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A New York Style Pizza at Chicago Pizza Restaurant in Ecuador.

November 24, 2018……It’s a gorgeous day, 20 degrees with a light breeze. Time to venture out of my apartment to get some lunch.

What’s lunch look like in Cuenca, Ecuador?

Today it was a $1 slice of New York Style Pizza at a place called Chicago Pizza Restaurant.

It is New York Style, but it’s definitely not New York quality.

But hey it’s a buck. ($1.25 Canadian) and includes a glass of Coke.

For the last couple of days, it’s been pizza, hamburgers or hot dogs for my meals here in Ecuador. It’s all about a $1.25 and usually includes that glass of Coke.

The cheap hamburgers are disgusting, do not get them. I think it’s random meats and sawdust. While the cheap hot dogs are pretty tasty. Be careful, ordering a hot dog with the works, or as they say “todos ” which means mustard,ketchup and mayo.

I know you’re thinking what about Ecuadorian food?

Usually restaurants and cafe’s have an almuerzo, or menu del dia which consists of

1. A meat of some sort

2. A soup

3. Rice

4. Beans

5.A juice

A typical Almuerzo is pretty filling and costs about $3 Canadian.

Obviously this isn’t the only food you can get in Cuenca, Ecuador.

You can get everything from tasty ribs, to strange Ecuadorian / Chinese food (I’ll get into that later).

This article is about what you can get for a cheap $1 lunch.

Hope this helps you with your decision, of whether or not you’re coming to Cuenca, Ecuador to retire cheap.

See you soon!

And if you want to see the new YouTube channel ? LINK TO MY YOUTUBE VIDEOS

A New York Style Pizza at Chicago Pizza Restaurant in Ecuador.2018-11-25T06:08:29+00:00

Best Big Buffets of Bangkok 2018

Hi BestCountriesToRetireCheap.com fans, as you know this blog is all about finding the BEST countries to retire cheap in 2018. For me, the word best includes buffets. Bangkok is always one of my favourite stops for flavourful buffets.

This trip I found a couple of buffets I wanted to let you about. (I know my job is sooooo tough!)

Bangkok has a lot of buffets at the hotels. Here’s my rundown on the four I went to this year.

The most expensive: Amaya Food Gallery

This is the fanciest one I went to. It’s 1300 thb/$52 CDN. The reason I went? Lobster! Included in this beautiful buffet is a half lobster per person. Everything else is unlimited as per normal buffets, but you get half a lobster per person as well. They have sirloin and tenderloin, so if you want surf and turf, this is your place.

This buffet is the most expensive one I went to and even with the eatigo discount, it’s almost double. Is it worth it? Yes if you are dying for lobster. The only problem with lobster in Thailand, isn’t the lobster…..it’s the butter.

I like my lobster steamed with butter. Thailand has odd tasting butter, and they serve the lobster grilled. So, while it did fill the hole in my stomach that wanted lobster, it wasn’t perfect.

Highlights here included: Steaks, lobsters, rock lobster, sashimi, sushi, pasta, Indian food, oysters, cheese, crabs, river prawn.

One other let down here, is the dessert. For the high price, it has a limited amount of desserts.

Who would I recommend going here? Families, groups and singles. Great service!

The best bang for your buck: ZETA at the Holiday inn

This was my favorite buffet for bang for your buck. Not the cheapest one I went to, but definitely a great value. At 750 thb/$30 CDN, this buffet has a great selection.

My favorite here, was the oysters and shrimp. Delicious! (Bonus: cheese includes Brie.) They also have smoked salmon, and ritz crackers. I made myself little appetizer sized bites with smoked salmon, ritz crackers, a slice of Brie and capers! So good. They also have a variety of cooked oysters for those who like their seafood cooked.

What’s missing here? A steak or carvery station. While there are several cooking stations, none of the meat available was beef. I like getting some prime rib or steak at my buffets.

Highlights? Oysters, river prawn, smoked salmon, Brie cheese.

Again just like every buffet I went to on this trip. The service was amazing.

The cheapest buffet? BEST BEEF

This teppanyaki style buffet is a little different from the other ones. It’s a grill your own at your table buffet. The service was good though, they always brought what you ordered. (A lot of times with table service buffets, the service is so slow, that you literally do not get enough to eat.)

This buffet has a neat range of prices 269-438 thb/$10-$17 CDN. The price difference as you can see in the picture, is whether you drink beer or not. The beer is big bottles of Chang (usually 60 thb/$3 CDN in store). So if you like beer and buffet like I do, this is good choice. If you do decide to go here, the restaurant does ask you to pick the same option for the whole table. So, if you go with somebody who doesn’t drink? Then you’ll either pay for 2 drinking packages, or both of you don’t drink.

