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Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines?

Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines?

Old Jun 26th 2008, 11:02 pm
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Default Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines?

Hello to everyone.
I'm new to this and it is only due to unforeseen circumstances that I am using this way to get information. Won't bore you with details.
I am British, 56 years old and solo again. I love Asia and live presently in S.Korea. Will leave in September.
I have been spending weeks searching the internet for a place to "retire" in Asia and am torn between Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines. Searching the net gives me much information but it's mostly commercialised. I'm looking for 1st hand experiences. All 3 countries I mentioned have pro's and con's.
At the moment I think the best thing for me to do is find one of the countries as a base and look around from there. All the retirement websites claim "their" country is the cheapest for retirement.

The problems I see at this time are:-

1. All countries require a return or an onward ticket. Any ideas how I get around this.

2. Finding a place for long or short (however you look at it) residence. I think maybe 3 or 6 month without breaking the bank.

Please don't give me links to forums or websites. The information there is usually very difficult to find, some are outdated. Time is running out for me and I would really appreciate first hand experiences from people who live in these places presently, not 5 years ago or who have friends that live there.
Hope I didn't sound too rude or arrogant.

Thanks for any useful info.
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Old Jun 27th 2008, 12:52 am
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Default Re: Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines?

Hi Tony,
I have lived in Thailand for a few years and now im living in Manila. i did spend a week in Malaysia, So i cant really comment about that place.
Thailand is the best place for you to go, first reason is visas, you can get a triple entry from uk for thailand and every 3 months u get a train or plane down to malaysia border and get your passport stamped and hey presto u got another 3 months activated, so all in all u get 9 months. then when u come to the end of that 9 months u can get a visa extension at immigration for i think 800 baht. round about 11 quid.
Philippines: you get a free 21 day visa on entry, great! but then you have to get an extension, your first extension is a month and a half and it will now cost you almost 6 thousand peso, well 5600 to be exact, that is almost 80 quid! so you have that every two months to think about. Im ok i have a working visa. the extensions were only 2800peso but now they run a background check with the NBI to see if your wanted for anything and thats where the expense is.
There is more fun to be had in thailand, and the foreigner is well catered for, although Thai people are not as friendly as filipinos.
Accomadation in thailand is very very cheap, compared to philippines, an average hotel here costs 40 dollars where thailand half that.
Now if i can give u some advice if you decide on Philippines, do not come to manila, go to cebu instead life is more laid back and lovely beaches in lapu lapu. and you get ripped off less too than in manila.
If you decide Thailand you should stay in Pattaya or Jomtien, or maybe south Phuket, but a little more expensive down there.
Although manila has faults.. Its a millions times better than UK!!!!!!!
If you want to know anything just ask, i can give you some honest unbias answers as i have lived in these places for quite a while.
John

Last edited by Johnny T; Jun 27th 2008 at 1:01 am. Reason: spelling
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Old Jun 27th 2008, 1:31 am
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Default Re: Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines?

Just a quick thanks Johnny. I will get back to you, probably get on your nerves too hehe
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Old Jun 27th 2008, 9:44 am
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Default Re: Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines?

Hi Tony, just read all your postings. We "retired" to Phuket exactly 6 months ago to the south of the island and no regrets so far. Re yr 2 questions:

1. All countries require a return or an onward ticket. Any ideas how I get around this. -
I'm not aware that you have to have a return ticket. If you have a Thai Embassy near you in Korea, you may want to think about getting a Tourist Visa. As a British citizen you don't actually need one to visit Thailand, but we were told it is easier to convert the Tourist Visa to a Retirement Visa (which we did). Someone correct me if they have done otherwise.

2. Finding a place for long or short (however you look at it) residence. I think maybe 3 or 6 month without breaking the bank.
It is now "low season" in Phuket and there are LOTS of places to rent. You just need to pick a location! I would really recommend going through a reputable well-known real estate firm on the island, unless you are really strapped for cash. You may pay slightly more on your rent, but you will get invaluable advice on property, location and really anything else you need to know about life on the island. Have you the chance to visit before September to make a decision? Maybe hire a car and check out some different parts of the island?

We got a good bit of an advice from a friend here when we first moved "Don't worry about the locals, it's the Farangs you have to watch out for" (Farangs = Western expats). There are a lot of conmen around - be warned.

