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The Bangkok Podcast

Jun 18, 2024

Continuing our regional focus of late, Greg and Ed discuss Ed’s recent trip to Hong Kong and how it compares to big, bad Bangkok. Ed begins with a big caveat: he’s not really much of a traveler, and he spent only 2 ½ days in Hong Kong, so his take is that of a true noob. That being said, Ed begins on the positive side, noting how geographically beautiful the city is, being situated on mountainous islands that present incredible photo opportunities. 

However, when compared to Bangkok, Ed found a lot of shortcomings. First, Hong Kongers tend not to smile much, including customer service staff. After years in Thailand, Ed realized how spoiled he has become. Second, the LOCAL cuisine was almost comically bland, with food literally being served unspiced and with no condiments on the table. (Both guys agree though that when you factor in all the international cuisine there, the food options overall are great.) Third, money and social status was discussed openly and almost constantly by Ed’s tour guides, which to Ed’s western ears came across a bit crass.

On a more neutral note but still unusual, the tour guides also openly discussed Hong Kong politics and their disdain for China in general. As a student of politics, Ed didn’t mind, but their open near-hostility seemed inappropriate in a tourist setting.

Greg provides some counterpoint to Ed’s experience, having enjoyed Hong Kong in the past, and Ed admits he needs to return, sans tour guides, to explore the city more in depth. How do you think Hong Kong measures up to Bangkok? 

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