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Subject:  Asia travel tips Date:  1/6/2011  1:34 PM
Author:  TMFCogitarius Number:  276 of 291

'I've kept a running list of observations, travel tips for those of you coming to Asia for either a short trip or an extended stay, and thoughts on innovation, all gleaned from my first year based here. Please take them in the good humor intended. In no particular order:

1. If you need to get a taxi in Singapore, don't bother trying to hail one on the street. Join a queue at a mall or hotel or call or SMS in advance. When it's raining, don't bother trying to get one at all.
2. If there are long lines at immigration in Incheon Airport in South Korea, always go to the right-most line. The lines for the locals clear fast, and they also allow foreigners.
3. Tell the kids you are going to Phi Phi Island near Phuket. Hilarity will ensue. And it's a beautiful place. Ask for Ta and Kung at the Phi Phi Island Resort.
4. If you have the choice between an Asian or Middle Eastern airline and a U.S. or European one, always take the Asian or Middle Eastern one —even if you have to pay more for it.
5. Do whatever you can to get status on Singapore Airlines as quickly as possible. If there is a company that has higher service standards than Singapore Airlines, I'd like to see it.
6. If you happen to give a speech in Asia, expect a gift. This year I received a Cross pen, two flower bouquets, a wheel of cheese (admittedly that was Amsterdam), a fake leather bag, a watch, and a bottle of champagne.
7. If someone says, "Just a minute" in India, that can mean anything from a minute to a lifetime.
8. Skype is your friend.
9. There is some kind of food at every meeting in the Philippines.
10. The least friendly country to enter is the United States.
11. If you ask Filipinos to do a skit as part of an innovation workshop, stand back; there is some real local talent.
12. Beware of pushing random buttons on the side of your toilet in Korea.
13. Singapore is like August in Washington, D.C. every day. If you are planning to move to the country, at least ask whether you need to ship 10 pairs of jeans and a dozen sweaters.
14. Chicken rice rocks!
15. Don't even consider driving your own car in India.
16. China's potential is simply awesome.
17. Asia is a really, really big place. "Popping over" to Korea from Singapore takes seven hours.
18. If you go t