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Worst Cities in the World?

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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinch
    Port Moresby is right up there for the truly epic Mistah Kurtz he dead level of violence against person and property

    Life in PNG: violence and brutality inside - and outside - detention - Crikey

    Picked a nice progressive (note the gratuitous mention of AU immigration detention issue) website's article so the usual chorus of $%^&-slinging virtue-signalling monkeys please take note and a deep breath before responding.

    I quite like Jakarta apart from the traffic jams and pollution and occasional human bomb going off in your hotel lobby.

    Whilst I have issues with the present security situation in Thailand and am not taken in by the 'Thai Smile' and all that Smooth as Silk nonsense, anybody who writes articles (and plenty of writers do) about Bangkok being some nasty monster city that eats people up, is clearly a sensationalist hack. There are plenty of wonderful 'hidden' places and sights in Bangkok - one just has to look for them.

    OTOH, KL isn't exactly a hardship posting, but it does nothing for me.
    I've been to Port Moresby. Went to a restaurant in a nondescripted mall and had to get buzzed in to get pass the bulletproof glass and armed guard. Lots of young men with nothing to do there. And young men with nothing to do is a (perhaps, the) key ingredient to trouble.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by nagernager
    Bangkok will choke you. Roadside pollution is terrible as highways and BTS cover the roads, thereby trapping pollution, there's very little green space, traffic is terrible to the point where you wondered why you took a taxi, rather than just walk there. Nonetheless, it's a great place to get out on the weekend, to be spent on a tropical island.
    As you probably realised during your year in Bangkok, the good bits of Bangkok start 100 to 200m down almost any given soi, once you get away from Sukhumvit, Rama 4, etc. For example: heading back from Ratchadamri to Soi Langsuan to the first Khlong, Soi Phromphong, blah blah.. and many others.

    Living there, I never felt the air pollution to be as bad as in Hong Kong. In Bangkok it's just vehicular pollution (and dust in the dry season). There's no heavy industry or power generation nearby and very little shipping these days. Container ports are elsewhere.

    Agree that it's no fun to be at ground level anywhere near the main streets.
    Last edited by Kinch; 11-05-2016 at 09:02 AM.
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  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinch
    As you probably realised during your year in Bangkok, the good bits of Bangkok start 100 to 200m down almost any given soi, once you get away from Sukhumvit, Rama 4, etc.
    Yes yes, the city has lots to offer, I know. I do return every year for short visits. Bangkok can't be beat in terms of services and it has plenty of sights. I had plenty of good times there. I would definitely recommend anyone to check out Bang Kachao. It's an oasis in the city that few people venture to.

    There's no denying though that if you spend 40 minutes on the non-AC open window bus going through downtown, one feels a little high from all the fumes inhaled during that stint.
    Last edited by civil_servant; 11-05-2016 at 09:03 AM.
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  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinch

    And of all the Shit Hole Backwaters I've been to, Vientiane was by far the best and most charming Shit Hole Backwater. Go see it before the Chinese totally wreck it.
    My first thought about Vientiane in 2002, "Where the hell is everyone?!" Spooky, weird, deserted capital city with an ugly monument in the middle made from concrete that was suppose to be used for the airport, hence the nickname The Vertical Runway. I ate a fantastic French meal at a restaurant there. Evidently a handful of high end businesses catered to NGO's at the time. Strange, strange, place.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patuxai
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  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by huja
    My first thought about Vientiane in 2002, "Where the hell is everyone?!" Spooky, weird, deserted capital city with an ugly monument in the middle made from concrete that was suppose to be used for the airport, hence the nickname The Vertical Runway. I ate a fantastic French meal at a restaurant there. Evidently a handful of high end businesses catered to NGO's at the time. Strange, strange, place.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patuxai
    Indeed. You can always rely on the NGO gilded types in their chauffeured Toyota Landcruisers to spawn good restaurants whilst working hard to not solve any real problems so that they can continue to be necessary. I remember with fondness a bakery cafe run as part of a Lao-Chinese woman's supermarket. She had the entire local French diplomatic and NGO market sewn up.

