We have been in Thailand traveling to some of the tourist destinations and visiting friends in Bangkok. Over the years we have gathered tips on how to travel Thailand and come up with some pro and cons of moving to Thailand.
It is such a great place that we are still considering moving there. We have talk to some of our friends who are locals and some who are expats coming from all over the US, France, and UK. Here is what we have gathered.
||High Humidity (year round)
|Many Nice People
||Military Coup (political unrest)
||High level of STDs
|Many things to see
||High level of poverty
|Travel through Asia
There are few other things that you might want to consider as well depending on the area. For example, Pattaya is not very family friendly (depending on what part you venture into) and like Chang Mai it is very “touristy”. A great place to visit but probably not the best place to live. Also, in some cases the “High Humidity” might be a huge plus for some people. The people of Thailand was what made us consider living there as well as the lower overall cost of living for average people.
moving to thailand
One of our favorite things to do when we travel is to hike and explore so Colorado is a gold mine for this!! Barr Trail is one of the best trails in Colorado Springs/Manitou Springs. If you are looking for a challenging walk (or run) up a mountain pass then Barr Trail is for you.
Once you get about one mile into the trail you can see a large part of Manitou Springs below. If you arrive early enough you can see a beautiful sunset shining into Pikes Forrest. You get crisp and clean mountain air. The sight is a glimpse into what birds must experience far away and above it all. It is safe enough to take adolescent kids but probably too much for anyone younger than about 8 years old.
Although the total length of Barr Trail is 21 km (13 Miles), most people only do the first few miles that is parallel with the Incline, another popular trail in the Manitou Springs area. The trail goes through Pikes National forest, pass Barr Camp and ends at the top of Pikes Peak. The total trail goes up 7800 feet.
Barr is used for the Pikes Peak Marathon which goes as far as Barr Camp and back. Barr trail is great to just walk for exercise. Its fun to run down but you have to be careful since the path gets pretty steep and uneven. Depending on when you go it can be hard to find parking. It costs $5 for the privilege of parking next to the mouth of the trail. You do have the option of parking for free about a half a mile or more away in Manitou.
As soon as I arrived in the US, the first thing that popped in my head was the living expenses. I was aware that the convenience of my new life in the United States would not come cheap. I knew that the prices would be way higher than the Philippines. Here are a few comparisons between Philippines and the US.
1. Food. Surprisingly, whenever we eat fast food it is pretty cheap. For example a burger is about the same price in PH. Back in Ph, a $3 burger is actually more expensive than eating a healthier meal. In the US, eating healthier is more expensive. In the Philippines, we choose to eat the healthy meals rather than junk food filled with lots of carbohydrates. The grocery store prices are MUCH better than the Philippines when you consider the amount Americans make. In the US, you can get cheap food in Walmart or pay a dollar more to shop at Safeway and King Soopers for better quality of produce.
- Spices – $3.00 – $5.00.I seen few for $0.88 (Walmart) for very average quality
- Pork (lean) – $ 3.00 – $ 4.00 per pound
- Chicken drumstick – $ 2.00 per pound
- Sausage – $ 5.00
- A dozen eggs (large)- $ 1.50 – $ 2.00 (Same price as PH)
- Beef – $ 4.00 per pound
2. Kitchen Utensils. Utensils in the US are way more expensive however there is great variety. Bed Bath and Beyond has good quality stuff for much higher costs. If you want to get high quality pretty utensils you should go there. However, if you are not particular or just want something decent, Walmart has cheap goods. There are also cheap laddles in Dollar store but cant recommend buying from there. They do not last long.
- Ladle (good quality) for $3.00 – $5.00 walmart
- Non stick pots or pans – $14.00 -$25.00 walmart
In the Philippines, you don’t have this kind of variety but you can get that same quality for half that price. The higher quality products you would find in ”Bed Bath and Beyond” does not have a match of price in PH. The Philippines prices for pots ($10- $30) which I thought were expensive are nothing compared to what we have to pay in the US.
3. Apartment. Cost of living in States for an apartment depend on the population, market value and economy of the area. Here in Colorado, you can get a decent apartment for $800.00. I seen very simple not nice apartment online for $600. An Apartment for these prices in the Philippines is a luxury estate. You can live in a decent hotel for 800/month in the Philippines.
4. Clothes. Wow, the clothing prices in the US shocked me. I thought the branded clothing in PH were expensive but they are not. In the Philippines you can get a good quality women’s shirt for $15.00, but in the US that might get you a t-shirt. In the Philippines a top brand such as “Jag jeans” you can get for $25, but here you might be able to get average jeans for that amount:
- Burlington Coats- $50.00- $200.00
- T-shirt for men – $ 10.00- $ 30.00 (Walmart)
- Polo shirts – $60.00 and above (Kohls)
- Shirts for women – $ 7.00 – 40.00 (ROSS)
5. Furniture. As mentioned above, the quality of furniture you can get for a good price is amazing in America. I would recommend American Furniture Warehouse if you have one in your area. Walmart has terrible to low quality furniture so I cannot recommend buying it from there if you intend to keep it for a while. Places like American Furniture Warehouse also have flat rate delivery of $69.00 for no limitation of furniture you will buy.
- Leather sofa recliner – $549.00 – American Furniture Warehouse
- Dining Table – $ 600.00 but its so worth it. Durable and pretty.
- Tv Rack – $150.00 – American Furniture Warehouse
While you can find this level of quality in the Philippines, it is so expensive that only the rich can afford it.
6. Appliances. Appliances in the Philippines are average quality and there is only 1 year warranty on most of them. In the US, you have places like Walmart and Target that offer huge selections on top appliances. Target has good appliances for sale. However, Walmart has better variety. Both offer 3 year plan warranty to get your appliance and electronics covered and will actually replace the appliance on the spot if you have the receipt and bring it back within 30 days.
