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3 Great Restaurants under $5 in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Finding great food is 50% of the reason that I travel around looking the best countries to retire cheap. As you know, I love Siem Reap, Cambodia. Last year, it was #2, on my best countries to retire cheap list. LINK TO CURRENT PLACES TO RETIRE CHEAP and it might make #1 this year.

One reason, Siem Reap appears constantly on the best countries to retire list is the abundance of GREAT food. As an international hub, you’ll find quite a bit of variety for food. Chinese, Mexican, English, Thai, Malay, Indian….they’ve got enough great affordable restaurants to make this a place to come just to eat.

The fried dumplings at Old Beijing Dumpling House are delicious!

Old Beijing Dumpling House: This is a MUST GO if you like dumplings. While they have other Chinese food on their menu, I highly recommend the steamed or fried dumplings. Seriously, with the word “Dumpling” in the title, you’d be a fool to get something else. When a friend of mine suggested it, I was like, “Dumplings? I love dumplings…. but I’m also super fussy about dumplings as I’ve eaten them in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Richmond.” It’s not a fancy place, but some of the best street food I’ve had often comes from unassuming places. These were some of the BEST dumplings I’ve ever had in the world. Every batch is hand made, and the price is $3 for 13 dumplings. That’s right…..under 30 cents a dumpling! They are a mom/pop shop, and make them fresh, so EXPECT at least a 20 minute wait after you order your dumplings…… (HINT:If you’re going to eat multiple orders of dumplings, order the second plate when the first one appears….so you never run out).

Bread and Bubble:This little gem of a store is a cozy sandwich shop. It made the list, because of it’s authentic Vietnamese Banh Mi. I’ve spent months in Vietnam, and one of the main reasons to go is for Banh Mi. Until I tried Bread and Bubble in Siem Reap, I’ve never found another restaurant that makes a decent Banh Mi outside of Vietnam. (Don’t even get me started about the crappy ones I’ve had in Ecuador.) This place is also crazy cheap, averaging $2 for a delicious banh mi, made with fresh baguette.

Banh mi at Bread and Bubble

Temple Design Restaurant: This is part of the Temple group, and if you’re in Siem Reap, I swear you are going to see something from Temple Group every few blocks. From restaurants, to nightclubs, to hotels they have an imprint everywhere. What that means, is it has impeccable standards. Ive been to several of the Temple restaurants and they always have great service, beautifully presented food and 50 cent draft. If you want to try Khmer food this is where I’d go. The presentation and the food will truly impress. Most places in Siem Reap if you’re going for Khmer food will just just serve it slapped on a dish. Here they actually work just as hard on the plating and presentation as the food itself. It’s Instagram heaven for food photography. Bonus tip: They take credit card here!

Try Khmer food at Temple

There is a lot of food to go try in Siem Reap, and I’m going to endeavor to go eat at ALL the great places. If you know a fantastic place, that didn’t make this list, let me know in the comments! And as always have a great time looking for the best food in the world!

3 Great Restaurants under $5 in Siem Reap, Cambodia2020-06-15T09:44:14+00:00

Fostering Animals in Cambodia

If you’re looking for the best countries to retire cheap, you might want to have some furry companionship. When I left Canada, my ex girlfriend took our cats, and I’ve been a solitary wanderer ever since.

In Siem Reap, Cambodia there are a ton of stray animals. If you’re going to be in a city for a while (like I normally am), I’d recommend getting a hold of a foster society to adopt some animals while you’re in town.

I reached out on Facebook to a wonderful society called, Animals of Our World. They are strictly non profit, volunteer run group that helps take care of animals in Siem Reap FACEBOOK LINK TO THEIR PAGE

They brought 2 kitties for me, which I promptly named Goblin and Scout. We had them cleaned and vaccinated and now I have 2 new guests in my hotel room! (A lot of places will allow you to have a pet if you ask).

I donated some cat food to their organization, and paid for the first round of vaccines, but it’s strictly a voluntary donation. Frankly, I love being able to help!

Now the two little fuzz balls are crawling all over the place, and this article is taking way longer to write, because they insist in helping!

