Thailand Or Philippines?ilitary

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Posted (edited)

I am currently living in Thailand, but intend to move to Philippines as soon as possible, my gf is Filipino.  I have travelled to Philippines  3 times over the last few years, but do not profess to have sufficient experience to comment on the life of an expat there.

Having now lived a large part of the last 5 years in Thailand, I can make assessments with some knowledge. I thought it might be worth having a discussion as I see many members considering moving from Thailand to Philippines, indeed several people I know are strongly considering it. 

 

 

THAILAND - PROS.

 

1.Cost of living (slightly higher than Phils in my view)

2. Food (Thai food is great)

3. Drive to the left (relevant to me)

4. Higher living standards, Thailand 2nd world, Phils 3rd world)

5. Quite good internet speed

6. Few Brownouts

 

THAILAND - CONS. 

 

1.Military rule who are far from friendly towards farangs.*expats)2.

2. Little English is spoken and understood, communication difficult.

3. Poor attitude of Thais towards expats.

4. Increased inflation here  15% here in past 18 months is the aceepted figure.

5. No native partner to assist in negotiations (this is specific to me only)

5. My gf is treated poorly here by Thai Authorities

 

PHILIPPINES - PROS

 

1.English is widely spoken

2. Cost of living is similar to Thailand, maybe a little cheaper in my view.

3, Much better Retirement Options for Philippines

4. More climate options - cooler weather for me is appealing.

5. Ease of communication a big factor.

6, Native Partner

 

PHILLIPINES - CONS

 

1, Food (I found it quite bland)

2. Electricity supply

3. Safety issues (there is conflicting  views on the forum in this regard)

4, Local acceptance (I did not see any  apparent discrimination against me when there, but realise it is a lot     different when we choose to reside full time.

 

These are a few points that come readily to mind but I know there is more to consider.  Those members of the forum who have spent lengthy times in both location, will be far better at giving some information.

When the time comes to move, I know I will need to have done some assessment of various locations, which we intend to do starting in a month or so. Your valued comments will be greatly appreciated.

Edited by mogo51
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Posted

Hi Mogo

 

I lived in Thailand for approximately 7 years prior to moving to the Philippines, where I have resided for ten years now. In my view you have pretty much hit the nail on the head as regards the pros and cons - with the possible exception of electricity, which is far more expensive in the Phils.

 

Early on in my stay here I posted on the Golden Triangle website (motorcycling forum based in Chiangmai) regarding the merits of living in the Phils. My sole reason for preferring RPI to Thailand, and the most important in my view, is that I find Filipinos much nicer to deal with all in all. In terms of infrastructure, food, shopping, etc., Thailand is light years ahead, but I have never regretted my decision to make the move.

 

The same caveats apply to both countries really, though the other major advantage here is the fact that legal docs and most other day to day items such as bills etc are in English. Seeing that you seem to have adapted well to life in Phratet Thai I am sure you will be fine over here. From my personal knowledge, far more choose to move from there to here than the opposite. Best of luck with whatever you decide!

Cheers - Barry 

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Posted

I thought thailand was cheaper than philippines. It might seem cheaper in the philippines but the quality and quantity you get is lower for food for example.

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Posted

Two points I forgot to mention. In Thailand I always lived in the provinces, mostly in Phanom Sarakham, 40 kms after Chachoengsao. Similarly I live in a small provincial town over here within easy reach of all the facilities in nearby Dumaguete. I never lived, or wished to live in Bangkok, though Chiangmai or Chiangrai were always on the possibles list.

 

Secondly, while living in Thailand, I took the time to learn to read and write very basic Thai, as well as having a working grasp og the spoken language. As such, the resentments expressed at times by the locals against the farang were far more obvious to me than to a tourist passing through. Due to the widespread use of English here I have never attempted to learn any of the various dialects spoken in places I've lived over here. However, there is a degree of resentment in some circles against foreigners, but frankly speaking, that will occur anywhere in the world, and having a positive and friendly approach here does wonders for inter-personal relations with the locals. I was actually brought up in Brazil, and the same applied there. Some locals resented the 'gringos' and nothing would make them change their point of view. But my personal experience has been that the benefits have far outweighed the frustrations one faces from time to time.     

