Hong Kong, Japan or South Korea?
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Nov 4, 2012 6:10 AM Last Post By: Cosmicool
Oct 16, 2012 1:50 PM
So I was looking at which of the countries in the options I'd like to visit the most, and whittled it down to Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. I would have had China in there too but I'd need a visa to go there which is just extra fuss so I'll just leave it for another time.
So I'd like to ask people, which of these 3 countries would you recommend the most and why? Taking into account costs as I don't want to spend too much especially since I need to save some money for Australia, plenty of interesting things to do and see, the fact that I only speak English so I don't want to have too much of a hard time with communicating. Also I'm black British so I hope there's not too much of a high chance of racism in these places, but please warn me if there is - it probably won't stop me but I'd just want to be prepared at least.
Oct 16, 2012 5:49 PM
Oct 17, 2012 3:11 AM
Oct 17, 2012 8:23 PM
3I've never made it to Korea yet, so can't add it into my comparison. But I've lived in both Japan and Hong Kong. I'm also assuming that in Japan, it would be Tokyo that you fly into.
I think the answer depends on how long you are planning on staying. If a few days means 2 or 3, I would say Hong Kong. For a one-city stopover, there's more to see. But if you are talking a week or so, then you can get out of the one city and see more, in which case I would vote Japan (visit Tokyo and Kyoto, with a stop at Fuji).
But of course it all depends on what you are looking for. Here's what I think of each city, which is of course nothing more than my own opinion.
Pros of Hong Kong: Better scenery and architecture and much more unique in its landscape. Excellent beaches from April-Nov. A more diverse culture, and probably Asia's most cosmopolitan city. Better night life (though Tokyo's is pretty awesome too). More diverse tourist sites. Excellent hiking. A bit warmer in winter. Everyone speaks English. Very easy city to get around and navigate, even if it's your first time in Asia.
Pros of Tokyo: More interesting culture. Japanese food is amazing. Some really great temples and historical sites to visit (especially if you can also visit Kyoto). The language and cultural difference will be more exciting and interesting than HK, which sometimes just feels like NY or London.
Price wise, I would say both are very similar. They are both fairly expensive cities. I suspect Seoul would be the cheapest.
Oct 18, 2012 8:23 AM
4Thank you all for your helpful replies.
So am I right in assuming that from the cheapest it goes Seoul > Hong Kong > Tokyo?
I'm not too sure how long I want to stay yet. I was thinking maybe 4-6 nights. Just enough to get a good experience without killing my money too much before I continue on to Oz.
I have to admit, with the recent Gangnam Style song taking over popular media, it's made me feel tempted to go see the Gangnam district in Seoul, haha. I'd also equally like to go to the other countries too though. Damn, this is so hard! More replies please :D
Oct 18, 2012 7:09 PM
Oct 19, 2012 2:54 AM
6OK, thanks. Maybe I'll leave out Japan for now and just opt for South Korea or Hong Kong. I can always do a longer trip around Asia later when I'm done with Australia and I have more money. There's also the option of doing a Japanese Working Holiday at some point too, which would greatly help with costs.
Oct 19, 2012 6:15 AM
7Let your budget decide...
In Korea you can have a single room with bathroom for 30,000-40,000 won (US$ 27-36). In Japan, you'll get a bunk bed for that price at the very best. An equal hotel room in Japan will cost you twice that much or more.
A meal at a restaurant will cost you in Tokyo double compared to Seoul.
Same proportions will apply to transportation.
Standard and quality of services (accommodation, transportation and food) in both countries are at the same level.
Korea is much cheaper. But, if costs wouldn't matter I'd choose Japan.
For you, since it's only a stopover and a few days, I'd say, in terms of attractions, you'll be equally happy whatever you choose. Otoh, if your budget is limited, Korea will be a better choice.
Nov 2, 2012 2:44 AM
I would suggest you to stop to Hong Kong.
Not only it's the cheapest place to be but it's also the most convenient if you travel alone and don't speak any of asian languages !
Hong Kong is still pretty warm at this time of the year, you could even swim at one of the city's beaches.
Korea is already bloody freezing and probably same in Tokyo.
Nov 4, 2012 6:10 AM
9Thanks to everyone for your input :)
My growing interest in k-pop in South Korean culture is drawing me more towards going to Seoul tbh, so I think I might opt for that as my stopover to Australia. I'd still like to visit the other Asian countries eventually sometime in the future.
@loulouinkorea: Since you're currently living in South Korea, I'm guessing you'd be a good person to ask. How easy or difficult is it getting around Seoul when you only know English and no Korean? I would probably bring along a Korean phrase book to help me a little, but would just be interested in having an idea of what to expect.
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