There are NO Asians in Medellin, Colombia

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There are NO Asians in Medellin, Colombia

One question I get asked every once in a while is, are there any Asian people in Medellin?  The answer? There are no Asians in Medellin, Colombia. Colombians are super friendly, and I’ve learned to answer their question “De dondes eres?” (Where are you from?) with “Soy de Canada pero mi en familia es Chino” (I’m from Canada, my family are Chinese).

If you don’t answer the question that way, they think you don’t understand and will ask again. If you’re Asian, you’ve been asked that question by people in North America every once in a while, you know what I’m talking about. “Where are you reallllyyyyy frommmm?” they’ll ask. I always think “Dude, I was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I love country music, F-150s and steaks!” But then reluctantly answer “My ethnicity is Chinese.”

Colombians though, I think just really haven’t known many Asian people at all. I asked them in my completely garbage Spanish, what they think of people from Asia

  1. Stern
  2. Good at math
  3. Knows Karate
  4. They didn’t mention they probably think I have a small penis too.

(Only one of those things are true on that list, but really, that’s a Samson thing not a Chinese thing!)

They do have Chinese restaurants, so it’s not like Chinese people don’t exist here. They just are very very very rare. (And yes it’s usually 99% Colombians working at the Chinese Restaurant.)

One thing here that’s funny. Is that on the menus at the Chinese restaurants they’ll have all these different stir fried rice dishes. Yet one of them will be called “Arroz de Chino”, or Chinese Rice. When I see that, I always think….wait…aren’t they always Chinese stir fried rice? Sure the other one’s have odd ingredients like pork rinds, but hey it’s stir fried rice…
So, if you get to Medellin, and you’re Asian? Be prepared to be the ambassador for all Asian people, and also be prepared to be called Jackie Chan a lot.

I hope this article helped you with your quest of finding the best country to retire cheap. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more tips and articles on finding the cheapest places to retire. And if you liked the article, please share on social media (I’d love it if you did!)


About the Author:

Samson Chui is the chief travel blogger behind Best Countries to Retire Cheap. His goal is to find the best country to retire for $1000.


  1. L September 30, 2017 at 7:10 am - Reply

    Darn it! I was hoping to hear how you had , surprisingly, found a small but friendly community of Chinese expats. We are a Canadian family, currently living in China (yep, the kids are fluently Mandarin), and are heading to Medellin in 2018. We REALLY want the kids to continue with their Chinese learning and were hoping for someone( maybe a university student?!) to tutor them a bit ( really, just talk to them one in a while). How long were you there? Did you hit any clubs frequented by the university kids? ahhhhhhhhhhh!

    • samson December 20, 2017 at 12:55 am - Reply

      Medellin is great. But there really are no Asians there. I didn’t head out to the University area, but seriously none here. If you’re looking for a Chinese community, I’d recommend Kuala Lumpur. Great hub there. For both Mandarin and Cantonese speaking expats.

    • Yen June 21, 2018 at 2:14 pm - Reply

      Hey, I think you are wrong. I’m from Singaporean Chinese and living in medellin. There are a fewbif you look hard enough.

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