Living in South East Asia on $400 USD a month?

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Re: living in SEA on 400USD$ a month?

Post by shnoukieBRO » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:54 am

400÷30=13.33.

For single bloke;

OK so cheapest hostels $3
3 cheep meals a day $3

That's $6. Add beer and transport to max that out. Or avoid beer and save money.

Want free accommodation and meals? Then volunteer at the many hostels asking for help.
Better hip beach days on Ko Rong!
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Re: living in SEA on 400USD$ a month?

Post by Duncan » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:13 pm

In theory and on paper it sounds possible, but in practice most likely not doable.
Cambodia,,,, Don't fall in love with her.
Like the spoilt child she is, she will not be happy till she destroys herself from within and breaks your heart.
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Re: living in SEA on 400USD$ a month?

Post by Kung-fu Hillbilly » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:26 pm

I've done it for years in Nepal, Indonesia, India and Thailand. You'll need a hobby other than booze and birds, however.

Presently I'm living in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, where I rent a nice studio apartment for $280 with fast reliable wifi and place cleaned once a week which is only 50 metres from 24 restaurants, shops, dentists (just had two fillings for $50) where it's dead quiet, there are no barang, food is dirt cheap (large portion of rice, 4 veg and a meat in nice spicy sauce for 2,50), service industries are far superior to many other SEA countries and nobody is interested at all in what this westerner is doing leaving me to go about my business completely unmolested. My current lifestyle is costing me $500. Malaysia is growing on me a lot as I'm finding my patience for the noise, personal intrusions, incompetence and general fucktardery experienced in other SEA countries more trying as I get older.
Last edited by Kung-fu Hillbilly on Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: living in SEA on 400USD$ a month?

Post by TWY » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:03 pm

Possible until you need quality medical care. And obviously you aren't flying anywhere to visit family/friends on that amount of money.

Think it comes down to your quality of life and what is important to yourself and family.
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Re: living in SEA on 400USD$ a month?

Post by ExPenhMan » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:54 pm

Kung-fu Hillbilly wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:26 pm
I've done it for years in Nepal, Indonesia, India and Thailand. You'll need a hobby other than booze and birds, however.

Presently I'm living in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, where I rent a nice studio apartment for $280 with fast reliable wifi and place cleaned once a week which is only 50 metres from 24 restaurants, shops, dentists (just had two fillings for $50) where it's dead quiet, there are no barang, food is dirt cheap (large portion of rice, 4 veg and a meat in nice spicy sauce for 2,50), service industries are far superior to many other SEA countries and nobody is interested at all in what this westerner is doing leaving me to go about my business completely unmolested. My current lifestyle is costing me $500. Malaysia is growing on me a lot as I'm finding my patience for the noise, personal intrusions, incompetence and general fucktardery experienced in other SEA countries more trying as I get older.
Hmmm. How's the visa situation? I see you're Aussie. Make a difference visa-wise? I'm Canadian.
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Re: living in SEA on 400USD$ a month?

Post by Beerinthemorning » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:09 pm

ExPenhMan wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:54 pm
Kung-fu Hillbilly wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:26 pm
I've done it for years in Nepal, Indonesia, India and Thailand. You'll need a hobby other than booze and birds, however.

Presently I'm living in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, where I rent a nice studio apartment for $280 with fast reliable wifi and place cleaned once a week which is only 50 metres from 24 restaurants, shops, dentists (just had two fillings for $50) where it's dead quiet, there are no barang, food is dirt cheap (large portion of rice, 4 veg and a meat in nice spicy sauce for 2,50), service industries are far superior to many other SEA countries and nobody is interested at all in what this westerner is doing leaving me to go about my business completely unmolested. My current lifestyle is costing me $500. Malaysia is growing on me a lot as I'm finding my patience for the noise, personal intrusions, incompetence and general fucktardery experienced in other SEA countries more trying as I get older.
Hmmm. How's the visa situation? I see you're Aussie. Make a difference visa-wise? I'm Canadian.
Johor is a cool spot, lots of hot chinese malay girls everywhere.
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Re: living in SEA on 400USD$ a month?

