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Japan vs Taiwan vs South Korea

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

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Japan vs Taiwan vs South Korea

Japan
3
50%
Taiwan
3
50%
South Korea
0
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Total votes : 6

Japan vs Taiwan vs South Korea

Postby naiss » Sat May 14, 2011 3:22 am

Which of those three countries would you choose (not) to live in for a couple of years and why? I'm surprised about the description of Taiwan on http://www.happierabroad.com/Observations_Taiwan.htm because I was under the impression that Taiwanese are quite relaxed and approachable. http://www.happierabroad.com/Country_Summary.htm doesn't mention South Korea. Japan and Taiwan appear to be very similar regarding the social aspect.
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Postby Rock » Sat May 14, 2011 6:27 am

naiss wrote:Which of those three countries would you choose (not) to live in for a couple of years and why? I'm surprised about the description of Taiwan on http://www.happierabroad.com/Observations_Taiwan.htm because I was under the impression that Taiwanese are quite relaxed and approachable. http://www.happierabroad.com/Country_Summary.htm doesn't mention South Korea. Japan and Taiwan appear to be very similar regarding the social aspect.


Those summaries you linked about Taiwan are Winston's opinions and personal perception based on his own experiences, extended family views, and some conversations he's had with certain others who generally agree with his bias.

But a lot more has been posted on this topic in the last couple of years. I've debated with Winston at length on the merits of Taiwan as an attractive 'Happier Abroad' destination and even met with him to approach and connect with various Taiwanese strangers. I stand by everything I've written so please do a detailed search on Taiwan related posts if you want to get more balanced view of this country.

As for your specific comparison request, I'm not in a strong position to say too much. While I've lived in Taipei for quite awhile, I only have limited experience with Korea and Koreans and even less with Japan and the Japanese. Here are a few off-the-cuff thoughts though:

If we focus on the capitals (Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo):

- Taipei is by far the smallest - population 2.6 mn vs. 13 mn for Tokyo and 10 mn for Seoul.

- It is easier to manage with just English in Taipei than in Seoul or Tokyo.

- Seoul has by far the fastest average internet connection speed, but both Tokyo and Taipei beat the States.

- Taipei has the most modern and integrated transportation system - MRT lines are just a decade or less old and quite extensive. Buses are mostly new and have dedicated lanes to make them faster. Taxis are abundant, modern, available 24/7 everywhere, and cheap (a bit cheaper than Seoul and much cheaper than Tokyo). With one universal stored value easy card, you can pay all for all bus, MRT, and train rides plus many of the taxis. Ride combinations get you big discounts. I've done bus + MRT rides of about 1 hour out to far suburbs for under a dollar. Automatic bicycle racks stocked with new bikes are also located in certain parts of the city. You can use your universal stored value cards to take a bike off the rack and later return it to any rack in the city. MRT passengers are even allowed to transport their bikes on-board and alight at certain stops which have designated bike trails.

- Taipei has the highest per sq. km concentration of convenience store chains (7-11, Family Mart, OK, etc.) and your universal stored value cards can be used for purchases there. Most residents have 1 or 2 of these within of block of their homes. And they fully live-up to their name - 24/7 1-stop shops for ATMs, bill payments, online movie tickets purchases, meals/drinks/beers/cigarettes/sundries, local and international mailings/deliveries/drop-offs including DHL or Fed Ex service, fax and copy service, etc. Some even have sit-down areas to eat and drink. Similar concept stores are also very common in Tokyo (from which Taipei imported much of the convenience technology and culture) and Seoul but the concentration is highest in Taipei.

- From an international or US perspective, all 3 cities are extremely safe 24/7 violent crime wise. People have small space bubbles but still very polite and hands-off (not at all in your face). In the case of Taipei, women can generally walk the streets anywhere anytime and not have to worry about being verbally harassed or approached by drunk guys (don't know if the same applies to Seoul and Tokyo).

- I believe there is a substantially higher percentage of local women open to dating westerners in Taipei than in Seoul or Tokyo and that Taipei is the least xenophobic and racist of the 3. Western foreigners often get different treatment in all 3 cities - sometimes its positive discrimination (ie in your favor) and other times its negative. I would expect that the ratio of positive/negative discrimination is higher in Taipei than the other two cities.