7. Gas . Average price cost of gas now in the US is $ 2.00 per gallon. Ph average price would be $1 per liter.
1 gallon = 3.78 liters.
Therefore gas in PH is way more expensive which makes the prices of other products costly.
8. Utilities. Basic utilities are higher in the Philippines. It is unbelievable that a developing country where the average income is 8USD/day (2015) that basic living standards are higher than the richest country.
The cost of living in the US has come as a shock. The level of variety and convenience is amazing. Coming from a developing country the differences are like night and day. If you are on a budget traveling from Europe, your best bet is to stick with South East Asia. But if you can make it to the US, it is definitely worth the trip especially if you are staying for a few months.
Last february 2015, me and my family visited Old Colorado Springs to eat at this place called Uchenna. Wow that place had good Ethiopian food. Their style of cooking is very unique. We went there because it was listed as second highest ranked restaurant in Colorado springs.
After our meal, we walked around a bit and found art galleries there. I think people should check it out if they are seeking for a specific unique thing that is rare to find. They may find it here. The shops in Old Colorado Springs have many unique things for sale from wooden Buddha, hookahs,paintings and gemstones. There are also many restaurants in different cuisines. I also seen couple of shops selling home made ice cream.
The Philippines is a great tourist spot. The people are awesome, the culture is remarkable and there are lots of things to do and see there. However, just like other countries, there are precautions that you must take in order to stay safe and happy during your travels. Here is a list of 15 tips to take note of if you are a bachelor traveling to the Philippines.
Mubuhay! Welcome to the Philippines and enjoy your vacation in paradise 🙂
1. Store Valuable in the Hotel Room. Leave all your important belongings in the hotel room. Do not bring your passport with you while going out because there is a good chance you can lose it.
image from: ehow.com
2. Safety Box. First of all, if you are a bachelor and wanting to hook up with lots of girls, there is nothing wrong with that! But be careful. Not all girls can be trusted with random valuables laying around. Items like cellphones, money and other gadgets should be locked in a vault in your hotel room. Remember that these girls are stranger who you may never see again. You do not know who they are, where they come from and they might be thieves. You should know that it is common for foreigners there to meet up with girls and end up losing some valuables. Prevention is best in this case. If your room does not have a vault, you can secure the items in the luggage (luggage with a combination lock would be best). You can also ask the front desk if they have a locker or safety box to store valuables.
image from: kmsdirect.co.uk
3. Take the Cash that you need. Bring only enough cash you wish to spend for the day.
4. Don’t get too Drunk. Don’t get drunk because you will become an easy target for robbers.
image from: animaatjes.de
5. Don’t Take ATM Card. Do not bring your ATM or credit card c when you are going out to a disco club or strip club. It is best to bring cash. Many places don’t take credit anyway. You should only use your debit or credit cards in well established places. For example, Starbucks, Jolibee, Chowking and places in the Mall are safe places.
6. Condoms. For bachelors, bring a survival kit because you do not know who the girls are or where they have been. In 2013 there was an HIV infection every three hours. As of 2014, the Philippines became one of 9 countries with a rising number over young people with HIV. You need to stay safe and wear a condom. Always have safety sex. Bring your own condoms. Because the condoms there are smaller in size that might not fit to a western standard. This applies to women traveler too, never have sex without protection. Many men there have sex with multiple partners.
7. Have a Wingman. Having a companion is an advantage. If there are two or more of you, thieves and scammers will think twice about trying anything. Another option would be a girlfriend. It is actually helpful to have one while you are there because she can guide you to safer places to go.
8. Catch Cabs. Cabs are safer than petty cabs. My suggestion is to always catch a cab it is the safest for tourists. In a petty cab lots of beggars, solicitors and street kids will want something for you at every stop (even at stop lights). Petty cabs usually don’t have windows so you are very accessible. It is great to help the kids but most of the time when you give one kid food or some money, more kids will come to ask you for more.
9. Always walk fast. Walking fast will help you to be safe. It will make it harder for random people (beggars, street kids and solicitors) to follow you. And they will follow you asking for money, food, you name it. People approaching you mostly happens in crowded and touristic cities.
10. Watch your Phone. If possible, don’t use your phone in public areas. Generally, in big cities there are more crimes. It is dangerous even for locals. It is not uncommon for phones to be snatched so when possible, do not use phones while walking. Another option you can do is to buy a local cheap phone that you won’t mind losing.
11. Never walk in a dark and quiet alley. Many people including locals get robbed when they are walking in dark alleys for shortcuts on the way home.
12. Ice. Avoid drinking water with ice that are not purified. If your stomach is sensitive. Do not do it. Our body takes a while to be immuned with tap water in a new country. Most water resource in the Philippines is not that clean or filtered properly. An example of this is my husband (American) who was getting diarrhea while in the Philippines and we suspect it was ice in his glass of water or soda. If you really want some ice, always ask if they have an ice made of purified water ( we commonly say mineral water).
13. Avoid eating street food. Also, if you want to try filipino food, always check if it is hygienic and ensure that the food has not been out for long. Food poisoning there is so common.
14. Bottled water. Always drink bottled water. Do not drink tap water because the Philippines the water supply is not that clean.
15. NOT in the Back Pocket. Do not put your wallet in a back pocket of your pants. Normally, men are used to putting wallets in back pocket but not in the Philippines. You can not do that there because there are so many pick pockets.
image from : colveta.com
The Philippines is one of the funnest places to party in South East Asia, but you should take care and heed these 15 tips.