Bali

/Bali

Best places to retire cheap in 2018

Where’s the best place to retire cheap in 2018? Here’s my definite list for the year!

Here you go, in order:

#8 Cebu, Philipines: Beautiful forts, old architecture, mountains and beaches…..what’s not to love about Cebu? Also Cebu speaks English. They have great food, a mix of traditional and western can be found here no problems. The biggest problem with Cebu and why it only ranked #8 on this years list? Heat. It’s hottttttt, hot, hot here. Also spotty wifi, and roosters. Why are roosters a big con? They still have cock fighting here. So you are going to hear roosters all the time. One of the best things about Cebu though? The beaches, this will rank high for you if you love beaches!

Cebu Summary

#7 Bali, Indonesia: Tranquil beaches, and a very diverse culture is why it’s #7 on this years list. You’ll find everything from Australian backpackers, to yoga pant wearing hippies residing here. I’ve been all around the world and this is one of the most diverse places I have found in the way of culture. The people of Bali, are all great though. Regardless if you like yoga or all you can drink night clubs, there’s a place in the city for you. You’ll be able to get fresh fruit shakes for $1 CDN and big beers are $3. The biggest problem with Bali, is that it’s full of bugs. I don’t think I saw one traveller that was not covered in bug bites. I’d vacation here, but I don’t think I’d like to retire here. But I love the banana pancakes on the beach…..so good and definitely worth going for!

LINK: One Month Bali Review

#6 Quito, Ecuador: Quito is one of the cities you’ll definitely visit in Ecuador. The reason you’ll visit is that it’s an airport hub and it’s close to the Amazon. Would I retire there? Yes, but it’s not as good as it’s sister city Cuenca. While Quito has several things going for it like Uber and more buses going to different parts of the country, it’s not quite perfect. Giant hills make walking around difficult, and while I’d recommend coming here, (It’s still in the top 10 in the world.) It’s neighbor Cuenca is just better for retirees. Another problem with Quito is like most of South America, people don’t really speak English. Great healthcare in Ecuador though keeps Quito in the mix! Also as a bonus if you’re staying in Quito, go check out the Blue Door Housing…fantastic place to stay.

LINK: One month in Quito

#5 Chiang Mai, Thailand: Founded in 1296, this northern town in Thailand is a quiet place compared to Bangkok. The old town here is amazing, picturesque with temples and a feeling of peace. It doesn’t feel like a big tourist trap like Bangkok does. Saying that there are some reasons it’s ranked #5. No transit. The city has no good bus/transit/taxi. You’ll be taking Jeepneys everywhere. Recently it got GRAB, but cars are still relatively rare.

LINK: Great things about retiring in Chiang Mai

#4 Saigon, Vietnam: Saigon is a great place to retire cheap, because of the combination of great food and culture. LINK In detail review of Saigon

FOOD! Banh Mi is my go to food in Vietnam. Even if I never retire in Saigon, I’ll need to fly back at least once a year to eat some Banh Mi.

The costs here are great:

  • Coffee 17,600 Dong ($1 CDN
  • I’ve tried to give up smoking, but it’s been hard so I’ll usually have a smoke with my morning coffee. Cigarettes are 25,500 Dong ($1.50 CDN) a pack.
  • Gym 260,000 Dong ($15 CDN) a month.
  • Vietnamese Sub, AKA Banh Mi, AKA delicious 15,000 Dong ($1 CDN). The funny thing about Banh Mi’s is that there are several stands all around my apartment. All of the Banh Mi’s are slightly different but they are all uniformly 15,000 Dong!
  • My apartment was 4.4 million Dong ($250 CDN ) a month. This included high speed internet (43 Mbps), a maid once a week, power, water etc. (Shared with 2 other people).
  • A bowl of Pho 40,000 Dong ($2 CDN)

Why did it not rate higher on my best countries to retire cheap list? Heat mainly, and the fact that GRAB is really bad there. Also the visa situation kind of sucks. You have to do paperwork ahead of time to get your Visa, and Visa runs are necessary every 3 months.