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Posted
PHILLIPINES - CONS   1, Food (I found it quite bland) 2. Electricity supply 3. Safety issues (there is conflicting  views on the forum in this regard) 4, Local acceptance (I did not see any  apparent discrimination against me when there, but realise it is a lot     different when we choose to reside full time.

 

I would like to comment on these points:

 

1.  The food in Philippines is usually nothing I like to brag about but I found that giving my partner free rein to research recipes on the Internet and buy local ingredients for said recipes has resulted in some very tasty and healthy home cooked meals.  In fact I would like to think that a good cook can do wonders with the local ingredients in any country so the only limiting factors regarding food are the restaurants in the area you choose that cater to your taste.

 

2.  Electrical supply seems to be getting better in the more progressive Philippine cities (or perhaps I am getting used to the 'brown outs'.  But there are also more than a few homes that are using solar and wind power and actually feeding the excess back into the grid.  Its not yet mainstream but those that have the capability are not suffering brown outs.  Of course that requires buying a home and investing in the power supply.

 

3.  There are some safety issues, but not as many as I thought when I first moved here.  Crime happens anywhere but is more prominent when one moves to 'bad' areas and/or annoys the local 'crime lords'.

 

4.  Local acceptance is deteriorating in my view.  Can't argue with that.  It has not reached a critical level yet but I can picture it happening.

 

5.  Biggest negative i can think of is the traffic and lack of road safety in Philippine cities and I did not see you mention that.  It is a pain in the a$$ to go anywhere, at least in my opinion.

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Posted (edited)

Just to to add to what Dave said, I blew out 2 TVs before I had a regulator/surge protector put on my place; the cycles in the back and beyond aren't really all that static.  Maybe better in major metro areas but can't really comment on that.  

 

I like the food, I cook as a local but spice it up a bit.  No, it's not a patch on Thai, particularly in the North of Thailand where's there's not a red or green curry or pad thai to be seen but it still beats the hell out of meat and 3 veg to my mind. All the ingredients are there to make what you want, but yeah, most restaurants disappoint. 

 

Beer is cheaper.

 

Road traffic is horrendous, not as bad as Indonesia but getting close.  Those first couple of days there, because you're used to the traffic flowing the other way, even crossing the road can be dangerous.

 

Manila I feel unsafe, in the Bisayas I've never felt any more unsafe than I would stumbling around the Cross in Sydney or the Valley in Brisbane, even in Cebu City, Davao, Dumaguete or Butuan. Much the same as Bangkok vs a provincial city in Thailand. 

 

Fresh fruit and veges, if you want to eat like a westerner are going to cost you, if you're happy looking for local alternatives you'll be happy enough, there's plenty.

 

The beer is cheeper.

 

I've yet to have a decent non-imported steak anywhere in SE Asia.  But having said that, the yanks have the best steaks in the world, I think it has to do with how long they age it compared to what we're used to in Australia.  A lot of my fellow Australians aren't going to like that comment but...  Anyway, don't expect too much from dead cow in PH.

 

As previously stated, visas are much easier in PI.

 

People are friendlier, on the surface at least.  Particularly if you make the effort to learn a little of the language, I'm not talking much, but the basics will be appreciated.  Tagalog and Cebuano and indeed all the local dialects are all non-tonal languages, unlike Thai, so that makes it a lot easier and it's just basically rote memory.  At least learn how to be polite there and it will hold you in good stead. If not, same as anywhere, simple common courtesy will take you far.

 

And, the beer is cheaper.

 

Edit:  Roosters, kareoke at 2am, people nodding and meaning no, etc will drive you nuts if you let it.  But those things are pretty much universal anywhere in SE Asia.  I liken it to living on a major road:  For the first couple of weeks it's irritating, but after that it's water off a ducks back. 

