Bangkok

//Bangkok

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

6 Things You NEED to Know About the Bangkok Train Station!

bangkok train staion, places you can retire cheap, inexpensive countries to retire, best countries to retire cheap, countries to live cheap It’s teeming with people. The masses of humanity are here and even though you can buy a first class, or second class train ticket, the station is for all classes. It’s very squalid. Between the masses of unwashed backpackers and people sitting on the floor you aren’t thinking , “Isn’t this pleasant.”

sweaty asian guy,places you can retire cheap, inexpensive countries to retire, best countries to retire cheap, countries to live cheap 2. It’s hot. They have a fan but it’s open air . Don’t come here too early. I came 2 hours ahead of time like I would a plane. Nope don’t do it. Come maybe, 30-40 minutes early.

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3. It cost about 120 Baht to take a metered taxi here from the Sukumvit area. Don’t let them just try to set a price of 200 Baht. Super easy to find too.
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4.You can buy snacks and food here at the same price as the rest of Bangkok. You don’t need to load up ahead of time at the 7-11 like I did.

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5. The train departure times are only suggested. They are not set. They even have signs that say that. Do not use the train if you need to make connections. My train left 40 minutes after it was supposed to go, even though it was in the station.

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6. They don’t announce the trains in English. At some point I heard a uniformed military guy yell something in Thai over a bullhorn. He could have been announcing train stuff. Or he could have been saying “free massages outside” either way a whole bunch of my stinky fellow passengers got up when he called it out.

The train station is definitely a different experience that must be tried out!

6 Things You NEED to Know About the Bangkok Train Station!2017-12-19T19:19:51+00:00

Toilets in Thailand : The Straight Sh*t!

fancy toilet in asia , places you can retire cheap, inexpensive countries to retire, best countries to retire cheap, countries to live cheap There are 3 types of toilets in Thailand. It reminds me of this song, “You’ve gotta know when to hold them, know when to fold them and know when to run.” Looking forward to retiring cheap? You’ll need these tips to survive bathrooms in Asia.

If you are lucky and find the first type, the SUPER FANCY JAPANESE style one you are in luck. It’s got heated seats , various washing nozzles and and even a butt dryer. I found these in Terminal 21 in Bangkok. Let me tell you, these are unicorns. Enjoy them, treasure them, watch an episode of Daredevil while on them. Pure magic.

The second ones I see half the time are the ones I’d consider normal western ones. Never quite as nice  ones back at home, think of the type that you’d see if you were in a dodgy Chinese food place. You know the type of restaurants where you have to squeeze by a wall of take out containers and dim sum trolleys to get to.  These toilets are usually clean and they sometimes have hoses near them. I think these hoses are for rinsing your poopholes. Or for washing the toiler. (Not sure though.)

toilet in asia, places you can retire cheap, inexpensive countries to retire, best countries to retire cheap, countries to live cheap
The  third one is the one that horrifies your typical westerner. The squat toilet.

squat toilet asia, places you can retire cheap, inexpensive countries to retire, best countries to retire cheap, countries to live cheap I’m not a squeamish fella, but yeah kinda gross. Tip: these toilets usually also have no toilet paper so when you’re in Thailand bring TP. See the handle on the side of the wall. That’s for holding onto.  (They don’t usually have these handles.) My biggest fear when I use these toilets include falling in and/or accidentally pooping on my own foot. Also toilet scorpions (not a real thing).

While most places have free washrooms, some places have toilets you have to pay for. They cost 25 (5 thb) cents to use and have a combination of the two not so nice toilets.

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There isn’t a discount if you had a mango ice cream and have to go in four or five times! These toilet places will also sell you toilet paper for 50 (15 thb)cents.

So, in summary while retiring cheap in a foreign country has it’s upsides it also has downsides. Are toilets something that should be on the list for best countries to retire cheap? That’ll be left up to you my readers.

Toilets in Thailand : The Straight Sh*t!2017-12-19T19:18:10+00:00

How to get to Chiang Mai From Bangkok by Train

bangkok travel agency, cheap places to live, best countries toretire cheap, 10 places to retire cheap, places to reire for $1000, cheap countries to reire in, cheap places to live travel blog I love Bangkok, but it might be too expensive for a long term base. It’s crazy that I might think that. The biggest problem is that I haven’t been able to find a place for the $300 a month mark that I would need if I were to live long term here. So onto Chiang Mai. There’s a lot of places on Air BNB that were around $13 a night. I’ll let you all know what those places are like when I get there.

But first I had to get there. I decided to take the train. The travel agency people thought I was a little nuts because the flight is short and not that expensive .

I’m actually looking forward to trying the train out! And by taking an overnight train I save a night on hotel costs. When you’re looking for the best countries to retire cheap every dollar counts.

  • First step head to a travel agency to buy a train ticket. These are everywhere in Bangkok (3 things you see on every block, a massage place, a 7-11, and a travel agency). You can go to the train station yourself to buy it but I wouldn’t recommend it. The travel agency charged me $7 to send somebody by motorbike taxi to pick up the tickets. I was considering taking the BTS Metro there but that would have cost me $3. Worth it in my mind. To take a taxi there is $5 one way.
  • Pick the seat type you want ahead of time. I knew I wanted a lie flat bed that was air conditioned. This meant either a first class or second class ticket. With that choice it limited my train times s well, I couldn’t leave on my first preferred day (1 day later) so I left the day after. There are also 3rd class, no air conditioning with seats not beds. The first class ticket gives you a private compartment, and I didn’t think the extra money was worth it.
  • If you are going to be returning to Bangkok like I am, it’s also a good idea to buy your return ticket at the same time. (This way you don’t have to pay that motorbike fee again or deal with issues in Chiang Mai.)
  • The travel agency wanted me to pay cash but I opted for the 5% Amex surcharge because I didn’t want to use my precious cash if I didn’t have to (a lot of places in Bangkok are cash only).

