Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Asia > Asia
Reload this Page >

How much would living 3months in Thailand/Cambodia/Vietnam cost during Dec-Feb?

How much would living 3months in Thailand/Cambodia/Vietnam cost during Dec-Feb?

Old Jul 22, 17, 12:06 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 114
Good English speaking cities in Thailand/Cambodia/Vietnam?

I'm a Single male (no kids), mid-40s, and only speak English.

I'm tired of winters in the US and am thinking about living in a warm but cheap country during that time when I retire in a couple of years.

Which SE Asia cities can a English only speaker get by for 3months?
And how much would it cost to live there during Dec-Feb?

thx

Last edited by snail; Jul 22, 17 at 12:16 pm
snail is offline  
Old Jul 22, 17, 12:16 pm
  #2  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 69,202
What lifestyle do you plan to lead (type of housing, beach/city/mountains, etc.)? Travel a lot in the region or stay put?

A couple thousand dollars per month can go a long way but it can take a little extra up front to get situated. Moving to a new location adds costs typically.
sbm12 is offline  
Old Jul 22, 17, 11:04 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Programs: Star Alliance
Posts: 5,474
Side note: 'mid-40s' and 'retire in couple of years' in my world do not usually go together unless you have enough money to afford not to work for next 40-something years starting from now.

Regarding the question - did OP also asked if he considers if cost of living includes other stuff like medical expenses as well, if required? What are requirements for amenities?

With 'English only' requirement the only two counties fit - Malaysia and Singapore. Singapore and 'cheap' can be used only with relation to hawker center food, nothing else.

With Malaysia price tag is certainly cheaper comparing to Singapore and US but it still be more expensive than any other country in the region.

It would definitely help to know the specifics of 'living' and on what money is going to be spent.

Last edited by invisible; Jul 23, 17 at 9:26 am
invisible is offline  
Old Jul 23, 17, 1:21 am
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Programs: Frontier 50K elite, DL estranged 1MMer, Spirit VIP, CO/NW/UA/AA once gold/plat/comped gold now dust.
Posts: 29,951
It's certainly do-able to go to an expat haven like Phuket or Pattaya and speak only English. Lots of people are in that situation. Renting by the month is also very do-able (even with hotels), though at the cheaper end the utilities will be separate. Location can be a BIG deal in the Thai places to avoid transit/traffic problems, and people ignore that at their peril. Cambodia and Vietnam are cheaper, but for a reason. Malaysia may be cheaper than Thailand these days, but gets fewer takers.
RustyC is offline  
Old Jul 23, 17, 6:28 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 114
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
What lifestyle do you plan to lead (type of housing, beach/city/mountains, etc.)? Travel a lot in the region or stay put?

A couple thousand dollars per month can go a long way but it can take a little extra up front to get situated. Moving to a new location adds costs typically.
not beach. I cant swim.
not mountain. I have Achilles tendon problems so cant walk/hike miles.

for the 1st time there, I'll stay put to get accustomed to the area.


Originally Posted by invisible View Post
Side note: 'mid-40s' and 'retire in couple of years' in my world do not usually go together unless you have enough money to afford not to work for next 40-something years starting from now.

Regarding the question - did OP also asked if he considers if cost of living includes other stuff like medical expenses as well, if required? What are requirements for amenities?

With 'English only' requirement the only two counties fit - Malaysia and Singapore. Singapore and 'cheap' can be used only with relation to hawker center food, nothing else.

With Malaysia price tag is certainly cheaper comparing to Singapore and US but it still be more expensive than any other country in the region.

It would definitely help to know the specifics of 'living' and on what money is going to be spent.
um.. no, did not consider medical!
wow.. might not retire in a couple of years.

