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Where will you retire?

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smoulder
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Re: Where will you retire?

Post by smoulder » Wed, 29 Sep 2021 1:03 am

I guess the issue is being a white guy married into a more conservative family.

By the way, I've seen got a couple of friends who are working in Malaysia - moved there from singapore and loving it there. No idea how the job scene compares, but they seem to be doing great - in IT in the banking sector. So it probably depends on what you bring to the table and where the demand is - like in any other country.

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Re: Where will you retire?

Post by Lisafuller » Wed, 29 Sep 2021 4:03 am

malcontent wrote:
Tue, 28 Sep 2021 6:14 pm
Thanks to YouTube, there are many expat vloggers who put out monthly budget videos in various countries. Southeast Asia is a popular place to engage in geo-arbitrage, which is to say, taking advantage of lower cost geographic areas of the world as a way to conserve and grow their nest egg. Probably the most popular countries are Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam & Cambodia, from higher to lower cost of living. Generally expenses range from S$1.5k to S$1k per month and that’s enough for a decent, comfortable (but simple) life. Malaysia is also in that range, but not as many vloggers seem to cover it.
Very true, I’ve noticed this as well. My personal favorite is a guy named Mark Wiens, he does food tours all with the world but is based in Thailand.

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Re: Where will you retire?

Post by Lisafuller » Wed, 29 Sep 2021 4:05 am

malcontent wrote:
Tue, 28 Sep 2021 7:22 pm
smoulder wrote:
Tue, 28 Sep 2021 6:42 pm
malcontent wrote:
Tue, 28 Sep 2021 6:14 pm
Thanks to YouTube, there are many expat vloggers who put out monthly budget videos in various countries. Southeast Asia is a popular place to engage in geo-arbitrage, which is to say, taking advantage of lower cost geographic areas of the world as a way to conserve and grow their nest egg. Probably the most popular countries are Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam & Cambodia, from higher to lower cost of living. Generally expenses range from S$1.5k to S$1k per month and that’s enough for a decent, comfortable (but simple) life. Malaysia is also in that range, but not as many vloggers seem to cover it.
I've always wondered why Malaysia doesn't seem to get as much coverage from a retirement point of view despite Penang coming up in quite a few lists of top destinations for expats.
I agree. Malaysia actually has a lot going for it, but I think a lot of people from the West get the impression that it’s some kind of strict Islamic state.

While it isn’t quite as lively or scenic compared to it’s neighbors, English is spoken, it has great infrastructure, great food, there is decent shopping and nightlife in KL and several decent beaches further afield. It’s far more multi-cultural, multi-religious and safe than what it gets credit for. It’s also one of the few countries in Asia that you can drive around without any special skills, just a little extra defensiveness is all you need and you’ve got expressways to get you to most places with ease.
You’re absolutely right, most foreigners tend to have the impression that Malaysia is a strict Islamic state with no religious or cultural tolerance whatsoever, when in reality quite a few parts are modern and very accepting of foreigners.

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Re: Where will you retire?

Post by Lisafuller » Wed, 29 Sep 2021 4:06 am

smoulder wrote:
Wed, 29 Sep 2021 1:03 am
I guess the issue is being a white guy married into a more conservative family.

By the way, I've seen got a couple of friends who are working in Malaysia - moved there from singapore and loving it there. No idea how the job scene compares, but they seem to be doing great - in IT in the banking sector. So it probably depends on what you bring to the table and where the demand is - like in any other country.
Making a Singaporean salary but with Malaysian expenses, they must be living it up!

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Re: Where will you retire?

Post by malcontent » Wed, 29 Sep 2021 8:21 am

Back in 2001, I had to commute to KL weekly during a company project that lasted around 9 months or so, came back to SG on the weekends. They had what were called shuttle flights between KL-SG which were flexible and interchangeable between SIA/MAS. Once I got to KLIA, I would rent a car — usually a Proton.

I really got to know KL and the surrounds. KLCC and Bukit Bintang is like Orchard Road, and Bangsar is like a big, overgrown Holland Village, surrounded by luxury condos — at the time it was the expat residential area of choice, not sure about now. Traffic around KL can be thick during peak periods, but if you drive yourself (like I did) you can take the toll roads which locals avoid to save a couple of ringgit, well worth it to avoid the jams.

There was one lunch place I remember, Penang curry for RM4 and it was a huge portion… the chicken was so tender it just fell off the bone, so cheap and delicious!
Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it - Niels Bohr

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Re: Where will you retire?

Post by malcontent » Wed, 29 Sep 2021 8:53 am

Lisafuller wrote:
Wed, 29 Sep 2021 4:05 am
You’re absolutely right, most foreigners tend to have the impression that Malaysia is a strict Islamic state with no religious or cultural tolerance whatsoever, when in reality quite a few parts are modern and very accepting of foreigners.
I would put it the other way around, very few parts are not modern or very accepting of foreigners. I’ve been to most parts of West Malaysia, even the ulu parts that seem very conservative are surprisingly foreigner friendly. The one place that is rumored not to be is Kelantan in the far NE near the Thai border. I’ve never made it up there but wouldn’t hesitate to do so.

Where I have gone many times is Kuantan, which is a real hidden gem that few in Singapore seem to know about. Kuantan would be a great place to retire if you wanted a slower pace of life. There are a lot of newer seaside condos built just to the north of Kuantan, and there is a direct expressway to KL that opened maybe 15 years back, which makes it convenient!

When I go there I usually drive up on Hwy 3 via Mersing, and come back on the jungle roads via Yong Peng and take expressway back to SG. Either way it’s gonna take 6 hours, so you’ll want to stay at least 2 nights. We always stay at the Hyatt right on the beach, which is an amazing value and a perfect setup. The ocean facing rooms have balconies, open up the doors and you can hear the waves crashing in your room. The town of Kuantan is not too small and is not a tourist trap so you get real local pricing, much cheaper than JB. It’s also a super easy town to drive around, and isn’t run down at all, very clean and well kept.
Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it - Niels Bohr

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Re: Where will you retire?

Post by ProvenPracticalFlexible » Wed, 29 Sep 2021 11:01 am

malcontent wrote:
Tue, 28 Sep 2021 7:22 pm

I agree. Malaysia actually has a lot going for it, but I think a lot of people from the West get the impression that it’s some kind of strict Islamic state.

While it isn’t quite as lively or scenic compared to it’s neighbors, English is spoken, it has great infrastructure, great food, there is decent shopping and nightlife in KL and several decent beaches further afield. It’s far more multi-cultural, multi-religious and safe than what it gets credit for. It’s also one of the few countries in Asia that you can drive around without any special skills, just a little extra defensiveness is all you need and you’ve got expressways to get you to most places with ease.
Maybe a bit unfair, but they haven't done very good marketing and PR, in the news usually for some silly thing like caning a model for having a beer. That's a news that reads around the world and doesn't sound very liberal state. Some small things matter too that gives the impression that its more strict muslim country than it is, like even in international 5 star chain hotels there's no real bacon at breakfast. Those little things don't make it sound like an moderate, even if it was for most part.

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Re: Where will you retire?

Post by malcontent » Wed, 29 Sep 2021 11:33 am

ProvenPracticalFlexible wrote:
Wed, 29 Sep 2021 11:01 am
malcontent wrote:
Tue, 28 Sep 2021 7:22 pm

I agree. Malaysia actually has a lot going for it, but I think a lot of people from the West get the impression that it’s some kind of strict Islamic state.

While it isn’t quite as lively or scenic compared to it’s neighbors, English is spoken, it has great infrastructure, great food, there is decent shopping and nightlife in KL and several decent beaches further afield. It’s far more multi-cultural, multi-religious and safe than what it gets credit for. It’s also one of the few countries in Asia that you can drive around without any special skills, just a little extra defensiveness is all you need and you’ve got expressways to get you to most places with ease.
Maybe a bit unfair, but they haven't done very good marketing and PR, in the news usually for some silly thing like caning a model for having a beer. That's a news that reads around the world and doesn't sound very liberal state. Some small things matter too that gives the impression that its more strict muslim country than it is, like even in international 5 star chain hotels there's no real bacon at breakfast. Those little things don't make it sound like an moderate, even if it was for most part.
True, there are a lot of peculiar things that make headlines and many Malaysians have been taking to the internet to voice their disgust and exasperation… but like many countries, politicians often do things to please the radical fringe, despite having no inclination or belief in what they are doing.

As for the lack of pork, it is often the same case in Singapore - whether it’s the breakfast sausage at McDonald’s or the BLT at Subway, taste and flavor are substantially compromised versus the non-halal outlets overseas.

