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Tokyo, Hong Kong, or Bangkok?

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by Nibblesworth, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. Nibblesworth

    Nibblesworth Formula 3
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    Nov 29, 2002
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    BillyBoy
    I am looking for an internship this summer, and I would like to go somewhere outside of the western united states to do it.

    My father, who works for a software company, can hook me up with an internship in Tokyo, Hong Kong, or Bangkok. I could also go to London, Poland, Germany, or a few other places outside of the country.

    But, I'd really like to go to Asia, and especially Tokyo. My father is pushing me to try out Bangkok or Hong Kong, though. One nice thing about Bangkok is the fact that my pops has a condo there that I could use for the summer.

    So, all you international men of business - if you could do an internship in either of these three countries, which would you choose?
     
  2. Stickanddice

    Stickanddice Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2002
    2,473
    Nibblesworth,

    I'll be in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Bangkok this coming January! If you go visit shoot me an email!

    Tokyo is expensive on an internship budget, but if you are allowed the graces of supplemental monies (be it your own or your family's) Tokyo is tough to beat. Great city. Don't know how familiar you are with Asian culture, but definitely a lot of rich history in and around Tokyo. Lots of Ferraris here.

    Hong Kong is fun but finding the right place to go is harder. Sight seeing is not all that fantastic and can be done in short periods of time. Lot of knock off stuff! I stay out of that stuff but piracy runs rampant over there. I personally don't trust it, but know of many who wouldn't have it any other way. Not nearly as many Ferraris here.

    Bangkok is also great. There is a lot of very interesting sight seeing to be done and most of the stuff there is really quite affordable. There are tons of temples spread around the city and all are quite beautiful. If you are planning on an extended stay there are weekend trips to nearby beaches that can be arranged. Tropical type getaways. Handful of Ferraris here.

    As for your European selection, I'd vote Germany, London, and Poland.

    Germany for the driving...duh. Everybody should drive in Germany at least once in their lives. Then again, you didn't mention where in Germany.

    London for the familiarity. No, the Brits are not pricks. :) Great folks and a great place be in. Good choice as you won't run out of things to do before your internship expires.

    Poland...I've visited Warsaw. It was OK. I went with some college buddies who only cared about how cheap the beer was. Shame. The city was cool and I would have loved to experience it a little better than from pub to pub.

    On an important note: Aside from all this fun. Where do you feel you will learn the most and get the most out of this internship to get you steered in the right direction for your career? That would be my deciding factor. Good luck!

    Cheers
     
  3. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
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    Russ Turner
    If you can only go one place in Asia - definitely Bangkok. It is by far the most exotic and unlike western culture - you will learn a lot there and it will change the way you view the world.

    While not technically a businessman, would recommend reading Sun Tzu's 'Art of War' - there are a lot of parallels in how Asia does business (and everything else). You probably will become exceptionally street smart if you get out much and get to know the fascinating people.

    And, it's an adventure every day. Trust me.

    best
    Russ
     
  4. TestShoot

    TestShoot F1 World Champ

    Sep 1, 2003
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    Bangkok SUCKS!!!

    Bangkok SUCKS!!!

    Bangkok SUCKS!!!

    From a trip there 7 years ago for a Muay Thai competition, I can say the following: The air quality is poor, sanitation stinks, transportation by 'tuk-tuk' or long boat is dodgey at best. Keep a hand on your wallet at all times, crime is bad. The street vendors are pushy, but atleast the monks we met were nice. If you know any bit of martial arts, don't join a dojo for recreation, everyone will want to kick your butt.

    Phuket is a Navy destination so if there is an opening there, go for it. Loads of friendly faces.

    Hong Kong all the way. It is a far more friendly and interesting city, especially the hold outs of British. Very corporate. Tokyo, is far too expensive, the single most expensive cost of living in the world. Prepare to pay $15 a pound for apples. lol
     
  5. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
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    Russ Turner
    My esteemed collegue in the cinematic arts wrote:

    "The air quality is poor, sanitation stinks, transportation by 'tuk-tuk' or long boat is dodgey at best. Keep a hand on your wallet at all times, crime is bad. The street vendors are pushy, but atleast the monks we met were nice. If you know any bit of martial arts, don't join a dojo for recreation, everyone will want to kick your butt"

    Well, you say that like it's a bad thing... :)

    As I tried to imply, it will be out of most westerner's (farong) comfort zone. Depends if you want to be comfortable or push the envelope. Both are ok. Would not recommend Bangkok if you were going there totally solo to live, but I'll bet as an intern you'll have someone to show you the ropes.

