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Old 11-13-2012, 12:52 AM
 
Location: Saudi Arabia
376 posts, read 557,619 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctr88 View Post
If you could move to any Asian city to base yourself for a year which would you choose? I'm considering living in an Asian city for a year. I have a Internet based job + savings so I don't need a local job wherever I go. I'm on my first Asia trip now and visited Hong Kong (mainly b/c I have a friend there), Macau, Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Of the 4 cities I've visited so far I would prefer Bangkok or Chiang Mai for a year of living. Wherever I base myself, I would still travel around to other parts of Asia during that year. I'm a 42 year old single male from the U.S.

Some other options:
-Singapore (would be expensive but could probably find a way to swing it)
-Tokyo or another Japanese city (would be expensive but could probably find a way to swing it)
-Seoul
-Taipei
-Bali (I know that is radically different from the above cities but I'm throwing all options)
-Saigon
-Kuala Lampour

Out of all the choices I'm leaning towards Bangkok or Chiang Mai. I really like the laid backness of Thailand, friendliness of the people, low cost, warm weather all year, and central location for cheap flights to other parts of Asia. Other wild cards that are very unlikely but thought I'd throw them out there for purposes of brainstorming... Jakarta, Cebu, Pusan, Penang. Did I miss anywhere? Thanks for your feedback!
You can't go wrong with Bangkok or Chiang Mai. Remember that Seoul, Tokyo & Singapore for very expensive so if you have unlimited funds, then no problem but otherwise, it's a problem. My apartment in Seoul was $6400/mo and was on the small side though very luxurious and upscale.

Kuala Lumpur is also a great choice but there are less expats and the people are not as openly frinedly compared to Thailand. You didn't mention Manila but it's inexpensive and the people speak English and are very friendly.
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:39 AM
 
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With regards to comparing Japanese cities, do most people prefer Fukuoka or Osaka if a choice has to be made between these two?
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:31 AM
 
5,115 posts, read 8,099,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctr88 View Post
Thanks sutyotsuk. I'm thinking Chiang Mai might be a little slow for me. I do like CM a lot though, it is very laid back and very cheap. Looking for something a little more cosmopolitan. I think I would give Bangkok a shot first in Thailand and move if I didn't like it. BKK has a little more big city energy and cosmopolitan feel than Chiang Mai. If I was 20 yrs older and retired I might think more Chiang Mai. When I first got to CM I was a little shocked by all the tourists in the old town, but once I got used to it and accepted it, it was pretty cool.
I agree that CM is pretty relaxed and laid back, but I'm not sure what you mean by slow. It doesn't have the hectic pace that BKK has, but there's plenty there for interest and activity. For someone thinking about spending a year or so there, part of it is spending enough time getting out and around the city to find out what's where rather than just the usual spots frequented by tourists. There are a lot of expats living in and around CM that like to get together to socialize every now and then.

If the urge for the pace that BKK has to offer hits, there's no reason why you can't head off to BKK or the beaches for a change. As for setting up camp in BKK or anywhere else, you can use the location as a base from which to spread out from. If you think about it, chances are that you're not going to want to spend ALL your time in BKK. You can always head off for other areas around the country if you need to slow down a bit, sort of using BKK as a "base camp" so to speak.

While CM doesn't have all the glitzy glass and steel and high-rises that BKK has, it's still a very progressive city that provides many of the general living conveniences that some of us prefer. There are plenty of modern malls scattered around the city to provide whatever you might need, not to mention the international airport out by the Hang Dong district for a get-away every now and then.

Personally, I like the residential areas around the Hang Dong district on the south side of the city because it's not far from the heart of the city, there's plenty of transportation to easily get around, and it's generally a comfortable, modern, friendly location IMO. Loads of festivals around CM. There are other locations around CM worth considering as well. Our daughter and her family live in a very nice residential neighborhood in the NE part of the city. It's a nice newish spot, but a bit too far out from the city unless you have your own transportation. Housing development around CM has been rapidly growing, especially over the last couple of decades or so.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Shaw.
2,226 posts, read 3,158,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OZpharmer View Post
With regards to comparing Japanese cities, do most people prefer Fukuoka or Osaka if a choice has to be made between these two?
Osake easily. Although the ramen is better in Fukuoka.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:39 AM
 
1,912 posts, read 3,159,642 times
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Thanks NightBazaar for the helpful info I may like Chiang Mai better, it's hard to know until I move there. I did like Chiang Mai a lot for sure. What can I rent a nice 1 bed furnished condo for per month? Close to a work out gym. You are right I would probably use BKK or CM as a base and travel around Thailand frequently. I also plan over the year to explore a lot of greater Asia. BKK is nice in that respect because it's an Air Asia hub and they have a lot of cheap flights to all over Asia originating from BKK. But it's only a short hop down to BKK anyway from CM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:32 AM
 
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Very interesting and useful comments. One thing that has not been discussed is how long can you stay in each country........VISA. What are the requirements to get a visa for some of these countries and how long can you stay each time? (working or not working)

