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Philippines/Vietnam Report #1 - Just Back!

Post your trip reports, travel experiences, and updates abroad. Or your expat story if you already live overseas. Note: To post photos and images, insert the image URL between the tags [img]and[/img] after uploading them to a third party site.

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Philippines/Vietnam Report #1 - Just Back!

Postby davewe » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:16 pm

Just got back yesterday and here's a rambling report. This is intended only as my basic impressions, YMMV, but I did find it interesting how my impressions differed from what others have reported. Also, I will not post any pics of girls I met . You'll just have to trust me when I say how they looked - or not - up to you!

Manila - Arrived in Manila and stayed a total of 3 days. I guess I was so ready for it to be a total shithole that I was surpised that it wasn't. Now mind you, it's not the first place I'd choose to live but it's not nearly as bad as I was expecting. Even the airport, which is sometimes described as among the world's worst, had 2 out of 3 terminals that I'd call modern.

Pretty girls falling off of trees - Yes, in general I find Filipinas to be attractive, but this notion that you'll see thousands of hot girls in every mall waiting for you to pick them up is utter nonsense. The prettiest girls were rarely the ones wandering around the malls, they were clerks working in malls, girls working the counters at airlines, and of course at hotels. Natually, the more upscale the hotel, the hotter the girls. Arguably the hotest girls I saw in my week there, were in the company of middle aged (or older) Western men. Don't know if they were gfs, wives, or working girls, but there were some stunners, including the girl who accompanied me for 3 days.

Cebu - Easy to understand why Western guys relocate here. It's an attractive city with culture and nightlife, less poverty than Manila. Ayala Mall is upscale and mobbed (at least when I was there). The people seemed overall quite friendly. In short, I would visit Cebu again!

Davao - Spent one day here. Also a very nice city. I am told the infrastructure of this city is very strong compared to other places in the Philippines. I'd like to go back and see more of this place.

Dumb Filipinas - Maybe I lucked out, maybe I was just enthralled by my attractive companion, but the girls I met and interacted with were at least as bright as their American counterparts. Of course, what interests them is not the same as what might interest an American, but I found the level of brightness and inquisitiveness to be more than acceptable.

Food - Other than at the Manila Marriott (where I spent one night) I had no great meals in the Philippines, but I had no horrible ones either. Everything was at least edible, but i am used to adjusting to foreign travel and the necessary adjustments eating-wise.

Women with older men - As a guy well north (or is that south) of 50, this is what interests me most. I saw many pretty young women with older Western guys in all of the cities I visited and even a few with older Filipinos. The girl I spent much of my time with is 22, and contrary to stereotype is from a middle class family. She came across in person as exactly the girl I have been chatting with for several months, and I will go back and see her again. Based on my tiny sampling of Filipinas their attitude toward sex is less conservative than I had believed and they are quite sexually passionate; I'll leave it at that!

Conclusions - Despite some of the negativity on this board, I would consider the Philippines to be a place to strongly consider visiting whether you are looking for a short term gf, long term gf or wife, a place to relocate or retire to. Women act like women and treat you as a man, and that in and of itself is pretty damn compelling!
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Vietnam

Postby davewe » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:33 pm

I next spent a week in Vietnam, and here again are my general impressions:

Ho Chi Minh City - Incredible, bussling city of 11 million with 8 million motorbikes. A wild driving experience. Hell walking on the sidewalk can be taking your life into your hands. The city is exciting and the culture of the place is fascinating.

Food - Wow! Every meal was incredible. Fresh vegetables and seafood were the norm at every restaurant I ate at. Nothing like what passes for Vietnamese food in my city.

Girls - There are many many pretty girls here. I have no idea whether they date Westerners, let alone older Westerners. I saw no examples of Vietnamese girls with Western guys. One obvious problem is the lack of English here. Most people speak none or only know a few words. This made negotiating the city a challenge, and I can imagine would make meeting girls a big challenge. OTOH for the mongerers, directly across the street from my hotel was a store front with girls displayed like appliances, and they were all stunningly pretty and hot.

Mui ne Beach - Spent two days at this beach, a 4 hour train ride from Ho Chi Minh. Nice resort area with a mix of tourists, including a large Russian contingent. The Russian women there were IMO nowhere near as attractive as the Vietnamese.

General Attutude - The people in Ho Chi Minh are industrious and aggressive. They will ask assertively for tips or to sell you stuff. It's easy to see why this city is on its way up.

Conclusion - A fun place to visit. The girls are pretty but I have no idea whether they are available to you.
Last edited by davewe on Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Dogboy86 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:55 pm

Thank you for the trip.report Dave. I appreciate the detail and way it was laid out. What would you say impressed and gave you caution most overall?
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Postby Winston » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:28 pm

That's great Dave. I loved the Philippines when I first arrived there too, and felt the same way you did. It was a paradise for meeting and dating girls.

However, if you stay there for several years, you'll see a different side and may become more jaded. But I don't need to get into that as it's been described at length here already.
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Re: Philippines/Vietnam Report #1 - Just Back!

Postby Rock » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:29 pm

davewe wrote:Just got back yesterday and here's a rambling report. This is intended only as my basic impressions, YMMV, but I did find it interesting how my impressions differed from what others have reported. Also, I will not post any pics of girls I met . You'll just have to trust me when I say how they looked - or not - up to you!

Manila - Arrived in Manila and stayed a total of 3 days. I guess I was so ready for it to be a total shithole that I was surpised that it wasn't. Now mind you, it's not the first place I'd choose to live but it's not nearly as bad as I was expecting. Even the airport, which is sometimes described as among the world's worst, had 2 out of 3 terminals that I'd call modern.

Pretty girls falling off of trees - Yes, in general I find Filipinas to be attractive, but this notion that you'll see thousands of hot girls in every mall waiting for you to pick them up is utter nonsense. The prettiest girls were rarely the ones wandering around the malls, they were clerks working in malls, girls working the counters at airlines, and of course at hotels. Natually, the more upscale the hotel, the hotter the girls. Arguably the hotest girls I saw in my week there, were in the company of middle aged (or older) Western men. Don't know if they were gfs, wives, or working girls, but there were some stunners, including the girl who accompanied me for 3 days.

Cebu - Easy to understand why Western guys relocate here. It's an attractive city with culture and nightlife, less poverty than Manila. Ayala Mall is upscale and mobbed (at least when I was there). The people seemed overall quite friendly. In short, I would visit Cebu again!

Davao - Spent one day here. Also a very nice city. I am told the infrastructure of this city is very strong compared to other places in the Philippines. I'd like to go back and see more of this place.

Dumb Filipinas - Maybe I lucked out, maybe I was just enthralled by my attractive companion, but the girls I met and interacted with were at least as bright as their American counterparts. Of course, what interests them is not the same as what might interest an American, but I found the level of brightness and inquisitiveness to be more than acceptable.

Food - Other than at the Manila Marriott (where I spent one night) I had no great meals in the Philippines, but I had no horrible ones either. Everything was at least edible, but i am used to adjusting to foreign travel and the necessary adjustments eating-wise.

Women with older men - As a guy well north (or is that south) of 50, this is what interests me most. I saw many pretty young women with older Western guys in all of the cities I visited and even a few with older Filipinos. The girl I spent much of my time with is 22, and contrary to stereotype is from a middle class family. She came across in person as exactly the girl I have been chatting with for several months, and I will go back and see her again. Based on my tiny sampling of Filipinas their attitude toward sex is less conservative than I had believed and they are quite sexually passionate; I'll leave it at that!

Conclusions - Despite some of the negativity on this board, I would consider the Philippines to be a place to strongly consider visiting whether you are looking for a short term gf, long term gf or wife, a place to relocate or retire to. Women act like women and treat you as a man, and that in and of itself is pretty damn compelling!


