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


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39 minutes ago, seasia said:

Hi

 

Fascinating thread.

 

Some purely personal comments and thoughts, concentrating on Colombia.

 

Food. OK sometimes described as bland. I am in a minority here I guess but am not keen on hot spicy food.

Also not too keen on Thai food.

 

Looked at the Colombia food video a few posts back and have seen several more. I reckon I would be quite happy with Colombian food. Big portions !

Made me smile when a comment made on one food video was that mains seem to centre around beef and potatoes. Lovely, fine by me.

Also read several times about cafes/restaurants doing a set 3 course lunch at $5 ( about 150/155 baht yes )

Seems good value to me.

In Pereira I could also get an Italian food fix.

 

Just checked on TR

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g297479-c26-Pereira_Risaralda_Department.html

 

So for food for me Colombia possibly wins over Thailand, no shortage of the food I like there though.

 

Crime/safety

 

I would like to think I am reasonably street smart.I do not going around anywhere showing expensive jewelry/possessions etc and generally only carry small amounts of cash. Favourite mobile phone of mine is a basic cheapie, battery life great.

Not keen on smartphones, do own a couple but hardly ever used.

No interest in drugs ( bar alcohol/nicotine )

 

Some research as to which areas/times to avoid obviously would be well spent.

I very much doubt any drug dealer would have the slightest interest in me.

An opportunistic thief would have a poor pay day if robbing me.

Perhaps similar to Thailand so far.

 

Except, roads, I am not as agile as I used to be and do sometimes worry about crossing major roads in Thailand ( I am naklua/pattaya based when there)

So again here, Colombia has a slight win I think.

 

Terrain/climate.

 

OK an area with many steep hills would not work for me.Even if they have other advantages.

Climate,Colombia appears to be less hot in the extremes ( hate the cold myself but Thailand can be excessively hot/humid at some times of the year. perhaps a slight win for Colombia.

 

Working ( online )

I am not retired, work online 5 days a week.Only real requirement is a stable internet connection, with the ability to buy a mobile data back ( air card.Data SIm ) I have no idea about this aspect in Colombia to be honest.

Thailand internet drops out fairly frequently on me, heavy downpour or thunder/lightning can knock out my internet connection. The air goes a bit blue when that happens.

 

There are of course other aspects, healthcare being a big one, Colombia ranks highly on that.

 

Visa.

 

As a Brit passport holder I can get 90 days VOA, then extend ( from what I have read )

Easier than Thailand.

 

PR ( permanent residency ) is not a factor for me, not really interested in it.

I of course appreciate it is important for some others.

Am only interested in a visit/stay a while .

Have more or less decided where my main Thailand alternative would be, just it gets cold in the winter.

So looking for   part time options with nice/pleasant winter weather.

Yeah you're right. 90 days plus 90 days extended.

If you time it right you can stretch it for a year. But that needs to be very intentional on the dates (posted about here before). It's 180 days allowed per CALENDER year so there's the loophole. 

I hear what you're saying about the food.

Surely the beef is better than in Thailand! Though that doesn't take much. 

As I've said before there are some objectively amazing Colombian foods particularly the soups. 

Another interesting thing I picked up is in the Coffee region, "aji" " or some kind of hot sauce is usually put on tables similar to as in Peru. Apparently that is not the case in Medellin.

I'm hearing the internet is more than adequate but if you weren't formally renting your own place you'd be at the mercy of whatever access associated with your place. I think you can test the service as part of the shopping process. 

If not living there all year just look up the rainy seasons for the coffee region and Medellin and avoid it. 

The Caribbean part does get very hot and humid and Bogota does get cold. 

As far as crime one takeaway that I've gleaned is that if you are mugged there is a good chance it will be with a weapon and if you quickly comply they won't have any reason to kill you, but if you resist, best of luck. That's harsh but for me that means taking care with what I walk around with and not carrying stuff I can't afford to lose. Of course you can't do that 100 percent of the time if there is a reason you need to carry more valuable stuff. 

Edited by Jingthing
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1 minute ago, Jingthing said:

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.

 

'pension' accommodation was popular about 50 years ago in Cochabamba, some folks would only take their almuerzo there in a special dining arrangement, I useta almorzar at a pension near my high school every day and they had ice cream for postre on Fridays with a festive atmosphere, usually it was just some fruit...

 

but that was many years ago...

 

 

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'pension' accommodation was popular about 50 years ago in Cochabamba, some folks would only take their almuerzo there in a special dining arrangement, I useta almorzar at a pension near my high school every day and they had ice cream for postre on Fridays with a festive atmosphere, usually it was just some fruit...
 
but that was many years ago...
 
 
I love that name.
Cochabamba.
I associate pensiones more with southern Europe.

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

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21 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

I love that name.
Cochabamba.
I associate pensiones more with southern Europe.

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

doin' the samba down the paseo del Prado in Cochabamba during carnival...too exotic fer the locals and they make do with a local version of the Oruro 'diablada' instead...crazy local middle class dudes liquored up to the hilt in t shirts and shorts using their fingers for devil's horns...they will gore and trample you if ye step in their way with a 4 piece brass band...insane...

 

and how about 'the last tango in Chichicastenango'? which is a nice place, btw...but may be difficult to hang out as most of the locals are indigenous and only speak the local qui-che...in opposite churches across the small square folks pour ablutions using strong liquor on Christ images in glass boxes and tutsi finds some to buy and a tour guide calls out 'hey whaddaya doin' with that??? it's for ceremonial purposes only' as tutsi stumbles about lookin' fer some coke and ice to make himself a drink...and drum beats and bonfires in the square mark the passing of the night...

 

and tutsi's beloved at the time looks and thinks 'we'd better get back to civilization soon...'

 

 

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A detour to the Colombian Caribbean. 

If I was going to live there (instead of the coffee region or Medellin) it would probably be in Santa Marta, not Cartagena.

Why?

Cost of living is much less in Santa Marta than Cartagena.

It's in the earlier stages of development compared to Cartagena.

It's a smaller beach resort city compared to Cartagena.

It seems to me that many people that enjoy living on the Thai coast would be interested in this place. 

As far as real estate "bargains" if you're interesting in buying, Santa Marta may be worth a look. 

I haven't entirely ruled it out.

Some of the downsides of the area are heat, humidity, and insect based tropical diseases.

Other upsides depending on what you like are the distinctive Caribbean culture, fresh seafood, and a SPICIER food style.

A particular downside of Santa Marta vs. Cartegana is that the closest hospital is 90 minutes away. I assume there are doctors in town though. I have no inside info about this but it seems to me that it's probable that as Santa Marta grows they'll eventually get a local hospital. 

 

 

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Not exactly a pensione but there was a member posting here before that posted pictures of the small hotel he was staying at on a discounted monthly rate at a small town in the Colombian coffee region. Perhaps they had a restaurant. If not, it's likely there were low budget set meal lunch places nearby. 

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4 hours ago, Jingthing said:

Not exactly a pensione but there was a member posting here before that posted pictures of the small hotel he was staying at on a discounted monthly rate at a small town in the Colombian coffee region. Perhaps they had a restaurant. If not, it's likely there were low budget set meal lunch places nearby. 

 

in Mexico City I noted that a lot of small restaurants would only offer a set 3 course almuerzo...chalk board outside the door, etc...they usually had the best prices and tastiest food...mole dishes most days of the week, etc...

 

the sort of pension places I'm talking about were primarily for accommodation and they'd have a dining area for the guests at half board, full board 'pension completa' etc, not a restaurant as they didn't serve folks coming in off the street...some would have the dining area in the courtyard of an old house which would make a mundane sort of lunch a real delight...stayed in a place like that in Guatemala City for a few days about 30 years ago, cafe con leche with lovely fresh bread for brekkie with the local newspaper, very civilized and my beloved traveling companion from Chichicastenango was relieved...

 

 

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Jerry and his wife Laurie are a cute old couple that do a lot of Mexico expat videos.

This video doesn't have much new to me except for a few items --

 

Talking about Chapala being 30 percent cheaper than Ajijic.

Probably when I was down there I only went to Ajijic and it seemed like gringolandia.

Apparently Chapala is much more local but also plenty of expats..

 

But the main reason I am posting this is potentially some big news about Medicare in Mexico or at least in the Lake Chapala area. It's the first I've heard wind of this but it definitely sounds like something to watch. If there really was going to be actual Medicare coverage in Mexico or specific places in Mexico, that would be a huge plus for a lot of people to choose such places, including me. 

 

Reminder -- older people and/or people with preexisting conditions are NOT going to be able to buy into Mexico's national health system and if you're younger and healthy you'll probably want to buy private insurance anyway. So if this indicates (maybe wishful thinking) a trend of Medicare coverage expanding into Mexico, this could be a very big deal.

 

 

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The video of Santa Marta es great, thank you, Jingthing to share it!

I wish every town had one clip like this, so informative. Yes, could fit our needs, although the lack of hospital is a minus....let' alone "tertiary or teaching hospital" as Sheryl always suggests....

 

 

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The video of the couple is also interesting, Cancun is a dream resort, and all locations shown are stunning. 
The only "but" is that I cannot picture myself having an icecream in the main square, with my other half, not even in 100 years time, as idea of "fun" thing to do. 

 

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Ideas to lower your tax!

 

"Nomad Capitalist" has an old article about countries with territorial taxation, interesting for those of you looking to pay taxes in the sourcing country, belogning also  to an origin country and being resident of a third country with territorial taxation (not taxed unless you make money in their territory):

 

https://nomadcapitalist.com/2016/06/13/countries-territorial-tax-system/

 

Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay indeed in the list. 

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I think it's important not only to avoid being a "bad expat" but for your own self interest to learn Spanish (or for Brazil Portuguese) if living in Latin America. With a few rare exceptions of gringo expat ghettos.

 

I think it's much more important than learning Thai in Thailand. Thais for the most part don't expect expats to speak much Thai. In Latin America, the expectation to speak Spanish is stronger.

 

I continue to make slow but steady progress with my Spanish studies and am always looking for fun videos to watch that have content I would want to watch anyway and are at a level that I can understand fairly well by now. In other words, a pretty low level. But I don't want to watch shows for 5 year olds. I do watch much more advanced level things with subtitles but I don't understand very much so I doubt it's very helpful. 

 

Well I found something like that for my level, which I suppose is by now is at least a step up from total beginner.

 

Of course if I never move from Thailand learning Spanish will have been just a diversion. That's OK. Also, if I don't move to Latin America but do repatriate, speaking Spanish would make places like El Paso more accessible as well.

 

 

 

 

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On ‎7‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 8:06 AM, garyk said:

Safe as a baby. And much more beautiful than Thailand. 

From the post I was referring to:

'This site was a site for the elders and a site where the captives fought against the jaguars, fierce warriors. After the battle the captives were sacrificed.'

 

Not that safe, apparently. Sure it might have been hundreds of years ago I agree.

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