Take the spice trail to fabled South East Asia
and enjoy twice the fun for half the cost.
You could be enjoying tropical beaches, peacock seas and $3 massages… golden temples and exotic night markets… plus rental and home buying options for
much less than you may imagine
The moon hangs in the sky like a pale golden lantern. Night-scented jasmine perfumes the balmy air. A smiling waiter ushers you and your partner to a table by the water’s edge—a table bedecked with a snowy cloth and flickering candles—where you can hear the gentle lullaby of the waves.
A minute or so later, a bottle of white wine is chilling in an ice bucket. You slip off your sandals and wiggle your toes in the soft white sand—still warm from the sun’s kisses.
It’s a scene straight from a happy-ever-after romance. And it won’t end in tears when you get the bill for your seafood feast of oysters, succulent crab, coconut shrimp, and blue marlin steaks.
Although this kind of luxury experience would cost a couple at least $100 or more in the States, here you can expect to pay from $30 for two.
My name is Jackie Flynn, and I’m International Living’s publisher. Here at International Living, we’ve been talking a lot about South-East Asia in recent years, and so I recently sent our Asia Correspondent, Keith Hockton to report on some new destinations in the region. Keith has lived in Malaysia for the last four years and he loves his life there.
After Keith’s scouting trip around the region, what we have always known still holds true: South East Asia isn’t just for an exotic vacation.
Imagine taking ‘a three-month dip’ in the region and trying the expat lifestyle on for size? Imagine this itinerary… a month in Thailand… a month in Malaysia… a month in the Philippines.
Before you shake your head and say it’s crazy to suggest that you embrace a jet-setter’s lifestyle in these recessionary times, hear me out.
Spending part of the year in South East Asia could actually SAVE you money.
On his trip, Keith found places where you can eat well for under $5. Where golf course condos rent for as little as $800 a month. And if you want to add real estate to your portfolio or have a place to call your own that you can visit every year, there are seaside hideaways where desirable homes cost $60,000… or less.
The low cost of living in this part of the world is a huge attraction. But when you think about it, there are many reasons why South-East Asia is one of the world's most popular tourist and retiree destinations.
And it’s this. It has it all.
Along with lashings of tropical sun, mouthwatering food and a bewildering range of shopping delights, the region melds together big city buzz, the charm of small historic towns, and out-and-out beach life.
Everywhere you go is splashed with Technicolor exoticism. Pearl traders, silk emporia and night markets. Spice gardens and fruit orchards laden with unusual fruits like rambutans, durian, and custard apples. Snake temples, paintbrush-wielding elephants, and tuk-tuk drivers.
I know from experience, you don’t always have to visit rainforests or wildlife reserves to spot bearded pigs, monkeys, monitor lizards and flying foxes. As for the bird life, it’s awesome. Hornbills… sea eagles… jewel-like fairy bluebirds.
Necklaced with thousands of tropical islands, the seascapes are out of this world. Jungle-cloaked islands rise from the sparkling water like mountains. Gorgeous sugar-white beaches fringed by palm trees are almost too numerous to count. Below the pristine seas, coral gardens swarm with multicolored fish. There are world-class dive sites—many centered around old wrecks—just begging to be explored.
You can take spiritual trails and rainforest trails. Experience everything from Chinese New Year to festivals of lights to rum-fuelled carnivals. Even try the bizarre experience of fish therapy where toothless Garrarufa fish nibble away the dead skin from your feet.
But here’s the thing. You won’t even scratch the surface of what South-East Asia can offer on a typical vacation.
Admittedly anywhere in the region is a long distance from the States. So maybe you’re not thinking in terms of full time retirement. (That said, Malaysia and the Philippines have special retirement programs for foreign expats.) But why not consider an extended adventure or taking time out for three to six months?
Take Geoff and Karen—a retired British couple who escape the UK winter and high utility bills by traveling around the region for five months.
in SE Asia
Their accommodation—with air-con, power showers, and internet—usually worked out to $20 or less per night. And I know a guy spending time in Thailand—more about him in a moment—whose nightly accommodation costs are just $12. And that’s for a bungalow beside the beach!
