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Expats in Thailand considering moving to Latin America prompted by Thai visa changes


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What some 60 years old 2 times divorced woman from Sheffield not good enough for you? 🤣 We all know why we are in Asia. The culture. 

there is zero chance of me riding my motorcycle ALONE all over anywhere south of the USA border.   Travel Thailand alone no problems anywhere. 32,000 kilometers worth of motorcycle road trip

I stayed in Rio 2 months and got robbed at knife point twice, in broad daylight. Not to mention all those times i managed to escape. Been in Bangkok 15 years, so far no such incident. I love Rio, wond

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One major thing that must be taken into consideration in Mexico is many parts are not longer cheap......Example.....About 1993 me and my old girlfriend were in Tulum Mexico,we rented a cabana (rustic but nice) right on the beach for a whopping 4 dollars a night....10 nights rental was 40 dollars......I know you will say that was a long time ago....And yes its true......But Cabanas on Tulum beach now go for like 120-150-170 dollars a night.....

EVERYWHERE use to be cheap in Mexico....

So now I think you have to be careful where you go and stay there now because many places in Mexico now have the $$$$ disease......

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Also if your a American and if you go to Mexico you get a 6 month visa....At the end of 6 months you only need to leave Mexico and come back in for another 6 month visa....Americans have been living in Mexico for years and years doing this.....

I could not find any major crackdown on this.....But you never know in the future......

Considering many citys in America are sanctuary citys for illegal Mexicans I am not sure how they could possibly justify a crackdown of Americans living in Mexico on Tourist visas....

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11 hours ago, fforest1 said:

Also if your a American and if you go to Mexico you get a 6 month visa....At the end of 6 months you only need to leave Mexico and come back in for another 6 month visa....Americans have been living in Mexico for years and years doing this.....

I could not find any major crackdown on this.....But you never know in the future......

Considering many citys in America are sanctuary citys for illegal Mexicans I am not sure how they could possibly justify a crackdown of Americans living in Mexico on Tourist visas....

My information says all borders are hooked in a central computer now and that Mexico is indeed cracking down on people living indefinitely on tourist visas. There are apparently some sophisticated tricks some people are playing with that but I wouldn't count on that being predictable or lasting. 

There are indeed a massive number of Americans and Canadians living illegally in Mexico. To do that just overstay. I wouldn't do that but people are. There are of course benefits to being on better than illegal or tourist status. For example with even a temporary residence visa you get a significant discount at hospitals. 

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23 hours ago, fforest1 said:

One major thing that must be taken into consideration in Mexico is many parts are not longer cheap......Example.....About 1993 me and my old girlfriend were in Tulum Mexico,we rented a cabana (rustic but nice) right on the beach for a whopping 4 dollars a night....10 nights rental was 40 dollars......I know you will say that was a long time ago....And yes its true......But Cabanas on Tulum beach now go for like 120-150-170 dollars a night.....

EVERYWHERE use to be cheap in Mexico....

So now I think you have to be careful where you go and stay there now because many places in Mexico now have the $$$$ disease...…

You're correct. Some areas are very expensive now. But other areas that are still desirable are not. 

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Questionable musical interlude.

From Cuco's new album, Para Mi.

Who is Cuco?

A young Mexican American sensation (son of poor immigrants) who is becoming huge in Latin America.

 

Thailand connection?

The title --  Ego Death In Thailand.

Not aware of any explanation for the title.

Artists!

 

 

 

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On 8/1/2019 at 12:16 PM, Jingthing said:

But a plus being that Colombia (like Ecuador) offers a low cost buy in to their nationalized health care system which nobody is pretending is at Canadian or French quality levels, but it's still much better than nothing if you have issues with old age and/or preexisting conditions.

 

I don't mean to be hard selling Colombia. That's not possible for someone that hasn't even been there and even for places that I have been and liked, there is always the matter of tailoring your choices to your personal priorities and limitations (usually financial / visa related). 

 

As far as Mexico well I have been to PV numerous times including a long stay there. Also Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mazatlán and side trips to smaller towns on the west coast. Yes, that area is wonderful in ways, I obviously love PV, but PV has become overly expensive and you've got the issues of very hot and humid summers, and storms where you need to evacuate like in Florida.

 

Inland Jalisco I have been to the fantastic city of Guadalajara and the gringo ghetto Lake Chapala.

I was not aware Colombia and Ecuador offer to buy in their health care system. Very good, as none of us is getting any younger here.....

 

Coffee areas are all the same: very steep, very foggy, humid cold, sleepers -aware of your knees-very beautiful but also ruled out for same reason: bad knees. However, honestly, how long are you going to spend in coffee plantations? unless you are into heavy training or preparing for the next Ironman, people our age tend to live in a village, town or city and yes, it may be hilly, which will be good for our knees, to fortify muscles and mantain endurance. 

