Dangerous Realities in Southeast Asia for Expats

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Re: Dangerous Realities in Southeast Asia for Expats

Post by willyhilly »

Rorys, Rusty Keyhole and Bokor Mountain Lodge- those guys struck gold? Bullshit.
I can think of several people who did strike gold but those businesses are not involved.
Glenn from the Walkabou, his ex partners who got the Billabong, the now deceased Telco guy with the Aston Martin. The hated Australian who owns Shanghai, Mr Kim at the Flamingo, the Frenchman with the hotel chain including Plantation. Then the gang of Aussies who worked at Northbridge early on. Redfern the builder, Ray the manager at Northbridge and the plumber the Teams guy.
I know another highly successful hotelier and more recently the Mad Monkey boys. These are only people I knew so there must be a few more. I think the author of the piece is deluded with the examples he chose.
There are several who came with fortunes and made more. The Iranian who owns Pontoon and the Frenchman who worked for an oligarch and set up the big white hotel. It was the US Embassy annex just off Pasteur on the west side a few hundred metres north of Sihanouk.
Of course there is one expat who has really struck gold- Sciaroni!
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Re: Dangerous Realities in Southeast Asia for Expats

Post by Robins »

You really need a pension to live here successfully and budget your month based on how far the month has progressed and how much money you have left. Having a large lump sum from selling a house in the US or Britain invariably seems to lead to reckless spending followed by desperation. I've seen it too many times, the ones that have to fake the 800,000 Baht deposit to stay in the country because they don't have that much money to their name.

It also helps to have Thai or Cambodian friends (true friends not the kind that want your money) who will help you with the things that are confusing or double prices. I tutor the children of Navy personnel here in Sattahip for free and I've made good friends in the Navy and Police Department that way. One is now a 3rd year dental student at Madihol, I've been her teacher since school in the 5th grade. She is mentally gifted, fluent in English and the only person here I can have an intelligent conversation with and we're practicing English at the same time. It helped that I worked 8 years for a local school, but that is something anyone can do.

If I need my car fixed I get a teacher I worked with to drive it into the Toyota dealer and get the Thai price. Yes it helps, I got SMS messages from 3 friends warning me the electricity was going to be off all day Friday. It's nice to have someone think about you.
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Re: Dangerous Realities in Southeast Asia for Expats

Post by truffledog »

SEA is full of traps: cheap booze, drugs and fake woman are the most common ones. Most of the fails will inlcude abuse of one of the three. Business fails are also very common. Being a simple worker at home does not make you a businessman just because you arrived in a 3rd world country. Many over-estimate their skills and invest what they cannot afford to lose.
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Re: Dangerous Realities in Southeast Asia for Expats

Post by newkidontheblock »

The businesses run by expats most likely to strike gold in SE Asia are either a) run by savvy, hard working businesspeople - who would strike gold no matter where they set up shop b) politically or socially connected.

Otherwise a business should be seen as something to do, preferably enjoyable, guaranteed money loser. So instead of gambling every month, opening a motorcycle repair shop or a restaurant. Expect to lose money (or possible break even) doing something fun.

Otherwise it’s just like the above mentioned poster says. A big trap to the unwary foreigner.
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Re: Dangerous Realities in Southeast Asia for Expats

Post by shnoukieBRO »

You have to have a clue if you want to live and work in SEA. You need trustworthy friends and locals on your side and good workable ideas. Or you work for good Companies.
Talking about running your own backpackers place or something similar cos that's popular with backpackers. You'll always be busy if your place is nice etc...
Running a restaurant or bar is a much harder choice in comparison although they can be side projects to a travellers hostel for example.
There are things to do but it's all down to demand and ease of doing.
Probably best to work online or something and get some hobbies.
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