Post by Kung-fu Hillbilly » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:11 pm

ExPenhMan wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:54 pm
Kung-fu Hillbilly wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:26 pm
I've done it for years in Nepal, Indonesia, India and Thailand. You'll need a hobby other than booze and birds, however.

Presently I'm living in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, where I rent a nice studio apartment for $280 with fast reliable wifi and place cleaned once a week which is only 50 metres from 24 restaurants, shops, dentists (just had two fillings for $50) where it's dead quiet, there are no barang, food is dirt cheap (large portion of rice, 4 veg and a meat in nice spicy sauce for 2,50), service industries are far superior to many other SEA countries and nobody is interested at all in what this westerner is doing leaving me to go about my business completely unmolested. My current lifestyle is costing me $500. Malaysia is growing on me a lot as I'm finding my patience for the noise, personal intrusions, incompetence and general fucktardery experienced in other SEA countries more trying as I get older.
Hmmm. How's the visa situation? I see you're Aussie. Make a difference visa-wise? I'm Canadian.
90 day visa on arrival for Aussies and Canadians (and others) with renewal a case of a run across the bridge to Singapore, or to Thailand, and back. There's no rule as to how many entries per year as far as I know and I've read online many living in Malaysia for years this way.

Just to ad, the $280 a month I pay for my little studio includes all outgoings which I think is reasonable considering I run the a/c around 8 hours a day.
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Re: living in SEA on 400USD$ a month?

Post by Gardiguy » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:14 pm

I've kept track of my expenses in the past, just out of curiosity sake, without really trying to I only spent $600 for 3 months in a row. I actually drank more than what I normally do those 3 months. That includes $8 for phone, $50 for insurance, $250 for rent and fuel as well. I am single and don't really have alot of vices. I think $400 might be pushing it but $500 would work. You definitely trade off some social aspects though, which I dont like anyways.
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Re: living in SEA on 400USD$ a month?

Post by phuketrichard » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:19 pm

Kung-fu Hillbilly wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:26 pm
I've done it for years in Nepal, Indonesia, India and Thailand. You'll need a hobby other than booze and birds, however.

Presently I'm living in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, where I rent a nice studio apartment for $280 with fast reliable wifi and place cleaned once a week which is only 50 metres from 24 restaurants, shops, dentists (just had two fillings for $50) where it's dead quiet, there are no barang, food is dirt cheap (large portion of rice, 4 veg and a meat in nice spicy sauce for 2,50), service industries are far superior to many other SEA countries and nobody is interested at all in what this westerner is doing leaving me to go about my business completely unmolested. My current lifestyle is costing me $500. Malaysia is growing on me a lot as I'm finding my patience for the noise, personal intrusions, incompetence and general fucktardery experienced in other SEA countries more trying as I get older.
???
rent $280
meal @ $2.50 x 2 times/day $150
that right there is $430/month
so you do nothing all day an night? Never take a bus, never buy any toiletries, phone card, never a coke, a burger or beer.
Sit at home or just walk around
:please:

My monthly bills for two of us averages $1,100/month and we want for nothing
groceries average aorund $230/month, dinning out $150, rent $320, internet ( includes Internet tv) 22, phone 16, electric $24
( today had Japanese food for $32)

Ps; the longer u live somewhere u find things break or you want buy something, Travel
There is a HUGE difference between living and getting by. You cant live on $500/month if ur paying for food and rent, u can survive.
I choose to live
or to Thailand,
Your ONLY allowed 2 free visa exempt land entries /calendar year
Last edited by phuketrichard on Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: living in SEA on 400USD$ a month?

