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Flight chronicles of the backpacker Tutubi, with travelogues, pictures/photos/videos, travel guides, independent and honest reviews, affordable, recommended resorts and hotels (including inns, guesthouses, pension houses, lodges, hostels, condotels, bed and breakfast and other cheap accommodations), commuting guides, routes (sometimes street maps and GPS coordinates/waypoints) and driving directions to answer "how to get there" questions, information and tips on tourism, budget travel and living in Philippines, Exotic Asia and beyond!

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    Just another city survey

    Union Bank of Switzerland released recently their annual research simply
    titled "Prices and Earnings" that put (my) Manila as one of the cheapest places on earth beaten only by New Delhi(India), Buenos Aires(Argentina), Mumbai (India) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).

    Having been to KL(as Kuala Lumpur's commonly called) and Mumbai in 2004, I agree with Mumbai's rank but not that of KL. I've experienced KL for a week and Mumbai for 3 weeks, and I can definitely tell it's more expensive in KL than in Manila, if you were to use the value of the dollar as a gauge (even with the peso appreciating against the dollar and the expanded VAT), in almost everything including food and transportation. I had a hard time shopping for things in KL since I know I can get the stuff here in Manila at a lower cost, even digital cameras at a time when KL was positioning to be the camera capital of Asia.

    Regarding Mumbai, I found it almost equal to Bangkok, which I was able to visit twice, but ranked higher than Manila so there's a big question mark here. I found only mobile phone rates and LRT/airtrains more expensive in Bangkok than in Manila due to government subsidy (I see
    some of you smiling).

    Is it the method used that i didn't scrutinize? But then again this is just a survey. To rank all foreign cities I've been to it would be in this order: Singapore, KL, Manila, Bangkok, Mumbai.

    There is also a table where they measured number of minutes of work before you earn enough to buy a Big Mac. Mumbai workers require less minutes than Manila's but that's only if you can really buy Big Macs there-- there's only McChicken! :)

    In India, no beef; In KL, no pork.

    Also in India, or in Mumbai at least, you have to wait for minutes to get your order since they don't like fast food (of which our country is one big fast food nation). No pre-cooking-- it's a culture thing. Everything needs to be cooked after you order. I found this out the hard way when I ordered McChicken and waited for quite a long time. I got impatient after a while so I followed it up but the McDonalds staff gave me free french fries just for waiting noticing I was foreigner too hungry to be patient.

    So many things I learned mostly misconceptions of other people, Filipinos in general, about Incredible India: the land of extremes and cultural diversity!

    I will blog about my India adventure one of these days as well as the still pending Bangkok, KL, and Singapore odysseys.


    posted by backpacking philippines @ 9:45 PM,


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