Philippines

/Philippines

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

Is Asia the best place to retire cheap? 


If you’re looking for the best place to retire cheap, I’m going to recommend Asia. Asia is a huge place, and I know that you’re thinking,”But where in Asia?” You’re also wondering why Asia? Here’s my comprehensive list. 

ASIA IS MASSIVE

  • There’s just so much to see, and it’s so different as you go from place to place.
  • Every country is different. Read my previous articles for an in depth look at each country.
  • Once you get to Asia, flight choices are mind boggling. I like using Skyscanner to see where I’ll be going next. 

VISA RUNS ARE CHEAP

  • On average a flight is about $150. You really can’t complain about that.
  • Once you get here you can easily do Visa runs by planes, trains, boats or even car.
  • Most countries in Asia are only a few hours away from each other by plane. You’ll have no problems doing one day runs.

ENGLISH IS A PREVALENT LANGUAGE

  • Each country I’ve gone to in Asia has spoken English. Depending on where, the fluency and proficiency differs. So far Hong Kong has the best spoken English, while Thailand and Kuala Lumpur the worst.
  • Signs, signs, everywhere there are signs. The amount of signage and notifications in English you’ll see will differ. I’d say there are no problems figuring things out though 80% of the time.

COST OF LIVING IS LOW

  • See my cost of living reports for detailed cost amounts. Most of the places I’ve been to here can fit in the $1000 a month mission.
  • South East Asia gets you so much more for your dollar than North America does. $6 massages, $1 beers and $2 lunches exist. You just have to come to Asia.

VIBRANCY AND CULTURE IS LIVELY

  • Every country in Asia is different, but I’ve noticed one thing. It all feels so alive. Millions of people just living their lives add a hustle and bustle you might not see back home.
  • If you immerse yourself in the culture you won’t regret it. You can retire here and really fit in, or you can just sit on your patio drinking cheap beers. The choice is yours, but I’d recommend immersing yourself in the culture as much as possible  if you don’t want to be isolated and lonely. I’ve written a few articles about that as well.
  • Such scenery and choices. There are little isolated beaches or condos with pools, the choices are yours about where you’re going to stay.

I hope this article helped you with your quest of finding the best place to retire cheap. I am loving exploring Asia as my retirement hub, and think you should too. 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!) 

Is Asia the best place to retire cheap? 2016-12-12T00:10:51+00:00

Want to be the Punisher? President authorizes Kill List. 

