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BANGKOK 18 February 2019 00:33
Paulinho

From BKK to siem reap or VN after 10+ years. Advice please!

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Posted this in Cambodia forum but edited for general response for VN experts. 

 

.... 

 

1. Been in bkk for 10+ years. From UK. Lived central bkk whole time. 

2. Had company here but closed down as was not doing well and expensive to run. 10k usd + a year. 

3. Will admit. Am bored of living in a 1 bed Condo in a middle of city. 

4. Have spent some time elsewhere in bkk but this has been my base. 

5. Visa. I have options but costs are Indeed high. I don't do visa exempt. Always get tvs or when had company had non imm b

6. Am tired of bangkok. The vista, no nature or parks really (ok lumphini and Queen sirikit). But generally it is road's and Condos and malls. Of course I'm blinkered and I love the country. But its an issue now with visas and tired of spending time on that. Want a year or so away...... I know many places to live here but feel a move away is now timely. 

7. Nothing bad to say regarding thais. I've lived here a long while and it's comfortable. Can read write and speak basically. Would stay but something telling me to try some where else for a while... 

 

However........ 

 

1. Zest for living here has gone bit like when I lived in London after 15 years just got weary and bored. Am from UK. 

 

2. Would love to stay thailand but feel like with the whole expense and issues with visa, work permits it might be good to take a step back for a while. 

 

3. Cambodia. Have been many times. Only PP. As many have said it is a hustling city and I lived there for a month but found it hard work. HCMC sounds great but I need nature for a while....... 

 

4. I read the SR forums and maybe I'm being wishful, but I have a feeling that it might be a place to try for a while. But it's hard to know. And people say VN is more beautiful. 

 

5. Went to HCMC 16 years ago last. Again..... Wonder if its a city that might tire me... Need a rest. Elsewhere in VN I don't know... Heard na trang(sp?) or Danang is 'nice'. 

 

What I want... 

 

1. A house. No more Condo for a while. Garden. Cat. Kitchen. Found some nice places in Sr real estate on FB. Don't know any areas in VN that I could research.... (

2. Close to markets where I can buy just basic stuff. I am vegetarian. I could always get stuff sent from BKK also. 

3. Just a peaceful area away from central tourist areas (no issue but just want to be in a peaceful type area and away from glut of people peddling tourist stuff although am used to taxis in bkk lol so not that bothered if the guys are working just smile say no) 

4. Get more Involved with community, maybe volunteer, and maybe teach, whilst having time to work on personal projects I. E. Online work. 

5. Gym. Nature. Places to go for a bike ride weekend or trekking. 

 

I'm in late 40s and single no responsibilities. 

 

I guess I'm hoping for a reboot of sorts. Don't imagine it will be SReap or VN forever but if I can tick the above then I would give it a go. Learn basic Khmer or VN and live a less hectic life than central BKK. 

 

What are your thoughts? I know how to avoid scams to some extent having lived asoke area for a long while. 

 

Just want a Walden pond for a while. 

 

Any advice appreciated. Not so much thailand vs Cambodia vs VN more like positive solutions regarding a sort of retreat in SR or VN... Or if this life is possible. I feel it is. Go there and see is a bit of an issue as I would rather just make a decision and give it a go. Rent out apartment here. Pack up and just go for it. Else need get a Thai visa again from and come back pack up. All a bit on the fence that. I have about a month to do the research and pack up here and go with at least a 6 month trial.... If it doesn't feel right take it from there. 

 

I've checked and there seem some interesting businesses and more nature based activities in SR, VN I know less about. Outside HCMC. I feel like I could get more involved with the expat and local scene. And maybe better and easier to find work opportunities than in bangkok. 

 

Many thanks 

 

Sheryl? Re. SR? 

 

P. S. If anyone wants to jump in with places in VN that checks the 'what I want' list then that would be appreciated. 

Edited by Paulinho

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Years ago, someone mentioned briefly in a post that Haiphong, VN, was expat heaven.  French architecture and leafy boulevards, great food, decent nightlife, cheap prices, stunning nature, and really friendly women. Some overseas aid officials and other such types make their base there, apparently. I've been to nearby Hanoi and Danang, and they seem quite livable, with milder climates than Bangkok, Danang area offers mountains and the beaches. Immigration would be the problem with anywhere in VN.     

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23 minutes ago, zoomtokyo said:

Years ago, someone mentioned briefly in a post that Haiphong, VN, was expat heaven.  French architecture and leafy boulevards, great food, decent nightlife, cheap prices, stunning nature, and really friendly women. Some overseas aid officials and other such types make their base there, apparently. I've been to nearby Hanoi and Danang, and they seem quite livable, with milder climates than Bangkok, Danang area offers mountains and the beaches. Immigration would be the problem with anywhere in VN.     

Sounds nice. Why would Immigration be a problem? 

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Long-term visa for Vietnam is not a problem. Most agencies can get you a 6-month or 1-year multi-entry visa via the back door, from $400US to $650US. Though sometimes there are little burps when VN Immigration holds back on some long-term visas for unacknowledged "issues". 

 

Top to bottom, VN is a beautiful country, but you have to remember there are almost 95 million citizens in a country smaller than Thailand.

 

The Central Highlands are often mentioned, such as Dalat, which is not far from Nha Trang. Farther north is burgeoning Da Nang, as well as Hoi An and Hue. I have had numerous friends sing the praises of Ha Noi. I've not been there in years.