- Tokyo has by far has the highest cost of living. Seoul is much cheaper but still moderately more expensive than Taipei. From an international perspective, Taipei is relatively cheap (not much more than Bangkok overall for basics such as food, transport, and rent) while Tokyo is quite expensive.

- All 3 cities have very expensive real estate (global top-tier a price per sq. meter basis) but Tokyo's is probably the most pricey overall. However, rents are relatively low in Seoul and even cheaper in Taipei.

- Taipei is sub-tropical, Seoul and Tokyo have 4 distinct seasons.

- Unlike Tokyo and Seoul, Taipei has an abundance of scooters and motorcycles, around 1 for every 2 people. These are both a blessing and curse. On the plus side, they offer an extremely cheap and convenient option to get around the city. On the negative, the contribute to unnerving noise pollution with their loud and annoying 2 stroke engines.

- Seoul and Tokyo have many wonderful saunas where locals can go (often as a family) and hang-out in robes or local style garbs for hours to enjoy various hot and cold baths, steam rooms, cold rooms, suana rooms, work-out areas, restaurants, shopping, etc. Taipei's saunas are generally just for men and much lower-end, not comparable.

- All three cities have great nightlife options. And there are very cheap ways to have a fun night out in Taipei. Guys on budget (aka foreign English teachers, lol) sometimes hang-out at clubs all night but do most of their drinking at the nearby 7-11. Similar budget possibilities are probably available in Seoul and Tokyo as well but I'm not sure.

- P4P in all three cities is expensive and not user friendly. Best value for money can probably be obtained if you get plugged in with the right locals. Tokyo and Seoul are known for having many local only P4P venues though. Taipei does have massage services which advertise in the local English papers and I've read (on another website) that some of them have younger and fairly attractive girls for US$150-200 full-service ST in your room.

- All three cities are great places to buy computers and gadgets but prices for Apple items are still cheapest in States. Japan has its own hardware technology for gadgets so offers many things not available elsewhere. The cellphone and hand-held computer culture you see almost everywhere today was common in Tokyo several years earlier than in other cities through mobile operator NTT Docomo and complimentary hardware devices available only in Japan.

- Facebook is very popular in Taipei and Seoul but not Tokyo where they tend to use their own (local based) preferred social networking site.

- All 3 cities have plenty of hot and classy looking female eye candy, especially in trendy areas.

- Seoul is world famous for Asian centered cosmetic procedures (eye, dental, and orthognathic) and a substantial percentage of young local women have had subtle or not so subtle work done. This is much less common in Taipei where people are still more into looking natural. I'm not sure about Tokyo.

- As for tourism and traditional style attractions and sites, Taipei probably has the least to offer but a decent 'exotic Asian experience' can still be found here if you look for it.

- A native English speaker with a generic BA or BS degree or its equivalent should be able to find plenty of teaching work in all three cities. But the shortest and most flexible options (including non-contract) are much easier to find in Taipei. I would recommend securing such work before going to either Tokyo or Seoul. But for Taipei, you can probably come-over first and then put-together a full teaching schedule locally within a few weeks. Relative to cost of living, the pay for this type of work is probably highest in Taipei.

- I know many people who love the many Asian style food and eating options available in Taipei. I'm sure the same probably applies to Seoul and perhaps even Tokyo. It can be challenging to find western food in certain areas of all 3 cities.

- Tokyo stands-out most IMO as offering the first time western visitor a surreal and futuristic type of experience, a look into a different world - exotic urban east Asia. Visible icons of this include capsule hotels, elevator girls, suanas and spas, pachinkos, porno comic books, vending machines everywhere for everything, loudspeaker announcements, royokans, uniforms and formal business attire, cosplay cultures, yakuza, non-conformist young-set, Japanese spins on western culture, ultra high-end shopping districts, hi-tech toilets, robot technology, local style nightlife areas, etc. On the other hand, Seoul and Taipei seem somewhat more generic IMO.

That's all that comes to mind for the moment. I may add more to it or revise it later. Perhaps others, especially those with extensive experience living in Seoul and/or Tokyo can add their views.
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Postby naiss » Sat May 14, 2011 1:36 pm

Rock, that is very informative. Thanks!
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Postby odbo » Sun May 15, 2011 11:41 am

this is what's wrong with north-east asia (versus south-east asia). "modern", plastic, superficial, psychopathic culture
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqgTz8ymZl8[/youtube]
The first 10 seconds of this I honestly thought she was a robot! One of those sex bots I was warning everyone about
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Postby Winston » Sun May 15, 2011 12:58 pm

Odbo,
What a hot sexy stiff robot. It's no fun seeing hot things like that when you can't touch them or flirt with them or even talk to them. lol
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Postby Winston » Sun May 15, 2011 1:16 pm

Naiss,
As Rock pointed out, the issue of TW girls being approachable or not is more complicated than a yes or no answer.