Scout, is watching vigilantly!

So, why not foster an animal while you look for the best countries to retire cheap? Do it! Do it!

Fostering Animals in Cambodia2020-04-15T02:34:58+00:00

I’m in Cambodia during the Coronavirus

Being a travel blogger is amazing, but at times it can be kinda crazy. I was tear gassed in Chile, and now I’m dealing with the Coronavirus here in Cambodia.

How’s it affecting everything? Mostly it hasn’t changed the country. I flew in and they had an extra form to fill in about if I had been to any dodgy or banned countries. That’s about it. To be honest the movie theater had tighter security with temperature scanning.

Life in Cambodia, is water buffaloes, massages and cheap hotels.

The government here has just shut down (as of today), the bars and cinemas. With that being a huge source of income for the locals, it can be brutal. Imagine making $200 a month, and then getting laid off for 2 weeks with no pay. The bills, don’t stop coming, do they? My hotel has a private pool, so I’ll probably spend my time swimming.

Travel itself is dodgy. The border to Cambodia closes for all US, Germany, France, Iran, Italy and Spain as of today. The next stop on my travels is Thailand, and while it’s currently accepting people flying from Cambodia, who know’s if it’s still going to continue?

As the world lives gripped in fear, I’m wondering what the travel situation will look like 2 weeks or 2 months from now. As it is though, I’m going to keep enjoying life and retiring in cheap countries. Stay safe everyone, and keep living life.

I’m in Cambodia during the Coronavirus2020-03-18T01:11:23+00:00

Getting to Cambodia: Step by Step guide

Siem Reap, Cambodia is one of my most favorite places in the world to retire cheap.

How do you get there? And what steps do you need to take?

Are there tips?

You bet.

1. Book your flight. When booking your flight try to avoid flying into America. Or if you’re American, try to avoid any stops in a different American city.

The main reason for this is because, each time you stop in America, even when transiting, you have to go through their security again.

Yup. You wind up going back out with the people who haven’t already been screened. And screened again.

This is going to take up a lot of extra time and hassle.

2. Pack light. I know you might be retiring forever and bringing everything with you. Remember you’re going to Asia, they make a lot of stuff here. And have pretty much everything you’re going to need.

Right now I travel with a carry on, and a small backpack for gear.

3.Choice of airlines is up to you. But I really like Singapore Air. During the flight, it’s unlimited booze, snacks and meals. Also the flight attendants are really nice. Believe me, I’m cheap as balls but, if I have a flight that’s similar in cost, or even more expensive I’ll choose Singapore Air vs Air Canada or any American company. This trip I voluntarily chose a 13 hour stopover in Singapore, because it’s airport is one of the nicest in the world

Sunflower Garden in Changi Airpor

After getting onto the plane, you’ll want to have a pen. They’ll give you several customs forms to fill out.

When you land, you’ll need to pass these forms to the customs agent, and then head to the Visa on Arrival area (for Canadians). The Visa on Arrival cost was $35 USD (have crisp bills, no crumpling, tears, or wear).

Then head to passport control. Be warned Cambodians are super nice, But customs are kinda rude.

After you get through that, (it should take about 30 minutes.) head outside for a taxi/tuk tuk. If you’re smart you’ve already downloaded the Pass App. Pass is the Cambodian Uber. If not, a tuk tuk into town should cost you abut $5 (USD). If you’ve made some friends on the airplane ride, you guys can always share one. As long as they live near pub street, you’re also going to be close. (I’m assuming you’ve also booked near Pub Street.

And that’s it! You’re in Cambodia! Enjoy

1 Hour after the plane lands, I’m in a pool with a 50 cent beer in hand

Getting to Cambodia: Step by Step guide2020-03-13T04:45:48+00:00

What’s the best places to retire cheap in 2020?

It’s 2020! Let’s look at the top places to retire cheap!

For me there are some definite must haves:

1. Cheap! It’s got to be under $1000 a month Canadian for a good life. Technically you can live for under $1000 almost anywhere, but can you get great meals and $5 massages?