#3 Medellin, Colombia: Ranked #3 this is my #1 to place to visit. Especially if I were just to judge it by it’s vibrancy and culture. I loved Medellin as soon as I stepped off the plane. The sounds, the sights (the women are beautiful) and the fact that everyone seems pretty darn nice. Medellin is somewhere you definitely want to visit at least once in your life. Saying that it only ranked #3 for a reason. It’s lively culture also includes, drugs, thieves and assaults. Every person I knew had either been mugged, robbed or pickpocketed (or personally knew somebody who had been). I personally had somebody try to pickpocket me, and my roommate was robbed at knife point. The safety factor drops this amazing city in Colombia to #3.

LINK: Medellin is dangerous!

#2 Siem Reap, Cambodia: The city of temples! It’s got all the charm of Vietnam, and it has 50 cent beers! Food will cost more than Vietnam, but it balances itself out with cheaper beer/cigarettes. In Siem Reap you’ll find a great combination of international food, and $3 lunches. This is the only place where I found imported liquor cheaper than it is back home in Canada! That’s right if you’ve travelled around you know the price of international booze is always more expensive. In Siem Reap, Jack Daniels is actually 40% cheaper than it is at home in Canada. The only caveat to this is wine. Wine is double the price for no known reason.

Siem Reap is small enough to walk around, but if you get sick of walking there’s an abundance of Tuk Tuks. Safe, and with great English, this is a great place to retire cheap. Visa on arrival is no problem, and it’s super easy to get 6 month extensions. The only reason it didn’t make the top spot on my list? Hot! It’s hot, hot hot! If you like hot weather this place should actually move itself up to number one.

LINK TO SIEM REAP MONTHLY REVIEW

#1 Cuenca, Ecuador: Oh Cuenca, I love you. Cuenca contains all the beautiful architecture you would find in Quito, but not filled with giant hills. I’ve found this is a sleepy town, but it is big enough to have malls, movie theaters and gyms.

I love the fact that you can pretty much walk everywhere here. A lot of expats lose weight just because of the constant walking.

You’ll wake up go for a walk to the market, get some fresh eggs and vegetables all for a $1 CDN. Big beers are $1.75 CDN, and meals out are roughy $2.50.

There is a wide assortment of culture to be found here, but it’s not really a party place. Cuenca isn’t a place you want to go for a vacation. There’s really not much to do here. It’s a place you’ll want to go to retire. A strong expat community also makes it an easy place to make friends.

Why is it rated so highly then? Just the fact that while it’s a sleepy town it is also peaceful and easy to get to know.

The only thing about Cuenca that I’d love to see change? It needs a better cab system. In Quito there was Cabify and Uber. Nothing like that exists in Cuenca. But when you can get a cab they are friendly and cheap.

Cuenca wins 2018 with its perfect spring like weather though out the year, great people and good sized population. Cuenca was #1 in 2017, and I am keeping it here for 2018.

LINK: One month in Cuenca

I hope this list has been useful to you. It was a lot of fun to make! It’s been a big year for me in 2018 and I love travel blogging. Thank you so much for your support! If you have any questions about which countries to retire cheap in, just message me!

Best places to retire cheap in 20182019-01-24T22:53:55+00:00

Sanur Beach Guide

Sanur beach in Bali is a great spot to check out. It’s not the prettiest beach I’ve been on, but it is pretty good. Some things you’ll find here that make it a little shady include aggressive hawkers. (A shirt starts at 180,000 idr. 40,000k is what I paid.) Sanur beach is different from Kuta beach in that it caters more to families and honeymooners.

You’ll find fun events like Octoberfest , put on by the locals. They constantly have daily events so don’t just skip it.  I’d recommend exploring the entire length of the beach in two days. It’s a long beach sprawling over 6kms. Giant hotel properties dominate the length of the beach.  If you’re looking for the best place to retire cheap, then you’re also looking for good deals. The beach is surprisingly not too expensive for food or drinks. You can get a large Bintang for 35,000 idr and banana pancakes for 20,000. This is about the same price as in town. Some places charge you service and tax, some don’t. Ask before you order.


