How do you rate South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and China in terms of most to least friendly towards foreigners?

Need some clarification on what means ‘friendly’, like do they accommodate foreigners well, do they speak a lot of english, do they have friendly overall people or what is it? I’ve been to all these places I guess I’ll rank it in order of how convenient it was for me as a foreigner to travel these places:

  1. Taiwan (ROC) – Most people speak English, the second most polite people next to Japanese, very accepting of diversity, the most open minded East Asian country
  2. Hong Kong (technically part of China) – English is commonplace, generally better manners than mainland, very tolerant of foreigners due to past history as a british colony
  3. South Korea – English is spoken by a majority of young people and most cafes/shops/signs will have English, decent manners/politeness, a lot of Western style bars/restaurants/etc due to USA influence
  4. Japan – most people do not speak English well, most shops/cafes/signs (except for subway) do not have english on them, a lot of places are surprisingly cash only, people are probably the most polite but very shy, you will experience a big culture difference
  5. China – most people do not speak English, very rare to find any shops/cafes/signs that have english on them, people generally do not care about you so you have to fend for yourself, very few Western style bars/restaurants/etc, you cannot use foreign credit cards in most places, foreign apps/services are blocked so you have to either buy a VPN or use a Chinese substitute in any case its horrendously slow going to any foreign website.

For me Taiwan was the most convenient and China was the least.


Guide to dating women in South Korea

After almost 2 years of living in Seoul, and going to lots of clubs/parties/online websites, I have accumulated enough experience to give a general guide on dating Korean women. Yes I know, I’m not exactly a playboy, but I’ve seen enough guys dating girls here and know enough about Korean culture to give my 2 cents on this, and I know that some foreigner guys come to Korea exclusively to find women here, so here it is.

-I am Chinese Canadian, so dating in Korea is a little bit more difficult for me than for white people. As with any other Asian country, White people have the most advantage due to Hollywood/America etc all that stuff that Asian women like. Like other Asian women, Korean girls think that every guy in America looks like Chris Evans and has alot of money. So if you are white, then definitely you have the most advantage.
-That said, out of all Asian girls, Korean girls are also the hardest to get for a foreigner. Why is this? Because its a small country. Koreans have a culture where they support each other, very family oriented etc which means that a number of girls strictly only date with Korean guys. This is not a majority of girls though, as a sizeable amount are open to dating with foreigners.
-The BEST way to date a Korean girl is to get introduced. The culture here emphasizes blind dating. So if you know a Korean friend, he/she can introduce you, thats the best way. Otherwise you will have to use online meetup websites, or language exchange sites, or applications like HelloTalk or MEEP to get to know a girl. This is more difficult to get to know them because Korean girls are super flaky and a lot of them don’t trust meeting guys online. Out of the language sites and apps I used, only about 30-40% responded to me, and out of that response rate, maybe a third was willing to meet up while the other girls were Kakao chats only.
-Speaking of Kakao, that is the WeChat of Korea, the QQ of Korea, if you will. Absolutely if you want to contact a girl, be sure to download the KakaoTalk application and sign up, since every Korean girl uses that app to communicate.
-One night stand is fairly common especially in the areas of Seoul known for good nightlife like Hongdae or Itaewon. If you are white especially, just go to any club, be sure to have a wingman, and try talking up some girls and knowing a bit of Korean doesn’t hurt either. You should always be the one to talk though, Korean girls aren’t known for being loud or very talkative.
-Most young Korean girls can speak English alright, but not fluently. You should learn some basic Korean if you want to communicate with a girl effectively, but there are lots of girls in Hongdae/Itaewon who know English pretty well too, so if you go to those areas you might be ok.
-Do NOT make sexual jokes with a Korean girl or ask her over to your place unless you know them very well or if its a sleazy type of girl you met at a club. Most Korean girls will not go to a guys place the first time you meet them. They want to take time to get to know you first before they can come over.
-Lots of Korean girls go to church, how devoted they are depends on the girl, but church is always a good way to meet people, if your Korean is good enough to understand what they are saying.
-If you are brave enough, approaching a girl in a public area to ask for her number is actually done by many guys and is called “hunting”. Depends on the time and place, but it may work out, especially if you are white.
-Attracting a Korean girl is much like attracting any woman and the laws of picking up apply equally no matter where you are in the world – women are attracted to men who are funny, outgoing, can relate to them, listen to them, share similar interests, etc. Thus for playboys who have success in America or Europe, in Korea and other parts of Asia its not too big of a leap. For introverted guys like me, its much more difficult and takes more time. But thats the way things are in life.