How expensive is Malaysia?

don't have any specifics of 'living' besides must have Internet
snail is offline  
Old Jul 23, 17, 6:55 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: LAX
Programs: UA Plat MM, CM Plat, Amex Plat, Hertz CP, Hyatt Globalist, SPG Gold, Vons Club
Posts: 4,645
Post

Originally Posted by snail View Post
not beach. I cant swim.
not mountain. I have Achilles tendon problems so cant walk/hike miles.

for the 1st time there, I'll stay put to get accustomed to the area.



um.. no, did not consider medical!
wow.. might not retire in a couple of years.

How expensive is Malaysia?

don't have any specifics of 'living' besides must have Internet
Take a look at HCMC (Saigon)I bet you can live really well for $50 US a day. $30 for logging and $20 a day for food and transportation (bus) really fun city with lots of zones to explore. English is my native tonge and I had no issues at all..
Flying Machine is online now  
Old Jul 23, 17, 10:10 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Programs: Star Alliance
Posts: 5,474
Originally Posted by snail View Post
not beach. I cant swim.
not mountain. I have Achilles tendon problems so cant walk/hike miles.
um.. no, did not consider medical!
So you potentially might need to put into equation medical costs as well.

Originally Posted by snail View Post
How expensive is Malaysia?
don't have any specifics of 'living' besides must have Internet
Answer is 'it depends'. You definitely won't have any language problem in many major cities - KL, Ipoh, Melaka, Johor, Kuching, KK, etc.
The problem is that you 'might' find life quite... drab. Especially if you want to minimize costs on living expenses and as a result staying at outskirts instead of places where most 'life' happens.

Secondly, while you have desire to get away from winter, you might are not ready to deal with the local realities in terms of weather - at least for most of Malaysia it is 90-92F during the day, 84-86F during night with 80% of humidity. 365 days. And during Dec-March period it rains. 2-4h every day/night. You either get used to it or find yourself confined into air conditioned places all the time. Which with the same success you can do in US as well.

While Vietnam is cheaper, language is still a barrier and then there is another thing - due to the fact that you are a westerner you most likely will be considered as a walking ATM for locals. Well unless you have a local person who accompanies you all the time. Plus navigating street traffic in Saigon for person who did not grew up there might be an impossible task. I've seen western tourists stuck at sidewalk for 20 minutes unable to cross the street.
invisible is offline  
Old Jul 23, 17, 10:50 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: LAX
Programs: UA Plat MM, CM Plat, Amex Plat, Hertz CP, Hyatt Globalist, SPG Gold, Vons Club
Posts: 4,645
Originally Posted by invisible View Post
So you potentially might need to put into equation medical costs as well.


Answer is 'it depends'. You definitely won't have any language problem in many major cities - KL, Ipoh, Melaka, Johor, Kuching, KK, etc.
The problem is that you 'might' find life quite... drab. Especially if you want to minimize costs on living expenses and as a result staying at outskirts instead of places where most 'life' happens.

Secondly, while you have desire to get away from winter, you might are not ready to deal with the local realities in terms of weather - at least for most of Malaysia it is 90-92F during the day, 84-86F during night with 80% of humidity. 365 days. And during Dec-March period it rains. 2-4h every day/night. You either get used to it or find yourself confined into air conditioned places all the time. Which with the same success you can do in US as well.

While Vietnam is cheaper, language is still a barrier and then there is another thing - due to the fact that you are a westerner you most likely will be considered as a walking ATM for locals. Well unless you have a local person who accompanies you all the time. Plus navigating street traffic in Saigon for person who did not grew up there might be an impossible task. I've seen western tourists stuck at sidewalk for 20 minutes unable to cross the street.
I think the 20 minutes is an exaggeration .. and in a day or two most people are walking in and out of traffic like a local..