Highlights: River prawn & Beer. Even though it’s got the name of best beef. It’s only thinly sliced teppanyaki style, so you don’t fill in your meat hole.

But at $17 for just those 2 items, I still think it’s a great deal. There’s nowhere in Canada where it’s all you can drink and all the river prawn you want.

What’s missing: Because it’s a teppanyaki style restaurant, you have to grill all your food. Even though they give you sauces, the food starts tasting pretty much all like grilled meat.

Who should go: Guys on a night out. Instead of thinking of it as a buffet. It’s better to think of it as a bar with all you can eat free shrimp. This way you won’t be disappointed.

THE BEST BUFFET IN BANGKOK: Westin Grande Sukhumvit Seasonal Taste

How did this buffet win my award for best buffet in Bangkok? Value. Selection. Service.

The Westin Grande Sukhumvit is located literally outside of the ASOK station on the BTS, which saves any walking and reduces taxi fees. So, that’s already a big bonus. After a buffet, I know the last thing you want to do is walk anywhere.

The lunch buffet itself is 750 THB/$30 CDN. At this price, I expected a solid buffet, and I was pleasantly surprised. The selected choices for food was bountiful.

HIGHLIGHTS: Prime rib and BBQ spare ribs. While other buffets had steak, having a good prime rib took this place way over the top. Beef and ribs are very pricey items in Asia.

So, I definitely relished the fact they had succulent ribs and oven roasted prime rib. River prawns, cheese and sashimi were all included in this generous buffet.
They also had a seafood mixed grill that was a nice example of cooked seafood. The desserts were also quite plentiful. I loved the creme brûlée, to make it extra decadent I added crumbled bacon and brie cheese. Another big highlight they had ice cream that they made on the cold plate. Delicious!

Smoked salmon, french onion soup and various Thai dishes also wound their way into my belly.

SERVICE: While the other buffets all had good service, this one had exceptional service. I swear my empty plates didn’t stay longer than the time it took me to get me back from my next trip to the buffet station. They also were super quick on the coffee and water refills.

WHO SHOULD GO THERE: Everyone. This buffet, hits all the high notes and none of the low. Great value, exceptional service and large amounts of premium food. This is the buffet I’ll recommend EVERYONE to visit if you are in Bangkok for one day. I definitely will be back.

WHAT’S MISSING: The lunch buffet, is missing crab, lobster or oyster. So, if you’re needing these items, consider one of the other ones on my list. To be honest, by the time I hit this buffet, I was kind of sick of oysters, so it didn’t affect me too much.

BUFFET BONUS TIP: If you’re thinking of going to any of these buffets, I highly recommend using the Eatigo discount. Eatigo is an amazing app for South East Asia. Basically, it allows you to make reservations and gives you a discount based on what time you go. Normally I booked for 8pm at night and got a 50% discount. (All the prices I’ve given you in this article are at the discounted rate).

START HERE FOR EATIGO DISCOUNT

http://refer.eatigo.com/eatirwxd-1ur

Use my code to get a 100 thb reward for you and for me!

Hope you liked my article, and remember if you’re looking for the best countries to eat cheap, this is the blog to go to. See you all soon BestCountriesToRetireCheap.com fans!

Best Big Buffets of Bangkok 20182018-05-12T09:52:54+00:00

How much does it cost to retire cheap in Bangkok 2018?

Bangkok! The land of smiles, torrential rain and blazing heat…what does it cost to retire cheap in 2018 here?

Today, I woke up to the sound of torrential rain beating down on the roof of my building. If you’ve never been in a thunder storm in Bangkok, you might never have seen rain.

I love this city, and you can read my 2016 review of it on this site here. BANGKOK vs MEDELLIN REVIEW

Since it’s all rainy out I’ve decided to write this blog for all of you BestCountriesToRetireCheap.com fans!

The cost of my private room in Bangkok was 10000 THB/$400 CDN a month. This is a little more than I like to pay (usually my budget is 6250 thb/$250 CDN)AND more expensive than getting a private apartment.

Why pay more for semi privacy in a hostel? I’ve gotten way too old to stay in hostel bunks, but still like meeting new people WHY STAY IN HOSTELS LINK .

I spent 30 days in Bangkok 2018 and still love this city.

How much is life here? What’s it like?

Waking up in the rain I go for breakfast at Siam Paragon. (For Canadians it’s a big air conditioned mall). There I pick up a cash card for the food court. These cards are what most malls use. You buy one, load it with cash and use it at a kiosk. Don’t worry, whatever you don’t use, can be refunded after your meal.