2. Safe. Is it safe enough, or do I have to worry every time I go out?

3. Tasty food. Seriously, I love eating!

4. Good Wifi. Without Wifi, I can’t really exist. Seriously, I crumble into a bored little pile and die.

5. Good gyms. This definitely is on my list….but might not be on yours.

Instead of numbering it like a traditional#10 to #1, this list is going to have some great places to retire cheap and most importantly why.

Valparaíso, Chile: For people who like big/small places

This city is on my list even though it is expensive. It barely qualifies on the $1000 a month budget.

Cost of living: D

Gyms: C

Wifi: A

Food: A

SAFETY: B

BIGGEST PRO: Not too big, and not too small. Great place to start!

BIGGEST CON: You need to speak Spanish, and it’s the most expensive place on my top 10 list

For a complete one month summary click here!

WHY YOU SHOULD RETIRE IN VALPARAÍSO ARTICLE

Siem Reap, Cambodia

COST OF LIVING: A

WIFI: C

FOOD: C

GYMS: A

SAFETY: B

BIGGEST PRO: Great visa on arrival, easy extensions. Cheap massages!

BIGGEST CON: Small. It’s tiny!

CLICK HERE FOR A WHY RETIRE IN SIEM REAP ARTICLE

Cuenca, Ecuador

COST OF LIVING: B

WIFI: A

FOOD: C

GYMS: B

SAFETY: A

BIGGEST PRO: Safe, and great mix of walkable and taxis

BIGGEST CON: Housing there isn’t the best. And you need to speak Spanish

Here’s an in-depth article about retiring in Cuenca

Quito, Ecuador

WIFI: A

FOOD: C

GYMS: C

SAFETY: C

BIGGEST PRO: Bigger than Cuenca, so chances of seeing a movie in English!

BIGGEST CON: Need to speak Spanish. Not as safe as Cuenca.

Click here for a more in-depth article on why you want to retire in Quito

Bangkok, Thailand

WIFI: B

GYMS: C

SAFETY:D

FOOD: A

BIGGEST PRO: LRT! Cheap massages! Great food!

BIGGEST CON: Safety is a concern. And only 1 month stay allowed without visa runs. Also hot!

Why retire in Bangkok? Click here for my article.

Cebu, Philippine

WIFI: D

GYMS: D

SAFETY:B

FOOD:A

BIGGEST PRO: Safe, great beaches, great English skills. TASTY FOOD!

BIGGEST CON: Not a flight hub, so more expensive to get in and out. HOT!

CLICK HERE FOR A MORE IN DEPTH ARTICLE ON WHY YOU SHOULD RETIRE IN CEBU

Bali, Indonesia

WIFI: D

GYMS: B

SAFETY:C

FOOD: B

BIGGEST PRO: So many beaches, lots of varieties of things to do

BIGGEST CON: Hot! Only allowed 1 month on arrival.

Click here for a one month Bali summary.

Arequipa, Peru

WIFI: D

GYMS:A

SAFETY:B

FOOD:A

BIGGEST PRO: 6 month on arrival! Great food. Fantastic gyms.

BIGGEST CON: Need to speak Spanish. Not a main hub, so can cost more.

CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT WHY YOU MIGHT WANT TO RETIRE IN AREQUIPA

Medellin, Colombia

WIFI: B

GYMS: A

SAFETY: D

FOOD: B

BIGGEST PRO: Gorgeous people. You will fall in love every 10 minutes. Great food. Fantastic gyms.

BIGGEST CON: The most dangerous place I’ve been in the world. And you need to speak Spanish. Also, surprisingly expensive.

An in-depth article on Medellin. Click here

Regardless of where you head! I hope you all have fun exploring the world. Time is short…..don’t let life pass you by.

What’s the best places to retire cheap in 2020?2020-01-09T02:33:10+00:00

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

Cambodia vs Vietnam? Head to Head Show down!

If you’re looking for the best country to retire cheap , you’re going to definitely consider Vietnam. To be honest, until this recent trip, I never thought of coming to Cambodia. Known as the “more expensive, less safe version of Vietnam”, I had to come see it for myself. Today I’m going to compare two cities, Ho Chi Minh (AKA Saigon vs Siem Reap).

