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Cambodia, Vietnam, Or The Philippines?


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I was thinking about retiring in Thailand on a retirement visa, as I've heard that Thailand is the best South Asian country to retire in. After Thailand, which country is best overall, for visas, health care, and for musicians? Cambodia, Vietnam, or The Philippines?

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Indonesia - really - if you can afford it then Bali, if not on the main Island of Java or perhaps Sumatra.

I think it is slightly less foreigner friendly than Thailand and the other options you mention when it comes to visa'a etc.. but it more than makes up for that in other areas.

I would spend a few months there on a tourist visa before committing to a longer stint.

Malaysia is also worth looking at as it is possible to own property there.

Simon

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Cambodia;

Positives;

1 year multiple entry visa apx $280/year no money in bank, no paper work,

easy to live,

plenty of supermarkets with western food (In Phnom Penh) and cheaper.

Can work without work permit

easier and less expensive to get into a business

Very friendly people

90 year leases on land

Beautiful offshore islands off of Shianokville

Phnom Penh has connections to most local other countries ( Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, HK, Korea) but not Europe

Plenty of musicians hang out in Phnom Penh and perform in local bars/gatherings

Plenty of western restaurants (in PP and Siem Reap only)

No tax on Alcohol and cigs

As soon as my daughter graduates from HS next year i will be moving back there. 25 years in Thailand,except for a year in Cambodia and 1 back in the states, time to move on

Negatives.

not as western as Thailand

not the abundance of choices for places to live, Very hard to find good 2 bedroom or more homes or apts in the entire country ( outside of a few gated communities in Phnom Penh) PP apts are typical shop houses with one bedroom in the middle

Only a few good universities

Health care not as good as Thailand, (In most cases if u get seriously sick u would fly to Bangkok)

internet not as fast

local food selection not as good, choice of good, quality food outside PP and Siem Reap is poor

inter structure ( roads/electric service, utilities etc) not up to Thailand standards

If ur into living back to the local style very very cheap and easy to do

Edited by phuketrichard
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Thank you phuketrichard .

It seems like the greatest advantage of Cambodia is the visa situation - and the greatest advantage of Thailand is the health care.

It sounds like Phnom Penh is more musician friendly then Thailand.

How about The Philippines? Most of what I've researched has The Philippines as the #2 South Asian country to retire in behind Thailand.

Edited by JetterSetterNYC
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Check out this thread: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/347262-alternative-retirement-destinations-for-expats-other-than-thailand/

I know it's long, but there's some great info inside.

The Philippines is OK. English is widely spoken, easy to get around, cheap. Security can be an issue, food is not as interesting...but plenty of great beaches!!!!

If you have the time, I would recommend visiting each of these places for a month or so and see for yourself. Easy to travel around this area.

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There's no retirement visa option for Viet Nam but if you marry a VN then you get a 5 year visa exemption (renewable) and can purchase 1 property in your own name (condo or house).

There's no monetary requirements.

Edit: you should also be able to get Permanent Resident status but they are not issuing them at the moment.

Edited by PattayaParent
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Thailand is probably the WORST choice in terms of human environment; what I mean is that people there are shallow, uninteresting and very unfriendly( they LOOK friendly, but are not).BUT: in terms of food/accomodatation/transportation/security/ease of life/cost of living it's abolutely the BEST country in South East Asia.

Philippines: HORRIBLE food, more expensive, security problems

Cambodja: lack of quality at all levels, NOBODY speaks english, depressing atmosphere, everything is just imported from Thailand

Vietnam: nobody speaks english, quite hard people, lack of infrastructures

Malaysia:BOOOOOORING.... more expensive than Thailand, but in terms of quality of life the best choice after Thailand.

Indonesia - really - if you can afford it then Bali, if not on the main Island of Java or perhaps Sumatra.

I think it is slightly less foreigner friendly than Thailand and the other options you mention when it comes to visa'a etc.. but it more than makes up for that in other areas.

I would spend a few months there on a tourist visa before committing to a longer stint.