TOTAL COST : $49.58 for two tickets and all surcharges and fees!

How to get to Chiang Mai From Bangkok by Train2017-12-19T19:15:05+00:00

Breakfast in Bangkok 

Waking up to the sounds of the city, I venture out for breakfast. Street vendors and carts line the waking streets of the sukumvit area I am staying in. It’s hot and humid. My camera lens immediately fogs up. Using my Spider-Man under armour shirt to wipe off the lens I get some great shots of the early morning. The Spider-Man shirt is drawing a lot of attention! Random people are literally yelling Spider-Man and giving me the universal web shooter symbol.( I definitely did not get the same attention with the Batman shirt. )

breakfast in bangkok, cheap places to live, best countries toretire cheap, 10 places to retire cheap, places to reire for $1000, cheap countries to reire in, cheap places to live travel blog Breakfast street carts are everywhere. Breakfast consists of things like pre packaged sandwiches (like you can find at gas stations), bbq meat skewers, congee, rice, and juice carts.

The great thing is it all costs $1 or less (30 thb)That’s right! 1 dollar!!!!

I grab a skewer of bbq chicken (30 cents) , and one container of sticky rice with crispy bbq pork ($1)

The bbq chicken has a honey glaze and is succulent and juicy. The rice dish reminds me of the sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf from Chinese dim sum. The bbq pork is crunchy and sweet with a nice fattiness. I’d say this bbq pork is the best I’ve ever eaten!

Besides the carts there are  7-11 stores everywhere. )Literally every 2 blocks.) That’s where I get my morning coffee Nescafé ($1). You can also get bottles of water here (30 cents).

Bangkok street food breakfast cost in total $2.60 (100 thb). A great value , super delicious and convenient!

Breakfast in Bangkok 2017-12-19T19:11:55+00:00

What does $20 get you in Bangkok?

Retirement is definitely about living the good life, but what’s the good life mean to you? More time to hang out with friends? More time to spend with the family? Getting more time to spend on your hobbies?

What it means for me is the ability to be free to do what I want any old time. As you know since you’re reading this blog post, my goal is to find a country to retire in that costs $1000 or less a month.

  • Quick budget breakdown : $1000 is $33 a day.
  • If you are getting your accommodation for $300 a month it leads to $700 left or $20 a day roughly.
  • What does that get you?

Here’s what my day looked like today.

  • Got up at 730 am and got a freshly made egg crepe from a street cart: 25 cents
  • Took the BTS over to Terminal 21 : $1.25
  • Wandered around the air conditioned mall
  • Grabbed lunch in their food court : $2.25
  • Walked back to my hotel for the exercise
  • Immediately  took a shower when I got to hotel  (it’s hot and I’m sticky).
  • Checked Facebook and emails (hi friends !)
  • After that onerous task (heh) I went for a ninety minute foot , shoulder massage $13
  • Came home and tidied up my backpack and suitcase.
  • Went and got a haircut:$5
  • Went and got dinner $1
  • Came back home and worked on the blog

Total: $24.75

A pretty fun day and close to my  daily budget.

I remember how at home in (Edmonton , Alberta , Canada) $20 got me a pretty good lunch at Boston Pizza.

Such a hard choice……massages , haircuts and lunch or BPs…

What does $20 get you in Bangkok?2017-12-19T19:10:07+00:00

Month One: How Many Days Can I spend in Bangkok? Budget Report

Retirement in Bangkok for $1000 a month is the goal! May 1 2016, I land in Bangkok.

First I started with searches on AGODA

The very first place I found was $4 a night. That’s correct. $4. There are over 21 places that were $10 and under per night. This isn’t a private villa with a pool and a butler by any means, but still that’s what I could find while searching the internet in Canada. Are there better deals to be had in Bangkok, that might not be advertised?

I’ll find out!

One tip I always give to my fearless readers is don’t book your complete trip over the internet . Book a few days and then explore around looking for hotels or places to stay that you might not have considered.

My first place I booked was at the Overstay Hostel.

There was no benefit to booking a longer stay than two days (that’s a perfect amount of town if you want to see if the accommodations you’ve booked online is great or not so good)

Here’s what it would cost if you stayed 30 days here

bangkok retire cheap

$246.79  for a month of stay in Overstay hostel in Bangkok

I showed up at the overstay hostel, and got a nasty surprise. My cab driver couldn’t find it, and the phone was disconnected. I wound up in a panic (I was so tired after a 20 hour flight). I had the cab driver find me a different place to stay. It wound up being $30(1000 thb). This really was not in my planned $1000 budget. If I stayed here it would cost $900 in just hotel rooms.

The next day I looked at the other places that were in my budget, and found that the cheap prices were mainly for dormitory style bunk beds. That’s not I had in mind for a place to stay. Read more of the travel blog to find out how my first month in Thailand ends.

Month One: How Many Days Can I spend in Bangkok? Budget Report2017-12-19T18:46:01+00:00

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