysia and Thailand are no longer cheap, often food and booze have European price tags.As much as I hate the place sihanoukville is probably the best beach bargain or Nah Trang in Vietnam.the rest depends on what you like.North-East Thailand has wonderful Khmer ruins, well maintained and cheap to visit, plus the people there are the best in Thailand.
It's all about what you like and perception.e.g. I hate Hanoi but lots on here love it.I think Danang in Vietnam has everything.Beaches, good seafood, lots of beautiful places to visit but hardly any travellers go there. Just enjoy is the mantra don't follow the herd.
IT was a good joke too Sayadian. You should not have tipped your hand, you'd have been attacked for sure!
"Because MM suggested that the OP checks out Pattaya, and I made the 'mistake' of questioning the appropriateness of this recommendation given that not every new poster to TF is interested in the areas with hot girls and sex on a stick when asking for the 'must see' areas."
See you won't make that mistake again Liz! Anyway, Potto is cool. I culd tell from his post number 18
pattaya is definitely not one of the "must see" places of malaysia. but it also has quite a bit more to offer than just shopping and adult play themes. there is great-value accommodation, an amazing array of dining options, and lots of day trips to keep one busy. sometimes a holiday is just that - a holiday, and pattaya is a place in the sun to have some fun.
now, i object to the suggestion that all backpackers are the same. but i've been thinking about the idea that backpackers don't necessarily interact with locals except on a superficial basis and i think that is largely true. when i travel, it is pretty much "me time", so i'm not sure i interact with anyone except on a superficial basis when i'm on the road. but language is probably the number one barrier to meaningful interaction with locals no matter where i am. that's why i probably chat with more native english speakers than anyone else while travelling. closely related to language is culture, which is a big factor too, since i tend to seek out folks who are seeing things through the same prism as me - that "shared" experience idea.
when i live somewhere, it is different, because i have the time to learn language and culture and develop friendships with locals.
Spot on Sayadian. Everyone's tastes are different, one person's idea of paradise is another person's idea of hell on earth. That's why it's important to try and be clear what your interests are when you ask questions about where to go on TF. I have actually been to Pattaya ( just one night with some friends). The beach totally sucked, very urban environment, no nature, full of westerners, nothing to do except spend money...didn't sound like what you were looking for Potta_boro but I asked you to clarify anyway because all the other places you mentioned were pretty urbanized and Pattaya does have lots of shopping malls, restaurants and comfortable hotels etc as well as all the in your face sleeze.
MM I find your perception of what backpackers are like is very stereotypical and your perception of expat life is rather oddly warped too.
There seems to be a strange, and very ironic, aversion to socializing with indigenous persons on any level beyond the superficial.
Depends on the backpacker and where you go. In remote areas the only accommodation option are homestays and you can't help socializing with indigenous persons when you live with them. I get dragged off to weddings and festivals and people's homes all the time in Indonesia and this usually involves drinking copious amounts of red fanta which I absolutely loathe. But I do it with good grace...I love learning about other cultures, they have a lot to teach us westerners. Imposing my tastes and needs on them would rather defeat the purpose.
Maybe you think you have to shag someone to get beyond the superficial? So if you shag bargirls every night, those are deep and meaningful relationships are they? Get real, it's as superficial as you can possibly get. Expats mostly live in little expat enclaves and socialize with each other, not Thais....they play golf together, hang out in bars together, play darts together, gossip about each other together. Also a lot of them insist on eating farang food all the time. One of the things on Potta_Bora's wish list was to taste different foods....that's more superficial than cheeseburgers is it?
Part of this is doubtless language.
True. Backpackers would have to learn several languages before going on vacation because they usually want to visit several different countries in the region, not just one. Many expats don't bother to learn Thai beyond a few standard phrases either though....I know very few who are capable of having a meaningful in depth conversation in Thai. One expat I know did spend 4 years getting a degree in Thai and he's totally fluent but he's very much the exception. Some expats live 20 years in Thailand and never manage to speak more than a few words of Thai. Young backpackers who have just finished stints as Peace Corps volunteers on the other hand usually have excellent mastery of the language.
