The “old Asia” of violence and war is a thing of the past.
I repeat: Asia is now the most beautiful, the most exciting, the most user friendly continent on Earth!
Perhaps you don’t want to retire full time there. Perhaps you want to stay close to the grandchildren a good part of the year. Maybe you are a Canadian or European or American snowbird, just wanting to find a place to escape the deep freeze for 4 or 5 months of each year. Perhaps you’re tired of working so much. Tired of two days pay eaten up by one traffic ticket.
No problem! Whatever your Mission Statement is, you’ll get satisfaction in Asia!
Consider: Crystal clear warm ocean water overlapping hot white sand beaches. Beautiful, friendly peoples. Great cuisine cheap! Tropical birds and other exotic wildlife. Ancient cities. Ancient cultures .Modern cities where the nightlife rages! And, in case you actually do like snow, the highest and longest mountain ranges in the world!
Everything the first world has to offer, and more! All at a fraction of the cost!
Social life-the party never ends in Asia! Street markets covering whole blocks are open both day and night. Not just in big cities, either. Almost every town has them. As a matter of fact this wonderful social, dining and shopping experience is so developed you have –Ta Da! - the Day Market in the morning and afternoon, and as sundown comes you have a brand new Night Market a few blocks down. And they are fun! Eat as much or as little as you want at any vendors’ stand; the friendly greetings and conversations are the same.
Besides these well known and well organized markets there are countless small food stalls everywhere in towns. Noodle shops, soup shops, tea and coffee stalls, you name it. Old style (and strong) French coffee is particularly a treat in Vietnam and Laos! Enjoy with fresh pastries and croissants, Food is so cheap in Asia that almost no one actually does there own cooking. Why be alone at home when you can chow down and socialize at the same time?
This brings us to another of the advantages of Asia: The incredible and very affordable Service Industry. The cost of labor, the cost of other people doing your laundry, the cost of maids and drivers is to put it simply; simply dirt cheap. Experience what the wealthy know - life is so much easier when you can hire other people to do the chores for you. So, you have your own cook, either formally or defacto at the markets, you have the laundry down the street where you drop off your clothes; your hairdresser, your masseuse, the repair people who keep your shoes, clothes, whatever, humming along indefinitely.
Asia is too much fun! Got the feeling your home country runs with the sterile, ruthless, humorless efficiency of computer software? Asia isn’t that way .Its great to walk down the street to pick up your laundry and meet a baby elephant! People still consider having fun to be an important part of life. There are so many countries in Asia, and they are all so accessible to each other. The joy of discovering something new is always just around the corner. I’ll always remember that night in the little coffee shop on the Manila waterfront promenade where I got to shake hands with the Japanese gentleman who invented Karaoke! Nor will I forget the beautiful old lady in Thailand who took such pride in serving my friends and me the finest, freshest ginger tea. Straight from the teapot above a small charcoal fire!
Which reminds me...
My favorite aspect of Asia-if I have to choose-is the water! Well, more specifically the wonderful islands and coastlines of tropical Asia... I love to knock down a cold beer while watching fishing boats slip out of the dock. Or take a snorkel tour boat out. Eight U.S. dollars gets you a whole day and views of five islands, plus lunch. Floating around in crystal clear, really warm water, watching tropical fish swimming about. You’ll love it. Visit the surfboarding beaches of Bali. Or take an overnight boat voyage through Vietnams’ magnificent rock pinnacle landscape of Halong Bay. (That one will cost 18usa a person, including the bus ride from Hanoi, all meals, the 2 day boat voyage, a hotel on an island, and more. Beats the prices in Europe, huh?) I’ll never forget the old fisherman a hundred islands south of Cebu who proudly rowed me out to the Marine Preserve he and his friends had established. Snorkeling in the warm water there, I saw a school of hundreds of small yellow fish swim slowly by, reminding me so strongly of leaves falling from the aspen trees in the mountains of Colorado just before winter! It was December, and I swam back to his boat more glad than ever to be in tropical Asia!
Excerpted and adapted from the ebook "Retire to Asia" by Archie Satterfield.