Rating 1: Partying & Nightlife

Siem Reap has Pub street, while Vietnam has Bui Vien. Both of these are the areas where people go to party when the sun goes down. The town of Siem Reap is also perfect for going out during the day, it’s small and everything is within walking distance. If you want a ride around town it’ll cost about a $1 for a Tuk Tuk. Ho Chi Minh (HCM) is much more spread out. It’s also a huge pain in the ass to get a motorbike taxi or cab. Getting a cab, is over priced as hell in Vietnam unless you use GRAB.

And the problem with that is that it’ll take about 30 minutes to get one. (Half of the time you’ll book a GRAB and the car driver will cancel on you, or ask you to cancel.)

Winner: Siem Reap. Pub street kicks ass. It’s a much bigger area than Bui Vien, even though Siem Reap itself is much smaller than Vietnam.

On Pub street you can get a massage, a beer, a pack of smokes and a taco for a combined price of under $10. Prices are great! (Tip: Go one block out of the Pub Street area, and pay 30% less for everything).

The only problem with Pub street is Tuk Tuk drivers. They don’t allow cars on the main part of the street, so the drivers themselves will stand there and constantly hassle you asking if you want a ride. These drivers will ruthlessly overcharge you, so make sure you never agree to one. If you are coming to Siem Reap, use GRAB or PASSApp. LINK TO TUK TUKS IN CAMBODIA STORY


Rating 2: Danger.
Both of these cities are relatively safe. Be careful of ladyboy hookers and pickpockets.

Winner: Siem Reap wins for safety. If you don’t go to shady places with ladyboy hookers, you are fine. In HCM one of the bigger problems is motorcycle mugging. They’ll drive by and the passenger on the back will snatch your phone, purse, etc. It’s not too bad, but it’s still not ideal. Because Siem Reap is a tourist town, police do seem more friendly, and keep an eye on crime.

Rating 3: English. The English qualities in both cities are fine. You won’t have any problems.

Winner: Siem Reap. The menus are universally English, and you’ll love it. Not only is English better, but it seems Cambodians are the most universally linguistically able people I’ve ever met. Here it’s not uncommon for people to speak 3 languages fluently! Vietnam isn’t bad, but definitely not as good as here.

Rating 4: Weather.

Winner: Tie. Both cities are universally hot and or rainy. If you like 30 degree plus weather, this is going to be the place to be. Also ants and mosquitos!

Rating 5: Food

Ok. I love food. Love it. If you love food, both cities have a great selection from local cuisine to imports.

Winner: Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh has one thing that Siem Reap doesn’t have. Banh Mi! LINK TO BANH MI STORY. Banh Mi for lunch for 80 cents is the #1 thing I love about Vietnam. Banh Mi, in case you don’t know are Vietnamese subs.

Fresh baguettes from their in house bakery are stuffed with a mix of cured meats, and picketed vegetable.

Literally if you have not had a Banh Mi in Vietnam you are missing out on one of the greatest pleasures in life.

Also while Siem Reap has a great selection of food it’s missing out on McDonalds.

I know you’re thinking I’m insane. I’m not.

I don’t particularly need a McDonalds. I just use it as an example. If you like chains you’re out of luck. Ho Chi Minh has it all the food! This is a place to come for food. Whether you love Pho, Banh Mi or just want a burger and fries, Ho Chi Minh is a foodies paradise.

Rating 6: Cost

Both cities fall easily within my $1000 CDN a month budget. Saying that though, Ho Chi Minh is only affordable if you live in the local areas (District 7, 11, 12). If you live in the fancy areas of town with the expats and English teachers (District 1,2) then your budget will be much higher.

Winner: Siem Reap.

Rating 7: Shopping

Both places have little shops where you can buy things, but Ho Chi Minh has giant malls. Siem Reap by comparison has 3 separate night markets. These sell the $2 tank tops, and stuffed elephants.