One hidden spot is a little turtle sanctuary. Sea turtles are hidden in a little box, and you can see them and pick them up.

Another thing about Sanur beach is that even though the beach is public, loungers are for hotel gusts or rental. On average if you really want you can find just as good a spot, just bring your own towel. Don’t just go on a lounger, they will definitely catch you.

Even though I talked about ultra agressive hawkers, there are no hawkers on the beach itself. They are on the boardwalk, so if you stay on the beach you are fine. What you will find are also are tons of places offering massages (not dirty). A massage on the beach, while looking at the ocean is roughly 70,000 idr. I say roughly because they’ll start bargaining at 120,000 idr. There are a lot of places for beach massage, so you don’t need to go with the first person you see.
It’s definitely worth checking out Sanur beach when in Bali! Grab a fire roasted corn for 10,000 idr! 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!)

Sanur Beach Guide2018-06-21T21:59:46+00:00

Best food in Sanur, Bali!

Retiring cheap in Bali means finding the best places to go out and grab a meal. Are there cheap places to eat and are they good? I’ve explored a ton of restaurants in the Sanur area in Bali, near the beach that you should check out! Each of these are great deals and 100% worth going to!


The fire station: Fantastic burgers, believe it or not this is the best burger I had in my entire trip in Asia. The priciest place on my list its $13 (130,000 idr) for a towering burger and fries. Seriously good! Everything is exactly what you want in a classy burger place. Great ambience, fantastic service and everything made fresh!

Warung Java & Seri Rundo Java


These two places are side by side. They both specialize in Indonesian food, and have the best curries I’ve ever tasted. Seriously, I must have eaten at these two places 50 times!  At $2 (20,000 idr) a meal, I ate a lot of curries. If you get the chicken curry at Warung Java it’s only $1 (10,000 idr). There are a lot of vegetarian options as well. It can be a little intimidating ordering there because they don’t really speak English. But if you can do the pick from random foods game, worth it. Catering to mainly locals, both of these places are must try spots.


Baby Monkeys: My favourite breakfast place! $6.50 (65,000 idr) gets you a Balinese coffee, toast, sausage, bacon and eggs.


They’ve also got fluffy American style banana pancakes for $2 (20,000 idr). Sanur has a ton of places which sell Indonesian (aka German/Dutch) style flat pancakes. These are great (see picture below), but Baby Monkeys is one of the only ones that sell the fluffy ones. Playing Bob Marley in the background this little restaurant is chock full of cute signs, worth it for the relaxed atmosphere alone.


You can definitely eat in Sanur for $5 a day but sometimes you’ll splurge! I hope this article helped you with your quest of finding some great food while you look for 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!)

Best food in Sanur, Bali!2018-06-21T22:02:07+00:00

Mosquitos, Extreme heat & Motorcycle Muggings: 3 reasons to SKIP Bali

So you’re thinking of retiring cheap in Bali, what’s the upsides and downsides? After one month in Bali I can tell you there are some great upsides. You can read my other articles on the full feel of Bali (under Bali in my travel blog), but it’s not all beaches and cheap food.

There’s 3 really good reasons why you might not want to retire in Bali. 

  1. Mosquitos and bug bites. Every day I’d wake up with new bites. Even with mosquito spray you’re a moving buffet there. If you’re allergic or just hate bug bites this place sucks.
  2. Extreme heat. I was in Bali in September, and it’s hot hot hot. Most days the weather was 30 degrees Celsius but felt like 40. This might be too hot. During the days you’ll find me in the pool, at the beach or hiding inside in my air conditioning.
  3. Motorcycle muggings. If you’re worried about safety you might not want to retire in Bali. One girl I met was on her scooter and another motorcycle literally slammed into her. They knocked her down, stole her purse and wound up dragging her by the purse strap for a half block. Scary, I know right? It’s a poor country and poverty is one of those economic drivers of crime. This mugging happened in a busy area during the day! 

Bali is a beautiful place with lots to offer, but these 3 reasons might be a good reason not to come retire here. I loved Bali but you definitely have some problems in paradise. 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!) 