Last edited by Flying Machine; Jul 24, 17 at 10:45 am
Flying Machine is online now  
Old Jul 24, 17, 10:41 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: SFO, OAK, SJC
Posts: 236
Originally Posted by Flying Machine View Post
I think the 20 minutes is an execration.. and in a day or two most people are walking in and out of traffic like a local..
Or after an hour or two of walking. From what I remember, Saigon had a good amount of stop lights and crosswalks, so it wasn't too much of an issue. Either way, just avoid the cars and trucks; the motorcycles will maneuver around you as long as you keep to a predictable path (no stopping suddenly, doubling back, etc.).
calbear2005 is offline  
Old Jul 24, 17, 2:51 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Omaha
Posts: 1,641
Phoenix is pretty nice in the winter, is pretty cheap, and they mostly speak English there. You can legally own a car and drive yourself around. Good healthcare.

As a tourist in SE Asia, you will probably be doing a lot of walking, so your leg injury might have a big effect on your quality of life.

If you rent a no-frills one bedroom apartment, don't air condition the place to 65 degrees and eat at home almost everyday, I think $1500 a month is do-able in SE Asia. But if you like to eat out and drink imported beers, you're looking at $2500+ per month.
CrazyInteg is offline  
Old Jul 24, 17, 3:23 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Programs: Air Krapistan Poop Points "Scooper Level"
Posts: 222
You should check out International Living. I am not plugging them as they are a shill for lots of real estate stuff, but you may get some ideas from them. You should look at the Philippines. They sort of speak English and you should be able to rent a furnished apartment for $600 a month max. You might want to look at some of the expat areas of Mexico. Ecuador is also very cheap right now, however you will run into a lack of English. Grenada Nicaragua might fit what you are looking for as the locals now speak some English. Be aware of 90 day tourist visas in many locations. A little more expensive might be the Algarve in Portugal.
nydave11 is offline  
Old Jul 24, 17, 10:25 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Truth or Consequences, NM
Programs: HH Gold, Marriott Bombay Titanium, Hertz President's Circle, UA Silver, Mobile Passport Unobtanium
Posts: 5,456
Originally Posted by nydave11 View Post
You should check out International Living. I am not plugging them as they are a shill for lots of real estate stuff, but you may get some ideas from them. You should look at the Philippines. They sort of speak English and you should be able to rent a furnished apartment for $600 a month max. You might want to look at some of the expat areas of Mexico. Ecuador is also very cheap right now, however you will run into a lack of English. Grenada Nicaragua might fit what you are looking for as the locals now speak some English. Be aware of 90 day tourist visas in many locations. A little more expensive might be the Algarve in Portugal.
They speak English quite possibly better than anywhere else in Asia.
Diplomatico is offline  
Old Jul 25, 17, 12:08 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Programs: Star Alliance
Posts: 5,474
Originally Posted by Diplomatico View Post
They speak English quite possibly better than anywhere else in Asia.
Better than in Singapore where English is the primary language?
invisible is offline  
Old Jul 25, 17, 12:27 am
  #14  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 90,437
There's a big website/internet bulletin board oriented toward foreign English teachers working in Thailand. It has a lot of information on the cost of living for expats in various locations in Bangkok and around Thailand, including a number of blogposts on this topic. There's also some practical information about finding apartments and the pros and cons of different locations.

If you stay under three months, you can probably avoid visa requirements, but doing this too many times might raise questions about whether you're working illegally, including over the internet. Some YouTube star seems to have gotten in trouble over this recently.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Jul 25, 17, 5:52 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: EWR, SLC, SGN
Posts: 1,098
I live in Saigon. The housing can vary from $300 a month for a room, or $400 a month for a furnished apartment in the suburbs, on up to $1000 a month or more for a nice place downtown. Internet I pay $13 a month for fast enough to stream sports and tv online. Mobile I pay about $5 a month for 450 mb data and texts. Electricity is $20 a month without A/C, I only prefer fans. With A/C will get you up to maybe 60 or 75 a month. Food budget can be cheap if you want to, around 5 bucks a day, on up for eating out a lot or whatnot. Consider the visa cost where you go and if you have to exit the country or can stay the whole three months. Uber, taxis and walking is all very easy in Vietnam. Renting a motorbike is about $50 a month, but please don't do it unless you are very careful and learn the rules (which many tourists don't realize exist).
maverick17 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: