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Is Asia now unaffordable?

Is Asia now unaffordable?

Old Jan 7th 2009, 7:10 am
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Default Is Asia now unaffordable?

I've been planning to move to Asia (probably Thailand) for a few years now and finally I am in a position to do so. Typical story, probably been raked over many times on this forum over the last few months - my pounds are worth much less than 6 months ago and I don't know what to do.

I have a private income from my business of £2000 a month to spend on all my living costs. I know that many of you are living on much less than that in Asia, but the condo overlooking the sea seems to be getting out of reach now for me, in most of Thailand. It's beginning to sound like the party is over now for the land of smiles and perhaps it is time to look elsewhere?

I am not interested in the sex industry. I just want somewhere warm, coastal, urban, safe with a good infrastructure and internet connection. What would you do with this kind of budget. I am 37 and do not want to 'find myself' on a Goa beach with drugs and travellers. I am looking to semi-retire in a reasonable amount of luxury and to do little other than eat well, read and get fit.

where should i go to get value for money?

thanks
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Old Jan 7th 2009, 9:38 am
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Default Re: Is Asia now unaffordable?

Hi there, there is a very helpful and knowledgeable poster called katongkaren who lives in Phuket. I don't think she posts much these days (hmmm, wonder why that could be? ) but you could PM her so she knows about your query.

edit: Just realised you can't PM yet, so I will do it for you.
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Old Jan 7th 2009, 2:19 pm
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Default Re: Is Asia now unaffordable?

Mmmm at 37 you may find it tough to get an appropriate visa for Thailand unless you are thinking of working (but that can be fraught with problems). Retirement visa starts at age 50. Though you say you are probably not now interested in Thailand?

I think it's going to be tough to tick all the boxes on your requirements. I guess Philippines springs to mind. I have never been there myself but a lot of people like it. It certainly has a great "retirement" scheme and I think you can apply at the young age of 37. Maybe some others can advise on this.

I think the "safe with a good infrastructure" requirement may be tough to find, though it is all comparative of course. I feel much safer in Phuket than I would in the UK. Having said that, of course there is crime in Thailand and Philippines and elsewhere.

There's a lot of cheap places around Asia but cheap and good infrastructure don't seem to go together.

Singapore has the "safe with good infrastructure" but may not fit the bill with your other requirements.

Sorry to say that there is no Utopia out there - wish there was.
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Old Jan 7th 2009, 4:36 pm
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Default Re: Is Asia now unaffordable?

Just some food for thought and in answer to the question Is Asia now unaffordable? I would say no it is not based on your budget.

I can only speak of Phuket but GBP 2000 will currently buy you about 100,000 baht. Of course you will always be at the mercy of exchange rates. Mr KK and I live on around 100 to 120,000 a month. We have a villa with pool and all the services to go with it, run 2 vehicles, a powerboat(!), eat/drink out approx every other day, have aircon (biggest cost but a fraction of UK power costs). Some friends of ours (2 people) live on 30,000 baht, smoke, drink, only go out twice a week, run 1 vehicle and 3 dogs(!) but no aircon. Just to give you some idea.

Be interesting to hear about monthly costs in Malaysia, Philippines or anywhere else - anyone?
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Old Jan 7th 2009, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Is Asia now unaffordable?

You could also consider Vietnam, Hua Hin or so. Otherwise there is Lamma Island in Hong Kong.
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Old Jan 7th 2009, 7:19 pm
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Default Re: Is Asia now unaffordable?

thanks for all your posts, any more are welcome.

i am not looking for retirement status and know i would need to step out of thailand every 3 months for the visa.

i liked the look of hua hin because of the lack of crime and good infrastructure. i have also been considering trat as it is so close to the border and would appear to make the visa trip easy.

i think that 25,000 baht is about what i want to spend on accomodation, each month. it does seem difficult to find any apartments with nice furniture, whatever the budget. were they all kitted out in 1992? i can only go off what i see on the website photos. how much do you budget for air con?

some people are now claiming to have paid £8 for a hamburger and chips at mediocre bars in bangkok. here in the uk, there are pubs offering £1 lunches to beat the crunch! 2 meals for £6 is more common, but it shows we are no longer a rich country.

new zealand is becoming more attractive to me as their currency (and Australia's) has nosedived in unison with the pound. perhaps i could do worse than spend a few months in the bay of plenty and wait for markets to settle down.

it would be far more exciting to be part of the next big thing though, in or outside asia. any ideas?

thanks again
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Old Jan 7th 2009, 8:55 pm
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Default Re: Is Asia now unaffordable?

If you are thinking of doing the visa-run thing I'd take a good look at the visa section on ThaiVisa.com. If you've not already looked at the website and want a link, let me know.

Whilst Thailand may look to many as a little lax, they have been slowly tightening up on the visa rules - precisely to stop those without work visas or retirement visas from swanning around in LoS. I'm not sure if you can still do continuous visa runs. Of course it has been a source of great irritation to many expats who are of course spending their money in Thailand. Though it does weed out some of the expat weirdos here, of which there are many. (Sorry - I'm not implying that you are a possible weirdo ) (Mmmm maybe people think I'm a weirdo )

I think Malaysia is pretty good for continuous visa-runs (unless the rules have changed recently) though not as cheap as Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines.
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Old Jan 8th 2009, 8:49 pm
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Default Re: Is Asia now unaffordable?