Mosquitos, Extreme heat & Motorcycle Muggings: 3 reasons to SKIP Bali2017-02-28T21:14:15+00:00

I lived in a hostel for 30 days and survived: part 2. Man buns and skinny dipping

Listening to acoustic guitar while being surrounded by 20 somethings, I’m immediately thinking, “Will this be a 30 day stereotypes ridden trip?”

I’ve already spotted several people that I’m categorizing and judging.

There’s a kid I’ll call Detroit. He’s oozing with that 20 something desire to let everyone know just how wise he is. He’s somehow able to drop a philosophy quote every third sentence. Oh, are we going to the bar? “The famous philopher Nietzsche said, that alcohol is the spirits for our soul and emotional self”. This guy wants to learn to speak German, so that he can read Immanuel Kant in its original language. I loathe him immediately. 

There’s also Man Bun, who well, has a man bun and tribal tattoos. Including the traditional Thai one done with bamboo. I actually get to like man bun after a while but wow so stereotypical.

There’s several other people all hanging around the pool, and even though I’m stodgy, boring and judgmental I actually wind up having a great time. Being around people all drinking, on a travel high and intent on fun It’s easy to have good times.  We wind up partying in that pool until the wee hours in the morning. Skinny dipping and doing cannon balls into a pitch black pool while in Bali is something I’d definitely recommend doing. (I do think we might have annoyed the hell out of people who had to get up at 5am though for a boat ride to Gillie T. Sorry)

Sleeping is something that’s hard to do if  you’re a light sleeper in a hostel (seriously ear plugs are now on my travel essentials list, and not just ear plugs. Industrial strength construction ones will be living in my suitcase from now on.)

If you’re super introverted it can be hard, and you’ll wind up hiding in your air conditioned room during the day. If you want to be more of the party person bring a small cheap waterproof portable speaker (I’m throwing in my bag next time)


It’s an interesting mix of people I’ve met here.

  • The French people who only speak speak with each other.
  • The 20 something girls finding themselves.
  • The guy who has traveled for far too long. He is so weary of traveling but is afraid of stopping.
  • The tall Dutch girls, who are amazing. Actually I’ve found everyone I’ve met from the Netherlands super friendly. They are my new favourite people.
  • 18 year olds on their first trip ever with mommy and daddy’s credit card.
  • The backpacks so many backpacks. I’m one of the only people with a wheely suitcase.
  • The vegan yoga teacher barista.
  • The topless stripper party girl.
  • The English. So many people from the UK here. I’ve learned that Essex is the New Jersey of England.
  • Germans! They really are much more personable than the movie stereotypes.
  • Lonely planet guide readers
  • The moped accident one
  • The guy who is way too old to be staying in a hostel. (That’s technically me too!)
  • The stinky guy.

If you are prone to loneliness, booking a few days in a hostel is a great way to meet a lot of people and make new friends. There are so many stories to tell and so many journeys that people are on. You cannot help making new friends. 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!) 

I lived in a hostel for 30 days and survived: part 2. Man buns and skinny dipping2017-02-28T21:17:45+00:00

I lived in a hostel for 30 days and survived: Part 1


If you’re looking for the best place in the world to retire cheap, I can make 3 general assumptions about you.

  1. You’re smart with your money.
  2. You have money but aren’t super rich.
  3. You are old.

I assume this about you because all those things all apply to me. I also assume you don’t ever want to live in a hostel.  Shared rooms? Stinky backpackers? No thanks. Living for 30 days in a hostel away from my private rooms and apartments was something I dreaded. Could I survive or even enjoy this experience? Would these world travelling backpackers notice me in their midst? Would I be able to stand being around all these 20 something girls “finding themselves “? Would I find love? Or like an unwanted member of a lion pack would I be ostracized and cast out?

Why am I staying in a hostel? Price. Pure and simple. If I’m going to be looking for the best place to live in the world to retire, I need a local hub when I land, BEFORE I rent an apartment for a long term. The cheaper the hub the better. At $10 (100,000 idr) a night, a hostel was my best bet in Bali. (In other countries I’ve had no problems finding $10 private rooms on Airbnb.)