Winner: Tie. Depending if you like luxury brands, and giant supermarkets or small night markets and local shops.

Rating 8:  Health

Both places have cheap pharmacies everywhere.

Winner: Tie

Rating 9: Gyms

One of the best gyms I’ve found in the world is in Siem Reap. $1.25 a visit, it’s not fancy, sweaty guys working out without their shirts on, and fit ladies. Ho Chi Minh though also has $30 a month places, but it’s usually not as common as expensive places around $60.

Winner: Siem Reap. Cheap, and I love the fact you can work out without a shirt. There aren’t that many places you can do that!

Rating 10: Internet

This is super important. Both have strong internet. Neither is horrible. Either way you’ll be in a place where you have internet. Till you don’t. Natural disasters, weather and such make it hard to rely on it sometimes.

Winner: Ho Chi Minh: The internet was definitely less spotty, and more reliable in Ho Chi Minh. Siem Reap is a tourist town, and it’s still developing. So, things like fast, reliable internet aren’t a given. This will change in the future, but for now Ho Chi Minh is definitely better. I work online as you all know writing this blog. I make videos and love playing games. In Siem Reap, it is tough. Not impossible but tough. Watching tv online is hard!

OVERALL WINNER? SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA. This little tourist town is great!Everyday feels like you’re on vacation here. It’s a small place, and I love the fact that you can walk everywhere. I also love the fact that visas are easy to get. A 30 day on arrival visa plus an easy to get 6 month extension, means that you’ll only be doing tourist border runs once a year. If you are surprised that Cambodia has won, you have to come check it out. You’ll see why I love it! Bonus Tip: Siem Reap has sidewalks. (Ho Chi Minh, has areas for motorcycles to drive that supposedly sidewalks.) Also beers in Siem Reap are 50 cents! Siem Reap’s slogan should be “Come for Angkor Wat, stay for 50 cent draft!”

Cambodia vs Vietnam? Head to Head Show down!2020-03-07T23:46:35+00:00

Lazy Tuk Tuks who don’t give a F*ck F*ck

The sun’s beating down on my lazy ass, so I’m debating if I want to make the 15 minute walk to the mini mart.

Luckily for the block where I’m staying there’s a Tuk Tuk every 4 feet. The call of Tuk Tuk drivers yelling “Tuk Tuk! Want a tuk tuk?”, is as common as mosquitos and 50 cent draft here.

Most of the drivers yell this while lying across their own Tuk Tuks, sometimes while in a hammock they’ve set up.

These guys have seen me everyday, and they probably know my schedule so well, that if an assassin wanted to get me, they’d just have to pay them a $1 to get to know it.

On this particularly hot day thouugh, I thought “Why not?”

So, I go up to one of the guys who has always hassled me, and I ask him how much,

“$6!”

“Are you kidding me?” To be completely honest, my mind is blown. I’ve seen this guy, hang out for 8 hours in front of the bar that I like to go to, with zero customers. He’ll just chat with the other Tuk Tuk driver’s, take naps and yell for customers.

Normally, I’m polite to these guys, (hey, we’re all out to make a buck). But a quote of $6, for something that should be about 80 cents? I didn’t mean to, but I did laugh out loud.

I just walked away, deciding a 15 minute trek though the blazing heat would be more enjoyable than haggling.

The Tuk Tuk driver, tried to haggle some more, but being sweaty and kind of annoyed that I had given him a chance only to get such a ridiculous price, I walked away.

I met up with a local Khmer and asked them how much Tuk Tuk drivers make a month. It turn’s out most of them make about $50 a month.

But they’d rather take a nap then try to find customers.

And when they do get a customer, these lazy drivers will try to get an exorbitant price versus a normal rate.

In their mind, “I’d rather get 6 customers a month at $10 each. Napping is so much easier, than trying harder.”

I can see this behaviour making sense making 5 years ago when there weren’t any ride sharing apps, but there are!

PassApp is actually used to book Tuk Tuks, or you can use GRAB as well. Both of these work fine, an 80 cent ride is an 80 cent ride. (Prices are confirmed ahead of time). Every time one of the lazy drivers, see me in a Tuk Tuk that  I’ve called by GRAB they’ll scowl, and yell. But there’s nothing they can do.