Geoff and Karen head for South East Asia every year. When we caught up with them, they were on the mysterious island of Borneo—famed for orangutans and former head-hunters. For them, the next stop on their tour was the Philippines.
But it isn’t only affordable accommodation that can help you save money. Unless you spend all your time in up-market tourist places, any couple will be hard-pressed to spend more than $30 between them on breakfast, lunch and dinner each day.
Proof? Here’s a snippet from Keith's notebook about Malaysian Borneo. ‘Today we went veggie and splashed out $2.80 for a Malay lunch. Separate dishes of green beans, eggplants in a rich tomato sauce, a spicy vegetable mix, rice, and roti canai—a hot-off-the-grill flat bread served with a mild lentil curry.’
Yes, that’s lunch for $1.40 apiece.
If you have unbridled wanderlust, you certainly don’t need a jet-setter’s income to indulge your passion for travel and seeing new places. Discount airlines have made it possible to travel very inexpensively around the region.
For example, take a sample fare for a February trip with Zest Airways between Manila, capital of the Philippines, and Kota Kinabalu on Borneo. It’s a mere $40.
It gets even better with Jetstar Asia. With advance booking, flights between Malaysia’s capital (Kuala Lumpur) and Singapore start at $23 plus taxes. There’s an array of wonders that you could be exploring.
I can’t think of any better place to recondition your body, mind and soul than South-East Asia. The way of life is so alluring… pampering is so affordable… it really is like giving yourself a full overhaul.
Picture yourself taking an extended escape… renting an apartment or a little house on a tranquil beach and delving into the local day-to-day life.
And you don’t necessarily have to wait for retirement to sample a mini-break and indulge in the laid-back lifestyle.
A friend of ours here at IL, Jason, is a professional copywriter. He plys his trade from anywhere in the world. But at every opportunity, he heads back to Thailand for a three-month stint of ‘working’ from a postcard-perfect beach location.
The last time I spoke with Jason, he was enjoying a ‘super cheap’ lifestyle on Koh Phangan island.
"Just the other day, I hopped on the motorbike I'm renting ($4 per day) and rode to Koh Phangan's largest town, Thong Sala, to grab lunch from the outdoor market. I was low on fuel, so I filled up at the gas station up the street from where I live. It cost me $3 to fill the tank… and that should last almost a week.
"Once I got to the outdoor market, I ordered green curry chicken with a generous serving of white rice, a bowl of noodle soup, and a pitcher of ice water. It only set me back $1.20 for everything.
"My bungalow is cheap, too—about $12 a night. It's at a beach resort and I've got just about every amenity within seconds of my front door: a swimming pool, fitness center, restaurant, bar, express laundry service, Internet café, travel agency, jet ski rentals, and a gorgeous sunset view of the Gulf of Thailand, the island of Koh Samui, and the Ang Thong National Marine Park."
As for the ‘work’ aspect, that’s no problem. Jason can pick up three separate WiFi signals from his bungalow.
If you dream of trading in winter blues for lapis lazuli seas… of a long-stay retreat where you can live large on a low budget… even of retiring under the tropical sun…
…then you owe it to yourself to take a closer look at this extraordinary region where good value is guaranteed.
Unlike at home, life’s little luxuries are more than affordable. Fresh flowers. A manicure or pedicure. A massage in a high-end spa. Bespoke tailoring. Cosmetic surgery. Dental care. All kinds of ‘treats’ can be afforded daily...
Four pineapples for $1… teeth-cleaning for $7… an hour's foot massage for $6.
Throughout the region, the expat lifestyle is often all about exploring new places, playing golf and tennis, swimming, diving, surfing and sailing—and never having to think twice about if you can afford to dine out.
If you’re a foodie, spend some time in Penang, the culinary capital of Malaysia. With a diversity of Malay, Indian and Chinese culture, it’s home to one of South-East Asia’s liveliest street-food scenes. And we're not the only ones who rate it highly.
Recently, readers of The New York Times voted Penang into second spot of their favorite places to go. As they put it: ‘There are city-run hawker stands everywhere and even refined dishes like char koay teow—noodles with shrimp, chili paste, and cockles—rarely cost more than $2.