Day 1

I arrive super pissed off. The hostel I’ve booked was supposed to pick me up at the airport for $13 (130,000 idr). After discovering the absence of my driver to my infinite annoyance, I jump into a bandit cab for $17 (170,000 idr). After driving around for an hour using both the directions from the hostel and Google maps this hostel is nowhere to be seen. We call the number on the listing and the person answering gives a different name of the place from what I booked. Super duper pissed off now, we drive around for another hour in the vicinity. Eventually I just go to the hostel with the different name. It is indeed the hostel I’ve booked! It’s called Sanur hostel in my booking in reality it’s called Cafe Locca. Screw your incompetent hostel!

It’s night when I arrive, so all the lights are already off in the room I’ll be in. I navigate the maze of 60 litre backpacks on the floor with my iPad light (tip: bring a flashlight) and drop off my suitcase. Determined not to let this ruin the beginning of my Bali trip I head to the Circle K and buy some beers $2.80 (28,000 idr).

Triumphant with beers I return to the hostel. Around the pool somebody is playing an acoustic guitar. I spot several man buns. Will my hostel stay be so littered with stereotypes? ……… To be continued 

I lived in a hostel for 30 days and survived: Part 12016-12-12T00:10:32+00:00

You can eat like a king for $5 a day in Bali 

Retiring cheap in Bali? Food here is super cheap and super good! I’ve been eating like a king here for $5 a day. You know how you sometimes dream of places to retire where your dollar is worth way way more? Bali is a spendthrift’s dream for food.

Waking up in the morning I grab couple of hard boiled eggs for 40 cents (4000 idr) each. Rich in protein, with a very distinctive taste these are a great way to start the day. Maybe a Balinese coffee 50 cents (5000 idr) if I’m feeling indulgent.

After my morning workout, I’ll head to the warung for a chicken curry with rice 90 cents (9000 idr). Spicy but good. 


For a mid afternoon snack, you cannot beat a fresh fruit shake. I like mine without any added sugar or milk. It’s $1 (10,000) for your choice of anything from mango to dragonfruit. I  usually go for the watermelon, but they are all good.

Writing the blog at the pool is super hard work, so dinner will usually be noodles $1 (10,000 idr) from a bakso cart. These are the equivalent of hot dog carts. They are everywhere! 


For dessert my favourite is either deep fried bananas 50 cents (5000 idr) for a small bag!


 Dessert doesn’t always make it into daily budget. Sometime I’ll grab a bag of peanuts for 40 cents (4000 idr) or some shrimp chips 30 cents (3000 idr). One thing I really love here which is a little expensive but worth it is the fire roasted sweet corn $1 (10,000 idr)! 


Keeping a $5 a food budget is super easy here in Bali . I hope this article helped you with your quest of finding the best country to retire cheap while eating like a king. 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!) 

You can eat like a king for $5 a day in Bali 2017-07-12T19:39:26+00:00

How much does it cost to retire in Bali?


Are you thinking of retiring cheap in Bali? Is Bali the best place to live for $1000 a month? To answer those questions  I’ve spent the last week hard at work researching this for you loyal BestCountriesToRetireCheap.com readers (I know I know now my life is soooo tough). What does a day look like here? How much does it cost? Here’s the hard numbers about my typical day. 

Waking up at 10 am in my air conditioned room, I look up at the bars of the bunk bed above mine. The room still has its lights turned off even though 3 people have already left from our 6 person dorm. People are always checking in and out at odd times. One of the popular things to fo here I climbing a volcano to see the sunrise $60 (600,000 idr) but you leave at 1 am in the morning the hostel I’m in is in a prime location 5 minutes from the beach  in Sanur at $10 (100,000 idr) a night. I’ve poked my bargain finding head into a few other hostels in the area and $10 is normal around here. 