These apps, are a lifesaver in Siem Reap. If you’re negotiating for a Tuk Tuk on the side of the road? You’re probably going to get ripped off.

Do yourself a favor, and make sure you have an APP downloaded by the time you get out off the plane.

Want more stories? Check out LINK TO MORE STORIES

Lazy Tuk Tuks who don’t give a F*ck F*ck2018-10-02T04:23:26+00:00

Can you retire in Cambodia for $1000 a month

Cambodia is amazing. It reminds me a lot of Bali really. Let me rephrase that. Siem Reap is amazing. Phomn Penh sucks. LINK TO ARTICLE ABOUT WHY SIEM REAP IS BETTER

Siem Reap is a tourist town, that reminds me a lot of Sanur in Bali. It’s divided into two sections, a Cambodian section and the English/Tourist section.

If you’re going to coming here, chances are you’ll live in the tourist section.

I can honestly tell you, I never once went to the Cambodian side.

Not because I didn’t want to, but more because I didn’t feel like I needed to.

My gym is $25 USD a month and it’s a 14 minute walk away from the hostel I’m staying at $180 USD a month

Here’s the cost of living in Siem Reap (All prices in USD because it’s the unofficial currency of Cambodia)

  • Rent $180 private room/shared apartment
  • Gym $25
  • Breakfast $1 (like an omelette with a baguette)
  • Breakfast $3 (American style, with eggs, bacon, ham, toast, coffee, juice and fresh fruit)
  • Lunch $3 (medium pizza. Think Little Caesar Medium)
  • Lunch $1 (fried rice)
  • Lunch $2 (Khmer Curry beef)
  • Dinner $1.50 (BBQ Chicken drumstick)
  • Dinner $6 (Indian meal)
  • Beer 50 cent for a pint of a draft
  • Rum $3 a bottle (Cambodian)
  • Imported booze $12 (26oz of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum)
  • Cigarettes 50 cents a pack (Cambodian)
  • Cigarettes $1.50 (Marlboro/Mevius)
  • Massage $6 (1 hour)
  • Tuk Tuks $1.25(30 minute trip)
  • Movies $2.50 (cheap day Mon-Thurs)
  • Movies $3.50 (weekends)
  • Hard liquor at bars $2

Total Monthly Expenses

  • Rent $180
  • Cambodian Visa $56
  • Beer/food/cigarettes $10 a day ($300)
  • Entertainment $5 ($150)
  • Gym $25
  • Cell phone card $5

Total $716 USD = $1000 CDN

Besides the prices, how is living in Siem Reap? Well, like I said it is a tourist town.

What does that mean?

You’ll feel like you’re on a vacation all the time. It can get really easy to lose track of time. A month here just blew by. (I have found my favorite hammock and I live in it!)

The English is perfect. Even at the local mom and pop shops. I’d say 10/10. Better than anywhere else I’ve been to so far in South East Asia. It’s really nice, and definitely something I didn’t expect!

Healthcare? Pharmacies everywhere, and hospital care is cheap much like the rest of South East Asia

Transportation: Tuk Tuks and private cars. Use the Grab App or Passapp to book them. Incredibly fast. I waited 5 minutes maximum. Using Google Maps is still strange to some of the drivers, so be ready to show them how to read a map. They aren’t trying to cheat you, they just don’t understand how maps work.

Sidewalks and Traffic: After coming here from Vietnam, I was in love. Sure they don’t really use traffic lights but the traffic isn’t insane. They also have sidewalks. I know it seems crazy to say they have sidewalks, but after being in a lot of South East Asia, you quickly learn that in most countries, sidewalks are a luxury.

Gyms: One of the best in the world for value/price. The one I go to is a very serious one with tons of equipment

LINK TO GYM REVIEW

Wifi: Fast. But sometimes, the whole grid goes down because of shoddy electricity.

