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

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On 3/4/2019 at 7:14 PM, spidermike007 said:

I have friends who spend alot of time in Colombia, and they love it. The latin culture blows away Thailand, on nearly every level. Spanish is so much easier to learn, and when you do learn it, the locals try so much harder to understand what you are trying to say, have a far better ear than Thais do, for someone not native who tries to speak their language, and are infinitely more creative in their ability to understand and extrapolate your meaning. 


The women in Colombia are also amazing, if that is of interest. It is more expensive than here, but not by much. And generally, Latin women are far, far, far more passionate than Thai women. 


So, Prayuth and the biggest joke, are you listening? Do you ever listen to anybody? Ever? We have alternatives! 

I've not been there, but I have been to other Spanish speaking places including Spain/Portugal and agree with everything Mike says, An easily acceptable alternative if you not tied here...

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10 hours ago, Momofarang said:

Was just browsing, but after five years in Thailand I am longing for interactions with people that have a rational way of thinking. Even my beloved wife, who makes great efforts, gets me frustrated once a day. Now imagine doing a "7 Whys" session with Thais.. So yes, I should have move Latin America, but she is Thai.

I am no expert on Thais but I find them rational in their way. As a farlang I often get put on the side a little. One has to try not to be affected. But in LA you will make friends easier.



10 hours ago, seasia said:



Link to the international living article from which the list was sourced.

Has a short report on the 10 countries mentioned.


Brief extract from the Ecuador correspondent


"For me, the number one thing about Ecuador is that it offers so many different types of places to live; you can have warm weather year-round on the coast, a more temperate climate in the Andes, small village life, big-city conveniences, and everything in between.

Quite simply, some of the best weather on the planet can be found in Ecuador. The unique combination of its position on the equator, the cooling sea breezes from the Humboldt Current, the Andes mountain range, and the Amazon basin have conspired to create a variety of climates. There are beaches that are warm year-round but rarely muggy (and are too close to the equator to ever have hurricanes or tropical storms), and places in the hills where you do not need a heating or cooling system. Lush, green hills and fertile valleys are the norm in Ecuador........"


Sounds like a very good value country to live in.





That is good description. A bus ride takes you from rain forest to mountains. I have visited a couple of times, but not the coast. I am sure there are good places, but Guayaquil dangerous.


US "overthrew" the govt. New US puppet pres. took IMF loan and big riots ensued. I dont know how it is  now.


Pleasant country.




1 hour ago, kingofthemountain said:

First the uncertainty about the renew of my extension of stay in next

october (I am on an old OA retirement extension and i refuse to go in

the insurance scam, and for some reasons the move to an O visa is not easy for me)

i was thinking about a plan B.


But since some weeks this plan B sound like a plan A because of the air pollution.

I can see everyday the pollution fog from my balcony and the occasional sore treat

is now becomes permanent.


I was at the begining interested to move to a neighbour country (Cambo, Laos or Vietnam)

but they all have some major issues for my point of view, and still the air pollution.


I am now looking forward for a move to Mexico

my 24 years old daughter live in the country, and i can have a 6 months

visa on arrival, without any money in bank or immigration hassle, And you

can esealy renew your 6 month visa with a visa run to a neighbour country.


The beaches and the sea on the gulf of mexico are far better than the ones on

the gulf of Thailand, and the cost (If you not stay in the most touristics cities)

seems to be better too.


Plus it's much more easy to talk in spanish for me (I can read, write and speak it)

my thaiglish and the english level in Thailand aren't the best way

to communicate with the locals, I have tried to learn Thai language, but it's a

too difficult task for me.


If someone has alredy tried the mexican coast, your experience is welcome.

(With the good and the bad sides of course)


Just off hand I remember Cancun, Merida/Progreso, Campeche, Carmen, and west: Salina Cruz, Puerto Escondido.


All of them did not have super beaches as I remember but for me it is ok. Tourist places like Cancun, P Escondido have good beaches of course but naturally many foreigners. Mexican laws say that all beaches are "public" so you can sneak through hotels to get there 🙂


I can not say for others. Definitely worth checking out for yourself. People's attitudes variable.