Since I’m all by myself (I’ll tell you all my loyal BestCountriesToRetireCheap.com readers about why in a different blog) I go for breakfast at the warung down the street. This place is cheap and great. There are all these Indonesian Warungs all over. They have a cafeteria style of eating. You select what you want from what they’ve premade and they plop it on your plate. Yes, plop is what they do. Indonesian cooking is heavy on curries. It’s all pretty tasty but definitely not pretty. Theseare not small pretty dishes served from an immaculate white plate. There’s no winning the Taste UK with their presentation. Still it’s great food and at $1 (10,000 idr) for a plate of curry chicken I’m pretty happy. I love the spices in the curry, but be warned, if you come from Britain or France it might be too spicy for you. I’ve had several of my fellow backpackers tell it’s too spicy (Am I still a backpacker if I have a wheely suitcase ?) 

After my morning meal it’s off to the gym. There’s a Celebrity fitness here in Bali (see my blog in Kuala Lumpur gyms for my review), but it’s not near my hostel. A 5km walk away from my hostel though is Ari Pro fitness. At $10 (100,000 idr) a drop in, I’ve opted for the one month pass $53 (530,000 idr). This gym isn’t bad, it’s not as nice as Celebrity fitness but it’s not like the Thailand converted airplane hanger. 


Ari Pro fitness is only a 10 minute walk or a $1 (10,000 idr) taxi ride. When I say 10 minute walk, I mean 10 minute trek over Bali’s typical Asian sidewalks in 30 degree heat. If you’re in any way mobility challenged these sidewalks are not for you. Giant pothole with ankle busting missing sections, and the always present millions of mopeds parked in your path make it safer to walk on the shoulder of the street than the sidewalks.

Ignoring the blissful thought of air conditioned taxis during my morning walk, (which is hard because they drive by with little taunting beep beeps of their horn every minute) I arrive at the gym, sweatier that I’m going to be from working out. I literally have to drink a half litre of bottled water 35 cents (35,000 id rather)during my death hike every day.

After my workout and my futile after workout shower (by the time I get back to the hostel,  I’m again a sweaty stinky Samson) I rinse off  and throw the two tank tops into the “to be washed or destroyed with extreme prejudice pile”.  At $1.30 (13,000 idr) kg to drop my clothes at a laundress. I’m happy knowing that in the day it takes them to clean it, I’ll have nice smelling clothes again (seriously there’s nothing better than that clean clothes smell). 

Enjoying the pool (essential in Asia) at my hostel I alternate between the warm water and lying on one of the sun chairs. Applying more sunscreen $9 (90,000 idr) to prevent a repeat of the appearance of “Samson the Amazing Lobster Boy”, I turn on my Iflix account $3 (30,000 idr) from my iPad. 123movies.to is an illegal streaming site that you can watch movies on as well.

After a lazy afternoon watching movies, sun tanning and at the pool with my new hostel buddies we usually head to another Warung for lunch. The different Warungs specialize in different cooking styles from various Indonesian regions and I’ve found an amazing beef curry place $2 (20,000 idr) right around the corner. 

A fresh fruit shake is $1 (10,000 idr) and Bintang beers are $2.80 (28,000 idr) all over Sanur.


If it’s nice afternoon the beach is the place for me, where you can get chicken satay skewers for pretty much the same price as in town. $2 (20,000 idr) for 10 skewers and rice!

You can get a massage on the beach for $7 (70,000 idr) if you bargain a bit, which is again similar to the prices in town. It’s cool watching the ocean and feeling the winds while getting a cheap massage.

That’s what my typical day looks like! Pretty tough. It’s been 100% possible to stick to my $1000 a month budget here. The biggest unexpected expense though is how much I’m drinking because of the other people partying. I hope this article helped you with your quest of finding the best country to retire cheap. Did you like the format? 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!) 

How much does it cost to retire in Bali?2016-12-12T00:10:33+00:00

Bbq on the beach of Bali 


Searching for the best place to retire cheap, I’m also on a side mission to eat the best things on my travels. I will always love BBQ and a beach BBQ in Bali is a one of a kind experience. Wandering the Sanur beach I find myself at an tiny BBQ place. As you know I’ve recommended going to the beach on day 1 of your trip in Bali, because a lot of the restaurants hold theme or event nights. 