I buy a omelette with curry and rice. It’s 60 thb /$3 CDN. After breakfast I see my friend, Manuel from Portugal on the BTS. He’s just gotten back from buying smokes at 7-11. A pack of smokes is 60 thb/$3 CDN. (The BTS is Bangkok’s Skytrain system. It costs about 80 thb/$3.50 CDN for a round trip ticket.)

I’ve got to say, he looks as hungover as I feel. The cheap Thai Hong Thong whiskey we drank last night (240 thb/$6 CDN for a liter) is still working through our bodies.

I’m deciding what to do today, besides writing this blog. Should I go for a massage? It’s 200 thb/$8 CDN for a Thai massage or 300 thb/$12 CDN for a normal oil massage. Those are the prices at a normal massage. No happy ending. This is the low end price though.

My friend Sidney loves the luxury life, so when she was here, she went for super fancy pants massages, with oil, aromatherapy etc. This was 4000 thb/$160 CDN for 4 hours.

I can’t go for a movie today because yesterday we had already gone to see Avengers in 4DX. 4DX if you don’t know is 3D plus other effects. A ticket plus popcorn drink was 600 thb/$24 CDN. I also saw Rampage last Wednesday for 100 thb/$4 CDN because it’s cheap Wednesday in Bangkok for movies.

Honestly, I might just do nothing today. The fast internet at my hostel and the air conditioning, plus my broken brokeness, might make today a good day to recuperate, mentally, physically and monetarily. BUDGET TIPS LINK Having only $1000 CDN a month for my retirement budget, is easy to maintain, but it means having recuperation days after party days.

I’ve got only a few days left in Bangkok so I might hit another massage, or maybe a big buffet? The buffets are awesome at about 1000 thb/$40 CDN for unlimited steak/lobster/oysters/shrimp.

Either way, I love Thailand and would definitely consider retiring cheap here.

But I’ll see how it compares to Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam (where I’m heading in a few days).

Want to see how that compares? Keep reading! And don’t forget to follow/like/share this article on social media! Keep on planning those cheap retirement plans BestCountriesToRetireCheap.com fans! And if you want more great articles here’s the best place to start your cheap retirement plans START HERE TONS OF ARTICLES

How much does it cost to retire cheap in Bangkok 2018?2018-05-03T06:36:06+00:00

Bangkok Visa Runs: Or Why I won’t be retiring in Thailand anytime soon.

Hi BestCountriesToRetireCheap.com fans , today I’m going to be writing about Visa runs. Visa runs, in case you don’t know about them are what you have to do because countries only allow you a certain amount of time in country before you have to leave. Thailand for example is 30 days. Many Expats and digital nomads will do a Visa run to get a new entry stamp and get back in. These will usually be short trips across a border and back (not vacations).

Before I get into the nitty gritty of Thailand’s visa rules for Canadians, I’ll preface it with saying that I’m not a qualified agent, nor know the rules 100%. So, please take this article with a grain of salt.

The Thailand entry on arrival stamp is 30 days. That means, you have to leave every 30 days!

I just met a 24 year old English teacher who has been doing for a year, and has done a couple trips like this.

His first visa run was to Laos. Why Laos? (The company he was working for recommended it.) The problem of Laos is that it has a entry fee of 1500 thb. (The bus is a 2 day turn around trip.) 5500 thb was the cost of the bus (it includes the visa fee, hotel, and food).

It’s literally a visa run bus.

Then he got the single entry Thai tourist visa on the way back. That visa gives you a 60 day entry, with an option to extend to 90 days. That again was not free. The cost of this was 5500 thb through a visa specialist company.

Fast forward 90 days……..

He lost his teaching job in Thailand, and decided to take a break to Vietnam.

Then after that trip, back to Thailand. He got a 30 day stamp. Repeat this trip a few times………And now he’s back in Thailand…..at least for another 30 days.

Obviously there are long term visa options available for Thailand. But for myself I like the idea of 3-4 months in a country. Visa runs suck, and I try to avoid them like the plague.

Countries that have a 90 day visas with no huge fuss like Vietnam, or Malaysia are inching ahead because of it.

Hope you liked this article, and got some good information for your plans to retire cheap in Thailand. If you want more articles head to BestCountriesToRetireCheap.com!

Bangkok Visa Runs: Or Why I won’t be retiring in Thailandanytime soon.2018-04-21T10:59:59+00:00

Bangkok vs Medellin: Head to Head SHOOTOUT

Bangkok vs Medellin: Head to Head SHOOTOUT

Bangkok the land of smiles vs Medellin the city of eternal spring. Both of these are very similar. Both are “unsafe”, “dangerous” & “legendary”.