Edited by thailandsgreat
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On 1/9/2020 at 11:58 AM, Jingthing said:

I find that a "fun" thing to do with such lists is consider what to me is the highest priority -- do they offer formal retirement status and do I personally qualify financially? Of course the results will vary based on the individual but I never understand why such lists include countries that have no formal program.


So for me:


Portugal NOT qualified



Mexico QUALIFIED (show money method)

Colombia QUALIFIED (for now, will not if proposed changes are passed)


Malaysia NOT qualified

Spain NOT qualified

France NOT qualified


How can you not be qualified for Portugal, Spain or France?

Edited by Enki

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1 hour ago, Enki said:

How can you not be qualified for Portugal, Spain or France?

Non EU citizen.

Under the financial requirements for retirement visa status.

Spain's are much higher than Portugal's though.

My understanding is that France (unlike Spain and Portugal) doesn't have a formal retirement visa.

So France would be on a case by case basis but I just assumed that in my case, it would not be a oui. If I was seriously interested in living in France which I am not I suppose it would be worth at least trying. 


As I've mentioned numerous times I have a lower end pension and most retirement visa programs are based only on pensions and don't even have options to show money such as for Thailand (and also some others such as Mexico and Ecuador). So when the requirements are based on pensions only, that is limiting but the bulk of the options for that are in Latin America. In Asean, Cambodia and the Philippines also have programs for lower level pensions. 

Edited by Jingthing

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13 hours ago, pauleddy said:

How do we know if we can move back to Spain or anywhere?


Boris has yet to tell us if we need special visas, or that nothing has changed.

Check this article out https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/30/brexit-draft-agreement-what-uk-citizens-living-in-the-eu-need-to-know-euronews-answers


especially the points... 


Q:What happens after the transition period?

A: If you want to continue living in an EU country and benefitting from associated rights after this period you will have to apply for permanent residence status in your host country. To do that you will have had to have lived in the host country for five years by the end of the transition period.


Q:What if, by the end of the transition period I haven't lived in the EU country for five years?

A: Don't worry. You will still be able to acquire the right to permanent residency by completing five years living in your host country, as long as your five years started before the end of the transition period.


So my understanding is as long as I settle in an EU country before the end of the Transition period (30th December 2020) I can carry on living there for 5 years then apply for PR / Citizenship (NB Spain do not allow dual citizenship so if you wanted to get an EU country passport, (technically) you'd have to give up your British one) 


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14 minutes ago, garyk said:

Flew into Mexico City three days ago. Caught a bus to Queretaro city.  Food delicious ++++. This time I am staying in an upscale neighborhood.   Not sure how many of you guys travel south of the border.

I have had a tough time adjusting to the women here. After 10 years in Thailand, it is a culture shock for me.


Very cool.

So how long do you plan to stay in Queretaro?

As I've said Queretaro is at the top of my list of places that interest me in Mexico as a potential expat destination.

Are you there only for tourism or are you considering it as a place to move to?

In any case, I hope you post here about your impressions and of course direct comparisons and contrasts to Thailand are of particular interest here.

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4 hours ago, garyk said:

Went shopping in Centro market yesterday. Cheap beyond belief and the food is off the charts. Typical Mexican layout. Weekend they say you cannot go. Too crowded. 

I am in the burbs. Much nicer than where live in the states. And cheaper. But, modern layout, just like upper middle end in the states. Not really my cup of tea. 

I am here for a short time. Will be headed home to pick up my truck. Then will be headed back here to a huge reserve for a few weeks. About 70 km from here. This is just an exploratory expedition.

Is the reserve Sierra Gorda? How do you stay in a reserve, what kind of accommodation?

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3 hours ago, thailandsgreat said:

Is the reserve Sierra Gorda? How do you stay in a reserve, what kind of accommodation?

Yes Sierra Gorda, I have not even looked for places to stay yet, other than looking on the internet. I am not a big planner. If I decide to go explore some where. I usually just go. Then figure out the rest on the fly. In Mexico I just look at the hot spots and try too avoid them.