 

I think it would be wiser to do a month-long tour before settling down.

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17 hours ago, Kaoboi Bebobp said:

Long-term visa for Vietnam is not a problem. Most agencies can get you a 6-month or 1-year multi-entry visa via the back door, from $400US to $650US. Though sometimes there are little burps when VN Immigration holds back on some long-term visas for unacknowledged "issues". 

 

Top to bottom, VN is a beautiful country, but you have to remember there are almost 95 million citizens in a country smaller than Thailand.

 

The Central Highlands are often mentioned, such as Dalat, which is not far from Nha Trang. Farther north is burgeoning Da Nang, as well as Hoi An and Hue. I have had numerous friends sing the praises of Ha Noi. I've not been there in years.

 

I think it would be wiser to do a month-long tour before settling down.

Thanks Kaoboi. I hear of Da Nang And Nha Tang and also dulat. As you said might be best to check out both countries as I want to settle for a while somewhere. 

 

Thanks again. 

 

Paul. 

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if ye wanna avoid the usual tourist hassles then maybe Danang and Nha Trang should be avoided...never been there myself but the VN gov't is promoting both as major tourist destinations with western standard luxury hotels, nice beaches and etc..Dalat is harder to get to and is quite charming I hear...8hr bus ride from HCMC...

 

I spent 18 months working on the north central coast in Ha Tinh province and I found it very beautiful...the most scenic place I'd been since I left California nearly 25 years previous, but it wasn't western friendly 7 years ago with little accommodation that would be suitable...I became familiar with the coast between Vinh (Nghe Anh province) and Dong Hoi (Quang Binh)...Dong Hoi is very nice with a UN Heritage site closeby (spectacular) and a regional airport...now with good western standard accommodation...beautiful river with a nice promenade with restaurants and etc...

 

 

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On 9/24/2018 at 7:22 PM, tutsiwarrior said:

if ye wanna avoid the usual tourist hassles then maybe Danang and Nha Trang should be avoided...never been there myself but the VN gov't is promoting both as major tourist destinations with western standard luxury hotels, nice beaches and etc..Dalat is harder to get to and is quite charming I hear...8hr bus ride from HCMC...

 

 

 

Good advice about Nha Trang and Da Nang, as I just heard a negative report from an Aussie friend. The Chinese are overrunning NT, building condo and apartment towers with much VN government encouragement. He said all the girly bars have been shut down and there are only a couple bars left in town. There are some beach bars, but beer is priced at 70,000, which is way over even Saigon bar pricing.

 

As for Dalat, my friend really liked it. Very beautiful. 

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9 hours ago, Kaoboi Bebobp said:

 

Good advice about Nha Trang and Da Nang, as I just heard a negative report from an Aussie friend. The Chinese are overrunning NT, building condo and apartment towers with much VN government encouragement. He said all the girly bars have been shut down and there are only a couple bars left in town. There are some beach bars, but beer is priced at 70,000, which is way over even Saigon bar pricing.

 

As for Dalat, my friend really liked it. Very beautiful. 

 

jeezuz...never heard of 70000 for a local beer anywhere in VN...a bad sign...

 

Dalat has some drinkable locally produced wines that I useta get in supermarkets further north...generic reds and dry whites...if yer a vodka drinker like me Vodka Ha Noi (available everywhere) is quite nice and very cheap, about USD4 per bottle...the trick is to find ice if yer not staying in a 4 star hotel with room service, if I'm out at a restaurant then I'll pull out a plastic bag and have them fill it for me 'as a courtesy' to take back to the hotel, keeps OK in the minibar fridge...the convenience store people with ice for takeaway soft drinks are not so friendly even when money is offered...

 

 

 

 

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On 9/23/2018 at 7:48 AM, Paulinho said:

Sounds nice. Why would Immigration be a problem? 

Because they don't do retirement visas and any other long stay visas are only available from dodgy sources.

 

If you marry a local though you get a 5 year visa.

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On 9/27/2018 at 7:04 PM, tutsiwarrior said:

Dalat has some drinkable locally produced wines that I useta get in supermarkets further north.

 

Odd thing was when I went to Da Lat, the wine was more expensive there than in the supermarket in Ha Noi!

Edited by LongTimeLurker
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Serious question. Does it have to be Asia?

 

I spend a lot of time in Portugal and it will tick a lot of your boxes. You can also get a 5 year residency certificate too which could come in handy long term once Brexit has kicked off.

 

Of course the female opportunities are 0.1% compared to Asia. The locals are not the prettiest! It also has a winter.

 

SR would be a good bet. Yes there is a bit of hustle and bustle in the centre but I find people there way friendlier than Thais and they speak better English.

 

Da Nang would be a good bet too. Hoi An is totally overrun by Chinese tourists now. Unfortunately much of SE Asia is going that way. I try and avoid places where Chinese tourists can visit visa free but their options are widening. Luckily they tend not to go off the beaten track too much with their herd mentality.

 

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Siam Reap seems to be pretty packed out these days with bars, restaurants, tourists etc.  Many of the small independent places seem to have been taken over by the big Cambodian Business groups like Triangle, Temple etc.

 

Sihanoukville sounds like it has become a Chinese gambling den which does not welcome westerners anymore.

 

One town that is on the up and up is Battambang. Although it is the second largest city in Cambodia it has never received the same attention as Phnom Penh, Siam Reap, S'ville etc. I am going out in a few weeks to check it out.

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