Re Philippines. Like you, we had to make a decision in a relative hurry (10 months) on where to move (won't bore you with that story). We would have loved to have checked out Cebu and I think there are some other places (San Fernando?) that are fairly free of weather troubles. Well if you have the time and the money you can always check out these places from Phuket (or other Thai location).

Feel free to send me a PM if you've any specific questions. Will also answer your other query on the Malaysia-Thailand thread.
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Old Jun 28th 2008, 8:54 am
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Default Re: Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines?

Originally Posted by katongkaren View Post
Hi Tony, just read all your postings. We "retired" to Phuket exactly 6 months ago to the south of the island and no regrets so far. Re yr 2 questions:

1. All countries require a return or an onward ticket. Any ideas how I get around this. -
I'm not aware that you have to have a return ticket. If you have a Thai Embassy near you in Korea, you may want to think about getting a Tourist Visa. As a British citizen you don't actually need one to visit Thailand, but we were told it is easier to convert the Tourist Visa to a Retirement Visa (which we did). Someone correct me if they have done otherwise.

2. Finding a place for long or short (however you look at it) residence. I think maybe 3 or 6 month without breaking the bank.
It is now "low season" in Phuket and there are LOTS of places to rent. You just need to pick a location! I would really recommend going through a reputable well-known real estate firm on the island, unless you are really strapped for cash. You may pay slightly more on your rent, but you will get invaluable advice on property, location and really anything else you need to know about life on the island. Have you the chance to visit before September to make a decision? Maybe hire a car and check out some different parts of the island?

We got a good bit of an advice from a friend here when we first moved "Don't worry about the locals, it's the Farangs you have to watch out for" (Farangs = Western expats). There are a lot of conmen around - be warned.

Re Philippines. Like you, we had to make a decision in a relative hurry (10 months) on where to move (won't bore you with that story). We would have loved to have checked out Cebu and I think there are some other places (San Fernando?) that are fairly free of weather troubles. Well if you have the time and the money you can always check out these places from Phuket (or other Thai location).

Feel free to send me a PM if you've any specific questions. Will also answer your other query on the Malaysia-Thailand thread.
Obviously we all like where we are (or intend to be) – be it Malaysia\Thailand \Philippines - or we would not be there! As you are "unencumbered" - I would suggest a few months renting in every country - living under the "free" Visa time. Malaysia allows 3 months + 1 extension = 4 months in total but if you like to border hop you can continue this for some time.

I am a Malaysia Fan and intend to move with MMH2 as I will remain retired and not work\start a business. It gives you right of residence for 10 years - no import on your own goods or car, etc. The Food is wonderful and multi-cultural, jurisprudence is based roughly on British - but I am biased as I and Mother were born there....I like the MM2H 10 years residency deal (renewable) - and luckily - £23k Deposit for 1 year ain't going to break my bank. If you like "Action", good amenities and service - KL has it all - and if beaches etc are for you there are many areas to live.

Property Prices are all about (as UK) Location, Location - so obviously KL (and sometimes Penang) can be more expensive than outwith. Sabah (Borneo) is very picturesque and can be more "outstation".

So my advice (for what it is worth) is garner monies, sort banking and money transfer, pack a bag - and just Go: Live in each country (they are all cheap) on “free” Visa time – RELAX\Unwind - and then decide which one you will buy property in to live.

Best wishes and good luck. It is exciting to start a new life ---- particularly at our ages!
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Old Jun 28th 2008, 8:55 am
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Default Re: Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines?

Originally Posted by djoerk View Post
Obviously we all like where we are (or intend to be) – be it Malaysia\Thailand \Philippines - or we would not be there! As you are "unencumbered" - I would suggest a few months renting in every country - living under the "free" Visa time. Malaysia allows 3 months + 1 extension = 4 months in total but if you like to border hop you can continue this for some time.

I am a Malaysia Fan and intend to move with MMH2 as I will remain retired and not work\start a business. It gives you right of residence for 10 years - no import on your own goods or car, etc. The Food is wonderful and multi-cultural, jurisprudence is based roughly on British - but I am biased as I and Mother were born there....I like the MM2H 10 years residency deal (renewable) - and luckily - £23k Deposit for 1 year ain't going to break my bank. If you like "Action", good amenities and service - KL has it all - and if beaches etc are for you there are many areas to live.