Then there’s Boracay, the island of vanilla white sands that I mentioned at the start of this letter. Attracting sailing, snorkeling and golf enthusiasts, it belongs to the Philippines. You can enjoy dinner for two for just $27. And that's an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet with wine. Generally, your dinner check will run to between $10 and $12, beer included.
Everyone in the Philippines is friendly, everyone speaks English. And boy, is it affordable!
Getting two pounds of laundry done costs exactly the same as a cold San Miguel beer: 66 cents. You can have a massage on the beach for under $3. And if you need a doctor, his fee is less than $11—and that’s for a home visit.
As Boracay is the country’s most upmarket beach destination, you can expect higher rents than elsewhere.
Even so, $450 per month for a two-bedroom furnished apartment with air-conditioning and cable TV seems very reasonable to me.
If bright lights, big city is more your thing, then why not spend some time in Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok?
With over 10 million inhabitants, Bangkok, Thailand’s megalopolis truly is a heady mix of old and new. On the one hand, it’s a modern city of malls, skyscrapers and throbbing nightlife. Yet you don’t have to look hard to find the traditional imagery of floating markets, temples, jeweled Buddhas and saffron-robed monks.
Over the past few weeks we’ve been putting our finds together in a new report called: Live Large for Less on The Exotic Islands of South East Asia.
Seeking a hideaway that combines colonial charm with beach life? We’ll point you to an island haven that the Victorians named ‘the Pearl of the Orient’. With origins going back to the days when the Dutch, British, and Portuguese battled for control of the spice trade, its main town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Modern high-rises encircle atmospheric streets packed with mansions, shop-houses and Chinese clan houses. (There’s a large Chinese population here.) Temples have roofs glinting with porcelain tile work and some fishing families still live in floating stilt homes.
Plenty for history buffs, but it also delivers top-class hospitals, international schools and western-style shopping. And get this. You can rent a 1,000-square-foot furnished condo for $495 per month. Monthly electricity and water bills will run you around $110.
Then again, with 1,000-square-foot condos starting at $155,000, you may eventually decide to buy on this island.
Other destinations we’ll introduce you to have been on the expat map for years. More aren’t quite as well known. There are city locations, beach locations, mountain locations. Whatever the dream life you envisage, there’s a place that’s right for you.
I don’t have enough space to detail everything you’ll find in this hot-off-the-presses report: Live Large for Less on The Exotic Islands of South-East Asia. But here’s a taster of a few locations that may appeal to you.
Of course, the report covers far more than enticing locations. One of our profiled countries is embroidered with tropical beaches, mountains, dense rainforest, and vividly green tea plantations. If you decide you’ve found your paradise, you may want more than an extended escape.
Here, foreigners can own properties freehold, there’s no inheritance tax, and no tax on income repatriated from overseas. You’ll find full details and how you can avail of the country’s special retirement program in the report.
But whether you plan to escape for three months, six months, or even longer, you need to know the rules. And unless you have trusted contacts, reliable information isn’t always easy to come by.
Information about tourist and long-stay visas… the rental situation… what to expect in terms of lifestyle, health care and home comforts… where to find fellow expats… what to budget for living costs… retirement programs… how to buy property if that’s what you eventually decide to do.
You could research all this information on your own. But it's not easy. So many people post out-of-date and downright WRONG information on the Internet, it can take weeks, months even, to be absolutely certain what’s true and what’s false.
In truth, you might spend a year doing research. But you don’t have to, we’ve done all the legwork on your behalf!
And even though I say it myself, I’ve packed one heck of a lot into Live Large for Less on The Exotic Islands of South East Asia.
Thisonline report contains all the information you need to know—to help you make an informed decision about spending time in this part of the world.
Live Large for Less on The Exotic Islands of South-East Asiais the best resource available to help you get to know this paradise that is South-East Asia. From finding a property…to obtaining residence. You’ll learn how to travel, live, and retire in this part of the world. With this report as your guide, you’ll save time, money, and hours of frustration…
Keep in mind… this special insider report is the result of travel experience and months of follow-up research and consultations with expats in South-East Asia, immigration attorneys, and real estate agents. If you were to try to get this information yourself, it would take months of travel and consultations and thousands of dollars to compile. I can guarantee you won't find anything like it on the Internet or in a bookshop.
