Views #1324 | Advanced (C1)

Where to work in Asia

Dan, and American ex-pat, talks about nice places to work from or run a company in Asia.

Todd: So, I'm here with Dan, and Dan lives in Bali, Indonesia where he runs his business operations. And we’re going to talk about good cities to do business.

So Dan what are your favorite cities or cities that do you think would be a good place to start up an international business?

Dan: Well, it really depends what kind of business you're doing, I suppose. If you are an English speaker and you like to hire other English speakers, the Philippines is a famous place for going to hire English speakers. A good city to do that would be like Cebu City in the south of the Philippines, or Davao in the south of the Philippines. You can also look at Manila but it’s not such a nice city, and the workers are a little bit more expensive there.

If you’re looking for lifestyle like a great lifestyle, maybe you’re not hiring so much or doing financial things but it’s just on your laptop, say, Bangkok is a great place. Some of the best food in the entire world, you’ve got great night life, and you can travel anywhere from Bangkok.

Bali obviously is a great place, if you’re not such a city person and you like a more relax environment but it’s still very developed. I mean, you can eat a hundred different nationality of food, walk down the street and you can get food from all around the world, whereas if you want something a little bit more of an adventure and secluded, sort of off the beaten track, you could select Nha Trang in South Central Vietnam.

Todd: Now, you have connections in China, could you recommend any places in China?

Dan: Well, unfortunately for me in China is that a lot of my travel there has been super business focused. And I'm always going to the place where there’s the factory or the bank or the connection. And so I haven’t really gotten a great chance to explore places that you might go for lifestyle. But off the top of my head, there’s two places that stick out. One is Shanghai.

And really to me—you know, I’ve been to a lot of big cities, but Shanghai is a whole another level of big. It’s like the movie Blade Runner mixed with the movie The Matrix. I mean, it is so futuristic and I just—it really blew me away to be in the city. And it also has hints of Europe. I mean, Shanghai is famous for being famous in the 1920s and '30s with ex-patriots coming there, and it’s very international. And it really does have sort of a charm that a lot of places in China lack because cities in China are so new; a 10 million person city just sort of pops up overnight.

Another place that sticks out for me is Shaman, and that’s close to Taipei and it’s one of the nicer big cities in China. There’s a lot of more nature-oriented green park stuff like that. So those would be the two places, but especially Shanghai, I feel like I could live there for a few years.

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary



You like to hire other English speakers.

When you hire someone, you give them a job. Notice the following:

  1. Our company is now hiring.
  2. He was hired and then fired.



The house is very secluded.

A secluded place does not have many visitors. Notice the following:

  1. We stayed on a secluded island.
  2. My town is secluded in the moutains.

off the beaten track


The town is off the beaten track.

The beaten track is the route most people take. Off the beaten track refers to places few people visit. Notice the following:

  1. When I travel, I try to stay off the beaten track.
  2. We found a great village off the beaten track.

Off the top of my head


Off the top of my head, there’s two places

We say 'off the top of my head' when we say ideas without much thought. Notice the following:

  • Do you know what companies are hiring?
  • Off the top of my head, I think Sony is hiring.

stick out


There’s two places that stick out.

Here stick out means comes to mind. Notice the following:

  1. For fashion, one place that sticks out is Paris.
  2. Another place that sticks out is New York.

pop up overnight


A big city just sort of pops up overnight.

The phrase 'pop up' means to appear, and 'overnight' means very rapidly. Notice the following:

  1. In spring, flowers pop up overnight.
  2. In a recession, homeless people seem to pop up overnight.

Vocabulary Quiz

hire • secluded • beaten track
off the top • sticks out • pop up
  1. My favorite beach is very .
  2. Google as a good company.
  3. The cabin is off the .
  4. New cafes are starting to everywhere .
  5. I cannot think of one of my head.
  6. We hope to 30 new staff.

Related Lessons

1325 Slow Travel
#1325 Slow Travel
Travelling vs staying in one place.
Is it cheap where you live?

Other Lessons

1323 Business in Bali
#1323 Business in Bali
Doing business from Bali.
1322 The Recovery
#1322 The Recovery
An accident that ruined a special day.
1321 Car Smash Ups
#1321 Car Smash Ups
Traffic accidents.


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About the Teacher / Creator

Hello, and welcome to elllo. My name is Todd Beuckens. I've been an ESL teacher for 25 years. I created elllo to provide teachers and students free audio lessons and learning materials not usually found in commercial textbooks.
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