Malaysia is also worth looking at as it is possible to own property there.

Simon

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Thailand is probably the WORST choice in terms of human environment; what I mean is that people there are shallow, uninteresting and very unfriendly( they LOOK friendly, but are not).BUT: in terms of food/accomodatation/transportation/security/ease of life/cost of living it's abolutely the BEST country in South East Asia.

Philippines: HORRIBLE food, more expensive, security problems

Cambodja: lack of quality at all levels, NOBODY speaks english, depressing atmosphere, everything is just imported from Thailand

Vietnam: nobody speaks english, quite hard people, lack of infrastructures

Malaysia:BOOOOOORING.... more expensive than Thailand, but in terms of quality of life the best choice after Thailand.

Indonesia - really - if you can afford it then Bali, if not on the main Island of Java or perhaps Sumatra.

I think it is slightly less foreigner friendly than Thailand and the other options you mention when it comes to visa'a etc.. but it more than makes up for that in other areas.

I would spend a few months there on a tourist visa before committing to a longer stint.

Malaysia is also worth looking at as it is possible to own property there.

Simon

Agree with everything except the description of Thai people. Maybe your experience was in the bigger cities/tourist areas? I've found most Thais I've met to be very friendly and very helpful. Exceptions for the ones working the hard core tourist areas...like the people who rent jet skis or work in the red light districts.

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Thailand is probably the WORST choice in terms of human environment; what I mean is that people there are shallow, uninteresting and very unfriendly( they LOOK friendly, but are not)
.

Have u ever lived in Thailand? Once u live here and get out of the tourist areas Thais are extremely friendly and kind. Especially if u get up in the North and Northwest.

Cambodja: lack of quality at all levels, NOBODY speaks english, depressing atmosphere, everything is just imported from Thailand

Have u lived here?? Great ladies, Lots of great things to smoke and u will find the level of English much higher than in Thailand Especially in the main cities. Countryside is amazing. Everyone wants to learn english. U are correct that most things are imported from Thailand BUT all the things that come in are not tax'd so cheaper ( most all western items).

Found Malaysia an ok country to visit and i love Penang but no way would i ever want to live there.

With your attitude i take it u have never lived outside ur own country

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Having lived 3 years each in Thailand & Cambodia, I thought PhuketRichard's post was bang on.

The visa thing in Cambodia is SUCH a relief after Thailand.

On the other hand I get food poisoning more often in Cambodia, & the high crime worries me. But both those things can be circumvented, with a bit of work.

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Thailand is probably the WORST choice in terms of human environment; what I mean is that people there are shallow, uninteresting and very unfriendly( they LOOK friendly, but are not).BUT: in terms of food/accomodatation/transportation/security/ease of life/cost of living it's abolutely the BEST country in South East Asia.

Philippines: HORRIBLE food, more expensive, security problems

Cambodja: lack of quality at all levels, NOBODY speaks english, depressing atmosphere, everything is just imported from Thailand

Vietnam: nobody speaks english, quite hard people, lack of infrastructures

Malaysia:BOOOOOORING.... more expensive than Thailand, but in terms of quality of life the best choice after Thailand.

Indonesia - really - if you can afford it then Bali, if not on the main Island of Java or perhaps Sumatra.

I think it is slightly less foreigner friendly than Thailand and the other options you mention when it comes to visa'a etc.. but it more than makes up for that in other areas.

I would spend a few months there on a tourist visa before committing to a longer stint.

Malaysia is also worth looking at as it is possible to own property there.

Simon

Agree with everything except the description of Thai people. Maybe your experience was in the bigger cities/tourist areas? I've found most Thais I've met to be very friendly and very helpful. Exceptions for the ones working the hard core tourist areas...like the people who rent jet skis or work in the red light districts.

