“A journey of a thousand miles begins with asingle step.” -Confucius What you will need to travel: • Passport • Visa • Luggage with clothing, personal items, camera, and hygienics • An open mind and heart • Money (currency) – I suggest converting currency ahead of time in a currency exchange store. Some of the worse conversion rates are at the airport or hotel but they are perhaps the most convenient.
• “Let your mind start a journey thru a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be...Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and youll live as youve never lived before.”-Erich Fromm -Research where you want to go before you get there -Factor in weather conditions and other logistics during the days you are there -If you need help, ask someone. The local people are the best resources. -Talk to the concierge at the hotel you are staying at or you can even find a local tourist bureau that will have a representative be able to help you.
Local Asian Currencies and Conversions (asof November 4, 2010): 1 US dollar = 29.6800 Thai baht 1 US dollar = 19490.0000 Vietnamese dong 1 US dollar = 43.9900 Indian rupees 1 US dollar = 42.3400 Philippine pesos 1 US dollar = 1106.5300 South Korean won 1 US dollar = 6.6609 Chinese yuan (RenMinBi)
Manifest Destiny? “Go west east, my friend.” Reasons to go to Asia: • Exoticism, exploring, seeing something different, learning and experiencing a new culture and its people • Medical tourism • Vacation • Beaches • Food and cuisine • City and night life • Architecture and skyline • Religious visit • Temples, artifacts, and historical sites
“A journey is best measured in friendsrather than miles.” --Tim Cahill- How to say “Hello” in various Asian languages: • Thai: sa-wat dee • Japanese: konnichiwa • Korean: annyeong haseyo • Chinese: ni hao • Vietnamese: chao ban
“The journey is the reward.” -Chinese ProverbHow to say “Thank You” in various languages in Asia:• Thai: khorb koon• Japanese: arigato• Korean: gamsahabnida• Chinese: xie-xie• Vietnamese: cam on ban
Tips for Dealing with Vendors, Merchants, and Taxi Drivers• Often times, local vendors will try to take advantage of tourists.• Aim for a price. Usually merchants will ask for almost 10 times for what they are truly willing to sell, so set a price in mind and try to reach that goal.• Asking “how much?” and being polite with “please” and “thank you” goes a long way. Sometimes, if you are nice, the vendor will respond nicely and give you a better price. They often appreciate foreigners taking the initiative to try their native tongue in speaking the language. Try to be courteous.• For taxi drivers, often they will try to rip off passengers with phony fare rates. Negotiate a price before you enter the car and you start your taxi ride.• All in all, you have the money in your pocket (so you have ultimate deciding power and more leverage) and if you don’t like the direction or treatment of a vendor or taxi driver – just go to the next one.
Vietnam• Background:• The conquest of Vietnam by France began in 1858 and was completed by 1884. It became part of French Indochina in 1887. Vietnam declared independence after World War II, but France continued to rule until its 1954 defeat by Communist forces under Ho Chi MINH. Under the Geneva Accords of 1954, Vietnam was divided into the Communist North and anti- Communist South. US economic and military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973. Two years later, North Vietnamese forces overran the South reuniting the country under Communist rule. Despite the return of peace, for over a decade the country experienced little economic growth because of conservative leadership policies. However, since the enactment of Vietnams "doi moi" (renovation) policy in 1986, Vietnamese authorities have committed to increased economic liberalization and enacted structural reforms needed to modernize the economy and to produce more competitive, export-driven industries. The country continues to experience protests from various groups - such as the Protestant Montagnard ethnic minority population of the Central Highlands and the Hoa Hao Buddhists in southern Vietnam over religious persecution. Montagnard grievances also include the loss of land to Vietnamese settlers.• Borders: Cambodia 1,228 km, China 1,281 km, Laos 2,130 km• Population: 86,116,560• GDP per capita: $723.88 per capita• Capital with population: Hanoi - 3,083,800• Largest city with population: Hanoi - 3,083,800
Thailand Background: A unified Thai kingdom was established in the mid-14th century. Known as Siam until 1939, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been taken over by a European power. A bloodless revolution in 1932 led to a constitutional monarchy. In alliance with Japan during World War II, Thailand became a US ally following the conflict. Thailand is currently facing separatist violence in its southern ethnic Malay-Muslim provinces.• Borders: Burma 1,800 km, Cambodia 803 km, Laos 1,754 km, Malaysia 506 km• Population: 65,493,296• GDP per capita: $3,186.54 per capita• Capital with population: Bangkok - 5,882,000• Largest city with population: Bangkok - 5,882,000