Food: Cambodian food, really seems to be a mix of foods from all over. I ate a lot of pizza, bbq chicken and fried rice. They have Amok, a type of protein dish that isn’t bad, but nothing I am dying for (unlike Hong Kong, which I have to go to for sweet and sour pork).

Sin: Beer is cheap cheap cheap. At 50 cents a pint, and smokes at 75 cents, you can literally pay for your whole vacation here if you compare the price to drinking/smoking/partying at home for a weekend.

Visa: As a Canadian, I got a visa on arrival for 30 days for free. I extended it for $50 for a month. (It’s possible to extend it for 3 months for $75.) That means you can stay here for 4 months before you have to do a border run

Crime: It felt relatively crime free, unlike Colombia, or Vietnam. Safe.

BIGGEST PROBLEMS

  • Bugs: Those little ants you see in tropical climates
  • Mosquitos that sting you
  • Streets with potholes
  • Hot! If you can’t stand the heat, do not come here. South America has a much better climate. It’s 30 degrees here everyday.

Siem Reap, Cambodia is definitely worth checking out and will make my top ten places to retire in 2018 LINK TO 2017 BEST COUNTRIES TO RETIRE

HOPE YOU ALL FOUND THIS ARTICLE USEFUL! DON’T FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE IF YOU WANT MORE INFO AND STORIES.

Can you retire in Cambodia for $1000 a month2018-08-31T06:26:50+00:00

Phnom Penh Sucks. Come to Siem Reap.

Cambodia? Have you even heard of it? Obviously you’ve heard of Angkor Wat and the Killing Fields, but did you know it’s one of the best places to retire cheap in the world?

As you know my dear readers, my goal is to find the best country to retire cheap. I’ve been looking for a place with it all, gyms, cheap food, cheap beers, massages and all under $1000 a month Canadian.

Coming to Cambodia I had very little hope. Every one I talked to told me, “It’s a crappy, expensive version of Vietnam.” Or “It’s dirty and backwards.”

I’ve got to tell you after a month here it’s been mind blowing. My expectations all have been shattered. LINK TO HOW TO GET TO CAMBODIA FROM SAIGON

Arriving in Phnom Penh from Ho Chi Minh, my plan was to spend a month here, and a month in Siem Reap. (The big 2 famous cities in Cambodia).

Phnom Penh as you know is famous for the Killing Fields. I spent day one there, but I can tell you day 2 was spent doing pretty much nothing.

I did go to their famous Russian Market. But after being to the weekend market in Bangkok, the Russian Market was horribly overpriced and boring. (I wonder if this means I’m officially a travel snob?)

My plans of staying in Phnom Penh for a month were shattered quickly. The place is dirty, over priced, and really has nothing to do.

Also there isn’t a central place to stay where you can go wander around. It’s like staying in a small town that’s the size of a big city.

No mass rail system means either taking the bus (yuck) or taxi Tuk Tuks (overpriced).

This is also the city in which I saw my first dog bbq. No thanks.

I took the bus to Siem Reap after day 2, with very low expectations.

I had booked my next flight (to Hong Kong) from Siem Reap, so I was now forced to stay here for 2 months.

After Phnom Penh my expectations were pretty low. Like, drunk at 3am in a bad bar trying to find a cute girl low.

Turns out I was wrong!

Thankfully Siem Reap is amazing! Yes it has Angkor Wat (voted 2018 best attraction by TripAdvisor) LINK TO BEST WAY TO EXPLORE ANGKOR WAT and yes it’s full of tourists, but it also still has a local charm that I did not expect.

People were friendly, spoke fluent English (9/10) and always had a smile on their face.

I think this is what Bangkok was like 20 years ago.

My private room in a hostel (Warm Bed’s Hostel) was $6 USD a night because I booked it for 2 months.

Right now I’m writing this article as I drink a 50 cent draft by the pool of Blue Bar…..

…I will continue this story with a summary soon. But I can’t today because I’m out of beer, and the waitress is coming by…..

If you want to read more about find the best countries to retire cheap check out this

LINK TO MORE STORIES

Phnom Penh Sucks. Come to Siem Reap.2018-08-28T08:02:29+00:00

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