Hey Dave. Thanks for the report. I found positives in Cebu too. For one, the English sounds so much better and easier to understand there cus the accent is influenced by Visayan, not Tagalog. Perhaps that's why so many US call centers are located there and why Koreans tend to go there instead of Manila for learning English. Taxis and people generally seemed honest and straightforward too. And I've always classified PI as a good country for older guys which seems to agree with what you observed. Anyway, I'll write more separately in my own trip report.
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Re: Vietnam

Postby Rock » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:33 pm

davewe wrote:I next spent a week in Vietnam, and here again are my general impressions:

Ho Chi Minh City - Incredible, bussling city of 11 million with 8 million motorbikes. A wild driving experience. Hell walking on the sidewalk can be taling your life into your hands. The city is exciting and the culture of the place is fascinating.

Food - Wow! Every meal was incredible. Fresh vegetables and seafood were the norm at every restaurant I ate at. Nothing like what passes for Vietnamese food in my city.

Girls - There are many many pretty girls here. I have no idea whether they date Westerners, let alone older Westerners. I saw no examples of Vietnamese girls with Western guys. One obvious problem is the lack of English here. Most people speak none or only know a few words. This made negotiating the city a challege, and I can imagine would make meeting girls a big challenge. OTOH for the mongerers, directly across the street from my hotel was a store front with girls displayed like appliances, and they were all stunningly pretty and hot.

Mui ne Beach - Spent two days at this beach, a 4 hour train ride from Ho Chi Minh. Nice resort area with a mix of tourists, including a large Russian contingent. The Russian women there were IMO nowhere near as attractive as the Vietnamese.

General Attutude - The people in Ho Chi Minh are industrious and aggressive. They will ask assertively for tips or to sell you stuff. It's easy to see why this city is on its way up.

Conclusion - A fun place to visit. The girls are pretty but I have no idea whether they are available to you.


Perhaps in Vietnam, you either go for a bride or pick a whore. Sounds like there's not much middle ground, lol. I know a lot of Taiwanese find their wives in Vietnam.
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Postby davewe » Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:01 pm

Dogboy86 wrote:Thank you for the trip.report Dave. I appreciate the detail and way it was laid out. What would you say impressed and gave you caution most overall?


As to the Philippines - let's face it it's the girls. The stereotyped notion that they are just interested in you because they are poor or want a green card is too simplistic. They genuinely have a different attitude than what an American would ever experience at home. You will have to decide to either accept their different attitude or not. If you approach girls as a Westerner would (I'm not good looking enough, tall enough, young enough, rich enough) you will miss out. Leave your preconceived notions aside and you will meet lovely women, who will desire and even love you.

I arrived just after the typhoon hit, so that storm , the devastation and the weak infrastructure to deal with the devastation, certainly gives me caution about living there. OTOH, I spoke with many people who went to help or sent what they could to help, and that was impressive.
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Re: Philippines/Vietnam Report #1 - Just Back!

Postby davewe » Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:09 pm

Rock wrote:
davewe wrote:Just got back yesterday and here's a rambling report. This is intended only as my basic impressions, YMMV, but I did find it interesting how my impressions differed from what others have reported. Also, I will not post any pics of girls I met . You'll just have to trust me when I say how they looked - or not - up to you!

Manila - Arrived in Manila and stayed a total of 3 days. I guess I was so ready for it to be a total shithole that I was surpised that it wasn't. Now mind you, it's not the first place I'd choose to live but it's not nearly as bad as I was expecting. Even the airport, which is sometimes described as among the world's worst, had 2 out of 3 terminals that I'd call modern.

Pretty girls falling off of trees - Yes, in general I find Filipinas to be attractive, but this notion that you'll see thousands of hot girls in every mall waiting for you to pick them up is utter nonsense. The prettiest girls were rarely the ones wandering around the malls, they were clerks working in malls, girls working the counters at airlines, and of course at hotels. Natually, the more upscale the hotel, the hotter the girls. Arguably the hotest girls I saw in my week there, were in the company of middle aged (or older) Western men. Don't know if they were gfs, wives, or working girls, but there were some stunners, including the girl who accompanied me for 3 days.

Cebu - Easy to understand why Western guys relocate here. It's an attractive city with culture and nightlife, less poverty than Manila. Ayala Mall is upscale and mobbed (at least when I was there). The people seemed overall quite friendly. In short, I would visit Cebu again!

Davao - Spent one day here. Also a very nice city. I am told the infrastructure of this city is very strong compared to other places in the Philippines. I'd like to go back and see more of this place.

Dumb Filipinas - Maybe I lucked out, maybe I was just enthralled by my attractive companion, but the girls I met and interacted with were at least as bright as their American counterparts. Of course, what interests them is not the same as what might interest an American, but I found the level of brightness and inquisitiveness to be more than acceptable.

Food - Other than at the Manila Marriott (where I spent one night) I had no great meals in the Philippines, but I had no horrible ones either. Everything was at least edible, but i am used to adjusting to foreign travel and the necessary adjustments eating-wise.

Women with older men - As a guy well north (or is that south) of 50, this is what interests me most. I saw many pretty young women with older Western guys in all of the cities I visited and even a few with older Filipinos. The girl I spent much of my time with is 22, and contrary to stereotype is from a middle class family. She came across in person as exactly the girl I have been chatting with for several months, and I will go back and see her again. Based on my tiny sampling of Filipinas their attitude toward sex is less conservative than I had believed and they are quite sexually passionate; I'll leave it at that!

Conclusions - Despite some of the negativity on this board, I would consider the Philippines to be a place to strongly consider visiting whether you are looking for a short term gf, long term gf or wife, a place to relocate or retire to. Women act like women and treat you as a man, and that in and of itself is pretty damn compelling!


Hey Dave. Thanks for the report. I found positives in Cebu too. For one, the English sounds so much better and easier to understand there cus the accent is influenced by Visayan, not Tagalog. Perhaps that's why so many US call centers are located there and why Koreans tend to go there instead of Manila for learning English. Taxis and people generally seemed honest and straightforward too. And I've always classified PI as a good country for older guys which seems to agree with what you observed. Anyway, I'll write more separately in my own trip report.


Taxis are honest if you stick with the metered ones. However, we took lots of cabs and on 2 separate occassions had a non-metered cab. At the end of our ride when i asked the driver how much, he said "whatever you feel is right, sir." I looked to my companion for advise, she chose a figure and I gave it to him. In each case he asked for more and I said "then why didn't you tell we how much in the first place." Still even the non-metered cabs were cheap by U.S. standards.
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Postby Seeker » Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:20 pm

davewe wrote:As to the Philippines - let's face it it's the girls. The stereotyped notion that they are just interested in you because they are poor or want a green card is too simplistic. They genuinely have a different attitude than what an American would ever experience at home. You will have to decide to either accept their different attitude or not.

It depends entirely on the guy. I certainly don't see many good looking or even ok looking women with older Western men, in fact I hardly see any and most of the women have a dull expression on their faces. Everyone knows the reason why they're with them but out of politeness nobody says anything.
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Postby Taco » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:50 pm

Thats a nice trip report, I'm glad you enjoyed yourself.

Do you recommend meeting a good filipina online before you go to PI or do you think its better to just go to Philippines first and then find a good woman?

Your thoughts please.

Thanks
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Postby davewe » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:35 am

Taco wrote:Thats a nice trip report, I'm glad you enjoyed yourself.

Do you recommend meeting a good filipina online before you go to PI or do you think its better to just go to Philippines first and then find a good woman?

Your thoughts please.

Thanks


I did the online thing, not only to meet girls but to get a feel for the culture and the women in general. I have a posting about my experience on Cherry Blossoms. For me it took a couple months to get to know the girls and how they view things. When I first joined I found the response hard to believe. But after a couple months I began to understand who was real and who wasn't and why the attitude toward men is different from what we're used to in the West.

OTOH, we see trip reports from guys who are successful just showing up. I suppose it depends on how much time you have. If I had been there for a month or two it might have been more reasonable to meet girls the old fashioned way but if you are going for a short vacation that's a lot tougher.
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Re: Philippines/Vietnam Report #1 - Just Back!

Postby Rock » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:41 am

davewe wrote:
Rock wrote:
davewe wrote:Just got back yesterday and here's a rambling report. This is intended only as my basic impressions, YMMV, but I did find it interesting how my impressions differed from what others have reported. Also, I will not post any pics of girls I met . You'll just have to trust me when I say how they looked - or not - up to you!

Manila - Arrived in Manila and stayed a total of 3 days. I guess I was so ready for it to be a total shithole that I was surpised that it wasn't. Now mind you, it's not the first place I'd choose to live but it's not nearly as bad as I was expecting. Even the airport, which is sometimes described as among the world's worst, had 2 out of 3 terminals that I'd call modern.

Pretty girls falling off of trees - Yes, in general I find Filipinas to be attractive, but this notion that you'll see thousands of hot girls in every mall waiting for you to pick them up is utter nonsense. The prettiest girls were rarely the ones wandering around the malls, they were clerks working in malls, girls working the counters at airlines, and of course at hotels. Natually, the more upscale the hotel, the hotter the girls. Arguably the hotest girls I saw in my week there, were in the company of middle aged (or older) Western men. Don't know if they were gfs, wives, or working girls, but there were some stunners, including the girl who accompanied me for 3 days.

Cebu - Easy to understand why Western guys relocate here. It's an attractive city with culture and nightlife, less poverty than Manila. Ayala Mall is upscale and mobbed (at least when I was there). The people seemed overall quite friendly. In short, I would visit Cebu again!

Davao - Spent one day here. Also a very nice city. I am told the infrastructure of this city is very strong compared to other places in the Philippines. I'd like to go back and see more of this place.

Dumb Filipinas - Maybe I lucked out, maybe I was just enthralled by my attractive companion, but the girls I met and interacted with were at least as bright as their American counterparts. Of course, what interests them is not the same as what might interest an American, but I found the level of brightness and inquisitiveness to be more than acceptable.

Food - Other than at the Manila Marriott (where I spent one night) I had no great meals in the Philippines, but I had no horrible ones either. Everything was at least edible, but i am used to adjusting to foreign travel and the necessary adjustments eating-wise.

Women with older men - As a guy well north (or is that south) of 50, this is what interests me most. I saw many pretty young women with older Western guys in all of the cities I visited and even a few with older Filipinos. The girl I spent much of my time with is 22, and contrary to stereotype is from a middle class family. She came across in person as exactly the girl I have been chatting with for several months, and I will go back and see her again. Based on my tiny sampling of Filipinas their attitude toward sex is less conservative than I had believed and they are quite sexually passionate; I'll leave it at that!

Conclusions - Despite some of the negativity on this board, I would consider the Philippines to be a place to strongly consider visiting whether you are looking for a short term gf, long term gf or wife, a place to relocate or retire to. Women act like women and treat you as a man, and that in and of itself is pretty damn compelling!


Hey Dave. Thanks for the report. I found positives in Cebu too. For one, the English sounds so much better and easier to understand there cus the accent is influenced by Visayan, not Tagalog. Perhaps that's why so many US call centers are located there and why Koreans tend to go there instead of Manila for learning English. Taxis and people generally seemed honest and straightforward too. And I've always classified PI as a good country for older guys which seems to agree with what you observed. Anyway, I'll write more separately in my own trip report.


Taxis are honest if you stick with the metered ones. However, we took lots of cabs and on 2 separate occassions had a non-metered cab. At the end of our ride when i asked the driver how much, he said "whatever you feel is right, sir." I looked to my companion for advise, she chose a figure and I gave it to him. In each case he asked for more and I said "then why didn't you tell we how much in the first place." Still even the non-metered cabs were cheap by U.S. standards.