Property Prices are all about (as UK) Location, Location - so obviously KL (and sometimes Penang) can be more expensive than outwith. Sabah (Borneo) is very picturesque and can be more "outstation".

So my advice (for what it is worth) is garner monies, sort banking and money transfer, pack a bag - and just Go: Live in each country (they are all cheap) on “free” Visa time – RELAX\Unwind - and then decide which one you will buy property in to live.

Best wishes and good luck. It is exciting to start a new life ---- particularly at our ages!
Bog rolled it again - meant to Quote Tony. Apologies :-)
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Old Jun 29th 2008, 2:51 am
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Default Re: Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines?

Can anyone tell me how widely spoken English is in Thailand? I mean also in the rural districts, not just hotels and tourist resorts.
I know that English is no problem in the Philippines also Malaysia is not a problem (at least in Penang)

Thanks
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Old Jun 29th 2008, 3:49 am
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Default Re: Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines?

Originally Posted by tonycheston View Post
Can anyone tell me how widely spoken English is in Thailand? I mean also in the rural districts, not just hotels and tourist resorts.
I know that English is no problem in the Philippines also Malaysia is not a problem (at least in Penang)

Thanks
I believe you are correct about Philippines and Malaysia - English widely spoken.

I have only lived in Phuket for 6 months so I am no expert. Certainly in Phuket you can find areas where there is a lot of English spoken. I think the more rural you get the less English speaking you will find - is as simple as that. Whilst a lot of the Thai kids here are learning good English now, some adults in the past have not had the opportunity to learn the language.

I think if you want a rural location in Thailand, you'll need to learn nid-noyThai (little bit Thai)... OR of course there is always Malaysia and Philippines. Australia??? New Zealand???

FYI we chose a semi-rural location in the south of the island, a little tourism, some speak English, some do not, quite a few expats though. When we arrived in Thailand I knew about 3 words of Thai . I am now up to about 400 words and have a lot of fun communicating very badly with greengrocers, bargirls etc. They are all trying to learn English too so it's a good two-way thing.
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Old Jun 29th 2008, 4:03 am
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Default Re: Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines?

Thanks again for your speedy reply karen. Seems a lot like Korea.
Australia, New Zealand is too much western for my liking
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Old Jun 29th 2008, 11:38 pm
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Default Re: Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines?

Hi Tony,
If i could just add to what i was saying about visas here in Philippines. If you were to marry a filipina which is very likely to happen. You will automatically get a years marriage visa. One more thing i should just add as well. when i arrived here (manila) at xmas the rate of the peso was Php79 to the pound, it is now 89!!!!!! Wow! Which makes things even better value, if you change your money now.
Remember forget manila, try palawan or cebu, cebu island itself isnt actually where the best beaches are, they belong to the island next to it called Mactan island connected with a road bridge in mandaue city.
Ok if i think of anything else ill post it for u.
John
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Old Jun 30th 2008, 10:40 am
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Default Re: Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines?

Originally Posted by Johnny T View Post
Hi Tony,
If you were to marry a filipina
That's a bit drastic isn't it?
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Old Jun 30th 2008, 1:27 pm
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Default Re: Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines?

Dear Karen,
Well why not marry a girl here? They are completely lovely, most are of strong catholic belief, with good values and nice attitudes. What more could a man want?? Tony is 56 he has the chance of meeting a girl half his age who will love and care for him forever. Sure there are some horror stories and im sure Tony can spot a gold digger if he met one.
How is it in Phuket by the way? I kinda wish i was back in thailand, but im going on some travels around the 7100 philippines islands to find my paradise, its gonna take me 168 years to cover them all.

Hey Tony!!
Live the dream....
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Old Jun 30th 2008, 6:58 pm
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Default Re: Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines?

If he does marry a local he'll be sure to get a young stunner as well
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Old Jul 1st 2008, 11:00 am
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Default Re: Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines?

So any Filipino toyboys around?
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Old Jul 1st 2008, 12:19 pm
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Default Re: Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines?

Of course Their are Karen,
They are everything opposite to what i put in my last reply.
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