Wanderlust is a difficult craving to shake off. It never seems to be satisfied when you find yourself on a flight, boat, train, etc. home. So, the obvious solution would be to never leave, right? It’s possible, and a lot of people do it, so why can’t you?
If you are thinking of moving abroad, there are a lot of attractive options scattered across southeast Asia. They each have their own identity within a vastly different culture, if you are looking for a change of scenery, and they each offer their own opportunities and their own beautiful landscapes. Read our guide to decide which one is best for you.
Malaysia is the place to be if you are looking for the quiet life. If your dreams used to be to move to the countryside and enjoy the view, but you’d rather the view had sandy beaches, Malaysia is your place.
The small country offers so many activities that it would be hard to feel bored, but such a simple and peaceful life that you would have to work to feel overwhelmed.
To make you feel even more at ease, Malaysia offers a cost of living that is famously low. Money troubles would be low if you were coming from a more developed country to see the better standard of living that you could afford. Even better, remittances from abroad are not taxed at the source.
Although, Malaysia is developing well, their house prices are still reasonably low compared to other countries. You can come across widely available detached houses (that are called bungalows in the country) that are available for rent or purchase, but apartment living is nothing to turn your nose up to either. Apartments in Malaysia have typically been constructed in the last 20 years and they come with facilities like tennis courts, swimming pools, barbecue areas, gyms and more.
Singapore is the Ying to Malaysia’s Yang, in that where Malaysia has swathes of beautiful nature to admire, Singapore offers a long skyline of skyscrapers. Where Malaysia offers a slower pace of life, Singapore offers a bustling economy and the hubbub of city life.
Singapore has an appreciation for technology and development, which creates a very clean and organized environment for jobs to blossom in. These jobs are mainly in business and finance, and are usually sought through who you know, so it is important to network. There are also jobs in IT, electrics, and shipping, however, you should have it lined up before you leave, as Singapore will not allow you to come in without a job.
Finding accommodation, like the highly coveted Aetas Damansara condos, will take some planning. It is recommended that you start by renting then really start house shopping when you are in the country and can really see what you are buying. But that doesn’t mean you will be living in a squaller. The apartments in Singapore are typically serviced, with the cost as part of the rent, and have an array of facilities like gyms, swimming pools and barbecue areas.
Thailand offers just about everything you are looking for in a new foreign home. An eclectic culture? Check. A thriving economy? Check. Natural and man-made beauty? Check, check. History drips through the north in their temples, where in the south you’ll find beach-side living and part lifestyles. And in the middle of it all is the gem of the country: Bangkok. The capital city offers the modern world experience in the center of history and nature, with its abundance of jobs and bustling city life.
A particularly popular choice amongst expats is Chaing Mai, which is attractive to those looking for a laid-back vibe, whereas Bangkok offers a growing digital industries sector and all the jobs that come with it. Meanwhile, Phuket offers a slower pace of life for retirees with its range of sun-kissed beach resorts.
New housing is constantly being built in urban areas since the boom of the Thai economy in the 80’s, and in less urban areas too. A growing middle class has been building new homes that have left the traditional hardwood and bamboo homes a rare sight. It’s not uncommon for Thai people to live in the condos of the city until they save enough to buy or build their own homes.
Friendly to newcomers, all of these options offer flexible visas for a long-term stay. If you are over 50 you can use the retirement visa to move to Thailand, provided you have the minimum monthly income. Businessmen can use the Non-Immigrant Business visa; however, you will need to do a visa run every 90 days. And then there is the new Smart Visa, which lasts four years and includes spouses and children.