Thanks.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:25 PM
 
5,115 posts, read 8,099,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctr88 View Post
Thanks NightBazaar for the helpful info I may like Chiang Mai better, it's hard to know until I move there. I did like Chiang Mai a lot for sure. What can I rent a nice 1 bed furnished condo for per month? Close to a work out gym. You are right I would probably use BKK or CM as a base and travel around Thailand frequently. I also plan over the year to explore a lot of greater Asia. BKK is nice in that respect because it's an Air Asia hub and they have a lot of cheap flights to all over Asia originating from BKK. But it's only a short hop down to BKK anyway from CM.
Accommodations in CM
We built a modest house (more like a small family compound now) in the province of Saraburi several years ago and we're shopping around for a house in the Hang Dong district of Chiang Mai, so I'm not an expert on the rates of condos around CM. That's something you should look around at for a while when you get there, especially if you plan to be around for several months to a year. It pays to look since there are places calling themselves condos, but are just older buildings and hotels. I guess "condo" has a classier ring to it. Something to be aware of. You could check with some of the realtors in CM. I can send a Direct Message to you with the name & link for one of the realtors. Whether they'd have anything available for you or not is another matter. They do deal with condos and they deal with rentals, but I don't know if they deal with condo rentals. Of condos I've heard about, most of the time it's usually a lease arrangement, meaning you're probably going to have to pay in advance, although I think there are places around that offer other arrangements, maybe 3 months + deposit in advance.

Gyms in CM
There are exercise gyms in and around the city though. I had to dig around for gym prices. Around 6 years ago Platinum Fitness was kind of expensive with off-peak rates of about 10,000 baht/year. Includes use of the equipment, pool and sauna. There are people who seem to like it and give it a thumbs up for equipment and service. Not sure why anyone would need to use a sauna though. LOL! There are others around. There are one or two in the area of the airport, and others at some of the quality hotels and elsewhere. Some of the Thai style gyms have weights and multigyms, but some have low ceilings, fail to have good equipment, no a/c and other comforts. Rates & membership costs are said to be very low.

In & Out to Visit Other Countries
If you plan on traveling in and out of BKK to other countries, you might think about the overall expense, depending on how much time you plan to be out of the country over the span of a year or so. If you're going to be out of Thailand quite a bit, then it might not be worth it. In any case, whether you plan to base yourself in BKK or CM, you might not want to tie yourself down with a condo to have more freedom to pick up and go whenever you want. It's just a thought.

What Kind of Visa?
That brings up another thought, which you may have already considered. If you do plan to base yourself in Thailand and hop off to other countries now and then, be sure to apply for a multiple-entry visa. Check the Thai consulate website for details, such as cost, how many entries into the kingdom you're allowed on the visa, etc. You'll also have to consider the visa requirements to other countries.

Flying Around Internationally & Domestically
I haven't used Air Asia, but like you mentioned, their rates seem to be pretty low, although I've also heard their rates from Taiwan to CM is more expensive than it should be because they fly into BKK where you have to transfer to CM. There are flights in and out of CM to other nearby Asian countries though. But that's originating from Taiwan. Internationally, we tend to fly with Delta since we've got airmiles with them, and domestically in Thailand we usually fly with Thai Airways. Although we do travel by a/c bus, or if our son-in-law is around, ride up to CM with him. He works in BKK.

Bangkok as a Base
Decades ago, I used to stay in the Sukhumvit Road area of BKK. Some of the better guesthouses would offer a discount on monthly rates or longer. Stable Lodge is one that's located down Soi 8 just off Sukhumvit, and might be one place worth checking. Nice pool, food, and service. It seems like a pretty cool and friendly place. And since it's along Sukhumvit, it's not that far to the airport. Just another thought.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Australia
1,058 posts, read 1,454,809 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tall Tiger View Post
My apartment in Seoul was $6400/mo and was on the small side though very luxurious and upscale.
I just wanted to clarify: Was this $6400 in won, USD, AUD, GBP etc.?
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:22 AM
 
Location: In the heights
22,373 posts, read 23,854,939 times
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My guess would be that Malaysia should be a pretty worthwhile try. If you're pretty mobile, then maybe you can set up somewhere near the friends you're visiting as a temporary home base and just do cheap travels to some of the places you're considering and pick up from there. Malaysia's actually really diverse (a lot of its big cities are split mostly between people of malay and chinese descent but with a sizable south indian population and bits of people from all over the place). The baseline English there is generally pretty good and the national language there is actually really easy to pick up especially as they use the roman alphabet with no diacritics and the language has a ton of loanwords from English.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Saudi Arabia
376 posts, read 557,619 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StabbyAbby View Post
I just wanted to clarify: Was this $6400 in won, USD, AUD, GBP etc.?
That's $6,400/mo USD. I think it was around 6.9M Won/mo. Small but very upscale apartment in an expensive area of Seoul.
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