If you’ve ever thought there’s a crime problem and, “Why don’t they just kill all those criminals that they keep releasing?”you should consider the Philippines as your best country to retire cheap. The Philippines has a massive drug problem. Unlike western countries with their “catch and release” jail systems, they’ve decided to take a stand. The president has released a KILL LIST. People on this list are “dead men walking” according to him.  People on this list are valid kill targets with “shoot to kill” authorization. Instead of catching, trying and then housing them in prison for $100,000 a year like we do in North American countries, these drug pushers, rapists and murderers are legally allowed to be shot on site.There isn’t a caveat. This isn’t just an order for the military or the police. Vigilantes are 100% allowed to go on killing rampages. The President has guaranteed “100% immunity from legal prosecution and my own personal guarantee” to anybody caught killing these drug criminals and corrupt officials. This seems a crazy Hollywood movie premise right? There’s no way this could happen? And if it did happen it wouldn’t work right? People must be up in arms about it! What about the human rights of these criminals? According to the President, “his mouth doesn’t care about human rights”. It was was this tough on crime policy that got Duterte voted in by the citizens of the Philippines sickened by the corruption in their system and unlike other politicians that flip flop after being elected, he’s kept his word. The people of the Philippines love it and are whole heartedly supporting this 1 bullet 1 criminal policy.What’s been the result of this Kill list? Since his election in May 2016, over 167 criminals have been killed on the street, corruption curtailed and prisons are now overflowing from 125,000 criminals who have turned themselves in. That’s right, to avoid being killed on the street these criminals are turning themselves in. What would happen in North America if in 4 months that had happened? Think that’s 30,000 arrests a month. 1000 arrests a day. Literally, criminals are fleeing to the safety of the prison system.  Here’s a full list Kill list of the deaths and details. Human rights and civil groups are up in arms about this. “Yes, these people are drug pushers, rapists and murderers but they are also someone’s children.”One woman had 3 of her sons with previous criminal records killed at a drug bust.  “If you don’t want to die and get hurt, don’t pin your hopes on priests and human rights (groups). They can’t stop death,”said Duterte, the President. He’s not kidding and his initial campaign promise is to kill 100,000 criminals in his first six months in office and dump so many bodies in Manila Bay that the “fish will grow fat.” It looks like he’s right on track.What other effects has this had? And what is life in the Philippines like?Here’s the thing. When I was there I did not see semi-automatic wielding gangsters and motorcycle chases through the streets. Nor did I see citizens openly carrying weapons or guns. There were no cops firing at clown faced killers from behind squad cars. People shopped, ate at Jollibee, and took their children to playgrounds. There’s a war on crime going on, but life seemed like it was business as usual for the average citizen. I’m whole heartedly agreeing that with a tough stance on crime that the Philippines is a better place. It sickens me when I read the news and see criminals that have been convicted multiple times being let out to commit more crimes. With a known 80% chance of recidivism violent criminals have no place in my world. If you know, that there is a 4/5 chance these criminals going to reoffend, why would anyone want them on the street?The facts all point to the undeniable reoccurrence that they will rob, murder or rape when released. It’s sickens me how  weak on crime we are in North America and how convicted pedophiles in Canada are released into unsuspecting communities. (Police do not like telling the community that they are releasing them into that they are releasing  convicted pedophiles into their neighborhood, because they are worried about “vigilantism”.) Frankly, I’d say we should follow the President of the Philippines pro-vigilante philosophy. He’s said, “I don’t care if I burn in hell, just that I’ve served others in paradise”. Between social media, a “look the other way”philosophy and a belief that the safety of the innocent are more important than the rights of criminals, average citizens could take of their own problems quite quickly.If you’re also tough on crime (or looking to dress like a superhero), the Philippines is the best place for you to retire cheap. I hope this crazy article helped you with your quest of finding the best place for you to retire. 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!)If you’re thinking of retirement in Asia, here’s a checklist LINK TO CHECKLIST

Want to be the Punisher? President authorizes Kill List. 2018-07-09T11:48:31+00:00

HAGGLE LIKE A PRO! Don’t pay tourist prices. PART 2


Alright BestCountriesToRetireCheap.com fans, I know you love haggling and cheap deals, so I’ve written another haggling tip guide for you. Who doesn’t want to retire cheap and score great deals?

I’m assuming you’ve read my Part 1 guide. (If not, go check it out.)

These following 4 tips are only to be used once you’ve mastered the haggling strategy I’ve already given shown you in part 1

LURK 

  • Eavesdropping on hawkers while they haggle with another customer gives you valuable information and intelligence. If you know what the final real price was it can definitely help you out. Don’t just offer what the last guy paid though, chances are he’s also a tourist and not a master haggler like you.

HAGGLE WITH 8’s AS YOUR LAST NUMBER

  • When you’ve come to the final number you think you can get. Throw the price in with a 8. Instead of $100, $98. Tell them it’s lucky. This really works if you or the seller are Chinese.

BUY 2

  • After all the prices are settled , but BEFORE paying ask “how much for 2?” 
  • This technique works great with “fixed price no haggling” signed vendors

    SMILE

    • When haggling, have fun and do it with a smile. You both you’re playing the game. No need to be thinking they’re trying to rip you off.
    • If you have haggled properly the hawker should have a rueful “I can’t believe I sold it that cheap face” not a gigantic “I can’t believe he bought it for that smile”

    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!) 