This restaurant called Toro Toro holds an all you can eat BBQ every two weeks on Thursday. The name of the event should actually be, “all you can BBQ”, because they provide you the charcoal grill and the meat for to BBQ yourself. I’ve had hot pot in Asia, but never have I ever been a pit master at my own private BBQ! 


The pork ribs were beautifully marinated in a sweet BBQ sauce, and the chicken wings were parboiled in a tangy sauce. It was fun bbqing again (I’ve missed it not being at home with a BBQ). The fussy parts of a charcoal grill were taken care for you, so it’s all the taste of a charcoal grill without having to haul or clean the ashes. Also by grilling yourself the meat is super hot and grilled to exactly how you like it.

The BBQ ribs, large bottle of beer $3 (35000 idr) and seat on the beach made this dinner in Bali one of my most memorable meal.

The ocean breeze, and the view of beach from my beachside table made this surprisingly inexpensive meal $9 (850000 idr) a true unforgettable Bali moment. It’s hard to describe how truly peaceful and fun this experience was. Do not miss this if you come to Bali.


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!) 

Bbq on the beach of Bali 2016-12-12T00:10:34+00:00

Bali first impressions

I’ve landed here in the land of temples, beaches and surfing searching the best country to retire cheap. Bali. Will this be my rew retirement home? I arrive from Kuala Lumpur airport a bit tired and grouchy from the flight, but ready to explore the city. My home base will be in the Sanur area as I explore Bali for the month. From my previous research I know Sanur with its honeymooners is much more my speed than Kuta with its hard partying Austalians.

After grabbing my checked luggage, I jump into a bandit taxi $17 (170 000 idr) and enjoy the blessed blessed air conditioning. Like other cities in Asia, bandit taxi operators will swarm you as soon as you get near the real taxi stand (read my previous articles on bandit taxis) 

I love air conditioning in Asia. Bali is blazing hot in September, a combination of 30 plus degree heat, high humidity and tropical rain. I love the humidity but again, you’ll want to try and find a place with a pool or you’ll be living with your own sweat drenched self between showers.

After my hour long taxi ride (with a stop to pick up a bottle of Asoka whiskey $2 (280000 idr) I arrive at the hostel. For the first time in a billion years I’ll be staying in a hostel. Normally I am all about booking private rooms on Airbnb (use my link    https://www.airbnb.ca/c/samsonc17 but I had a hard time finding a room for $10 (10000 idr) near the Sanur beach.

The rooms in Sanur are more expensive than I like, but Bali has so many places to live that I have a feeling I could get an apartment here for $300 (300000 idr) here (or at least share one )if I settle here long term.

For this first month though I wanted something close to a beach, so I sucked it up and joined the throng of 20 something backpackers in a 8 bed per room hostel (To be honest it’s much better than I thought it would be: full story to follow).

Is the beach worth it? After Phuket in Thailand and North Sandbar in Cebu I’m a bit of a beach snob now (totally kidding all beaches are great.) 


The Sanur beach is a little rocky versus pristine white sand but it’s not too crowded. It’s kilometres of beach separated  by an invisible line between the tourist area and the locals area. Restaurants and bars line the edges and food isn’t much more expensive than in town. Be warned there are the ever present tshirt vendors and these old ladies are more persistent and aggressive than I’ve seen anywhere in the world (including Bangkok!)

I recommend walking the entire length of the beach on day 1. A lot of the restaurants have weekly or monthly events. By checking this out on day 1 you won’t miss an event that might only happen every other Thursday. (I found a BBQ restaurant event that I made a reservation for immediately)


After a day at the beach, I settle in for the night in my new hostel listening to the wind rushing through the tropical flowers and trees. Occasionally a horned toad makes its presence known with its call interrupting the crickets. 
So far Bali has everything that ticked off many boxes on the BestCountriesToRetireCheap.com checklist. (Beach, cheap food and great wifi.) I’ll give all of you more tips as I explore Bali.


I hope this article helped you with your quest of finding the best country to retire cheap. I try not to  write too many  “dear diary” articles.  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!) 

Bali first impressions2016-12-12T00:10:36+00:00

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