Backpackers have a very strong tendency t go to the same places, to do the same types of things and to have the same sense of outlook.
Bwaaahhaaahaa. That is hilarious! You aren't describing backpackers, you're describing sexpats MM. Can you recommend a good beach.->Pattaya. Can you recommend things to to do in BKK -> Nana or Soi Cowboy. Talk about limited places, things to do and outlook!
Backpacking is a far more varied way of life. Sure there are many who are all doing the same thing, KSR, Vang Vieng and Ko Phangan etc and hanging out with people just like them. But you aren't limited to doing those things. Backpackers can go anywhere they like, be with who they want. As a backpacker you can meet people you'd never usually cross paths with. Last trip I met a young road navvy who'd just spent a few months in Afghanistan and Pakistan with his girlfriend, another guy who raved about the snorkeling off the coast of Yemen, a fashion designer from the US, a journalist from National Geographic, an expert stock market analyst, a guy who was cycling round Asia, a professional magician. They were all backpackers too, and all a lot interesting (IMO anyway) to talk to than your average alcoholic expat in BKK who has a very narrow limited view of the world and generally talks about the same things day in day out.
I like variety, being able to change plans go somewhere on a whim, not know where I'll be or who I'll meet next week, gives me a buzz. That's why I prefer backpacking to expat life. But everyone has different tastes. Some people do prefer being with their own kind all the time, be it backpackers or sexpats. It's no skin off my nose if they do, they have a perfect right to do what suits them. However people do also have a right to prefer nature, scenery, culture, beautiful beaches etc without being sneered at.
That comment you made to Busylizzy:
go to Boys town and get a threesome
was totally out of line. How bloody patronizing of you. What a sexist ***** you sound sometimes...that's a typical loser sexpat attitude you know. They never understand what's hit them when they get wiped out. Suddenly there's no more money in the bank account and they wake up to find the house is in GF/wife's name, car in her name, motorbike in her name, she has heaps of gold jewelry and mobile phones to pawn, latest plasma TV screen to impress the neighbors, the whole bit. How does she do it? Why, by exploiting the narcissist's fatal flaw (his need for ego inflation is even greater than his need for dick inflation). Finally she can present him with a real mirror of himself...no honey no money daring, you know the score. You go home your country now. And guess what. Did you know that all your sexpat buddies will disappear into the woodwork when that happens...they just hate being associated with a real loser, reflects badly on them. How come that never gets mentioned in *The Thai Sex Industry* discussions. Well don't bother coming to cry on my sopping wet shoulder MM because I'll just tell you you thoroughly deserved it! And what makes you think Lizzy needs to go to Boys town if she wanted to do that? She's a very attractive woman, I'm sure she can manage her sex life without paying. As can I BTW even though I'm very old and wizened and have two grown up sons.
Sorry gentle reader, I digress. [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]
And above all they have a strong need to be with other backpackers.
And so do expats. They hang out together in bars every night.
First let's start with Liz, because she understands me much better than you do. That was a joke. I don't know Liz's preferences whatsoever, and she knows that I don't know. HOWEVER, if she had such an interest, it wouldn't matter to me. But I get the feeling it would matter to you.
I notice you like the term "sexpat". I consider this a subset of expat, just as I consider sex tourist a sub set of tourist. One of the things I have learned concerning human sexuality in my 50 years kicking around is to stay out of the judgement business. What two adults (or more) do ain't my business. I will NEVER know another person well enough to understand what drives them in that department, except maybe my wife. So I don't try and I don't judge.
There are certainly sexpats here. Some have healthy relationships with their Thai wives and their philandering was part of the deal when they got married. Some do not, and they are about to get hit by the truck you described.In both cases, however, that is their business. The expat community in Muk is very small, we do not socialize together except in small groups (two dance in my studio, and one plays chess with me) and I do not pay attention to what the other guys are doing much and see them less. The vast majority of my friends here are Thai, and that's based on mutual interests (mostly chess and dancing). But I agree that your description of how expats behave certainly fits a fair number of them. I was not comparing the two (backpackers and expats) but rather making some general observations of backpackers (as oppossed to judgements).