Consider the following:

- White guys experience a different Taiwan and date different types of girls than Asians do. Even Momopi, our Expert in Asian culture here, confirms that.

- It is true that Rock showed me some girls in TW who were approachable, so he changed my mind a bit on that. However, I am not totally wrong either. You see, the fact is, the majority of TW women out in public are not gonna stop and talk to a stranger. If you're really attractive and stand out, you'll have more luck, but generally speaking, it doesn't work that way. Women are shy and not used to talking to strangers. Typical TW people will tell you that you meet girls in TW through connecting activities - school, work, extracurricular activities, etc. Couples in TW usually meet through friends. If you ask them, that's what they will tell you. They do not meet through cold approaches.

There are a minority of women that will talk to strangers, but even among them, it doesn't mean that they will be interested. A lot of girls will suddenly flake out and not follow up, even if they were friendly to your face.

- Meeting TW girls is do-able, as Rock claims. But that doesn't mean it's easy or flowing like SE Asia, Latin America, or Russia. It takes more work and indirectness. Also, it depends on how hot the girl is too. The hotter and taller they are, the less approachable they are.

- It also depends on your approach style. If you are direct, like me, you won't find TW to suit your style. But people like Rock are more indirect. He approaches girls there by asking them innocent questions or directions first, or they approach him asking innocent questions or directions. Then he works it up from there. Momopi does something similar, even though he is Asian.

But you can't do what I did in Russia (esp if you're Asian) and walk up to girls in Taiwan and say "Excuse me. I think you're very attractive. I'd like to meet you." That style does not work there. And I think even Rock will admit that. Even he cannot say that in Chinese as an opener in a cold approach.

In Russia, I used that cold approach thousands of times. THOUSANDS. Literally. It fit the communication style in Russia. But it doesn't fit the communication style in Taiwan.

There are many sweet friendly girls in Taiwan, yeah, but they are shy and it takes some work to break through to them. Connections and activities help too. I think most expats in Taiwan do have a partner there, but she may not be that good looking.

But there are many parts of Taiwan that are still backwards and conservative, and you may feel alienated there. You can live comfortably there, but most guys I know don't report it as being the most exciting place. People there usually live for routine and structure, not new experiences, similar to how many Americans are.

Anyway, I hope that sheds some light on this issue.
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Postby naiss » Sun May 15, 2011 3:35 pm

Winston wrote:Anyway, I hope that sheds some light on this issue.

It does, thank you!
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Postby Rock » Sun May 15, 2011 5:12 pm

Winston wrote:Naiss,
As Rock pointed out, the issue of TW girls being approachable or not is more complicated than a yes or no answer.

- It is true that Rock showed me some girls in TW who were approachable, so he changed my mind a bit on that. However, I am not totally wrong either. You see, the fact is, the majority of TW women out in public are not gonna stop and talk to a stranger. If you're really attractive and stand out, you'll have more luck, but generally speaking, it doesn't work that way. Women are shy and not used to talking to strangers. Typical TW people will tell you that you meet girls in TW through connecting activities - school, work, extracurricular activities, etc. Couples in TW usually meet through friends. If you ask them, that's what they will tell you. They do not meet through cold approaches.

There are a minority of women that will talk to strangers, but even among them, it doesn't mean that they will be interested. A lot of girls will suddenly flake out and not follow up, even if they were friendly to your face.


Hey naiss,

Don't listen to typical Taiwan people on this issue unless you wanna subject yourself to a bunch of unnecessary constraints. If your goal here is to socialize a lot and serial date or get serious with one girl, find guys who do this successfully and follow their lead. Many do not follow the BS rules that Winston and other talk about.