• Background: India• Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated onto the Indian subcontinent about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. The Maurya Empire of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. - which reached its zenith under ASHOKA - united much of South Asia. The Golden Age ushered in by the Gupta dynasty (4th to 6th centuries A.D.) saw a flowering of Indian science, art, and culture. Arab incursions starting in the 8th century and Turkic in the 12th were followed by those of European traders, beginning in the late 15th century. By the 19th century, Britain had assumed political control of virtually all Indian lands. Indian armed forces in the British army played a vital role in both World Wars. Nonviolent resistance to British colonialism led by Mohandas GANDHI and Jawaharlal NEHRU brought independence in 1947. The subcontinent was divided into the secular state of India and the smaller Muslim state of Pakistan. A third war between the two countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. Indias nuclear weapons testing in 1998 caused Pakistan to conduct its own tests that same year. The dispute between the countries over the state of Kashmir is ongoing, but discussions and confidence-building measures have led to decreased tensions since 2002. Despite impressive gains in economic investment and output, India faces pressing problems such as significant overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and ethnic and religious strife.• Borders: Bangladesh 4,053 km, Bhutan 605 km, Burma 1,463 km, China 3,380 km, Nepal 1,690 km, Pakistan 2,912 km• Population: 1,147,995,904• GDP per capita: $816.60 per capita• Capital with population: New Delhi - 294,149• Largest city with population: Mumbai - 11,914,398
South Korea Background: An independent Korean state or collection of states has existed almost continuously for several millennia. Between its initial unification in the 7th century - from three predecessor Korean states - until the 20th century, Korea existed as a single independent country. In 1905, following the Russo-Japanese War, Korea became a protectorate of imperial Japan, and in 1910 it was annexed as a colony. Korea regained its independence following Japans surrender to the United States in 1945. After World War II, a Republic of Korea (ROK) was set up in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula while a Communist-style government was installed in the north (the DPRK). During the Korean War (1950-53), US troops and UN forces fought alongside soldiers from the ROK to defend South Korea from DPRK attacks supported by China and the Soviet Union. An armistice was signed in 1953, splitting the peninsula along a demilitarized zone at about the 38th parallel. Thereafter, South Korea achieved rapid economic growth with per capita income rising to roughly 14 times the level of North Korea. In 1993, KIM Young-sam became South Koreas first civilian president following 32 years of military rule. South Korea today is a fully functioning modern democracy. In June 2000, a historic first North-South summit took place between the Souths President KIM Dae-jung and the Norths leader KIM Jong Il. In October 2007, a second North-South summit took place between the Souths President ROH Moo-hyun and the North Korean leader.• Borders: North Korea 238 km• Population: 48,379,392• GDP per capita: $18,340.76 per capita• Capital with population: Seoul - 10,231,217• Largest city with population: Seoul - 10,231,217
China• Background:• For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Communists under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring Chinas sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, his successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population, living standards have improved dramatically and the room for personal choice has expanded, yet political controls remain tight.• Borders: Afghanistan 76 km, Bhutan 470 km, Burma 2,185 km, India 3,380 km, Kazakhstan 1,533 km, North Korea 1,416 km, Kyrgyzstan 858 km, Laos 423 km, Mongolia 4,677 km, Nepal 1,236 km, Pakistan 523 km, Russia (northeast) 3,605 km, Russia (northwest) 40 km, Tajikistan 414 km, Vietnam 1,281 km• Population: 1,330,044,544• GDP per capita: $2,033.90 per capita• Capital with population: Beijing - 12,033,000• Largest city with population: Shanghai - 17,420,000
