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The First Time Traveler's Guide to East Asia

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

Making your first trip to East or Southeast Asia? Wondering where to go?

Okay, I've spent significant time in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. I can weigh in on those places for you. I haven't been to Macau, Laos, Burma, the Philippines, North Korea, or Indonesia yet - of them, I've heard great things about the Philippines and Indonesia in particular, but I can't comment.

So, some thoughts about every country -

Japan - Still the crown jewel of Asia, Japan has something for everyone. There's ancient and hyper-modern culture mixed all together. There's amazing technology, high levels of development, basically nonexistent crime, ridiculously high standards of quality and hygiene, and the people are friendly and polite. English isn't widely spoken, but the Japanese take being good hosts seriously and you'll be fine in any major city. You can find quite literally anything here - amazing camping and mountains and forests and oceans, or hyper-developed space-age districts in cities.

The downside of Japan - It's fucking expensive. Like, really really expensive. I hate spending money on eating and sleeping - every dollar I put into basic "staying alive" stuff is less money to be invested in commerce or philanthropy, or learning, or having unique experiences that are more interesting than... well, eating and sleeping. Yet, eating and sleeping is brutally expensive here. If you're not a veteran traveler and don't have friends here, you'll be hard pressed to spend less than $100/day in Japan. If you slum it hard, you can maybe get down to $50/day. Everything's ridiculously expensive, ranging from 400% to 2,000% higher than still-developing countries in Asia.

Cathay De-Escalates, Clears Marshall of Wrongdoing

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

I know everyone is getting bored of Cathay, and I'm trying to get back on interesting strategic content, philosophy, etc. But hey, I want to give credit where it's due - they've started to de-escalate and get reasonable.

Some facts here are wrong, and there's some omissions. But anyways, I appreciate this Joseph.

I filmed a video reply (that's friendly!) and I'll post it later. Really, it's entertaining.

Anyways, they're originally saying I caused a gigantic disturbance and was a huge problem, then I said I was going to bring tons of legal action against them (which, y'know, usually means they'd want to preserve their leverage by holding everything over my head that they can), and yet now they just filed no complaints, no charges, and cleared me to fly. That's interesting, isn't it?

From: Customer-Relations Subject: Re: MR SEBASTIAN MARSHALL - 26 December 2011 / KA 482 / Hong Kong to Taipei (KMM10053232I15977L0KM) Date: January 4, 2012 11:02:28 AM GMT+08:00 To: Sebastian

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