 

if possible at all, can you spend some time (six weeks lets say....) in the coffee-triangle and immediately after that a few months in your choosen area of Queretaro,Mexico, or Guadalajara (fantastic) to compare your own subjective feeling in both places?

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On 8/1/2019 at 12:16 PM, Jingthing said:

Thanks for all that.

I actually think the reputation of Colombia being unacceptably violent is potentially a plus for expats that choose their specific location carefully.

Why? The place doesn't get overrun with expats overly corrupting the locals (as has happened in Thailand's expat magnets) and not sure it's related but their currency is super weak. 

Of course Bogota is a massive city that will attract mostly more work/business oriented expats.

I continue to see the Colombian coffee triangle as potentially a good balance between what is attractive about Colombia with a more manageable level of crime. 

As far as friendly people, the reputation anyway is outside the biggest cities, Colombians are super friendly, perhaps uncomfortably so for people from more individualist cultures (Americans and Europeans). I get the concern though and it's impossible to know the reality before spending time there which I haven't. Also as I've said I already know their food culture doesn't thrill me (compared to Mexico which does) but I imagine that I could find ways to deal with that. There are always pros and cons. My more limited experience than you with Colombian people gels with the SUPER FRIENDLY reputation, and in my experience, not trashing their country of origin or afraid to go back for visits.

 

Also consider my perspective as an American is if I leave Thailand the choices are either another country or a pretty crappy location in the USA and a financial level suggesting risk of homelessness (so safe!). While I was more seriously looking at choices in the USA, I was even looking at St. Louis as an option (lower costs) which of course has a crime rate that makes most cities in Colombia look good. One way I've heard it described is that there has been a dramatic reduction in violence and crime in Colombia since the drug cartel days and the peaks of the civil war days (which may not be totally over). So from Colombian's POV they think it's pretty good now in COMPARISON to what they've known. If someone is coming from Switzerland they are going to have a different basis level for that comparison. Also from Thailand where most people agree unless you're looking for trouble here, you feel will feel and will be pretty safe crime-wise (with traffic safety being a separate matter).

 

On medical, in Colombia yeah you want to be in the biggest cities for the best options, with the coffee region cities being at a lower level. Meaning you will probably be OK if you don't develop something complicated and rare which I'm guessing is over 90 percent of what doctors deal with. 

 

But a plus being that Colombia (like Ecuador) offers a low cost buy in to their nationalized health care system which nobody is pretending is at Canadian or French quality levels, but it's still much better than nothing if you have issues with old age and/or preexisting conditions.

 

I don't mean to be hard selling Colombia. That's not possible for someone that hasn't even been there and even for places that I have been and liked, there is always the matter of tailoring your choices to your personal priorities and limitations (usually financial / visa related). 

 

As far as Mexico well I have been to PV numerous times including a long stay there. Also Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mazatlán and side trips to smaller towns on the west coast. Yes, that area is wonderful in ways, I obviously love PV, but PV has become overly expensive and you've got the issues of very hot and humid summers, and storms where you need to evacuate like in Florida.

 

Inland Jalisco I have been to the fantastic city of Guadalajara and the gringo ghetto Lake Chapala. My perception based on visiting there and research is that Guadalajara is not as "safe" as Queretaro, has less of a vibrant central district, and is more private vehicle oriented. But it's definitely a great place. I didn't like Lake Chapala though for people looking for the comfort of tons of gringos, that's the place.

 

To say Mexico is a violent country is not particularly meaningful if you're looking at a major center of the Mexican middle class -- Queretaro specifically, where the crime levels would likely be better than most U.S. big cities. 

 

So of course it's not only country specific, but much more specific location within the country specific. 

Jingthing, sorry, I wrote a long reply to this # 1560, got deleted somehow....

I will be very brief here:

 

Anyplace can be perceived as violent, it all goes down to subjective experience. But let's agree some areas of the world are higher on petty crime or are run by syndicates or mafia or  very corrupted ways that do affect your quality of life. 

 

Let's see the case of European capitals in the last 10 years...

 

I don't know how Colombia is, never been there. But I have studied with Colombians have a lot of Colombian friends worked with Colombians before. It is not a "quiet place". However you may build your nest of peace in the right location, and right people around,  agree with you. 

 

Are you aware that from Pereira and Armenia are most of the "drug mules" carrying cocaine into other countries? That is telling you something about the people ruling the place. Prostitutes go hand on hand with drug lords. And then you get all sort of gambling going on in Pereira and Armenia..... Ordinary people get hooked, then get into debt then resort to "drug mules" to pay the debt....

Economy of the place is not only picking coffee bEANS. 

