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Asians are the source of a 15 percent increase in tourism along the so-called tourist sector of Tijuana, according to Andrés Méndez Martínez, coordinator of the tourist-business association known as Ceturmex.

In a daily Frontera article, Méndez said that of the few foreign tourists who have been arriving this summer, the majority have been Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, traveling in large tour groups and bused in from California, wherein they spend the bulk of their vacation. The most common itinerary is a day-trip from California.

It is common to see groups of 30 or more Asian tourists gathered at the trolley stop in San Ysidro, being briefed on the laws and culture of Mexico before crossing the border.

Recently, a large group of camera-clad Asian tourists was seen moving through the notorious Zona Norte nightclub sector, men and women shyly wending their way through the taco stands, nightclub barkers, hustlers, and hookers.

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ibtina Aug. 9, 2010 @ 6:37 p.m.

I have seen the giant tours..I hate waiting in line behind them=) but being Japanese and Mexican, I find the whole thing interesting. I don't go as often as I used to but, I still think it is worth the trip.

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David Dodd Aug. 9, 2010 @ 7:19 p.m.

The tours are invented for tourists. For those who simply enter, exploring Tijuana has its rewards. There is a little French pastry and coffee place that tourists only discover accidentally. The vast majority of the bars are crap, but there are several upscale places. I am delighted when tourists ignore them.

The best, most authentic place to eat breakfast in Tijuana costs less than three dollars (except don't order the bacon, it's always under-cooked). Again, I have never seen a tourist there. Yet, the place is right in the middle of everything. The Asian tourists (and there are still plenty of Asian tourists here), tend to stick to the boulevard.

To be Japanese/Mexican must be amazing, Tina. Really, the cultural differences must present a unique set of obstacles to rationalize. Perhaps I'm wrong about that, maybe it's easy since I'm neither Mexican nor Japanese, but there certainly are vast differences in the customs of the two cultures!

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Founder Aug. 10, 2010 @ 8:47 a.m.

I also really enjoy taking a "walk across the border" trip to TJ for lunch, but I tend to frequent the busy street taco stands and gorge myself on más picante salsa (and just typing that is making my mouth water) before waddling back across the border with a smile on my face! Ole

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David Dodd Aug. 10, 2010 @ 4:05 p.m.

More drugs are seized in attempts to cross the border at Tecate than the border at Tijuana. There are much less local, State, and Federal police in Tecate, and the cartels who move drugs through Baja prefer small, quiet towns where they have more control over the authorities.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with safety of tourists, but Americans refuse to believe this anyway. Most Americans believe that they are targets. Tecate is no more safe than is Tijuana, but people will believe what they wish, so perhaps they should all go to Tecate. It is probably more important for tourists to FEEL safe rather than to BE safe.

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David Dodd Aug. 10, 2010 @ 5:04 p.m.

More drugs are seized in attempts to cross the border at Tecate than the border at Tijuana. Source - The Department of Homeland Security. Those who think that Tijuana has more drug busts might wish to find better sources.

(Edit) Of course, such sources cannot be made public, so good luck with that. My advice is to cross the border over 30,000 times and get to know some of the people who work there.

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David Dodd Aug. 10, 2010 @ 6:18 p.m.

Without entering into pointless debate, not one newspaper in the U.S. covers Tecate. It matters not one iota who believes that more drugs are attempted (and seized) at Tecate than at Tijuana. The U-T covers (barely, and mostly only the bad stuff) only Tijuana. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, for obvious reasons, do not publish such statistics. And Tecate is not the king of border entry drug seizures in the U.S., only in California. You'll have to go to Texas for that, and it isn't where most people think it is (again, think small and sleepy).

By all means, those who prefer Tecate should move there at once. However, wherever an expat chooses to live, the important thing is to not fall into the media trap that a) where the most people are, the most problems exist, and b) that people who gain well over 20 billion dollars per year satisfying the drug habits of Americans target tourists, just because they like to target tourists.

It simply isn't true.

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David Dodd Aug. 10, 2010 @ 7:07 p.m.

Why would anyone who tracks down links about how horrible, ugly, and corrupt Tijuana apparently is, bother to visit? Sounds fishy, as though someone has an axe to grind.

Scary, this Tijuana. I should move immediately on the advice of the newspapers. Never mind the empirical evidence, nor the millions of people that live here and have no problems at all. I should leave because the media links tell me so. I should be a sheep! Baa-aaa.

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David Dodd Aug. 11, 2010 @ 4:10 a.m.

"...but I tend to frequent the busy street taco stands..."

Some of the best food in Tijuana is the street food. Certainly, it's dangerous what with having to dodge all of the bullets and narrowly escape kidnapping attempts and so on, but it's definitely worth the trouble.

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Founder Aug. 11, 2010 @ 8:24 a.m.

-- Food for Thought --

Hey Amigo's I'd enjoy having a few tacos and or perhaps a toast with one and or hopefully both of you on either side of the border:

RFG & P Hopefully, that will soon be more great Food for Thought

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nan shartel Aug. 11, 2010 @ 8:30 a.m.

once again Founder reaches out his hand in a peaceful way..good on ya homey!!!

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nan shartel Aug. 11, 2010 @ 9:38 a.m.

"...but I tend to frequent the busy street taco stands..."

Some of the best food in Tijuana is the street food. Certainly, it's dangerous what with having to dodge all of the bullets and narrowly escape kidnapping attempts and so on, but it's definitely worth the trouble.

it's Wednesday morning....and because of u Refried...i'm laughing ;-)

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MsGrant Aug. 11, 2010 @ 9:58 a.m.

I know, huh? Can you see RFG, taco in hand, flying sideways to miss the bullet and then applying the kung-fu kick to the would-be assassin?

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Founder Aug. 11, 2010 @ 10:26 a.m.

You did notice nan

Reply #26

Haiku's Peaceful Hand

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Founder Aug. 11, 2010 @ 11:39 a.m.

-- Lunch Rhyme --

25 - #30

Here is an idea, if that's not too nerdy

Parker, nan, RFG, MSG, LPR, et all (Reads like ingredients on a foreign ale bottle)

I live nearby El Comal in North Park it would be fun to meet you before dark

or maybe a lunch rhyme if you all have the time

Send an email and let me know what you say then we can get together on a good day

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