Originally Posted by edgeofparadise
thanks for all your posts, any more are welcome.

i am not looking for retirement status and know i would need to step out of thailand every 3 months for the visa.

i liked the look of hua hin because of the lack of crime and good infrastructure. i have also been considering trat as it is so close to the border and would appear to make the visa trip easy.

i think that 25,000 baht is about what i want to spend on accomodation, each month. it does seem difficult to find any apartments with nice furniture, whatever the budget. were they all kitted out in 1992? i can only go off what i see on the website photos. how much do you budget for air con?

some people are now claiming to have paid £8 for a hamburger and chips at mediocre bars in bangkok. here in the uk, there are pubs offering £1 lunches to beat the crunch! 2 meals for £6 is more common, but it shows we are no longer a rich country.

new zealand is becoming more attractive to me as their currency (and Australia's) has nosedived in unison with the pound. perhaps i could do worse than spend a few months in the bay of plenty and wait for markets to settle down.

it would be far more exciting to be part of the next big thing though, in or outside asia. any ideas?

thanks again

Hi edgeofparadise,

Accommodation in hua hin at present day with good environment/neighborhoods, safety and good infrastructure, in privacy area seems to cost around 60000 baht - up/month. There are also some good local fresh markets where you can purchase and do the cooking yourself which will be a lot cheaper. Anyway, the meal cost for eating out is varied from 80 baht, street food shop, to pricey seafood in most restaurants, your choice. Don’t know much about Visa things. Good luck.
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Old Jan 9th 2009, 4:13 am
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Default Re: Is Asia now unaffordable?

60,000 baht a month? in my reasonably affluent uk city it is hard to find any apartments where they are asking £1000 pcm, let alone £1200! £800 gets you a 2 bed city centre penthouse with roof terrace and underground parking.

I've been looking at Dumaguete in the phillipines. looks to be a relatively safe university town/city and most people have only positive things to say about it. Has anyone been? Seems a lot better than Cebu.

What sort of visa can i get, beyond the normal 21 days?

thanks again.
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Old Jan 10th 2009, 6:25 pm
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Default Re: Is Asia now unaffordable?

Originally Posted by edgeofparadise

What sort of visa can i get, beyond the normal 21 days?

thanks again.
I saw this link posted somewhere else which might be of interest

http://www.gov.ph/faqs/retirement.asp

Looks like you have to be over 35 to get the long term/retiree visa, so guess that might fit the bill for you. It sounds like you don't actually have to "retire" either.

Maybe some of the Philippines residents on this forum can further enlighten as I don't know too much about it (having not ever been to Philippines).
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Old Jan 10th 2009, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: Is Asia now unaffordable?

Originally Posted by edgeofparadise
i liked the look of hua hin because of the lack of crime and good infrastructure.
Just curious to know about Hua Hin's 'good infrastructure' for future reference. Looking to visit there in a few months time.
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 6:47 am
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Default Re: Is Asia now unaffordable?

Originally Posted by katongkaren
Just curious to know about Hua Hin's 'good infrastructure' for future reference. Looking to visit there in a few months time.

this is just something i have been told by several british visitors to hua hin. apparently the thai royal family regularly spend time there. if you like at any of the videos shot from tuk-tuks/bikes on youtube, you can see that the town looks a lot smarter than others in thailand. however, i've never been to thailand so i may be wrong and it's just what i have heard.


dumaguete looks quit attractive. £375 a month gets you a nice place to live. pedalo rides seem to cost about 9 pence a time. perhaps £2 for a ferry to cebu. english widely spoken as well. i am sure you might have to watch your step at certain times of night in certain parts of town. big deal! who wants to walk through peckham at 4 in the morning, either?
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 6:38 pm
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Wink Re: Is Asia now unaffordable?

hi there,
ok i will tell u where to go..cambodia,me and my wife are just back from there,resort town called sihanoukville on the coast with beautifull beaches,hot weather,cheap everything....u will get a good clean 1st class hotel for $20 -£ 12 per nite room service,swimming pool,mini bar,cable tv.u can get a good decent lovely bungalow for $6 a nite with air con,cable,..u can get a beer for 75 cents..bottle whiskey for $4..down there they have beach parties everynite of week untill 5am on the beach ,fire dancers dj,s,the lot..they have hundreds of international cafes ,resturaunts down there,they have girlies for $10 a pop if that is wot ur into....i have tinkered with thailand for 12 yrs now,i have a lot of money to invest but thailand is just too expensive now,average 80 baht a beer ? for gods sake thats £160 for a small bottle,i can get cheaper than that here in belfast,uk...believe me ive done thailand and i think u should put ur sites on cambodia...they have everything that thailand has and u know wot? u can stay there 10 yrs 20 yrs without a visa...so there u go mate...hope u make the rite choice and good luck....
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 9:38 pm
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Default Re: Is Asia now unaffordable?

Originally Posted by dmax
.they have everything that thailand has .
I read a thread on thaivisa about someone who moved to Cambodia and he said that he had to travel to Thailand for any hospital visits as Cambodia doesn't have "international standard" hospitals. Don't know if that is true or not.

Umm.... 80 Baht is GBP 160? I think not.
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Old Jan 13th 2009, 12:19 am
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Default Re: Is Asia now unaffordable?

Originally Posted by katongkaren
Just curious to know about Hua Hin's 'good infrastructure' for future reference. Looking to visit there in a few months time.
Iv been to Hua Hin and the "infrastructure" is just fine and dandy. Personally I went there after 2 years of traveling in northern Thailand and Laos and I got a little bit of a chock wen I arrived to Hua Hin. Everybody speaked Swedish, Danish, Finish and Norwegian! There were yesterdays newspaper in many corners from Sweden!
Staid for 14 days and spoke Swedish like crazy the hole time! Totally starved out in my native lingual!

Scandinavian people are often good in English so nemas problemas with the "good infrastructure"! (I hope)

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