 

 

 

 

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I was not aware Colombia and Ecuador offer to buy in their health care system. Very good, as none of us is getting any younger here.....   Coffee areas are all the same: very steep, very foggy, humid cold, sleepers -aware of your knees-very beautiful but also ruled out for same reason: bad knees. However, honestly, how long are you going to spend in coffee plantations? unless you are into heavy training or preparing for the next Ironman, people our age tend to live in a village, town or city and yes, it may be hilly, which will be good for our knees, to fortify muscles and mantain endurance. 

 

if possible at all, can you spend some time (six weeks lets say....) in the coffee-triangle and immediately after that a few months in your choosen area of Queretaro,Mexico, or Guadalajara (fantastic) to compare your own subjective feeling in both places?

 

 

The bigger coffee area cities of Pereira and Armenia are not nearly as plagued with many steep hills. I have no interest in living on a coffee farm per se.

 

I like all the mod cons including God forbid shopping malls.

 

One thing I really like about Armenia is that being so small the layout is simple. It is more long than wide. The north side is where the richer people live and where expats would generally live. The south side is where the poorer people live. The center is vibrant even including a pedestrian only zone but to be considered go with care at night.

 

Also Armenia and Pereira are lower elevation than Manizales and thus warmer. Not sure about fog level but that wouldn't bother me as an ex San Franciscan. All have a rainy season.

 

Yes a good idea to plan long stays to sample however I only want to consider investing my time and money on that for high likelihood destinations. As in high likelihood I will really want to move there.

 

I recently heard some negative news about Mexico related to their recent political change that may bump it down including the cities perceived as relatively safe enough.

 

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Jingthing, sorry, I wrote a long reply to this # 1560, got deleted somehow....

I will be very brief here:

 

Anyplace can be perceived as violent, it all goes down to subjective experience. But let's agree some areas of the world are higher on petty crime or are run by syndicates or mafia or  very corrupted ways that do affect your quality of life. 

 

Let's see the case of European capitals in the last 10 years...

 

I don't know how Colombia is, never been there. But I have studied with Colombians have a lot of Colombian friends worked with Colombians before. It is not a "quiet place". However you may build your nest of peace in the right location, and right people around,  agree with you. 

 

Are you aware that from Pereira and Armenia are most of the "drug mules" carrying cocaine into other countries? That is telling you something about the people ruling the place. Prostitutes go hand on hand with drug lords. And then you get all sort of gambling going on in Pereira and Armenia..... Ordinary people get hooked, then get into debt then resort to "drug mules" to pay the debt....

Economy of the place is not only picking coffee bEANS. 

 

 

 

 

I would be avoiding such scenes. My perception is Pereira is dodgier than Armenia especially if you stick to the north side. About drugs marijuana is decriminalized there but not literally legal. I am curious if that means it would be safe enough for expats to indulge.

 

I see your posts as sincere and not meant to be fear mongering but overall looking at the sum of information I've gathered on crime and safety there I'm not anywhere near to being scared off. But of course boots on the ground are needed for that area or anywhere before making a rational big moving decision.

 

Sent from my Lenovo A7020a48 using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

 

 

 

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OK, here is the news I was referring to. 

Previously considered mostly "safe" from direct cartel conflicts Mexico City now not so safe.

I'm not interested in living in Mexico City anyway, but if that happened there, surely it could happen in inland place like Queretaro too.

I wouldn't be concerned about Puerto Vallarta though. I'm pretty confident the government will remain committed to keeping things OK for the massive of gringo tourists.
 

Quote

 

Narco Shootouts Rock Mexico City, Shattering Its Haven Status

Mayor pledges to expand police force after killings in the capital grow 15% 

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-02/narco-shootouts-rock-mexico-city-shattering-its-haven-status

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what are the chances these days of finding a middle class 'pension', usually a room in an old house with a courtyard with a shared bath with breakfast (coffee with fresh bread and butter) and a 3 course almuerzo in these expat friendly places being discussed...monthly rates...they useta be quite nice (and cheap) back in the day for suitable respectable middle class tenants...

 

not to say that I'm in anyway respectable or middle class but I can easily adapt the necessary disguises...

 

 

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44 minutes ago, tutsiwarrior said:

what are the chances these days of finding a middle class 'pension', usually a room in an old house with a courtyard with a shared bath with breakfast (coffee with fresh bread and butter) and a 3 course almuerzo in these expat friendly places being discussed...monthly rates...they useta be quite nice (and cheap) back in the day for suitable respectable middle class tenants...

 

not to say that I'm in anyway respectable or middle class but I can easily adapt the necessary disguises...

 

 

Interesting. I haven't heard about such arrangements. I am aware many budget oriented expats rent rooms in apartments and houses as roommate situations bringing them super cheap rent even in expensive cities like Medellin. But I think you'd have to good for the meal deals. But you never know you could post on facebook and seek something like that out. Such arrangements are great for language learners.

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