One thing I do prefer at McDonalds in Malaysia is for chicken nuggets, they have the original hot mustard dipping sauce, same as the US… and my favorite. For some reason they changed it to curry sauce in Singapore which is just awful in my opinion, I can’t understand how anyone would like it (and I am a big fan of curry in general).
Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it - Niels Bohr

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Re: Where will you retire?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 29 Sep 2021 11:38 am

Mal, I have to agree with you on Kuantan. I worked in Chukai, 70 km north of Kuantan for a number of months between June & Oct 1993 when I worked in the Seismic Survey Industry. Being the shore based administrator I had plenty of time to explore the surrounding areas and beaches. My local agent there gave me a four day stay at the Hyatt Regency in Kuantan during the week of 24 of Sept '93 as an Anniversary Gift for my 10th Anniversary. He and his wife also joined us for our Anniversary Dinner which he also sprang for. My wife wanted to show the kiddo's the countryside so elected to take a bus up Hwy 3 to Kuantan where I met her and we we drove back to Singapore in my Rental piece of local crap (although having said that it didn't really give me any trouble as I ran it back & forth to Singapore - original version of the Proton Saga). I spent a lot of time at Cherating Beach as well on the normal weekends there, just north of Club Med. Not even sure if Club Med still exists there now. Haven't been back up there since Oct, 93 when the offshore survey finished.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Re: Where will you retire?

Post by malcontent » Wed, 29 Sep 2021 11:53 am

Lisafuller wrote:
Wed, 29 Sep 2021 4:03 am
Very true, I’ve noticed this as well. My personal favorite is a guy named Mark Wiens, he does food tours all with the world but is based in Thailand.
I’m also a subscriber of Mark’s, watching his Thai tea video convinced me I could make Thai tea on my own, and now I often do.

You can buy Cha Tra Mue via NTUC online, along with Mae Ploy Thai curry and tom yum pastes. Such items were never available in the past… I’ve recently been enjoying authentic home cooked Thai curry almost every week!

Mark has an interesting background, growing up as a mixed Asian child of an American expat in Africa, and now based in Bangkok married to a Thai lady. He has to be one of the most well travelled and adventurous foodies out there. Almost nothing he won’t eat. I think his signature facial expression after biting into the food is his claim to fame. But just once I would love to see him bite into something and show a most disgusted face and spit it out!
Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it - Niels Bohr

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Re: Where will you retire?

Post by malcontent » Wed, 29 Sep 2021 12:09 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Wed, 29 Sep 2021 11:38 am
Mal, I have to agree with you on Kuantan. I worked in Chukai, 70 km north of Kuantan for a number of months between June & Oct 1993 when I worked in the Seismic Survey Industry. Being the shore based administrator I had plenty of time to explore the surrounding areas and beaches. My local agent there gave me a four day stay at the Hyatt Regency in Kuantan during the week of 24 of Sept '93 as an Anniversary Gift for my 10th Anniversary. He and his wife also joined us for our Anniversary Dinner which he also sprang for. My wife wanted to show the kiddo's the countryside so elected to take a bus up Hwy 3 to Kuantan where I met her and we we drove back to Singapore in my Rental piece of local crap (although having said that it didn't really give me any trouble as I ran it back & forth to Singapore - original version of the Proton Saga). I spent a lot of time at Cherating Beach as well on the normal weekends there, just north of Club Med. Not even sure if Club Med still exists there now. Haven't been back up there since Oct, 93 when the offshore survey finished.
The Hyatt is still there, and is still the best resort in the area… possibly the best one on the entire east coast of west malaysia.

What has changed is the public beach area to the north of the hotel (which used to have just one line of shops and tze char places) has mushroomed, with lots of new eateries, fast food, Starbucks, etc.

I did have a look at the Club Med once when I was up there, pretty sleepy place on a so-so stretch of beach. I think it closed down sometime in the last 5-10 years. What I do recall nearby club med there was like this a hippie kampong village place where a bunch of backpackers were staying. I was digging the place… but the wife not so much. :lol: [-X
Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it - Niels Bohr

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Re: Where will you retire?