    HAGGLE LIKE A PRO! Don’t pay tourist prices. PART 22016-12-12T00:11:00+00:00

    Cheap Movies in a Muslim Country

    Kuala Lumpur has crazy cheap movies every Wednesday. The Philippines doesn’t have a day when going to the movies are cheaper. Thailand is also cheaper on Wednesdays. Looking for something to do while searching for a cheap place to retire abroad? I’m hitting the theatre every Wednesday. At $3 (10 rm) for any film (except the most recently released) movies are a great deal in Kuala Lumpur.
    You can pre buy tickets and pick you’re seat. There’s no need to queue up. Just select the seat you want and then feel free to come back when it starts. A great system. The seats are nice, but not as opulent as Thailand. They have cozy couple seats you can buy in the back row for privacy. I love the option of being able to pick a seat, it’s like this in some theatres at home in Canada, but not at all movies. Usually only the ultraavx and fancy ones. (I don’t know why this is.)

    I like to spend the extra time heading into the mall, and getting bootleg snacks. Like most theatres in North America there’s no outside snacks allowed. My friend Ashan, brazenly just tried to walk in with a bag of chips and a pop. After they took it away, they actually attached his seat stub to it, so he could get it back after the movie. My cleverly hidden beer and snacks got in no problem.

    Check out the crazy snacks you can get inside the theatre.


    Mmmmmmn hmmm who wouldn’t want a delicious fishball combo? Also there were a billion types of crazy popcorn flavours like Tom Yum.

    Are there any oddities about watching movies in Kuala Lumpur? Mainly censorship. According to Wikipedia  “Although movies shown in Malaysian cinemas carry an age-restricted rating such as “18”, films that contain scenes of sex and nudity are completely censored off by the LPF (Malaysia’s film censorship board), which renders the 18 rating meaningless and strict entry by the cinema operators pointless. Kissing and make-out scenes are also censored in movies rated “P13”. On the other hand, there have been many “18” rated films filled with profanity and graphic violence that were hardly censored or uncensored in recent years. This shows that the board mostly views sex and nudity as completely unacceptable for a Malaysian audience.”

    This means I’ll definitely be watching my sexy films with all that naught nudity at home. (Couldn’t they just have a rating “MU” (Muslim) where the women are wearing burqas and all drinking is replaced digitally with soda pop?)

    If you have $3($10 RM) to spend on a Wednesday, go catch a film. It’s cool that you can see Malaysian, Chinese and Indian films here (most have English subtitles)

    TO avoid censorship try to pick a rated G or PG one. Wait are the fish in “Finding Dory” naked?

    Cheap Movies in a Muslim Country2016-12-12T00:11:14+00:00

    3 reasons why you don’t want to retire in Asia

    Best countries to retire cheap? I’ve got a long list of what I think is “best”. Among that list is essentials like English speaking, and wants like a good gym nearby. I like adventure and exotic locations, but not everybody does (I’m talking to you Keith Borle). I got to thinking who else would hate it here in Asia? And what would they hate?

    THE HEAT

    It’s hot in Asia. Really hot, and really humid. There are rainy seasons but most of the time it’s 30 degrees plus. Sure you can live inside your air conditioned condo, but you have to go outside sometimes. If you hate being hot and sweat profusely you might hate it here. Be prepared for eternal summer!


    BUGS

    Everywhere I’ve gone there are these little bugs. There are all sorts of ants, spiders and insects around. They get in your cupboards, around your stuff and sometimes just make you go ugh. If you hate bugs, this place sucks. I’ve gotten all sorts of bug bites while lounging around the pool. It might not “bug” you (heh see what I did there?) if you’re only here on a 2 week vacation but retirement is a real long time.


    FOOD

    Depending on where in Asia you retire the food will vary. The constant though is that it’ll be Asian food. If you’re looking for a cheap country to retire in, but hate Asian food, this isn’t the spot. (And I mean REAL Asian food,not the kind you get in the food court like lemon chicken balls.)You can get western food, but it’ll generally be either expensive or bad. Beef is also something I miss here. You can get good beef, but again it’s super pricy. Even mediocre beef from Australia is expensive.


    I’m loving Asia, but if these things are important you might want to reconsider coming and retirement here.