Hmm, I never saw non-metered taxis is Cebu City. And they can be a bit hard to get during rush hour period or sudden rains. I probably took over 30 taxis during my stay there. I also took jeepneys several times. No funny business in either case. All taxis were metered, used it, and actively returned the change. Where did you find non-metered taxis? Were they empty jeepneys? Were they way out in the province? During the couple of times when I just couldn't get a taxi (sudden rain), I would have been happy to take a non-metered taxi and pay a premium. But to my knowledge, I never saw one.
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Postby E_Irizarry » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:02 am

@DaveWe,

Do they like Black guys and spanish-speaking dudes in Viet Nam?
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Postby Rock » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:08 am

Seeker wrote:
davewe wrote:As to the Philippines - let's face it it's the girls. The stereotyped notion that they are just interested in you because they are poor or want a green card is too simplistic. They genuinely have a different attitude than what an American would ever experience at home. You will have to decide to either accept their different attitude or not.

It depends entirely on the guy. I certainly don't see many good looking or even ok looking women with older Western men, in fact I hardly see any and most of the women have a dull expression on their faces. Everyone knows the reason why they're with them but out of politeness nobody says anything.


I do think a lot of Filipinas are more flexible about age than girls in most other Asian countries. For example, if you look through profiles on Latin Cupid, you will see some profiles of decent looking girls in the 19-22 year old category who's requested age range in a mate is around 25-45. The same girls in other countries would probably put the max at more like 30-35 if not lower. But for guys who are 50+ going out with very young girls, its generally considered a sugar daddy relationship by the girl, her family, friends, and the general public. The girl herself might even refer to the guy as her 'lolo' when taking about him to her friends in Cebuano. Its kinda cliche to many of the local people in the Philipines - girls who decide to marry for money instead of love going for one of the old western guys around. Its really much more about getting some ongoing help for the family than a passport or new life in the US. Many of these girls would be fine just living in the same villages they grew up in surrounded by their networks of family and friends.

On my plane trip back from LA to Manila, the Filipina sitting next to me (who worked on cruise ships in Florida) told me about this dynamic too. She said she would only marry for love, so she was single. She said the Filipinas who marry for money often end up having to be with old guys.

So I think Filipinas can generally accept wider age gaps than most, unless they are solid middle class or above. But, even with them, there are often limitations. One night in Mango Square, I met an American from North Carolina who had been in Cebu for nearly 12 years. Now he looked quite old to me, had a very worn face. But, he claimed to be just 50. Anyway, he told me that a lot of the cuter girls in some of the go go bars down the street refused to be barfined by him. He said that enough customers visit those places to make the girls somewhat picky and that the better looking ones would only go with guys who weren't too old or ugly.

Perhaps the best strategy for one of these old guys who wants a very young girl is to go ahead and accept a sugar daddy relationship with one of them. Perhaps over time, she will grow to love him if he treats and handles her in the correct manner. What do you guys think. Do girls who marry guys for money ever fall in love with them down the road? Is is possible when there is such a large age gap?
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Re: Philippines/Vietnam Report #1 - Just Back!

Postby Mr S » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:15 am

Rock wrote:Hmm, I never saw non-metered taxis is Cebu City. And they can be a bit hard to get during rush hour period or sudden rains. I probably took over 30 taxis during my stay there. I also took jeepneys several times. No funny business in either case. All taxis were metered, used it, and actively returned the change. Where did you find non-metered taxis? Were they empty jeepneys? Were they way out in the province? During the couple of times when I just couldn't get a taxi (sudden rain), I would have been happy to take a non-metered taxi and pay a premium. But to my knowledge, I never saw one.


Anyplace where dumb foreigners would hang out at night is where you would have non-metered taxis, which are basically private owned cars who are just trying to scam ridiculous amounts of money off of newbie night-life foreign men who are too drunk to notice or don't care about spending money. They hang out at Mango square, Mango ave, the big discos, Arena KTV, etc; in the later part of the night, usually after midnight. They will also hang out at upper scale foreigner hotels that are known to have a lot of P4P foreigners, (Not Marriott type).
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