Apr 3, 2016

Long Stay in Asia

Many retired folks head to Florida to avoid the snow without realizing there are other options some of which are exciting and no more expensive. John and I discovered that long-staying at various hotels in Southeast Asia is more interesting. 

Before deciding on a second home away in sunny climes, consider the expenses: initial outlay to purchase, routine bills such as water, electricity, etc., maintenance costs or association fees, taxes and other miscellaneous expenses.  The benefit of long-stays is that there is none of that. 

We have long-stayed in SE Asia for several years.  Language is not
much of a problem for English-speaking people.  English is widely spoken in tourist destinations worldwide.  Yes, there is the expense of flying to SE Asia but this year our RT flight from New York to Bangkok was a little less than $800, but when you factor in other savings it is a wash especially considering we don’t drive our vehicle for three wintery months.  

One place we have long-stayed several times is Regent Cha’am in Thailand. We stay three weeks or so and it includes breakfast, internet, daily maid service and discounts on laundry and their restaurants.  One English couple we know stays for two months before Christmas, returns to England for the holidays, and then for three months.  Some Europeans have been returning to the Regent
for 20 or more years.  The Regent Cha’am has two large pools, two restaurants, an onsite clinic, daily activities, beautiful gardens, a minimart, and a spa. Six nights a week there is a duo singing all the old songs we know. We sometimes eat in the hotel’s restaurant but most evenings we walk five minutes into the little town where there are many restaurants, hair salons, tailors, and minimarts.  Meals for the two of us are normally about $15, and they are good – plenty of fresh fruit and veggies. To address the issue of food; picky eaters need not worry as American food is the default food in most restaurants worldwide. For a nominal fee the hotel has a shuttle into Hua Hin, a large nearby city. There are a variety of day trips, a kite boarding school, a golf course, and an outlet mall are nearby. 

I guess I am a restless traveler because after three weeks in one
place I am ready to move on. For nine years we have long-stayed at one of the world’s most beautiful and virtually deserted beaches. It is being discovered however. Amazing Ngapali Hotel on the Bay of Bengal in Myanmar is truly amazing.  The beach has silky sand, the water is warm and
gentle, and the service is excellent.  Even though there are several restaurants near the hotel we usually eat at the hotel because the meals are excellent and reasonable plus the view of the Bay of Bengal at night with the lights of scores of fishing boats twinkling on the horizon is hard to beat. For every five nights we receive a coupon for one complimentary dinner and two complimentary spa treatments.  Amazing Ngapali is hard to top. There are also several activities in the area such as boat rides, diving, and visiting fishing
villages and temples. 

The time may come when we want to settle down to one place for the winter but I can’t envision it – there too many interesting places to stay and places to explore.