    3 reasons why you don’t want to retire in Asia2016-12-12T00:11:17+00:00

    Signs you couldn’t see in North America.

    stupid dress code, best retirement places to live cheap, best plaves abroad to retire cheap, best place to retire cheap, best plaves to retire cheap 2016
    As a world traveler looking for the best countries to retire cheap you’re going to see things that make you think about how equal and democratic things are back home. There are so many things that we already take for granted. The sign above I took a picture of in the Philippines. This sign made me laugh out loud, because first of all it’s hot as balls in the Philippines, so anywhere that requires formal clothes in a night club is insane. Also notice it restricts guys clothing but not women? That contrasts with this sign I saw in Kuala Lumpur.

    religious sign, best retirement places to live cheap, best plaves abroad to retire cheap, best place to retire cheap, best plaves to retire cheap 2016
    Things like equal treatment for people of both sexes is something we’ve had for a long time. It’s not even an issue we think about anymore. This is a train I saw in Kuala Lumpur.

    ladies only coach, best retirement places to live cheap, best plaves abroad to retire cheap, best place to retire cheap, best plaves to retire cheap 2016
    This sign made me think “We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto”


    As I see these signs, I’m thinking about how when you travelyou have to embrace the culture of the country you are going to be living in. I’m also thinking about how sensitive and weak some people are back home. When I think about things like “safe spaces”, or #blacklivesmatter it makes me wonder, have the proponents of these causes ever left their microcosm of a world view? Real blatant sexism and real hateful inequality exists in the world. Why focus on such small things?

    We are all trying to live the life we want, but at what point are we too focused on our own utopian idea of a perfect world? Traveling sweeps out those ignorant corners of our minds. It makes you think about how small and petty the things we focus on are “first world problems”. “Oh no, my letter carrier isn’t directly delivering to my mailbox, I have to walk a block, my life is ruined”.

    As you travel looking for the best countries to retire cheap you’ll notice how many small things that bugged you back home really are just small things. Small things are like little rocks that fill up that backpack in your brain. If you let that backpack fill up, all of a sudden you’re dragging these issues about everywhere. Airlines have a 20kg luggage limit, why use your luggage limit for things that won’t matter? Come travel, leave the luggage behind.

    Signs you couldn’t see in North America.2016-12-12T00:11:23+00:00

    Single white female, corruption and sexual harassment at immigration.

    immigration, top places to retire cheap blog, best countries to retire cheap blog, best countries to retire for $1000, best countries to live cheap Single or married? That’s one question box you have to check off when you’re filling out that immigration form for your entry/exit visa.
    My friend Lisa, after checking single was immediately asked, “Why are you single? You’re so pretty.” by the customs officer. She smiled and just shrugged it off. (In the Philippines it’s a pretty forward culture, even goofy looking guys like me get asked out by random girls working at coffee shops  and malls.)

    The real problem started when it was discovered she had accidentally overstayed her visa. Then the immigration officer implied he could let it go if she would go out with him. She of course said no, and just like that her fine was doubled.

    Lisa a pretty, and smart girl who was also pretty tough just lost it. The stress of the whole process, the sexual harassment and the absurdity of the situation just wore her down. She broke down in tears right then at the customs office. After the rest of the office noticed what was happening, they had to get a female agent. She stepped in and straightened it out with Lisa in a separate room. Lisa only paid the regular fine for overstaying.

    One thing you know when you’re traveling the world looking for the best countries to retire cheap is that things will be different.  Different food, different customs, and different languages are things you expect.

    One thing we take for granted in North America is that, government officials aren’t going to sexually harass you. Going through immigration, filling out forms and getting interviewed is never a good time. Stressful and horrible are what it is at the best of times. Can you imagine how tremendously stressful it would be if at the same time you were being leered at, propositioned and threatened?