Philippines• Background:• The Philippine Islands became a Spanish colony during the 16th century; they were ceded to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. In 1935 the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth. Manuel QUEZON was elected president and was tasked with preparing the country for independence after a 10-year transition. In 1942 the islands fell under Japanese occupation during World War II, and US forces and Filipinos fought together during 1944-45 to regain control. On 4 July 1946 the Republic of the Philippines attained its independence. The 20-year rule of Ferdinand MARCOS ended in 1986, when a "people power" movement in Manila ("EDSA 1") forced him into exile and installed Corazon AQUINO as president. Her presidency was hampered by several coup attempts, which prevented a return to full political stability and economic development. Fidel RAMOS was elected president in 1992 and his administration was marked by greater stability and progress on economic reforms. In 1992, the US closed its last military bases on the islands. Joseph ESTRADA was elected president in 1998, but was succeeded by his vice-president, Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, in January 2001 after ESTRADAs stormy impeachment trial on corruption charges broke down and another "people power" movement ("EDSA 2") demanded his resignation. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO was elected to a six-year term as president in May 2004. The Philippine Government faces threats from three terrorist groups on the US Governments Foreign Terrorist Organization list, but in 2006 and 2007 scored some major successes in capturing or killing key wanted terrorists. Decades of Muslim insurgency in the southern Philippines have led to a peace accord with one group and an ongoing cease-fire and peace talks with another.• Population: 96,061,680• GDP per capita: $1,382.33 per capita• Capital with population: Manila - 1,654,761• Largest city with population: Quezon City - 2,173,831
Japan Background: In 1603, a Tokugawa shogunate (military dictatorship) ushered in a long period of isolation from foreign influence in order to secure its power. For more than two centuries this policy enabled Japan to enjoy stability and a flowering of its indigenous culture. Following the Treaty of Kanagawa with the US in 1854, Japan opened its ports and began to intensively modernize and industrialize. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Japan became a regional power that was able to defeat the forces of both China and Russia. It occupied Korea, Formosa (Taiwan), and southern Sakhalin Island. In 1931-32 Japan occupied Manchuria, and in 1937 it launched a full- scale invasion of China. Japan attacked US forces in 1941 - triggering Americas entry into World War II - and soon occupied much of East and Southeast Asia. After its defeat in World War II, Japan recovered to become an economic power and a staunch ally of the US. While the emperor retains his throne as a symbol of national unity, elected politicians - with heavy input from bureaucrats and business executives - wield actual decisionmaking power. The economy experienced a major slowdown starting in the 1990s following three decades of unprecedented growth, but Japan still remains a major economic power, both in Asia and globally.• Population: 127,288,416• GDP per capita: $34,022.94 per capita• Capital with population: Tokyo - 12,527,115• Largest city with population: Tokyo - 12,527,115
Cultural Etiquette and Gestures• What one custom or form of appropriate etiquette in one country or culture may be inappropriate or too forward in another country or culture• Be careful of your gestures and be aware of their implications and what you are suggesting• To locals, ignorance can be insulting or presumptuous Example: UK & USA = O.K. Japan = Money Brazil = Insult Russia = Zero Content Courtesy of: Sophia Yang, Pi Initiate class
China• Spitting in public after clearing ones throat is quite common• Shaking legs while sitting, snapping fingers, and whistling are generally unacceptable behaviors for women.• Avoid sticking your chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice as it is reserved for funerals
Japan• Avoid sticking your chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice as it is reserved for funerals.• Avoid sucking and biting your chopsticks.• Putting your thumb in between your middle and index finger while making a fist is obscene.• Avoid eating and drinking while walking in public.
Philippines• Do not finish the food on your plate.• Greet with a quick flash of the eyebrows—a quick lifting of the eyebrows.• Avoid pointing or wagging a finger at people.• Loud voices, public drunkenness and rude behavior are inappropriate
India• Grasping the ears signifies sincerity or repentance.• Most of all meetings generally begin with palms pressed together at around chest level and saying, “Namaste”. People usually nod or bow slightly as well.• It is common to remove ones shoes at places of worship, when visiting peoples homes, and even in certain shops and businesses.
“Studying abroad has allowed me to prioritize my life. It hasshown me the things that I want to spend my time doing. Isaw so many things while studying abroad. I learned moreabout myself, about Americans, about other peoples cultureand demeanor. I saw Korean work ethic and educationalviews. It has allowed me to expand my professional goals. Iam thinking about other things that I want to do in my life,instead of a straight shot to retirement. I would never havebeen able to experience these things and learn about myselfwithout studying abroad.”--University Student Studying Abroad