When I tell my friends back home in Canada, about Bangkok, all they think about is Ladyboys, and ping pong shows. If I say Medellin? Coke.

Rating 1: Partying & Drugs

Bangkok is much more of a place to grab a beer, and watch crazy stuff, then Medellin. Medellin is Salsa dancing plus 80’s partying. Cocaine vs beer. Obviously Bangkok has tons of drugs, but it’s not near as prevalent as Medellin. In Medellin, you can buy coke for $10 a gram, and it’s as easy to get as Chiclets. Also the cops don’t care. Bangkok is a no drug city. Just don’t do it. You will be busted, and thrown in a Thai prison. There you’ll meet ladyboys.

How do I score this?

Winner: Medellin. You can go to an after hours bar, a salsa club, an 80’s metal club all in one night. Bangkok, is much more of a stripclub/disco feel. Bangkok I always felt like a spectactor and part of the audience, in Medellin you’re doing shots of aguardiente and dancing to a-Ha’s “take me on”.


Rating 2: Danger

Bangkok you might get pickpocketed, but it is nothing compared to Medellin. Even in the safest parts of Medellin, you have a chance of being violently mugged. Every person I’ve talked to has been either robbed, pick pocketed or known somebody who has. Sad but true.

Winner: Hands down Bangkok wins for safety. If you keep to the good parts of town, you’ll be fine. If you go deep into the underbelly? Still safer than Medellin

Rating 3: English

Bangkok beats Medellin here. South East Asia, has given into the idea that, while there are a million Asian languages, English is the international tourist language. In Medellin, the South American idea that Spanish is universally spoken is the dominant thought.

Winner: Bangkok. You might only be able to order food or squabble with a taxi in Bangkok, but in Medellin, they do not speak English, even in the super touristy areas.

 

Rating 4: Weather

Bangkok is hot, humid and when it rains torrential. Medellin is about 20 degrees. They call it the city of eternal spring for a reason. It actually reminds me of Vancouver, Canada in terms of weather. (But with less hipsters).

Winner: Medellin. You can wear long pants and shirts  here, without feeling like you’re going to die of heatstroke.

 

Rating 5: Food

Ok. I love food. Love it. If you love pad Thai, and love getting it fresh from a cart for a $1 you’re going to love Bangkok. However did you know there are tons of styles of Empanadas? And Medelllin has them all. Colombian food vs Thai food can be a matter of palate, but all in all Bangkok has less variety of International cuisine than Medellin. In Thailand you’ll find more forms of Asian food though.

Winner: Medellin. Even though Thailand has more Asian cuisine, sometimes I want a burger. And in Medellin you’ll be able to get a taco, pizza or empanada’s all in a 3 block radius.

 

Rating 6: Cost

Bangkok has Sukumvhit, while Medellin has Poblado. Both are the expat heavy areas. If you live in the tourist/expat areas, you’ll find Bangkok cheaper. If you get out into the regular parts of town you’ll find Medellin is cheaper. Also there isn’t much haggling in Medellin. Maybe 20% vs the 600% you might have to haggle down in Bangkok

Winner: Tie

 

Rating 7: Shopping

For a place with so many people, Medellin has inferior shopping. Seriously, they don’t really understand the shopping/haggling mindset. Bangkok will suck every dollar out of your pocket with fake Beats by Dre and Chang tank tops.

Winner: Bangkok.  Millions of Indian tailors. Chatuchak. Terminal 21. So much to buy, from Ferrarris to fake converse.

 

Rating 8:  Health

Bangkok, you can buy medicine directly from the pharmacy. Medellin, you can have a motorbike courier bring it to you! Medical tourism is huge in Bangkok , and Medellin is the king of plastic surgery. I got my teeth cleaned and whitened for $150 CDN in Medellin.

Winner: Tie

 

Rating 9: Gyms

Bangkok has gyms, but Medellin seems to have a gym every other block. From crossfit, to iron gyms, to free outdoor gyms, Medellin has it all.

Winner: Medellin. Latin culture values physical fitness and looks much more than Asian cultures.

 

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: Tie.

The Total out of 10? Medellin 5 , Bangkok 3 , with 2 ties. Is Medellin the best place in world to retire cheap? I still love Bangkok, but I’ll definitely be back to explore Medellin more. 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!)

Bangkok vs Medellin: Head to Head SHOOTOUT2017-07-25T07:59:28+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

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

    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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