    Anyway, if Bangkok scares you the other two towns are great as TestShoot says. I just happen to like a little adventure. The song 'One night in Bangkok.......' has a lot more truth in it than you know - take a listen if you haven't lately. ;)

    best to all
    rt
     
  6. PeterS

    PeterS Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Jan 24, 2003
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    Shanghai...Period!
     
  7. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
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    Let me put it to you this way. In China there are special police units that try to prevent furiners from shagging their women whereas in Tokyo you just might get mobbed by women :) Especially if you are 6 ft & blond like a friend of mine
     
  8. Slim

    Slim Formula 3

    Oct 11, 2001
    1,735
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    richard
    I lived in Tokyo from '92-98, straight out of college. I can't compare it to Hong Kong or Bangkok but Tokyo sure is a very nice place for a young man to spend some time!

    It needn't be that expensive, either. If you are used to living in a very large space on your own, you will have to pay quite a lot for that (perhaps a bit more than in SF or NY). But if you can handle being a bit simple, as I could having just spend college years living with roommates, you can get a small one-room flat for about a grand a month within striking distance of tokyo (no point in living right inside tokyo). $2k a month will get you something quite nice or decent but closer to the action.

    If you want to do something totally bizarre, buy one of these for $50k. http://www.kisho.co.jp/WorksAndProjects/Works/nakagin/index.html

    The women are amazing and worth all the headaches. Business is everywhere and you will learn a lot that will translate to business in the U.S. as well (surprising to some but I found it true).

    If you need any Japan info, feel free to drop me a line (rich at 3 jar dot com).

    -Slim
     
  9. dan360

    dan360 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2003
    2,669
    Boston
    I'd vote Tokyo - I lived 3yrs in each of Tokyo and HK.

    However if I was 22 again (as I was in HK) I'd say HK - lots of night life which is much easier to access than in Tokyo. If you want Cultural Asian Experience, HK doesn't really offer much of this - I think its a bit like NY or London in a lot of ways - its very exotic on the surface (and scenery), but you'll associate with lots of people who aren't from there.

    Whereas in Japan you'll definitely feel foreign, esp if you go outside Tokyo.

    Tokyo also has awesome nightlife, but whereas its very expensive in HK its outrageously expensive in Tokyo. 10USD + per beer.

    Bangkok is a tremendous place to visit, but I'd say 5 days max - the traffic and the smog would presonally drive me nuts to live in.

    Have fun and DEFINITELY do Asia instead of Europe, much more interesting IMO (and I'm from Europe).
     
  10. randall

    randall Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
    1,352
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    Tokyo is awesome. I've spent about 5 weeks there. The nightlife is the best I've ever seen, alcohol is served 24 hours and the clubs are happening every day of the week. Happy hour mixed drinks were around $6 and $9 otherwise. The people were always friendly, the city is one of the safest in the world (maybe even #1) and the public transportation system rocks. Outside of the city the country is very beautiful. Given the chance to live in any of the three I'd pick Tokyo. I thought HK was not as user friendly as Japan, and Thailand, while interesting isn't a spot where I'd want to live in a major city, except for a short vacation.
     
  11. judge4re

    judge4re F1 World Champ

    Apr 26, 2003
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    Well, I'm biased. I'm sitting in Shanghai right now. Most of the cities in Asia that are developing have air pollution and sanitation issues that are far different than the USA. Get over it. Welcome to Asia. These are relatively poor countries where most people still cook over an open flame. Guess what, you're going to get high soot and CO2 levels. They are getting better, but it still will be a shock.

    If you can find something in Shanghai, run with it. The economy is growing so fast that the government is starting to make sure that it doesn't get overheated. Bejing is the Chinese equivelent of Washington DC. If you want to study the government, go there. Business, come to Shanghai. Hong Kong is very western friendly, but less opportunities. Japan is a tough nut to crack. You'll never really fit in and even though I have some great friends in Numazu, Mishima and Tokyo, I'm still the foreigner when I'm there.

    But don't let these things deter you. Spending time over here not as a tourist will change your view on everything. Food, style, politics, everything. You'll have a much more rounded view which can only help you in the long run.

    Hao yunqi (good luck).