Post by Pizzalover » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:20 pm

It is doable. You can get an okay place in PP for about 190 USD incl. utilities. Maybe a bit less depending on your consumption and if you are cutting back on the size of the place. Centrally located. You will need to negotiate a little.
That would leave you with 7 USD per day. The 7 USD will be ok if you cook yourself and limit your restaurant visits to common Vietnamese, Chinese etc. places. In other words, nothing fancy but good stuff.
The 7 USD can cover your 2 annual visit to the dentist and some simple jobs like cleaning and a filling.

It wont cover other checkups as these are very expensive in Cambodia - unlike in Thailand where public hospitals are immeasurably more reliable and very cheap.

Short trips, perhaps combined with a visit to a Thai provincial hospital will be doable if carefully planned.

I m speaking from my own experience. I keep track of my expenses and once cut out what is not necessary but nice one can get to that sum of 400. Problem is - little in the way of paid entertainment and if you dont have something to keep you busy other than cooking and checking out the market - well then you will have a problem.

Cambodia is no longer super cheap. Comparisons with Thailand are very interesting. I was on Phuket in a Big C and prices made those in PP shops look funny. It was wayyy cheaper. Small restaurants offering Thai food were on average also much better and cheaper (40-50% easy) though not as good as my 2-3 favorite places in PP. Transport was roughly the same but service was way better. Availability of local fruit, veggies was also superior in the markets, in supermarkets anyhow. Meat as well for sure. So Thailand might provide you with better quality at a lower price. Rentals are anyhow better.

Second candidate might be the Phils if you dont mind the ongoing mass murder. Depending on location in the provinces, you will not spend more than 130 USD for a house and maybe 150 total incl utilities. Food is much cheaper and better than Cambo, talking of markets and supermarkets. They actually do have fish from the sea. Communication is a different dimension as most speak good English. Visa is easy, extendable, estimate 600 USD per year max. incl all stupidities.

I cant speak for Vietnam but my visits tell me that this is also a superior choice, however, I dont know the administrative hurdles.

If you dont mind cold winters, try Bulgaria, much cheaper, dirt cheap basic public health system, European law, excellent deals on real estate by offered by broke Britons (on their way back to the soon to be Island reservation), cheap flights all around, Sofia is beautiful, parks, good food, cheese to die for, high mountains, a coastline woods etc etc. 3-5 hrs to the Mediterranean and not SHV with the Chinese, flights to SEA on THY at 450 USD round trip (depending on timing). The Bulgarian tax rate is very, very nice.

My own destination will cost me 500 - 600 USD including a large apartment, fully furnished (washer etc.), in a city with public transport, subway, close to nature, 9 months a year good seasonal food choices, farmers markets, decent supermarkets, cheap flights (if booked 3 months in advance), nice wider neighbourhood, i.e. the driving time to SHV or REP brings me to much more interesting locations than SHV. Good doctors, hospitals etc. Cultural infrastructure (incl an opera, if that's your thing), simply a civilized place with broad sidewalks, traffic lights that have a meaning, bakeries that deserve the name, and so on. The few things I cant get I will stock up on. Did I mention that the women have an education? So one can have a conversation, yesterday it was about Russian cinema.

Taking the report from Malaysia into account, Cambodia is fucked up and it will be more fucked up very soon. To me it feels like having a negative balance in terms of western arrivals. I m also preparing my take off (one way). Sure I will visit etc. but it is not a good deal anymore. And, it will be a much worse deal soon. It is a trend, I see how places are taken over in my neighborhood, I see the price rises, etc etc.

In the end, visa considerations will be decisive. Cambodia has lost out on those since 2016. Basically losing its one big advantage. The retirement visa is ok but then keep in mind you wont last too long in Cambodia with its shitty health environment, the combination of lack of hygiene, climate, epidemics, back health care etc are a death sentence. If you want to avoid that you need a much higher budget than in western countries.

Before one starts wondering why I spent so much time on replying to a troll, well, taking the current situation in Cambodia into account many westerners are contemplating changes and this might be useful for one or another.
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