I think if you consider what he said as a general statement that does not apply to all Thais, he is at least partially correct. He said: "....shallow, uninteresting and very unfriendly; they LOOK friendly, but are not." I think that applies to over 95% of Thais I have ever met. They are shallow (very unworldly). They are uninteresting (unless you enjoy talking to rocks). And the friendly surface smile is just a cultural knee-jerk reaction that is, by the way, rapidly going away (I am seeing a lot of growing anger towards farangs). I did not sense this same set of social negatives among the majority of the people I meet in Cambodia and the Philippines. I do think people from Cambodia and the Philippines really do like foreigners more than Thais like foreigners. But, of course, that is just my opinion based on personal experiences, all of which can be biased.

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Thailand is probably the WORST choice in terms of human environment; what I mean is that people there are shallow, uninteresting and very unfriendly( they LOOK friendly, but are not).BUT: in terms of food/accomodatation/transportation/security/ease of life/cost of living it's abolutely the BEST country in South East Asia.

Philippines: HORRIBLE food, more expensive, security problems

Cambodja: lack of quality at all levels, NOBODY speaks english, depressing atmosphere, everything is just imported from Thailand

Vietnam: nobody speaks english, quite hard people, lack of infrastructures

Malaysia:BOOOOOORING.... more expensive than Thailand, but in terms of quality of life the best choice after Thailand.

Indonesia - really - if you can afford it then Bali, if not on the main Island of Java or perhaps Sumatra.

I think it is slightly less foreigner friendly than Thailand and the other options you mention when it comes to visa'a etc.. but it more than makes up for that in other areas.

I would spend a few months there on a tourist visa before committing to a longer stint.

Malaysia is also worth looking at as it is possible to own property there.

Simon

Agree with everything except the description of Thai people. Maybe your experience was in the bigger cities/tourist areas? I've found most Thais I've met to be very friendly and very helpful. Exceptions for the ones working the hard core tourist areas...like the people who rent jet skis or work in the red light districts.

I think if you consider what he said as a general statement that does not apply to all Thais, he is at least partially correct. He said: "....shallow, uninteresting and very unfriendly; they LOOK friendly, but are not." I think that applies to over 95% of Thais I have ever met. They are shallow (very unworldly). They are uninteresting (unless you enjoy talking to rocks). And the friendly surface smile is just a cultural knee-jerk reaction that is, by the way, rapidly going away (I am seeing a lot of growing anger towards farangs). I did not sense this same set of social negatives among the majority of the people I meet in Cambodia and the Philippines. I do think people from Cambodia and the Philippines really do like foreigners more than Thais like foreigners. But, of course, that is just my opinion based on personal experiences, all of which can be biased.

It also echoes my personal experience, although I may not have spent enough time in Cambodia to become jaundiced.

I have spent long enough there to remove any rose-tinted glasses.

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Having lived in Thailand and China for a while, I would like to give the Philippines or Cambodia a try for a while.

I looked at Cam visa but could not see how to get this one-year visa that I have seen others talk about.

Also, is renewing the Phil tourist visa almost a formality?

Thanks.

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when u first fly into Cambodia ask for the Business visa ( it costs $25) No u don't need to have a business and they will ask u no questions.

When the visa is ready to expire go to just about any travel agent (best bet is Lucky Lucky Motorcycle on Monivong Rd) u can extend it an additional 3, 6 or 12 months. the 6 and 12 month extensions are muti entry.

No paper work required, 2 photos and next day service

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Having lived 3 years each in Thailand & Cambodia, I thought PhuketRichard's post was bang on.

The visa thing in Cambodia is SUCH a relief after Thailand.

On the other hand I get food poisoning more often in Cambodia, & the high crime worries me. But both those things can be circumvented, with a bit of work.

The visa thing was a big deal for me when I was here previously. But now, over 50! So easy as pie now. :D

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when u first fly into Cambodia ask for the Business visa ( it costs $25) No u don't need to have a business and they will ask u no questions.

When the visa is ready to expire go to just about any travel agent (best bet is Lucky Lucky Motorcycle on Monivong Rd) u can extend it an additional 3, 6 or 12 months. the 6 and 12 month extensions are muti entry.