There are backpackers who do get way off the beaten path as you have suggested, but in my experience they are not in the majority, or even a very sizeable minority. And a cursory observation of posts on Travelfish would seem to verify this. There are a great many recurrent themes and discussions of recurring locations (VV, Kao San Road, Siem Reap, Laung Prabang, Pai... you get the idea). And in all the time I have been reading posts here I have read precisely one in which the OP wanted to know the best way to get to know indigenous persons. But the list of posters who want to find out the best way to get to meet other backpackers - well, it's pretty long. Also, in my observations here in Muk, I never see backpackers in the company of indigenous persons. Never. I've found that a bit strange and inexplicable.
Lastly, I read a book a couple of years back called "Another Quiet American" and he made the observation of how he was aware how other westerners regarded men who dated native women (this was at a time when doing so in Laos was OK) and hence when he started seeing a Laotian women that was a factor in his terminating the relationship. I am left with the impression that you fit into this category who consider western men who date locals to be suspect. Again, with one exception, nobody here ever talks about dating or meeting members of the opposite sex (who are indigenous, not other tourists). That's the principal reason I bring it up. I call it the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. Sex and romance are an organic and driving element in human relations, yet here the subject is absolutely taboo - as if our sex drives switched of when we boarded the aircraft. My suspicion is that there are two reasons for this:
1. Western society still tends to be prudish in said discussions and considers it to be "private" - not a matter for general discussion.
2. Backpackers, or people who would describe themselves as backpackers, generally (no group can be described as exclusively) come from persons who tend toward the political left, and that bent is emotionally sympathetic to feminist agendas (as oppossed to conservative religious agendas) that find prostitution anathema. I suspect (do not know this to be true) a male backpacker in the company of a female local would be considered suspect and perhaps subject to some degree of social ostracization.
At any rate, sexual relationships, and how they are formed and terminated and under what circumstances and what predilictions and so forth are as much a part of a given culture (especially here) as food, architecture, language and so on. Yet it is the one subject that is utterly taboo. I find that peculiar.
First let's start with Liz, because she understands me much better than you do.
Let's ask her if she was offended by that remark shall we?
But I get the feeling it would matter to you.
Depends who says it. If someone I'd never met said it and had a stereotypical view of me (as you seem to have), yes I'd be offended. You hijacked a thread I started recently. "SBE, do you know that prostitution is Thailand is illegal" WTF, this guy must have recently discovered sex. Of course I know that MM, don't be so bloody patronizing. Try and get it through your little head that I've spent far more time in Thailand than you have....hard I know but FFS STOP TRYING TO EDUCATE ME. Really pisses me off. You're a relative newbie and I know already Ok? Even if I am a mere female backpacker. And WTF has the fact that prostitution is illegal in LOS got that got to do with sand erosion anyway? Tell me about the mechanics of sea currents and concrete and stuff instead why don't you.
I notice you like the term "sexpat". I consider this a subset of expat
Really. I thought you said every guy who spends any significant amount of time in Thailand avails himself of Thai hookers and that it was very difficult to find a Thai woman willing to have sex unless you paid for it. Could you clarify.
I don't judge
Oh yes you do.
I am left with the impression that you fit into this category who consider western men who date locals to be suspect.
No, I think they are nearly always totally deluded fools, same for gay guys, but that's not my problem. They never think it will happen to them. No point in warning them. You are very typical.
I call it the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about.
Because most people simply aren't interested. It's irrelevant to their own lives.
Western society still tends to be prudish in said discussions and considers it to be "private" - not a matter for general discussion.
Because it's no big deal when we get laid. Happens all the time, assumed to be normal, happens every day, like going to the bathroom. Somehow feel no need to crow like a demented rooster and announce it in public every time you get an orgasm.
Can you elaborate what that means? I just expect to be treated like an equal...equally intelligent, equal rights. Statistically females are MORE intelligent but I'll settle for equal. We don't have male physiological limitations either BTW.
I suspect (do not know this to be true) a male backpacker in the company of a female local would be considered suspect and perhaps subject to some degree of social ostracization.
Well you're wrong, they aren't. Carry on.
Yet it is the one subject that is utterly taboo. I find that peculiar.