-A relationship with a Korean girl is a give a lot – get a lot type of relationship. You have to text/call her a lot, so Korean girls are definitely high maintenance. I’d say like 50-60 texts a day especially if the girl is young. What you get in return is a girl who really does care about you and very sweet and loving, in my opinion. They do little things for you like help you put on your coat, buy gifts for you, do cute things with you etc they can be very sweet if you put in the time for them.
-Usually on a date, the guy is expected to pay for the main meal, and the girl usually pays for coffee/tea later. One side doesn’t pay for everything.
-You are expected to remember the major couple days in Korea, and there is a lot, in addition to bday/anniversary there is valentines day (2/14) where the girl gets the guy a gift and white day (3/14) where the guy gets the girl a gift. Pretty much very month has some of kind of couple day like Rose day or Peppero day (a Pocky-like snack) so be aware of these days.
-Also be sure to show off your romance with lots of couple pictures and wearing couple outfits and things like that (this especially applies if you are dating a young girl in her early 20s). Koreans love to show off how much they care for each other.
-Korean girls can be very jealous, and some girls might even ask you not to meet any of your female friends. This is normal in Korea, where relationships tend to be very exclusive, and time for meeting other people are restricted if you are in a relationship. This is in accordance with the give a lot / get a lot thing. This is also why Korea has a very high proportion of couples that you see in public compared to other countries.
-Don’t be messy. Make sure if you invite a Korean girl over to your place, everything is super clean and tidy. That’s what they expect.
-They prefer the man to make the decisions for them. So when you set up a date, be sure to decide on the places to go, schedule, etc they will be expecting you to. They are very feminine and so they prefer guys to take the initiative.

-Korean girls are known as amongst the most beautiful women in the world, at least superficially, and they are probably the most self-conscious insecure women in Asia. Almost every girl wears makeup all the time, and dresses up like its clubbing attire all the time. Short skirts, high heels, transparent stockings (yes even in winter) are pretty normal wear for Korean women. You will probably find them the most feminine out of all Asian women. They all like to have pale skin, red lips and perfect straight white teeth (unlike Japanese girls). A lot of people try to put down Korean girls thinking they have so called ‘fake’ beauty but don’t listen to them, just because they put on makeup all the time or care about their appearance a lot doesn’t mean they were ugly before. Its just a part of their manners and culture.
-Yes alot of girls get plastic surgery but to be fair, 80% of the time, this is for getting double eyelids to make their eyes look bigger. This is why you will see more Korean girls with bigger eyes than Korean guys. If you have a problem with girls wearing a lot of makeup or having surgery on her face, then Korean girls are probably not for you (You should probably try Chinese girls instead).
-As I said, if you put time into the relationship, they can be very very sweet and loving women, and very devoted. I can’t compare with other Asian girls much, but definitely they put alot of effort into the relationship.
-No expectation for the guy to cook or do housework, since most Korean men can’t. But its always a plus if you can!
-For marriage, guy buys the house, but girl will buy the furniture, girl’s family will pay for wedding, and chuseok/new year’s preparations are almost solely done by the women.
-Great fashion sense, and you’ll also notice 90% of Korean girls don’t wear glasses, preferring contacts or lasik surgery instead. Also, no dowry like in China/India.
-Korean women shave every part of their body except ‘down under’, but some do if you ask them to.
-Most Korean girls are very polite and nice to people, but also very shy at first glance. You have to get them to open up.

-Korean girls can be very very superficial and shallow sometimes. They care alot about fashion, style, appearance, hygiene. They don’t like facial hair. So go for a clean cut appearance, no glasses, blazer, collar shirt, khakis etc are all good. No baggy stuff, tattoos, messy hair, beards, bling etc they hate that.
-Guys who are tall and fit and muscular definitely have an advantage over other guys.
-They are high maintenance. You have to put a lot of time into them, and spend a lot of time with them. This is why you always see couples everywhere in Korea. They are very dependent on guys. So you can’t be ignoring them or spending time with other people as often.
-Again, the extreme jealousy part… Korean girls can get pretty crazy if they find you with another girl talking or texting. Be wary of these things.
-Yes some girls are gold diggers, but this can be said for any girl in the world, so take caution with that.
-More so than any other Asian race, Korean women are loyal to their race and because of their conservative culture, a fair amount only stick to Korean guys. So just be aware there’s a sizeable portion that you just can’t get as a foreigner.
-The hottest girls (10s) don’t speak English at all. Which makes them pretty much Korean men material only. You can try but… unless you are a celebrity it will be very difficult.

All in all, Korean women IMO are the hottest girls in Asia, surgery or not. Their mind is in between Chinese women and Japanese women, which means they aren’t totally blunt but not totally hiding their emotions either. If you like a girl who cares about her appearance, and are willing to put in the time and effort you will be rewarded, so check out South Korea if you have the chance. Hope this post helps you guys.


Adventures in China

Well I just got back from my 2 week vacation in China, and it was a great experience for me. My first time back in my home country in 19 years! (I moved here when I was 4).  I went to Beijing, Nanjing, Wuxi, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai. Each place was amazingly beautiful, and completely different than North America. I’ve never been to a place with so much natural beauty and history before. Cities such Nanjing, Wuxi, Suzhou and Hangzhou will have bridges, canals, rivers, lakes, temples, right in the middle of the city! Something that you won’t find in North America. Of course, China has thousands of years more history than US/Canada, so everywhere you go you will find some historic relic.