No paper work required, 2 photos and next day service

Thanks PR. I had a Thai retirement visa but gave it up. I am not ready to commit to anywhere just yet, and want to try a few more places. :jap:

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I have lived in Thailand for 10 years. And I am living in Thailand now. When I say that thai people are not friendly, i do not mean that they are not friendly in daily life.I mean something DEEPER.I mean they are totally uninterested in other people and cultures, I mean that they are totaaly selfcentered and lacking any form of curiosity for what is not thai.In my eyes they are the less interesting people i nSouth East Asia. This having been said, yes, they are EASY in daily life, nothing more and nothing less.In this respect I found Filpinos and cambogians much better and more interesting, much more' challenging' ( especially women...)

About Cambogia:yes, things are changing quick, my experience is related to a couple of years ago in the capital and Shianoukville, it's possible that things are different now.

Thailand is probably the WORST choice in terms of human environment; what I mean is that people there are shallow, uninteresting and very unfriendly( they LOOK friendly, but are not)
.

Have u ever lived in Thailand? Once u live here and get out of the tourist areas Thais are extremely friendly and kind. Especially if u get up in the North and Northwest.

Cambodja: lack of quality at all levels, NOBODY speaks english, depressing atmosphere, everything is just imported from Thailand

Have u lived here?? Great ladies, Lots of great things to smoke and u will find the level of English much higher than in Thailand Especially in the main cities. Countryside is amazing. Everyone wants to learn english. U are correct that most things are imported from Thailand BUT all the things that come in are not tax'd so cheaper ( most all western items).

Found Malaysia an ok country to visit and i love Penang but no way would i ever want to live there.

With your attitude i take it u have never lived outside ur own country

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I have lived in Thailand for 10 years. And I am living in Thailand now. When I say that thai people are not friendly, i do not mean that they are not friendly in daily life.I mean something DEEPER.I mean they are totally uninterested in other people and cultures, I mean that they are totaaly selfcentered and lacking any form of curiosity for what is not thai.In my eyes they are the less interesting people i nSouth East Asia. This having been said, yes, they are EASY in daily life, nothing more and nothing less.In this respect I found Filpinos and cambogians much better and more interesting, much more' challenging' ( especially women...)

About Cambogia:yes, things are changing quick, my experience is related to a couple of years ago in the capital and Shianoukville, it's possible that things are different now.

I think this is a fair assessment .

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ROMANOBA, I agree wiht this as well

I have lived in Thailand for over 22 years and what i see is Thai's go on and on about how they are superior to everyone cause they have never been colonized. Which is true, as all they did when any foreign power arrived they would politely bend over

This is another example of a thai mentality, Good friend of mine (Farang) had the first dive operation on Phi Phi Island and was a member of the business association there. (this was back in the 90's) He voiced that the tourism and dive business was dying cause the tourists and thai's were throwing all there garbage, plastic bags and such into the water and they should start doing something the stop it.

The thai's polite reply was, "who cares, we don't need them anyway" How ya going to argue against that mentality? :rolleyes:

That's one reason why i really like the Cambodian's. They lost a whole generation and they want other ideas. AS far as things changing over there in Cambodia>>> its changing fast. SHK is going to pull lots of tourists out of Thailand over the next 3-5 years and more. two examples (whether they happen of not as least their trying) ; http://www.kohrong-island.com/, http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2011081150990/Special-Supplement/building-big-at-pearl-city.html

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I want to add something to my post .I am now living in Thailand with a filipina girlfriend, and i think it's a reasonable solution.I suppose that living in Thailand with a Cambogian girlfriend could also be attractive.However I have to admit that, IF I were a little bit younger ( I am now 55) I would not HESITATE to chose forCambogia or even for the Philippines.It's just that I am TRAPPED in this comfort of life, which undeniably is the best Thailand has to offer.But it also makes me ( and many peole around me) sleepy, taking out a certain sense of CHALLENGE which, I think, is also very important in life.it depends how much the atmosphere around you affects your feeling of happiness.it is also, in some way, an ARTIFICIAL way of leaving, with little or no contact ( I mean REAL, human contact) with the locals).It works - so far- for me, but I can UNDERSTAND it does not work for some other people.

Thailand is probably the WORST choice in terms of human environment; what I mean is that people there are shallow, uninteresting and very unfriendly( they LOOK friendly, but are not).BUT: in terms of food/accomodatation/transportation/security/ease of life/cost of living it's abolutely the BEST country in South East Asia.

Philippines: HORRIBLE food, more expensive, security problems

Cambodja: lack of quality at all levels, NOBODY speaks english, depressing atmosphere, everything is just imported from Thailand

Vietnam: nobody speaks english, quite hard people, lack of infrastructures

Malaysia:BOOOOOORING.... more expensive than Thailand, but in terms of quality of life the best choice after Thailand.

Indonesia - really - if you can afford it then Bali, if not on the main Island of Java or perhaps Sumatra.

I think it is slightly less foreigner friendly than Thailand and the other options you mention when it comes to visa'a etc.. but it more than makes up for that in other areas.

I would spend a few months there on a tourist visa before committing to a longer stint.

Malaysia is also worth looking at as it is possible to own property there.

Simon

Agree with everything except the description of Thai people. Maybe your experience was in the bigger cities/tourist areas? I've found most Thais I've met to be very friendly and very helpful. Exceptions for the ones working the hard core tourist areas...like the people who rent jet skis or work in the red light districts.

I think if you consider what he said as a general statement that does not apply to all Thais, he is at least partially correct. He said: "....shallow, uninteresting and very unfriendly; they LOOK friendly, but are not." I think that applies to over 95% of Thais I have ever met. They are shallow (very unworldly). They are uninteresting (unless you enjoy talking to rocks). And the friendly surface smile is just a cultural knee-jerk reaction that is, by the way, rapidly going away (I am seeing a lot of growing anger towards farangs). I did not sense this same set of social negatives among the majority of the people I meet in Cambodia and the Philippines. I do think people from Cambodia and the Philippines really do like foreigners more than Thais like foreigners. But, of course, that is just my opinion based on personal experiences, all of which can be biased.

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I want to add something to my post .I am now living in Thailand with a filipina girlfriend, and i think it's a reasonable solution.I suppose that living in Thailand with a Cambogian girlfriend could also be attractive.However I have to admit that, IF I were a little bit younger ( I am now 55) I would not HESITATE to chose forCambogia or even for the Philippines.It's just that I am TRAPPED in this comfort of life, which undeniably is the best Thailand has to offer.But it also makes me ( and many peole around me) sleepy, taking out a certain sense of CHALLENGE which, I think, is also very important in life.it depends how much the atmosphere around you affects your feeling of happiness.it is also, in some way, an ARTIFICIAL way of leaving, with little or no contact ( I mean REAL, human contact) with the locals).It works - so far- for me, but I can UNDERSTAND it does not work for some other people.

hahahahha I have a Cambodian GF and she spend 3-4 months here than goes back home to help on the farm for a month or two. Gives us both a break. How do u handle ur gf's visa situation? What does age have to do with it? :o I love new experiences and hate the drudgery of the same thing everyday, day in day out an don't need the creature comforts many of my younger friends "Think" they need. I am 61 years young and as soon as my daughter finishes her last year of HS here i am back to Cambodia to the islands there...

Edited by phuketrichard
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Thailand is probably the WORST choice in terms of human environment; what I mean is that people there are shallow, uninteresting and very unfriendly( they LOOK friendly, but are not).BUT: in terms of food/accomodatation/transportation/security/ease of life/cost of living it's abolutely the BEST country in South East Asia.

Philippines: HORRIBLE food, more expensive, security problems

Cambodja: lack of quality at all levels, NOBODY speaks english, depressing atmosphere, everything is just imported from Thailand

Vietnam: nobody speaks english, quite hard people, lack of infrastructures

Malaysia:BOOOOOORING.... more expensive than Thailand, but in terms of quality of life the best choice after Thailand.

Indonesia - really - if you can afford it then Bali, if not on the main Island of Java or perhaps Sumatra.

I think it is slightly less foreigner friendly than Thailand and the other options you mention when it comes to visa'a etc.. but it more than makes up for that in other areas.

I would spend a few months there on a tourist visa before committing to a longer stint.

Malaysia is also worth looking at as it is possible to own property there.

Simon

I disagree with those two points. HCM and PP both have plenty of English speakers. Even as remote as Stung Treng ( Cambodia ) is ( or was 7yrs ago ), I was taken aback by the fact that many people there could communicate in English.

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I have lived in Thailand for 10 years. And I am living in Thailand now. When I say that thai people are not friendly, i do not mean that they are not friendly in daily life.I mean something DEEPER.I mean they are totally uninterested in other people and cultures, I mean that they are totaaly selfcentered and lacking any form of curiosity for what is not thai.In my eyes they are the less interesting people i nSouth East Asia. This having been said, yes, they are EASY in daily life, nothing more and nothing less.In this respect I found Filpinos and cambogians much better and more interesting, much more' challenging' ( especially women...)

About Cambogia:yes, things are changing quick, my experience is related to a couple of years ago in the capital and Shianoukville, it's possible that things are different now.

Thailand is probably the WORST choice in terms of human environment; what I mean is that people there are shallow, uninteresting and very unfriendly( they LOOK friendly, but are not)
.

Have u ever lived in Thailand? Once u live here and get out of the tourist areas Thais are extremely friendly and kind. Especially if u get up in the North and Northwest.

Cambodja: lack of quality at all levels, NOBODY speaks english, depressing atmosphere, everything is just imported from Thailand

Have u lived here?? Great ladies, Lots of great things to smoke and u will find the level of English much higher than in Thailand Especially in the main cities. Countryside is amazing. Everyone wants to learn english. U are correct that most things are imported from Thailand BUT all the things that come in are not tax'd so cheaper ( most all western items).

Found Malaysia an ok country to visit and i love Penang but no way would i ever want to live there.

With your attitude i take it u have never lived outside ur own country

Totally agree.

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Thailand is probably the WORST choice in terms of human environment; what I mean is that people there are shallow, uninteresting and very unfriendly( they LOOK friendly, but are not).BUT: in terms of food/accomodatation/transportation/security/ease of life/cost of living it's abolutely the BEST country in South East Asia.

Philippines: HORRIBLE food, more expensive, security problems

Cambodja: lack of quality at all levels, NOBODY speaks english, depressing atmosphere, everything is just imported from Thailand

Vietnam: nobody speaks english, quite hard people, lack of infrastructures

Malaysia:BOOOOOORING.... more expensive than Thailand, but in terms of quality of life the best choice after Thailand.

Indonesia - really - if you can afford it then Bali, if not on the main Island of Java or perhaps Sumatra.

I think it is slightly less foreigner friendly than Thailand and the other options you mention when it comes to visa'a etc.. but it more than makes up for that in other areas.

I would spend a few months there on a tourist visa before committing to a longer stint.

Malaysia is also worth looking at as it is possible to own property there.

Simon

I disagree with those two points. HCM and PP both have plenty of English speakers. Even as remote as Stung Treng ( Cambodia ) is ( or was 7yrs ago ), I was taken aback by the fact that many people there could communicate in English.

Very true, it just depends on the level of people you associate with. If you only meet rice farmers you will have language problems, if you meet engineers you won't.

Also in Viet Nam you will find the older generations speak French or Russian while the younger generations speak English.

He's pretty much nailed Thailand though.

Edited by PattayaParent
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Richard, I fully understand your point of view.Visa for mi GF is not an issue, an educational visa allows her to stay here for one year, and it's renewable.But DEEP INSIDE I agree with you and I agree with the fact that this COMFORT ZONE I am living in, here in Thailand, could be quite dangerous on the long run for my human growth.

I also agree that this feeling is not necessary related to age.I have been living in the Philippines for 2 years, I had a great time, but I could not cope any more with the lack of comfort of that country.I think - speaking for myself- that the most important issue is NOT HAVING a thai GF: my filipina GF keeps my mental health alive and well....

But I agree that PHYSICALLY living in Cambogia ( or the Philippines) can give foreigners some extra bonus: it's more challenging, so in some way it's better for your alertness and mental health. Total comfort and same routine every day can be dangerous, I agree.

I want to add something to my post .I am now living in Thailand with a filipina girlfriend, and i think it's a reasonable solution.I suppose that living in Thailand with a Cambogian girlfriend could also be attractive.However I have to admit that, IF I were a little bit younger ( I am now 55) I would not HESITATE to chose forCambogia or even for the Philippines.It's just that I am TRAPPED in this comfort of life, which undeniably is the best Thailand has to offer.But it also makes me ( and many peole around me) sleepy, taking out a certain sense of CHALLENGE which, I think, is also very important in life.it depends how much the atmosphere around you affects your feeling of happiness.it is also, in some way, an ARTIFICIAL way of leaving, with little or no contact ( I mean REAL, human contact) with the locals).It works - so far- for me, but I can UNDERSTAND it does not work for some other people.

hahahahha I have a Cambodian GF and she spend 3-4 months here than goes back home to help on the farm for a month or two. Gives us both a break. How do u handle ur gf's visa situation? What does age have to do with it? :o I love new experiences and hate the drudgery of the same thing everyday, day in day out an don't need the creature comforts many of my younger friends "Think" they need. I am 61 years young and as soon as my daughter finishes her last year of HS here i am back to Cambodia to the islands there...

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Romanoba - when you say "lack of comfort of the Philippines", could you please give some details of that?

And can you please give some details of how you think living in the Philippines is more challenging?

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Thailand is probably the WORST choice in terms of human environment; what I mean is that people there are shallow, uninteresting and very unfriendly( they LOOK friendly, but are not).BUT: in terms of food/accomodatation/transportation/security/ease of life/cost of living it's abolutely the BEST country in South East Asia.

Philippines: HORRIBLE food, more expensive, security problems

Cambodja: lack of quality at all levels, NOBODY speaks english, depressing atmosphere, everything is just imported from Thailand

Vietnam: nobody speaks english, quite hard people, lack of infrastructures

Malaysia:BOOOOOORING.... more expensive than Thailand, but in terms of quality of life the best choice after Thailand.

Indonesia - really - if you can afford it then Bali, if not on the main Island of Java or perhaps Sumatra.

I think it is slightly less foreigner friendly than Thailand and the other options you mention when it comes to visa'a etc.. but it more than makes up for that in other areas.

I would spend a few months there on a tourist visa before committing to a longer stint.

Malaysia is also worth looking at as it is possible to own property there.

Simon

I disagree with those two points. HCM and PP both have plenty of English speakers. Even as remote as Stung Treng ( Cambodia ) is ( or was 7yrs ago ), I was taken aback by the fact that many people there could communicate in English.

Very true, it just depends on the level of people you associate with. If you only meet rice farmers you will have language problems, if you meet engineers you won't.

Also in Viet Nam you will find the older generations speak French or Russian while the younger generations speak English.

He's pretty much nailed Thailand though.

Certainly, in PP and Snooky many Cambodians speak English. English is widely spoken in the Philippines. And, yes, as stated earlier, he has pinned the tail on the Thai donkey :)

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I really do like Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Life is slow paced, beaches are beautiful, nearly everything is cheaper and visas are easy. Plenty of people speak English and the supermarkets have a good variety of farang food. Unfortunately I'm not so young anymore and healthcare is a major concern. I live in Thailand for mainly that reason.

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I really do like Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Life is slow paced, beaches are beautiful, nearly everything is cheaper and visas are easy. Plenty of people speak English and the supermarkets have a good variety of farang food. Unfortunately I'm not so young anymore and healthcare is a major concern. I live in Thailand for mainly that reason.

I read enough about Snooky that I think I should visit! I hope to head over there in the next 2 weeks. Maybe stay a week. I love to sit on the beach and read a book.

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