    The problem is now that proper roads from Yunnan province and rail too are happening, the place is filling up with Mainland carpetbaggers. Ultimately they will probably do more to improve the standard of living of ordinary shit poor Laos than any Western NGO, but will absolutely wreck the culture and ye olde worlde charme whilst doing it.

    One of the things I love about Vientiane is the lovely old and almost rustic Wats. Big contrast with the bling bling monstrosities one finds in Thailand.

  6. #16

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    Anyway, when he's not sticking it to the Mainlanders, David Tang can be a bit of a dick. I'd love to read an article by Theodore Dalrymple on the worst cities he's visited. Much more insightful and less of an insecure name-dropper.

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  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinch
    Indeed. You can always rely on the NGO gilded types in their chauffeured Toyota Landcruisers to spawn good restaurants whilst working hard to not solve any real problems so that they can continue to be necessary. I remember with fondness a bakery cafe run as part of a Lao-Chinese woman's supermarket. She had the entire local French diplomatic and NGO market sewn up.

    The problem is now that proper roads from Yunnan province and rail too are happening, the place is filling up with Mainland carpetbaggers. Ultimately they will probably do more to improve the standard of living of ordinary shit poor Laos than any Western NGO, but will absolutely wreck the culture and ye olde worlde charme whilst doing it.

    One of the things I love about Vientiane is the lovely old and almost rustic Wats. Big contrast with the bling bling monstrosities one finds in Thailand.
    I enjoyed my time there 15 years ago. Luang Prabang was something out of a 1960's National Geographic. The people were pleasant, the pace was dialed down and there was a something comforting about the sparseness of the place. But it was just a matter of time before Laos caught up with the rest of the world. Hopefully the citizens are all enjoying an improved standard of living without the dilution of the local culture.
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  8. #18

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    Are we meant to believe David Tang has really spent time in these cities? Walking around absorbing the sights? Having a chat with the locals? Give me a break. Being chauffeured around and staying in 5 star hotels doesn't count.

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  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Char Siu King
    Are we meant to believe David Tang has really spent time in these cities? Walking around absorbing the sights? Having a chat with the locals? Give me a break. Being chauffeured around and staying in 5 star hotels doesn't count.
    He does come across as a pompous ass with a "Let them eat cake," take on the world.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by nagernager
    Taiwan has some terrible cities, except Taipei. It's where the KMT spent most of the money. If one ventures to other cities like Taichung, one has to walk between cars as sidewalks are impassible due to parked scooters, step over dogs, and take in the constant change of stench from street food vendors or completely polluted streams.

    When started my cycling tour of Southern China after having lived in Taiwan I prepared myself for the worst, considering that Taiwan was a much is much wealthier society. I was pleasantly surprised how good Chinese cities were, bicycle paths everywhere, wide sidewalks, large shopping boulevards, massive squares, historical sights, etc. My cycling journey ended in Bangkok. Even though we arrived by bus in Bangkok at 6am to avoid heavy traffic, by 7 am I thought that this was the day we're going to die. Lived in Bangkok for a year and enjoyed all it's services, but in the end, I must confess I would've rather spent time in Kunming than there. Bangkok will choke you. Roadside pollution is terrible as highways and BTS cover the roads, thereby trapping pollution, there's very little green space, traffic is terrible to the point where you wondered why you took a taxi, rather than just walk there. Nonetheless, it's a great place to get out on the weekend, to be spent on a tropical island.
    not sure about taichung

    but kaohsung and kenting area were quite nice places in taiwan, very comparable to taipei, apart from the bizarre koisk that sells only betlenuts and cigarette, nothing that much bad about these places, the cleanliness is also much much better than some parts of shenzhen or bangkok, as well as the fact there don't seem to many shady/dodgy areas in these places unlike shenzhen or bangkok

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