As far as I'm concerned it's deeply tedious, not taboo.
wow. that was brutal.
one point that MADMAC makes tracks pretty well with my personal experience, which is that dating locals opens the door to local culture and life in a way nothing else does. i'm not talking about companionship-for-hire stuff, because i think that is a recipe for disaster. but if you get a chance to meet and actually date a local (in my case woman), it can lead to amazing insights into local culture and access to places i would not have otherwise gone. this was true for me in both thailand and in turkey.
but i lived in those places at the time and had the time to meet someone and cultivate a relationship. the only time i've dated a local while on the road was in indonesia, and even then i was there for two months and she had a serious command of english.
in the same way i hate to see stereotypes of backpackers, i hate to see these stereotypes of expats too. yup, some folks who fit the stereotype definitely exist, but many many others don't fit it at all.
in any case, i hope we can call a truce here because i like the folks on this website and i enjoy the differences of opinion and difference insights as well as sharing my own. how about it?
as for the OP's initial question? i loved the cameron highlands, and particularly the views and the tea plantations. but it is so spread out that it would be tough to travel there without your own transport or on a tour. if you go, please say hello to jim thompson if you see him. cheers.
"Really. I thought you said every guy who spends any significant amount of time in Thailand avails himself of Thai hookers and that it was very difficult to find a Thai woman willing to have sex unless you paid for it. Could you clarify."
No I did not. I said most single guys. Big difference. There are a very few guys who are asexual. And then, of course, there are the guys who are homosexual and what they get up to I wouldn't really know - other than what I saw on Silom road one night on the way to Noriega's. But yes, in general, and recogning there are always exceptions, renumeration is expected here. This is a significant cultural difference which it behooves guys coming here to understand.
"Try and get it through your little head that I've spent far more time in Thailand than you have....hard I know but FFS STOP TRYING TO EDUCATE ME."
The entire point of a discussion page is to discuss things and educate each other.
"And WTF has the fact that prostitution is illegal in LOS got that got to do with sand erosion anyway? "
You will note the conversation drifted. Kind of like the currents.
"Tell me about the mechanics of sea currents and concrete and stuff instead why don't you."
I'm not an engineer. I'm afraid you will have to have someone else explain to you the relationship between ocean currents, concrete and sand.
"Oh yes you do."
No I do not. I would not presume to read your mind, and I think it would be rather assuming of you to believe you can read mine.
"No, I think they are nearly always totally deluded fools, same for gay guys, but that's not my problem. They never think it will happen to them. No point in warning them. You are very typical."
I've been with my wife for coming up on 12 years now. And I did not meet her in Thailand. We have a four year old daughter together and my wife is the exact same age difference with me as my grandfather and grandmother were. You know very little about me (less about my wife), so how you could assume I am "very typical" I am not sure. I would not assume you are a typical backpacker.
"Because it's no big deal when we get laid. Happens all the time, assumed to be normal, happens every day, like going to the bathroom. Somehow feel no need to crow like a demented rooster and announce it in public every time you get an orgasm."
If it's not a big deal, then why are you making a big deal of it? Eating is also not a big deal. Happens all the time. We do it every day. But people talk about that here plenty.
"Can you elaborate what that means? I just expect to be treated like an equal...equally intelligent, equal rights. Statistically females are MORE intelligent but I'll settle for equal. We don't have male physiological limitations either BTW."
You are physiologically different. I wouldn't call it a limitation, I would simply say different. Men can not have children, because they are different. Men tend to me physically stronger, because they are different. I suspect that you don't want to be treated exactly equally though, because I have never met a man who finds discussions about sex offensive and gets somewhat irrate about it - which you clearly are here.
As for feminist agendas you are familiar with the fact that there is a political movement that is reffered to as a feminist movement right? And political movements have agendas right? Well, part of the agenda concerning the feminist movement is a general attack on prostitution. This has left the movement somewhat conflicted on this subject, as of course feminists want women to be free to make their own choices, but they consider prostitution demeaning to women, and therefore want it abolished. Which takes them down another road concerning economics that is well in excess of what we were discussing here (although I'm up for it if you are - I don't think Potto minds).
