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Sunday, 21 January 2018

Chiang Mai Jan 2018 - Reflections

The world is getting smaller.

Morning I am in Chiang Mai, afternoon I would be back in Singapore.

Back at work yesterday, it felt as if I've not left Singapore Monday to Friday...

My first time in Chiang Mai.

I've always been curious why so many Westerners like to "retire" there.

Now I know - from first hand verification for myself.

5 days 4 nights is too short, but first impression is still first impression.

You know what?

I prefer Bangkok.


Its another confirmation I'm a cityboy. 

And not just any city...

My favourite city outside of Singapore is Hong Kong. 

Shanghai and Tokyo would come pretty close next.

Yup, I do prefer cosmopolitan cities!

Modern, crowded, and expensive.

Short term stays at laidback villages or 2nd tier cities could be interesting... You know, to relax and recalibrate. 

However, if you asked me to stay for more than 1 month, then it would no longer feel like holiday... More like banishment or exile!?

Oh well... 

Its good to know in advance. 

Although I have a citizen of the world mindset, the idea of me arbitraging on the lower cost of living standards between Singapore and other cities would be pretty slim...

All things being equal, I would probably have to pay more if and when I relocate!


  1. You like to be alone in the crowd?

    1. CW,


      I do like the anonymity in a crowd ;)

      When I'm alone on a quiet street, I feel awkward and self-conscious I'm distubring the serenity with my footsteps and thoughts...

      I also like to stay high up in multistoried apartments over at ground level.

      Up high in the sky, I am cocooned in peace and tranquility. When I feel like going back to civilsation, I just take a lift back to the bustling and humming street level.

      That's why I love Hong Kong so much!

  2. Hi smol

    Welcome back... I always feel my vacation is too short & time fly fast.

    I watch tvb from childhood, I can speak canto but i don't like HK after visit there 2 times not so good experience. Too crowded & pack of people everywhere, people there a bit cold to me & some very bad attitude. Especially when I visit the shop, have those pigeon eyes looking at me :(
    this is just my personal experience at HK & I been to hk twice.
    I go Taipei twice also & twice at bbk, both city also crowded, but people are much much friendly & don't have the kind of pigeon eye when I visit their shop :)

    1. sy sy,

      Thanks! Its good to be back :)

      That's the beauty of diversity in opinions!

      I can say how much I love HK, but if you don't like, you don't like :)

      Its good to vist new places and try new experiences.

      Without experiencing what is "crowded", how to have a mental image when we discuss population growth to 8 million?

      I personally think we will overshoot to 10 million in my lifetime.

      I often wonder what do visitors to Singapore think of Singapore?

      We are definitely not a laidback fishing village...


    2. Yes, very different mindset ;)

      Think the only thing I like about hk is their food... yum yum :)
      At least got 1 thing I like about hk lah... hehehe

      I feel like hk their city 规划 everything pack at hk island & 油尖区... that's why very pack... I anyhow tikam only lah :p

      Hmm... If really spore reach 10mil people how arh???? Now I feel stress liao... I don't like crowded place... jalak liao...

    3. sy sy,

      Stay calm. There's always JB, Bataam, and Bintan ;)

      Our HDB can be transformed into landed terrace houses there. Lots of open space if you prefer the suburbs!

      Big daddy did say if cannot afford life in Singapore, stay in JB old folks homes :(

  3. Coincidentally, I express the same love towards HK as you.

    It may be very strange as much as people feel that HKers are pretty rude or uncultured, but for each reason someone hate it, I've got one to express why I enjoy it :)

    So do Tokyo! Seems like I'm a city person too.

    1. sleepydevil,

      Newton's third law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

      Cannot be everyone loves nature and the countryside...

      What peole say and what they do are usually different.

      The majority of people prefer city life - judging by the pace of urbanisation and movement of people from rural areas to cities globally ;)

  4. For me i like vast expense of land and nature.

    Yet i may need to escape to city for the crowds & colourful surroundings, once a while.

    i agree i am impressed by the people of Taiwan rather then HK, BK.

    It is not easy to approach HK's people for a conversation.

    U can feel they are very stressed and wary of strangers.

    Adults or children are the same.

    i am supposed it's the same in any big bustling cities.

    Where got time for U, stranger?

    In HK, Taxi drivers were surprised that i could speak Cantonese almost like them.

    1. temperament,

      Of course Hong Kongers are more stressed. They got little to no social safety net. Hence from day 1 Hong Kongers knew they have to depend on themselves.

      Unlike Singapore where if we see the first sign of distress, we cry to big daddy - help!

      Taiwan has natural disasters like typhoons and earthquakes.

      One year I was travelling to a supplier down south and they showed me pictures of where mountain ranges once stood has now become valleys due to earthquake...

      We? A little flooding to ankle level we get all excited!

      Once we know life and property can disappear in an instance like in Taiwan, we would live life differently.

      When we travel to Sweden, my Taiwanese colleagues are the ones who treat me as their own - often inviting me to join their dinners and outings :)

      Taiwanese have 人情味。Very warm-hearted.

  5. Taiwanese are more helpful when approach or auto approach tourists who looked lost. I have learned from these helpful Taiwanese folks and do the same here to tourists who looked lost by turning Tourists map here and there. One elderly any moh couple said; I should wear Tourist Guide cap. LOL!

    1. CW,


      We should all be like you!

      Yup, it doesn't take much to help tourists out.

      We are tourists ourselves. We know how they feel to be lost or confused in a foreign land...

      Of course we must exercise common sense too. Especially the mainland "tourists" that approach us to "borrow" money since their wallets were "stolen".

      We have lots of them in Beijing and Shanghai. My mainland colleagues tell me they are so "jaded" that they become "cold" to strangers just to protect themselves...

      Quite sad.

  6. Hi SMOL,

    Welcome back!

    Unlike you, I really hate HK, and will not want to go there again unless forced to. I suspect I will like Chiang Mai very much :) I'm the kind who goes Batam for 3 to 4 consecutive years, sitting at the resort doing nothing. My wife will go mad of course lol

    1. LP,

      Its great to be back!

      Finally there's something we differ!!!

      Guo Jin and Xiao Huang Rong - you two really a good match :)

      Imagine how many books you can read in Bataam without the distractions!


  7. Borrow this book from NLB. It is free! Idea is free. Many have applied the moral of story and made it real and get out of rat race.

  8. Good experience... May I share a blog about Mount Fuji in http://stenote.blogspot.com/2018/04/mount-fuji-at-5th-station_14.html
    Watch also the video in youtube https://youtu.be/qOt2CxlZig8

    1. stenote,

      Love your "interview series" posts!

      You have a different style of writing travel posts too ;)

      And for the win, you a Youtuber!!!

      Good good. Added your blog to my blog links. Free must "steal with pride" from your blog ;)

      From your accent, I'm guessing you are Indonesian?


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