Try it out, explore everything these three countries have to offer… and certainly, make use of the information when you’re traveling through South East Asia in search of your dream mini-retirement or your second home investment. With all the pointed information and contact details in this report, you’ll be glad you did.
But that’s not all…
As well as looking in depth at Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines, we’ll also take you on a tour of French Indochina.
The French colonized what are now Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam in the mid-19th century, and these three countries collectively became known as French Indochina.Emerging from a prolonged era of conflict, these three countries once again offer those who visit all these things and more.
So, also in this report, we’ll take a look at present-day Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
Although foreign ownership of property in the region is restricted or flat-out forbidden, these are great places to visit if you are living in Malaysia, Thailand, or the Philippines.
Or if you wanted to stay a bit longer, we’ve provided information on rental options.
But there’s still more…
When you think of paradise what image do you see? A spiritual, relaxing island? White sand beaches with great surf and diving opportunities? Whatever is your paradise Bali has it all.
So when you order Live Large for Less on The Exotic Islands of South-East Asia, we’re going to send you a bonus…
…an additional FREE special report called Bali: Island of the Gods (value $19.97).
Bali is the rock star of the 18,307 islands and it was only a matter of time before the rest of the world started to hear whispers of this fabled island.
With its tropical, semi-humid climate and temperature varying from landscape to landscape there is something for everyone in Bali.
A tourist hotspot and a surfers heaven, the island has everything from trendy cafés to five-star restaurants to quiet coastal towns.
Here a two-bedroom villa with a sculptured garden, pool, and mountain views can be rented for $900 a month. For $165,000, you can buy a 538-square-foot condo in a complex with a large pool, free Wi-Fi, room service, and a bar.
A retiree visa is available to those over 55 and the cost of living is low, chicken and rice meals cost as little as $1 a plate.
Bali is more than just wonderful nature, beautiful beaches, great surfing, and tasty food. It has traditional ceremonies, friendly locals, and a relaxed way of life experienced nowhere else in the world.
Order now and Live Large for Less on The Exotic Islands of South-East Asia will be on its way as soon as your order has processed… along with your special free report, Bali: Island of the Gods.
These special reports are not available in bookstores, resource libraries, or anywhere else on the Internet. They are available in an online downloadable form only. That’s how we can keep the information as up-to-date and reliable as possible. It also allows us to get this information in your hands as quickly as possible.
Travel to these countries to obtain all this information yourself and you’d expect to pay $3,000 or more. (The time and efforts involved to compile this information is worth that much alone.) But when you act now and reserve your copy of Live Large for Less on The Exotic Islands of South East Asia you’ll pay just $37. And you’ll also receive our special free bonus report about medical tourism options, Bali: Island of the Gods.
And the best part is that we publish these reports electronically…so they are much more useful, colorful, and interactive than ever before. Plus you’ll have access to them as soon as your order has processed.
Imagine never having to buy a new coat or pay for home heating ever again. Untouched by our idea of “winter”, each of these countries delivers warm, tropical weather, and the chance for poolside relaxation all year round. For many expats, it’s paradise found.
The good life can be almost unbelievably inexpensive. Here the retiree lifestyle is
all about exploring new places, playing golf and tennis, swimming, diving, surfing, and sailing—and never having to think twice about being able to afford to dine out.
I’m so confident that Live Large for Less on The Exotic Islands of South East Asia special report will help you realize your dream life in Malaysia, the Philippines, or Thailand — that I’ll offer you this guarantee: If, for any reason, you’re not completely happy with this report, just let us know. You have our 90-day no-hassle money back guarantee…
We’ll refund your $37 no questions asked…and you can keep your copy of Bali: Island of the Gods.
You have nothing to lose…and so much to gain!
Publisher, International Living.
P.S. These special reports, Live Large for Less on The Exotic Islands of South East Asia and Bali: Island of the Gods are not available anywhere else…at any price. If you’re interested in living the laidback exotic lifestyle (full or part-time) but not interested in paying typical luxury prices, South East Asia should definitely be front and center on your radar.