Edited by BrettGC
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Posted

Earlier I planed to move to THAILAND, but I have changed my mind to Phils, because of the following PROS for Phils:

/It's still some bad (=money milking from us) but to live LONG time the VISA options are much better in Phils.

/It's still some bad, but there are much better options available for foreigners in Phils than in Thailand concerning what's allowed concerning middle/small BUSINESS.  (Both countries have good options for BIG investments.)

 

So I prefer Phils even with:

/the big CON Phils have more NATURE DISASTERS, which better be included when deciding where to settle and what home to rent/build.  (There are big differences between different parts of Phils both concerning risks of typhons, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis.) The typhons, which reach Thailand, have often PASSED Phils and weakened much.

/An other things some find belonging to Pros, while I find it a Con  :)     Phils has more coast lines and ocean views  - but less lakes -  and is SPREAD far at many islands, connected by ferries at OCEAN, although many of them are built to be used INLAND...   :(

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Hi Mogo

 

I lived in Thailand for approximately 7 years prior to moving to the Philippines, where I have resided for ten years now. In my view you have pretty much hit the nail on the head as regards the pros and cons - with the possible exception of electricity, which is far more expensive in the Phils.

 

Early on in my stay here I posted on the Golden Triangle website (motorcycling forum based in Chiangmai) regarding the merits of living in the Phils. My sole reason for preferring RPI to Thailand, and the most important in my view, is that I find Filipinos much nicer to deal with all in all. In terms of infrastructure, food, shopping, etc., Thailand is light years ahead, but I have never regretted my decision to make the move.

 

The same caveats apply to both countries really, though the other major advantage here is the fact that legal docs and most other day to day items such as bills etc are in English. Seeing that you seem to have adapted well to life in Phratet Thai I am sure you will be fine over here. From my personal knowledge, far more choose to move from there to here than the opposite. Best of luck with whatever you decide!

Cheers - Barry 

 

 

Thanks Barry,

A good point about bills and indeed things like legal documents, there is no effort to put them into English so we can understand them.

I agree about Filipinos being far more attentive and of course communication is much easier.  

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Posted (edited)

Mog. Looking forward to seeing you mate. Let me assume now that the people who posted here are the clued up types, judging from the posts, I think they are.

 

I never lived in Thailand, probably 12 visits since 1983. Enough visits over the years to see big changes...80's to 90's to present. And 9 full years in the Phils, just 2 prior visits.

 

Yeah Thai food. No wonder Thai restaurants spread world wide since the 1970's. Whereas you will find Pinoy restaurants around, they are seen as catering more to the Filipino's in the area. But the Filipino's has one small advantage, they are great imitators, good improvisors, it doesn't take much instruction to get them coking up an original Italian spaghetti, or in my wife's case, I had her cooking one on my all time favorites....Thai Green Chicken Curry. Granted Thai food is better. Food supplies are more plentiful and things don't go off season as they do in Phils.

 

But then. Over more than 40 years I have encountered Farangs in Thailand rambling on about how they would rather be in Phils...even taking sojourns from Thailand to Phils. And vice versa ,I meet a few here who swear they would rather be in Thailand.

 

Now as the political situation worsens in Thailand, the swing is towards the Philippines, but you never know it might swing back.

 

No electric so low batt on the CP. I have more to say.

Edited by chris49
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Posted

Hi Mongo,

I'm also living in Thailand and visiting the PI fairly often. I found Subic area hotter than hell compared to Northern Thailand (Chiang Mai), so climate depends on where you are in the countries. I generally much preferred the food in Subic, no that keen on Thai food, too much MSG and low quality ingredients. And the past year, I've started feeling that all the Thais hate me, especially the Thai authorities.

 

I get the feeling PI is a little more expensive than Thailand, but I guess it depends how we spend out money. PI booze and girls much cheaper, PI food and accommodation a little more expensive. Not to mention, the Thai girls are way more mercenary than the PI girls.

 

If I were starting from scratch, I would say PI over Thailand, VISAs are getting hard in Thailand now. I'm set up here now, but still coming over for another look at the PI in November.

 

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