- For example, when I got back from PI recently, I met an old Jewish American friend (posted about him regarding Shanghai vs. Taipei) visiting from China. Last time I saw him in Taiwan (about 2 years ago), he was visiting for just a few days. He went out one night, approached a very cute local girl outside a nightspot, and ended-up hooking-up with her for several days. His buddy, who I met for the first time, brought a sexy Taiwanese uni student with him. This time, I also met one of his American friends who is studying Chinese medicine here. That guy brought a sexy Taiwanese student with him. While we were all together, I asked her if she was his girlfriend and they both just laughed like there was some kind of inside joke going on. After he left, my friend told me that the girl is bisexual and has a casual relationship with him where she sometimes brings a female friend along. He also told me this guy pulls well in Taiwan clubs they've been to together in the past.

- A few days ago, I was in Shida uni area and saw this Taiwan female student way ahead of me approach a fashionably dressed and good looking white guy and ask to take a bunch of pictures. I stopped and watched the interaction for a couple minutes. She was quite cute and probably either a photography student or modeling agency employee. But just watching her body language told me this guy could have easily scored a date with her and probably some sort of casual or serious relationship.

- I had a 20 something French tenant who stayed in Taiwan last year for just a few months and had plenty of local girls make themselves easily available to him - either girls from his exchange uni or girls he met in clubs.

- In Taichung, Winston and I approached well over 20 people. The majority (well over 80%), at least in the interactions I was involved in, were friendly and engaged in conversation with us. So, its not necessarily true that the majority of women here will not stop and talk to a stranger as Winston claims. With the girls you exchange info with, there's always going to be a flake factor. And it varies tremendously from guy-to-guy. My tenant did very well here. In fact, he claimed to me that he had an easier time meeting local women in Taiwan than any other place he had visited in the world (Brazil, UK, USA, France, Thailand, and a few others). But, he's a young and slim Latin looking student type which of course helped him a lot. Less attractive foreign guys will have more of a challenge. But even below average types can do extremely well relative to what they achieve in most other countries as long as they are sufficiently proactive.

- For foreigner visitors, people generally accept it when they behave outside of cultural norms as long as they are respectful and break no local taboos. Their rational is often that foreigners have a more open social culture (incorrect perception shaped by Hollywood movies, etc), etc, so its normal for them to be more outgoing and physical. BTW, I met my current gf in a public place on the back of a random approach. Ditto for many others before her. Some of these girls told me that they would have been more closed or suspicious if a local guy had approached them they way I had. But since I'm from another culture, they assumed I was just naturally more open. The rules and underlying assumptions are sometimes different for foreigners here.

Going back to the point of your OP, I would choose Taipei over Seoul or Tokyo as a superior Happier Abroad destination overall for a white guy from the States. According to my preferences, the +s highly outweigh the -s as per my first response.
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Postby Rock » Sun May 15, 2011 5:37 pm

Winston wrote:Naiss,

In Russia, I used that cold approach thousands of times. THOUSANDS. Literally. It fit the communication style in Russia. But it doesn't fit the communication style in Taiwan.

There are many sweet friendly girls in Taiwan, yeah, but they are shy and it takes some work to break through to them. Connections and activities help too. I think most expats in Taiwan do have a partner there, but she may not be that good looking.



I wonder if Russia is still like that. You made similar claims about PI but honestly, I so far have not found it to be as easy as Taiwan or China for engaging strangers in casual convo.

If Russia offers the same vibe that Winston experienced several years ago, then it looks easy to approach random white hotties and flirt a bit in spite of a formidable language gap. BUT, if you go further with them and do not fall within the generally desirable spec, you are probably going to end as the butt of games and cock-teasing. You may get some make-out sessions in the process but that's about it. And they will generally encourage you to spend generously on them. Correct me where I am wrong here Winston.

In contrast, Taipei girls are much shyer but generally sincere and usually honest. If you encounter a shell, don't let it throw you off, even if it causes some awkwardness in the beginning. If she's not interested or available, she will let you know. Otherwise, thicken your skin and don't expect everything to be smooth like in Russia. If it seems too easy...
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Postby Winston » Sun May 15, 2011 6:26 pm

I'm sure Russia is still like that.

Rock, maybe you should tell him exactly how to approach women in TW, step by step? You just say it's easy, but I think it's better to give him a how to guide.

Logic doesn't follow though. If TW is an easy pick up place, then how come not a single serious down to earth TW guy that I know claims that TW girls are easy to approach and meet? That doesn't make sense. How can you be right when what you say contradicts what mainstream TW say? How can you know more about TW than TW people themselves? Sounds a bit far fetched.