Post by ProvenPracticalFlexible » Wed, 29 Sep 2021 12:22 pm

malcontent wrote:
Wed, 29 Sep 2021 11:33 am
As for the lack of pork, it is often the same case in Singapore - whether it’s the breakfast sausage at McDonald’s or the BLT at Subway, taste and flavor are substantially compromised versus the non-halal outlets overseas.

One thing I do prefer at McDonalds in Malaysia is for chicken nuggets, they have the original hot mustard dipping sauce, same as the US… and my favorite. For some reason they changed it to curry sauce in Singapore which is just awful in my opinion, I can’t understand how anyone would like it (and I am a big fan of curry in general).
Funny that I don't even notice it first in any other areas in KL except the hotel breaky, as Chinese restaurants serve pork. And any other local malay, indian food I wouldn't obviously miss it, or even Italian, French, Tapas, Japanese, Vietnamese restaurants it wouldn't be my go to meat, and when those restaurants have beer, wine and sake, I wouldn't first even notice that they are halal, or well at least don't serve pork. But I'd think quire a few visitors would notice it too.

McDo nuggets have that curry sauce also in most part of Europe as far as I'm aware and no hot mustard. Not a big mcdo consumer, but maybe I'll try next time I make it to KL, which might be quite far ahead.

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Re: Where will you retire?

Post by malcontent » Wed, 29 Sep 2021 12:38 pm

ProvenPracticalFlexible wrote:
Wed, 29 Sep 2021 12:22 pm
malcontent wrote:
Wed, 29 Sep 2021 11:33 am
As for the lack of pork, it is often the same case in Singapore - whether it’s the breakfast sausage at McDonald’s or the BLT at Subway, taste and flavor are substantially compromised versus the non-halal outlets overseas.

One thing I do prefer at McDonalds in Malaysia is for chicken nuggets, they have the original hot mustard dipping sauce, same as the US… and my favorite. For some reason they changed it to curry sauce in Singapore which is just awful in my opinion, I can’t understand how anyone would like it (and I am a big fan of curry in general).
Funny that I don't even notice it first in any other areas in KL except the hotel breaky, as Chinese restaurants serve pork. And any other local malay, indian food I wouldn't obviously miss it, or even Italian, French, Tapas, Japanese, Vietnamese restaurants it wouldn't be my go to meat, and when those restaurants have beer, wine and sake, I wouldn't first even notice that they are halal, or well at least don't serve pork. But I'd think quire a few visitors would notice it too.

McDo nuggets have that curry sauce also in most part of Europe as far as I'm aware and no hot mustard. Not a big mcdo consumer, but maybe I'll try next time I make it to KL, which might be quite far ahead.
I found that Italian is the one few western cuisines in KL that was actually authentic… some even with an Italian guy doing the cooking! Most other western food in KL was either not great quality or not authentic. For example, I recall having some of the worst excuses for Mexican food that I’ve ever eaten in my life there! Other than Italian, I found it best to stick with the chains, like Chili’s for example. Nando’s is pretty decent too.

But when it comes to local food and Asian food in general, that is where Malaysia really shines, even more than Singapore. Malay, Chinese and Indian food is generally fantastic. But also, Thai and Viet food is generally much more authentic and better quality than in Singapore.
Last edited by malcontent on Wed, 29 Sep 2021 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where will you retire?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 29 Sep 2021 12:40 pm

malcontent wrote:
Wed, 29 Sep 2021 12:09 pm
What I do recall nearby club med there was like this a hippie kampong village place where a bunch of backpackers were staying. I was digging the place… but the wife not so much. :lol: [-X
Yeah, that was the area I used to hang out at during the weekends. It was backpacker's paradise as well, even though the beach isn't anything to write home about. For being upper east coast of malaysia, Cherating was probably the most relaxed of the entire east coast on dress codes. No wonder your wife didn't like it! LOL
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Re: Where will you retire?

Post by MOCHS » Wed, 29 Sep 2021 12:48 pm

malcontent wrote:
Wed, 29 Sep 2021 12:38 pm
But when it comes to local food and Asian food in general, that is where Malaysia really shines, even more than Singapore. Malay, Chinese and Indian food is generally fantastic. But also, Thai and Viet food is generally much more authentic and better quality than in Singapore.
The joke we have here is that M’sia’s food safety isn’t as stringent as SG so they can use any kind of ingredients to bring out the flavour. :P

I know the pig’s blood dish is banned here but should be available in M’sia.

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