Southeast Asia is a lot like Latin America, but the food’s better. And the language is harder to learn, at least for us. It’s also a lot less violent, but I think that has to do with the difference between Buddhism and Catholicism. Those Spanish were not nice guys. Asia is much more crowded than Latin America. China is, of course, the whopper of all whoppers. But even Viet Nam, Thialand and Myanmar have populations up around 70 million each.
Both Latin America and Southeast Asia are wonderful places to Americans and Europeans to live and travel. They’re highly affordable, hospitable, and interesting. Damn interesting. Sometimes pretty weird. Both places enjoy religious festivals in ways that are simply un-American.
In Thailand, you don’t go to church on a set day at a set time. You decide when, and then you show up with offerings for the monks. Then you visit with the monks for a while. There’s no “service” to endure. There are lots of chanting sessions, when the monks chant the sacred scriptures. I think you can come and go at will. And people stop into temples to burn incense and pray.