Also, don't forget that you go for chubby types, not the types that most guys go for.

I don't follow that BS conservative advice either. I hate being restricted to connections, introductions and connecting activities. But that's part of the culture.

The bottom line is that if you say "excuse me" to a hot TW girl on the street, she will just walk by like you don't exist. What can you do about that?

Again, white guys experience a different TW than Asian guys do. If the OP is white, he may experience what Rock says. But nothing that Rock says is taught by TW culture itself. It may work. But it's not mainstream or usual.

Rock's world is like some sort of bizarro world. I don't know.

Rock, how can you say that it's easier to engage strangers in TW than in the PI? That's ridiculous. I was just on DateinAsia and wrote a lot of regular girls in the PI. The majority of them wrote me back. 10 times as many Filipinas write me back as TW girls online.

The OP should test the approachability of TW girls by writing to them online first, and seeing if they respond. That would be a good gauge. Then he can do the same with girls in other Asian countries.
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Postby Winston » Sun May 15, 2011 6:44 pm

Btw, approachability style does matter. Let me tell you a recent freaky example with Rock.

When Rock first came to Angeles, I took him inside Margarita Station. After we scoped the area, Rock said the girl in the corner was cute. So I went up to talk to her and tried to introduce her to Rock.

Now the thing is, every time I pointed to Rock, she would look through him like he wasn't there. Rock is a great conversationalist and is good at getting TW girls to open up, but his powers didn't seem to apply there for some reason. Maybe I was more used to Filipinas than he was.

But the weird thing is, it was like Rock was on a different DIMENSIONAL PLANE than the girl there was, so that she looked right through him as if he wasn't even there. It was really weird and metaphysical almost. Perhaps Rock was on a TW frequency, rather than a PI frequency. I don't know.

But I feel that way in TW too. It's like my communication style and personality are in a different zone or dimensional plane, to the point where most girls just look right through me as if I'm not even there. But when Rock is there, the girls are more engaging and acknowledge his existence. Thus Rock seems to be more on a TW plane and frequency than I am.

I know that might sound new ageish and weird, but that's what it seems like.

Remember we are all made of energy vibrating at different frequencies. The internet only exists in visible form on your computer screen. Outside of your computer, the internet is merely a bunch of frequencies and wavelength signals. Same with a TV. That's how reality is too, just a bunch of frequencies, decoded with our senses. Since we are all energy, then frequencies do exist.

So personality/approach style does count, and works differently in different cultures.

I've met a million times more girls in the PI than in TW, including regular girls. But Dianne f***ed up most of them, or else my scoreboard would be much higher than it is now...
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Postby ssjparris » Sun May 15, 2011 10:37 pm

odbo wrote:this is what's wrong with north-east asia (versus south-east asia). "modern", plastic, superficial, psychopathic culture
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqgTz8ymZl8[/youtube]
The first 10 seconds of this I honestly thought she was a robot! One of those sex bots I was warning everyone about


okay i LOVE japanese women. some women that look as good as the japanese lady talking in the first few seconds of the video may not be approachable. but from my experience. japanese girls are AWESOME. they love me just because i am a tall handsome black guy. haha. even the super model looking japanese girls where friendly to me and would give signals. ahem like bumping into me on purpose or walking really close to me with near physical contact. they have plenty of space to avoid contact. why get so damn close. ahahahahaa.

although some japanese super model looking ladies can be unapproachable. because they are arrogant and cocky. but from my experience. japanese women are just really friendly open and social to any dark skinned person.

if your asian. like mr. winston wu-wu said, he could not get dates there. because the japanese group of people are isolated and anti-social to asians they don't know.

trust me if your black. its so easy to make friends in japan. and so so so easy to get dates. this also includes white guys too. a white friend of mine got like 5 girls. and they ALL found out he was cheating on them all. hahahahahaha.


HOLY SHIT DUDE...that lady is super robotic in that damn video. winston i agree with you man. It is not natural or normal for someone to be like that. She really looks and acts like a cyborg. look at how she walks off the stage too. i presume she is trying to give a perfect image. not to make mistakes. which is actually very human to make mistakes. They are worried about the public and how they would feel about them. so she is told to act that way onstage. in person she is ALOT more natural. she would still have a little of that robotic face. kinda. :D
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