Me at Beijing's Great Wall
Me at Beijing's Great Wall (万里长城)

The capital of the PRC, Beijing is a city of 13 million people, built on flat desert. The city is quite big, and there is a lot of mountainous terrain. There is a lot of history, due to it being the capital of the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, as well as the current administration. The Forbidden City with its 8,000+ buildings, Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square, Great Wall of China, Temple of Heaven, and Olympic Stadium (Bird’s nest) are all great icons of Beijing.


Me at Nanjing's Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum
Me at Nanjing's Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum (中山陵)

Nanjing (or Nanking), is a city quite unlike Beijing. The capital of the Ming, Republic of China, and currently Jiangsu province, Nanjing is full of rivers, bridges, and lakes. It is a city with immense natural beauty. The nightlife on the streets, Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum, and Yangtze River bridge was a few of the places I visited. Overall, a very beautiful city that is often overlooked by foreign visitors.



Me at Wuxi's Xihui Garden
Me at Wuxi's Xihui Garden (锡惠公园)

Another beautiful city in Jiangnan, Wuxi is an ancient city split in half by Lake Taihu. It has a great variety of temples, rivers, canals, that make it a great place for sight seeing. I visited the Xihui garden, and Three Kingdoms city, both of which has cultural history spanning over 1,000 years. The city is not as big as Nanjing, but I still highly recommend it if you’re touring China.



Me at one of Suzhou's many temples
Me at one of Suzhou's many temples (苏州庙宇)

Suzhou is a city in China famous for its natural beauty and scenery. There’s many canals, rivers, and temples right in the middle of the city. There’s a saying in Chinese that goes “上有天堂,下有苏杭”, putting Suzhou and Hangzhou equal to Heaven on Earth. Suzhou’s history spans thousands of years, and along with Hangzhou, is not only well known for its scenery, but also for its 美女 (beautiful women). One of the ancient four beauties of China, Xi Shi, was from Suzhou, and there’s a bridge dedicated to her there. I visited many of Suzhou’s temples, all of them breathtaking, as well as its many beautiful gardens, such as the Humble Administrator’s garden. Suzhou’s ancient roads such as Pingjiang road are also a feast for the eyes.



Me at Wuzhen
Me at Wuzhen (乌镇)

Wuzhen is a small water town in Jiangnan, that is often referred to as the ‘Venice of China’. It’s many canals and old houses certainly make it worthy of that title. I went on a boat ride through Wuzhen, and agree that its old bridges and canals make it a great city for romantic sightseeing.



Me at Hangzhou's West Lake
Me at Hangzhou's West Lake (西湖)

Hangzhou is another beautiful city in China famed for its West Lake. The capital of the Song dynasty, and currently Zhejiang province, Hangzhou’s West Lake is famous for being the site of many ancient Chinese writers. Many famous pagodas and bridges have been built, and there’s certain places you can stand to get a famous poetic scene (called West Lake’s 10 Scenic views). It truly is something you will never see in North America. I also visited ‘Song City’ which had a great performance detailing the history of Hangzhou in the Song dynasty, and contains a Buddhist shrine as well.


The Pearl of the Orient
Shanghai's Pearl of the Orient (东方明珠)

Shanghai is the biggest city in China, with over 23 million people, and the most modern and expensive city to live in. I’ve never been to a city quite as big as Shanghai. I thought New York city was big, but Shanghai is three times the size of that, and there’s rows and rows of apartment buildings as far as you can see. Spiral bridges lay on top of one another, gigantic shopping malls, and skyscrapers as tall as in Manhatten is what you can expect to see. Shanghai does not have the history of the other cities I visited, but there’s still a lot to do. I visited Yiyuan garden, City God temple, the Bund, and of course the Pearl of the Orient in Pudong district. Shanghai is a vibrant city, the city that never sleeps, and is probably one of the best places to go shopping (especially Nanjing road)!

Overall, I think China is a great place to go for vacation, or sightseeing. Bring your family, or bring your boyfriend/girlfriend, there’s lots of great natural beauty, and romantic scenery to enjoy. I went alone, but that’s because (as usual) I couldn’t find anyone to go with me. Still though, your money can go far in China. Some things are cheaper, some things are more expensive. Generally, food will be cheaper. A good meal costs about $3 USD including drinks, a subway ride costs only $0.30 USD, and China-branded clothing can be much cheaper. On the other hand, foreign brands will always cost more. Living in China can be quite different, especially in Shanghai, where the high cost of living, and high work pressure might put off many American expatriates from working there. Chinese people work very hard. Many get up early in the morning, work until late at night, and probably only get paid a fraction that Americans make. Everything is stricter there, manners and courtesy is important, every worker you see will probably be wearing a uniform, and males are definitely more dominant over there. That said, there are still alot of foreigners there, and Chinese people in general are very friendly. I will definitely go back in the future, and maybe have some time to visit my hometown (Shenyang) as well!