I am REALLY looking forward to exploring Sierra Gorda.

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2 hours ago, Inn Between said:

I have to admit that I haven't really read much of this thread, although I noticed it quite a while ago. But the recent news of VN requiring foreigners on 90-day tourist visas to exit the country every 30 days and no real sound options for retirement/long-term visas without working there has me thinking that maybe it's time to look elsewhere for a warm place to live. Equator is ranked high up for Central American locations, but I'm thinking of looking a little further south in Columbia, particularly in the Cartagena area. As a Canadian, I can show up and get 90-days without a visa. And if I decide that Columbia is the place I want to retire, the proof of financial (pension) requirements is very low (under $US 800 a month). That's what my research has shown.


Columbia today is apparently NOT at all the dangerous Columbia of the notorious Pablo Escabar Drug Cartel days it was a couple of decades ago, but I'd love to hear from anyone who has recent experience in the country. Its health care system is very highly rated, and expat retirees can get the same state-funded coverage as Colombians can get, or they have the choice of self-insuring. A flight from Toronto is just over 5 hours to Cartagena and the round trip ticket costs just over $CAD 700 all-in. That is much more appealing than the 20+ plus hour flight from HCMC or other SE Asian locations and somewhat cheaper. 


Like I say, if anyone has experience in Columbia or has done some in-depth research about living there, I'd definitely be interested in hearing from them. 


Yeah that's largely true.

I wouldn't say not at all dangerous though. 

To Colombians it feels a lot safer than it used to. 

But for people coming from super safe areas, they will need to learn to be quite security conscious, with the level of that depending on the specific location you're going to. 

Colombia is north of Ecuador not south. 

Ecuador will be more difficult retirement visa application wise than Colombia at the current time.

Yes the financial requirements currently for Colombia are about what you said but there is a threat that they may change that soon.

Yes you not only can get the low cost basic insurance but in theory you'd be required to as a resident (but doesn't seem to be enforced). 

It isn't that great though as far as access to specialists so far a better plan private insurance add ons are sold depending on age and health conditions (and not everyone will be eligible for that). 

Yes you can show up and get 90 days. You are allowed to stay that way 180 days in each calendar year is pretty good but means you can't live there indefinitely for years that way. 90 day extensions are possible in country. 

Cartagena is a big city and is not the safest destination in Colombia so you should do more research on different options.

Santa Marta is an up and coming smaller city destination also on the Caribbean coast that is currently considerably less expensive. Particularly might be worth a look if you're interested in buying housing, which is legal to do as a foreigner. 

If you're looking for a coastal city it will be on the Caribbean, not the Pacific (for safety reasons). 

As far as flights well Cartagena is a major international tourist destination so maybe there are direct flights from Canada but some other destinations may require connections through Bogota.

A good place to start for expat info for Colombia is the How To Expat videos on youtube (focused on Medellin but lots of the info is more general and they cover some other places) and also the Medellin Guru website, the best for updated and good visa information.


Edited by Jingthing
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My destination is Thailand, been here permanently for over 7 years, cant think of any other country i would rather live in, All i have to do is obey the law here, other than that i can do what i want when i want, the people here love me and i love them. I retired at 48 to come here because my body was so tired and sore from work, my wife had to use her feet to push my back to help me get out of bed to go to work, Now i have no pain I sleep in as i want and do as i want because we saved enough to retire in Thailand, I can still after almost 20 years coming here tell you that we can buy veggies at the local Talad for 5 or 10 baht a handfull, yes, tomatoes,onions,cucumber,mint,lettuce,cabbage,collie flower, everything. My destination is Thailand, the real Thailand, away from the trouble areas that have a lot of people from outside Thailand, So im happy to see some go, they give the country a certain reputation that im sure will follow them. We will find out after a few decades wont we. Pum Rak Thai.

Edit, Just a notification for all thinking about central and south America is that there are a few websites about that detail gruesome killings and deaths and i would guesstimate that around 80% of those vids and pics are from forsaid area so do your homework first.

Edited by deeks
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