"Well you're wrong, they aren't. Carry on."
Perhaps. Certainly you seem to consider them "nearly always totally deluded fools". But it is true you are only one backpacker, not representative of all.
"As far as I'm concerned it's deeply tedious, not taboo."
Then why do you keep responding so vociferously? Don't you find that inconsistent? It's tedious, but you are going to continue to post about it over and over. Why haven't you simply ignored this line of discussion if you don't care?
"So why your poll? On the contrary you seem very curious about what other people do"
It is the difference between caring on an individual level (I don't) and intellectual curiousity, that is wanting to know on a big picture level. As in, my Thai teacher is gay, but that is not of any interest to me. But on a bigger level I am curious as to what the overall percentage of gays is in Thailand and is that percentage different from the US and if so why? I'm sure you can see the point here. Do male backpackers who are otherwise unattached have an aversion to prostitution more than other kinds of tourists, and if so why? Do they have an aversion to romantic relationships with indigenous persons, and if so why? Is this aversion higher than for other kinds of tourists? Yes, I would be interested to know the answers to those questions even if you would not.
I have never met a man who finds discussions about sex offensive and gets somewhat irrate about it - which you clearly are here.
You're totally missing the point, talking about the way you hijack threads to talk about subjects that interest YOU. You're hard work MM, very time consuming. I post on TF to give fellow travelers info about travel and backpacking.
So do I. Like I said, I have a good deal of insight into this area - I have also received some excellent tips from Bruce and Tilapia and got some good ideas from Exacto and been entertained by many others like Liz. Two Travelfishers have visited me here in Muk (a third came when I was in the States seeing my mother). Like I said, if you don't like the subject matter when I bring it up, ignore it. If the OP says "Mac, knock it off, you're distracting me" I would - but he didn't say that. So look, if you find it tedious, borish, whatever, and you don't like it when I bring it up, then don't respond to it. Just ignore it. It's a message board - so you got to live with the other people who post on it, like it or not.
hey all can anyone help me and tell , we are going to malysia in new year eve and i dont know if it's nice to spend that night over there, we are going propably for 12 days ,can anyone tell me about touristiques sites and places ?
i want to go to thailand to bangkok or islandds but the floadings are too much there and i think it's dangerous ? nop ?
Try to explore these places too in your trip
CameronHighland, TamanNegara, PulauRedang, Perhentian, Kapas or Tiomanislands
#65 renald has been a member since 5/11/2011. Posts: 15
I really do not think that you are going to any wrong direction or visiting to some wrong places. Yes, but I can suggest you that before you leave for Malaysia vacations you should visit to the last minute travel forum and you can collect some more ideas about it.
#66 Donny01 has been a member since 25/11/2011. Posts: 3
Very first I would like to say that Malaysia is an amzing place and its one of the top ranked place. Why are you feeling so stressed?? If you really not confident about your vacation plannings, then please go for the last minute travel forums which has some additional thoughts related to your problems and which can solve your problems.
#67 Donny01 has been a member since 25/11/2011. Posts: 3
Hello strange guy,
For the New Year Eve:
If it's a Chinese New Year, I dont think its not exciting for u to travel in Vietnam at that time because everything is closed fro Lunar New Year.
But it's great if that is the New Year which is coming after Christmas.
I think 12 days is good for the tour in Vietnam. Its seem to long if you just travel in HoChiMinh city but if its for Vietnam, from the North to the South, its great.
2-3 days in Hanoi
1-2 days in Halong Bay
3-4 days in Hue, Hoi an, DaNang
2-3 days in HCMC
2 days in Da Lat city ( its called as little Europe by tourist)
3- 4 days in Nha Trang
Hope you will have a great time with ur vacation,
#68 NguyetAnh0311 has been a member since 16/11/2011. Posts: 3
Now I know why Charlie Cong was so tough during the war, you guys are nothing if not persistent! This thread is in the Malaysia section and querries by the PM included Thailand and Indonesia as well as Malaysia. Vietnam is the other way. I appreciate everyone's got a make a buck, and you hustle where you can, but let's try not to be too transparent about it OK hombre?