Philippines Insider" The Ultimate Philippines Travel Guide for Tourists and Expats

Author Topic: Positive and negative  (Read 7877 times)

Offline michael16136

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Country Comparisons
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2008, 10:10:09 PM »
I\'m not sure if this is the appropriate place to post this, and if not the moderators can feel free to move it.

I\'ve been in Bangkok for the last few days on business, and though I\'ve been to Thailand dozens of times in the past, I\'ve not been back for three years, so this trip has given me ample time to reflect on the differences between the two countries and to think about where I would rather be.

In terms of the development of physical infrastructure (particularly transport) and in general development planning, Thailand wins hands down. Over the past 20 years or so the Thais have developed an integrated urban transport system for Bangkok that\'s marvelously efficient, affordable, and reliable. The Philippines, during the same period, has developed little. The Thais are trying hard (and succeeding) in \"greening\" Bangkok, and have developed stringent environmental protection systems and regulations that are actually enforced. Bangkok is much less polluted than it once was, and much cleaner. There are large, green open spaces that are preserved, and the new architecture is extremely attractive.

In terms of urban livability, again Thailand wins by a large margin. Bangkok is being/has been redeveloped very intelligently, and its becoming an attractive, very successful and prosperous city. Conversely, Manila remains essentially a confusing potourri of small, often dirty and congested municipalities with little coordinated development and no apparent development rationale. I guess the differences between the two are evident in the economic growth of the past twenty years or so. Thailand, which used to lag behind the Philippines during the Marcos era, is now a middle income country while the Philippines remains mired in poverty and third world status.

Based on empirical traits, it would be logical to prefer Thailand. The food is much better. It\'s booming economically. There\'s a sense of real optimism and Thais would prefer in general to remain in their country, being fiercely nationalistic and proud of the country\'s accomplishments. Empiricism however isn\'t the only basis for forming judgments.

In terms of the genuine warmth of the people, and foreigners\' ability to communicate with the people, the Philippines wins by a country mile. Thais are friendly. Filipinos are genuinely happy to see you. Thais are extremely polite. Filipinos are overwhelmingly generous to foreigners. I guess what I\'ve realized (about myself) on this trip is that while I still enjoy visiting Thailand, I prefer to live in the Philippines. The \"personal\" factor seems to outweigh the other considerations. Or maybe it\'s that I find the chaos of the Philippines more exhilarating than the more disciplined predictability of Thailand. I\'ll come back here gladly, but I\'ll keep living in the Philippines.

Offline Robm

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Re: Positive and negative
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2008, 09:01:05 AM »
Hi Michael,

I\'m in Hong Kong at the moment getting ready to head back to the US. My Pinay and I were in Thailand for three days. We also spend a couple of days in Singapore.
This was my second time in Thailand, and i will agree with a lot of your conclusions. The country is very nice and interesting from my view point.
One fun part was so many people thought my girl was Thai and when I didnt know what they were saying they would turn to her and ask the question in Thai.
I think it would be fun to spend time exploring Thailand myself. Thailand is VERY toursist cenetered, so the country has grown to accomadate them.

Robm

Offline Manila Cockney

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Re: Positive and negative
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2008, 12:01:06 PM »
Phuket is my favourite place been there over 20 times but not since the tsunami. Was considering living there but ended up marrying a Filipino. A few of my friends have retired there, and for those that do not know its a lot more than just a beach. It has supermarkets such a Tescos, a British International School, good hospitals etc. I am hoping direct cheap flights are introduced from Manila, its a bit of a pain going through Bangkok and I will be over there a lot more. 

Offline michael16136

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Re: Positive and negative
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2008, 08:31:18 PM »
I agree, the Thais have made tourism management an exact science and the country is totally geared toward the care and feeding of the tourists who throng there. I think the country enjoys about twenty times the tourism arrivals of the Philippines and I can sure understand why. I\'ve lived there and worked there, and I\'m stunned by the development of the last twenty years or so. Still, the language barrier impedes communication and that\'s one advantage that the Philippines will not lose any time soon.