    Corruption is something they have in the Philippines, and even my sister in law who was born there warned me about it. The government is trying to change, and I hope one day this otherwise idyllic place will be corruption free.

    corruption, top places to retire cheap blog, best countries to retire cheap blog, best countries to retire for $1000, best countries to live cheap

    Single white female, corruption and sexual harassment at immigration.2016-12-12T00:11:31+00:00

    Raising a fighting cock in the Philippines 

    fighting cock, cheap countries to live, best places to retire 2016, best countries to retire cheap, best places to live cheap  Waking up every morning in the city of Cebu to the sounds of roosters sounds idyllic. That is until, you realize you’re nowhere near a farm, and morning is defined as 3am.

    Why are there so many roosters here in Cebu?  I found out its because cock fighting is a huge thing in the Philippines.

    A neighbor of mine has 5 roosters which he feeds and takes care of every day. A cock fighting rooster costs $80 (2500 php) and takes a year and a half to raise.

    There’s also rooster steroids and fighting blades to buy. Is it worth it?

    The reason I saw so many, is that like horse races, winning roosters can make the owners some fat purses. Besides the massive betting on this blood sport (I’ve heard of stories where people literally bet the farm), champion roosters are just like champion horses. Worth their weight in golden eggs. People really pamper and take care of their prize roosters.

    They’ll  fight these cocks to the death in massive arenas, and winners will advance to a tourney of champions. If you’re in the Philippines looking for the best countries to retire cheap, seeing the care and battles these fighting cocks go through is something to check out.

    Raising a fighting cock in the Philippines 2016-12-12T00:11:35+00:00

    3 things you need to bring to Asia and 1 thing you don’t 


    After my travels searching for the best countries to retire cheap, I’ve made up a checklist of 3 essential things to bring to Asia and 1 thing you don’t need. There’s so much that you can buy here and 99% of the time you can get it easier and cheaper in Asia.

    The first thing I’d recommend bringing is a water purification style water bottle. You can’t drink the tap water here. Most of the places you are going to go have purified or bottled water for sale. Big jugs of water cooler style bottles were available to be refilled at from the places that I lived in. These big jugs bottles are $1 to buy and should be free if you’re renting a room. You can also buy bottled water at any 7-11 or supermarket for roughly 50 cents. In the Philippines on the street you can buy bags of drinking water for 10 cents. Literally there are little machines on the street where you put in coins to buy a half a water bottles worth of drinking water. Water cost can add up if the place you are staying doesn’t provide it free. Two of the hotels in Bangkok I stayed in didn’t have free water.

    I’ve been in situations where the bottled water has run out.  One house I was at didn’t get their water cooler bottle delivery one night, and just like that no water. If you don’t have a water purifying bottle you’re going to have to either rustle up a kettle to boil water in, or make a late night run to a mini market. It’s amazing how thirsty you get as soon as know you have no readily available water.

    The second item I’d recommend packing is a universal power adapter. While I had no problems in Thailand or the Philippines, Malaysia has a different prong type. I’m also going to include bringing a surge protector. These aren’t easy to find, and when you do see them for sale they might not be as trustworthy as one from home. Just think what would happen if while abroad all your plugged in electronics get fried. No phone, no laptops, no e reader? I’d be in emergency panic mode immediately.

    The third item I cannot live without is my e reader. I’m using an older Kindle most of the time, but I’ve also brought along a spare Sony ePub just in case. If you love reading, you need to bring this. In most of the houses of other expats I’ve seen a Kindle hanging around. Pre load all the books you can. Amazon has an unlimited monthly $10 plan as well. (You don’t need a Kindle for this subscription.) I read every day, and when the spotty wifi is down or non existent I just whip out the Kindle, boredom solved.

    Weights in your luggage are going to be limited, so I’m going to include 1 item you definitely do not need. Any book that you might have that are travel books. Those “guides to…”and “amazing trip…”books can all stay home. They’re heavy, full of knowledge you can get online, and sometimes just out of date. If you think they’re super essential cut out some relevant pages, believe me paper books of all kinds should stay home.

    That’s all! Enjoy your exploration of which countries are best to retire cheap in. If you have an essential item feel free you feel should be on this list feel free to leave a comment.

    3 things you need to bring to Asia and 1 thing you don’t 2016-12-12T00:11:36+00:00

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