Monday, April 19, 2010

The Other Asia Cities: The Ones Not In The Top 10

So I've done the Top 10 Places To Do Business & Play In Asia.. but what's missing from there? Here are the 3 places that I've visited/ stayed but sadly, they are not in my top 10 list.

1. Hanoi

Quaint Hanoi with its picturesque countryside nearby makes this place seems all good to live.

But why not in top 10 then?
Well, I've not visited Ho Chi Minh, so maybe if u compare the 2 cities, the latter might be a better place for business?

And yes - business wise, I admit Vietnam is an emerging market, which many companies namely from Singapura is looking to go into.. but the one thing that irks me most - is the experience with the Vietnamese there.

The word is 'clever to cheat' & very rude (well, that's my experience anyway - yes, I know there are nice Vietnamese around, but the ones I met - well, they are like that!)

So, sorry, Hanoi, ur out! (people really plays a big role in my decision!).

2. Hong Kong
Bustling as it is, it really depends on what business you are doing.. Yea, some say (or shall I say nearly all Malaysian Chinese) think that the movie hub is still, err.. HK? Honestly, what's so great bout the movies from there lah? (If only Malaysians learn to watch movies from our neighbouring ASEAN countries, HK movies will have really no other market lah - maybe except for their cop shows which I admit are good).

In any case, I again, didn't have had a great experience with the people there. Now I don't expect the friendliness of the Thais, but Malaysian style also can already mah (or for that matter at least the neutral China Chinese!).

The thing about these Hong Kees - if you speak Mandarin, they think ur from mainland China & they are extremely rude to u (they will even scold!). But then again, they don't really know how to speak English either - and u call this a former British base? (sure or notz? Wa lau weh).

Btw I read in a book once too that Hong Kees think they are like the best in the world. Well, if ur like those Shanghainese living in Shanghai, can lah u put ur nose high high. But ur just HK - a past of emerging China, so I think a good humble pie is most welcomed!

And to add on it, if one has to choose to live in a China city just get into the China market - there's always Shanghai, Beijing or even Taipei!

So sorry, HK, u too are out!

3. Singapore
Now, I'm gonna thread this very carefully here. Don't want Uncle Lim to read this (though it will be an honour if he do).

Well, I like the island in many ways (like for the fact that its an island and that the malls are quite nice though somewhat small small).. and am relieved that finally Singapore is finally opening up, giving it much more life than that of a government-tell-you-what-to-do image.

Biz wise, my observation is that if you are in the shipping (import/ export) biz, the Singapore port is really great (in Asean at least). And if I'm not wrong, so is the banking industry.

But here's the downside: the market size in Singapore alone is way too small, plus rental & HR costs are high. And the media industry is even smaller - more so when compared to that of her 3rd world neighbours (awww).

The most irritating parts - Singapore is not as efficient as it potrays to be (eg emails to government bodies not returned - even after sending in numerous times, long queues at post offices, long queues at government departments, delay work by Singapore firms/ Singaporeans), the very rigid ways of work (yeah, we've heard the you cant do this, you cant do that), the sometimes not so friendly officers (this depends cos on good days they can be smiling ear to ear & superbly helpful while on other days they aren't), and I guess the housing..

Well, on that point, u most likely can only agree with me & most of my friends from the neighbouring ASEAN countries if like us, u have the opportunity to live in houses and not flats... cos while yes, it's a good thing blah blah blah, but having funeral wakes at the ground floor while u sleep upstairs, and having bird droppings at the carpaks, shit in the lift, leaflets thrown eveywhere at the letter box... err, where is the clean green Singapura image? Something is so wrong about this image Singapore potrays in their glitzy adverts and their real life living! (read: other/ more Singapore myths).

So, I'm sorry, Singapura, as much as I'd like you to be in the list, but you're not.

Well, there u have it. 3 cities which is not in my list for business + pleasure. I'm sure some of you will argue.. some of you who have not stayed in this places, or for that matter citizens of these places. But then again, this is my list.. what's yr top 10 then?

*Now, just a caveat, these are my personal experiences & personal thoughts. U might have a different experience altogether. I respect that, and I hope u respect this opinion of mine too. In other words, rileks sikit lah hehe

*To my Singapore kawan, u know yrself well enough lah.. most of u don't fit into this bad category lah... and u make Singapore a better place, so don't in any way feel offended wor :D


  1. Sounds like Singapore is really not as good as how they portrayed it huh! :p

  2. I've never been to this 3 places :(

  3. @tekkaus
    ya lor

    u can visit them. u might get a different experience altogether. btw living & visiting is also different ya? :D

  4. Thanks for the info.
    I might visiting Hanoi in coming June, let's see how rude they are?! :)

    Q, beside do you compare Malaysia with these 3 places you visited before?

    Cheers! :)

  5. Looks like these are your Top 3 Most Disliked Countries! Haha!

    I have not been to Hong Kong and Hanoi so cannot comment much.

    As for Singapore, I only visit it as a tourist so it looks pretty good place to me but I guess if you are staying and working there, things would be different.

  6. i speak cantonese and have many hk friends... so hk will definitely in my top 10 :) the rest are barcelona, new york, zurich, bangkok, manila, wellington, london, luxembourg, florence :p i will be heading to south america sooner... so guess the top 10 gotta be revised after that... hahhaa

  7. @foong
    singapore stil has a place in my heart.

    as for hk & hanoi, they need to buck up to be liked.

    to each, their own experience :D


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