    Erik
     
  12. lukek

    lukek Formula 3

    May 2, 2003
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    LK
    Go to Poland. Friendly to the Americans, amazing scenery, mountains, sea, and plains. Plenty of culture, night life, and learning opportunities. Not to mention that this is an ideal place for an internship, from a budgetary point of view. Best cities are Cracow, Wroclaw, and Zakopane (Tatra mountains).
    Did I mention Kasia, Zosia, Beata, and Ewa?
    But I am biased, as well. I am Polish, and I am posting this AFTER my evening drink.


    thx
    luke


     
  13. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
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    Dont forget China has a habit of locking down the country every now & then & tossing all the foreigners out. They also dont honor contracts Oh & by the way the Chinese are pulling the strings on the US enemy, North Korea. Forget China
     
  14. Stickanddice

    Stickanddice Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2002
    2,473
    Well I was trying to paint a pretty picture but since we're talking about all the nasty stuff...

    William is pretty much right about China. I am biased being both a South Korean and also having done business with some mainland companies. They have unsuccessfully tried to weasel out hiding behind their government. I would not go there to learn how to do business.

    Bangkok does have a lot of pollution. No, not all Asian cities are like this. You're talking about a comparatively underdeveloped country. Where I went I never had to worry and the pickpockets and the company I was with were pleasant trustworthy friends from school. They gave me an insider's view of Bangkok not many have the privilege of seeing. So I'm jaded, but the city has potential for quite a bit of fun. That said, unless you know the right people it should best be left as a tourist attraction.

    Tokyo is crowded, hurried, and hideously expensive. But what huge city isn't? From a cultural standpoint this would be the destination I would pick first. This is "Asia's Manhattan". Truly a must along with some other major cities closely behind in the list. One of the best business environments in all of Asia (the world for that matter). Hong Kong cannot even come close as business oriented as the entire city is. If you want to learn how to do business the "Asian way" this would be a good starting point since they have adopted many "Westernisms" when doing business with foreigners. I doubt you'll see a true "Asian way" business meeting ever. I have known and met many foreign businessmen and none have really done business this way. Oh, and...PACHINKO!! Hehehe.

    Cheers
     
  15. TestShoot

    TestShoot F1 World Champ

    Sep 1, 2003
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    King Koopa
    Murray Head sang "One night in Bankok"

    Thanks for "I love the 80's" on VH1 or I would have forgotten.

    "I went to Bankok and all I got was this lousy itch"
     
  16. judge4re

    judge4re F1 World Champ

    Apr 26, 2003
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    Its getting much better since China entered the WTO. Still, there is a lot of uncertainty. These things happen when your economy grows at double digit rates year over year. If Nibblesworth can find a slot with a big international company (GE, Xerox, GM, etc...), he'll be more sheltered from some of the local inconsistancies. Regardless of where he goes, if the company is a small start up living hand to mouth, its going to be a bumpy ride.

    Also, anywhere you go in Asia, just get used to the jet lag when you arrive. Its right after 3:00 AM and I've been up for more than an hour.
     
  17. Nibblesworth

    Nibblesworth Formula 3
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    Nov 29, 2002
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    Wow! Thanks for all the replies. I greatly appreciate it!

    One factor is definately cash. I am virtually broke (being in college and all), and I will be saving up for the next six months for this venture. Also, any intern work I do will be pro bono - free of charge. I don't feel right getting paid to learn for a few months.

    Sooo....Bangkok is attractive because I'll have a place to live for free. Tokyo is attractive, well, because I love Japanese women! ;)

    But, my father absolutely LOVES Poland. Luke, I'd be in Warsaw, I think. My pops stays at the Hotel Copernicus, which Copernicus' actualy home, now converted into a tiny hotel. Poland, from what my father says, is incredibly friendly and warm, and relatively cheap.

    But I pretty much want to try Asia. Who knows! Stickanddice, got an extra room? ;)
     
  18. Stickanddice

    Stickanddice Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2002
    2,473
    Send me a PM. I have an apartment in Tokyo that is vacant. I can't do it for free...but cheap...well, depends on how cheap! Already furnished so take your shoes off and no smoking! :) I'm also going this coming January so if you plan on going soon, and if my wife doesn't join me you'll have to share an apartment with a dog or maybe two (3 bedroom 3 bath so plenty of space, but the living room and one of the bedrooms is theirs...their rules, not mine :)). Oh yeah, and I don't cook, so don't get any ideas. I may pop in every once in a while if and when I visit. I never do long stints there though. A month tops. And if my wife comes with then you gotta find alternate housing for the duration.

    That said, housing is only one aspect of the expenses in Tokyo. Where in Tokyo are you thinking?

    Cheers
     

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