Category Archives: Travel in Asia

For western people like me, traveling in and around Asia can be a life-changing experience. These sorts of topics go here.

Hong Kong

White guys in Hong Kong have it easy

Yesterday I wrote a bit about my recent experiences as a white guy visiting Taipei. Although I did feel a bit out of place there due to the lack of other westerners around, and that wasn’t a bad thing. After all, leaving the safe confines of home and throwing yourself into something new and unfamiliar is what travel is all about. It’s the most educational experience there is, and if you haven’t traveled much in your life so far I can’t recommend it enough. Get out there and explore!

Also in yesterday’s article, I touched upon the fact that Hong Kong is probably the most westernized city in Asia, and every time I go I feel like I’m at the crossroads between the east and west. You’ll see as many western tourists as you see western business people, so it’s a great place to visit if you’re a first time visitor to Asia. Hong Kong was my first trip to Asia way back in 2002, and it was the perfect trip to give me a taste of what Asia is all about. I craved a lot more from that single experience.

Meeting women in Hong Kong

If you’re a white guy in Hong Kong looking to meet Asian women (from all parts of Asia), you’ll do well here. I’ve been in a relationship the last couple times I’ve been there, so I wasn’t looking to meet anyone, but I was still very much single the first time I went in 2002. Unfortunately I was just a painfully shy and somewhat bashful 27 year old and it was difficult for me to meet women back then. They basically had to approach me – I was too shy to approach them unfortunately, and I do wish that I could go back in time and slap myself silly for worrying about being rejected all the time.

Luckily for me, I was approached by a beautiful young Chinese woman during that trip, and it caught me totally off-guard. I was just hanging out in the air-conditioned lobby of a department store or office building trying to escape the sweltering heat of the streets for a moment, and she approached me shyly and very cutely in broken English and asked if I knew where the movie theater was.

The most amazing thing about that experience was that I was actually on the way to the theater myself to see the latest Star Wars movie. What are the odds of something like that happening?! I knew it was just down the street a block or two, but the shy guy in me freaked out and told her (with a smile) that I didn’t know. Ugh! She looked to be a tourist as well, carrying a backpack and a look of confusion on her face, so it would have been an excellent opportunity to have made a new friend. I was such an idiot…

The moral of this story is that…well…there really isn’t one other than making sure to not be an idiot like me when approached by a beautiful young woman looking for directions to the exact place you are on your way to yourself.

In all my trips to Hong Kong over the years, I’ve seen more caucasian men and Asian women together than any other city in Asia. It’s just more accepted here I suppose, probably rooting way back to when Hong Kong was still under British rule. These kinds of interracial relationships have been going on since the very beginning here, so if you’re a white guy looking for the love of your life, you may just find it in Hong Kong.

White guys in Taipei

This is what it’s like for a white guy in Taipei

My first trip to Asia was over 15 years ago (god, has it really been that long?), and I remember it being one of the weirdest – and most fascinating – experiences of my life. Keep in mind that I’m white as white guys get, born and raised in the midwestern US, without having much desire to learn about other cultures until my late teenage years. All I knew was midwestern small-town farm life, surrounded by nothing but smelly cows and other white people. Yep – my world was rather small back then.

But that first trip to Asia back in 2002 made me feel like an outsider more than any other time in my life, and it was a wildly challenging experience for me. I felt so out of place. White, tall, not looking like anyone else. The worst part about it by far was the feeling that everyone was looking at me like I was a weirdo. I had never felt anything like that before, and I suddenly gained a new appreciation for minorities back home in the US who struggled with that sort of thing on a daily basis. They weren’t kidding when they say that travel is one of the most educational things a person can do – I learned quite a bit from that trip.

I still travel to Asia on a semi-frequent basis, and two months ago, I traveled to Taiwan for a quick 4-day vacation. I’ve never been to Taiwan, but I found a pretty good deal on airfare and hotel accommodations in Taipei that I couldn’t pass up. Who cared if I didn’t know a thing about Taiwan and it’s culture? That’s the beauty of travel – you can just hop on a plane and go and find out for yourself! And that’s exactly what I did…

There aren’t so many western people in Taipei

Out of all the places I’ve been to in Asia so far (Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore), Tawain surprised me the most I think. For some reason or another I expected there to be a larger number of western people living in and visiting the city of Taipei. My experiences in Hong Kong have probably skewed my line of thinking a bit, since that is one of Aisa’s most “western” cities and it’s close proximity to Taipei made me naturally assume there would be more white people here. But there wasn’t. During my four-day stay in the city, I think I saw less than 10 other western people, and all of them were tourists wearing backpacks and holding maps.

Meeting women in Taipei

For you white guys out there who might be wondering what the “female situation” is like in Taipei, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Keep in mind that I’m currently in a relationship so I wasn’t there to meet other women, but I think a single caucasian guy could do well here. Taiwanese people are incredibly friendly and open, and I met a lot of really nice people who were proud of their culture and eager to offer me tips and suggestions for making my stay as enjoyable as possible. If you’re a single guy, I can’t imagine it would be difficult to find single ladies who would be happy to play tour guide for you during your stay. The people of Taipei love showing off their beautiful city to visitors.

In conclusion

White guys (and gals for that matter) traveling to Taiwan are likely to feel like they are standing out in the crowd. No, you won’t get ridiculed or stared at, but right away you will feel like you don’t belong. But that that’s what makes travel so fun and adventurous. It’s good to step outside of our comfort zones, and there’s no better way of doing that than being the only person of your kind in a new and unfamiliar place.