I have time left in Hanoi. Lots of time actually when the days are filled with whatever I want to do and not have to do. I started considering the Cambodia stay I want to do. I have bus service booked from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh but I had stopped there not knowing what would be next. Today I looked at a circuit of travel in Cambodia I want to do.
There are places I want to see at a minimum and then any trips or tours or sidetrips take off from each place. So I booked months in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville and bus service. I will also go to Siem Reap and see Angkor and may take off for Laos from Siem Reap or Bangkok since its easy to do. I will have a year Visa in Cambodia once I extend it and get the retirement visa so travel there will mean multiple exits and entries and I will get a longer stay place as a basecamp once I do the circuit. This completes all the travel for this year basically. To give you an idea about the cost because everyone asks. I’ll preface this by saying I do not book large rooms but I also do not book dorm rooms. My days of hosteling it never did happen but they won’t start now. I value the privacy part of things. I used Booking.com to get the rooms because it seems they have better rates. Here are the places and rates I will stay finishing up this year.
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Three months in district one which is right downtown and close to things. I am staying at Y Hni Guesthouse for $340.00 a month. I’ll stay in HCMC for almost three months or until my Vietnamese Tourist Visa runs out. I get to HCMC by train from Hanoi as I’ve posted here before.
- Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I arrive in Cambodia on the 16th of September after riding a Giant Ibis Bus across the border and getting my normal visa. I am staying a month in Phnom Penh at the Lalune Hotel for $320.00 a month.
- Sihanoukville, Cambodia. I arrive in Sihanoukville on the 15th of October and stay for 30 days at the Sea Sky Bungalow. Sound idyllic? Well it sure looks that way. Its $358.00 a month.
- On or about the 16th of November, I will arrive in Siem Reap to see the archeological and historic wonders and also do the usual wandering around for a month. I do not have a place booked yet but will again ride the overnight Giant Ibis bus from Sihanoukville to Siem Reap. I expect to pay around $350 for a month’s lodging.
This would get me back to Phnom Penh around mid December. At that point, I have to decide whether to go Laos or Thailand first. I’ll go to both but if I go to Laos, I can train over to Bangkok. I’ll have an apartment in Phnom Penh for a longer stay this time. I plan on renting a one bedroom flat or studio for 8 months or until my retirement visa would run its year.
By next year at this time someone may be meeting me somewhere. Perhaps that will be Singapore. It makes my little brain hurt to try to plan that far out. My sister-in-law, or ex sister-in-law or whatever she is retires then and needs someone to travel with. This may not ever happen but I think the kindest place to meet someone would be Singapore. Easy to get around and stuff. I would want to go to India then or perhaps something else. I could always do other places like China.
Not recording food and beer costs…
I am not tracking food and beer costs but have a sense that I am usually paying about $3.00 to $5.00 for regular street food here and more when I decide to splurge. I only eat one real meal a day which is dinner here. Usually for breakfast its a cup of coffee and a pastry or donut somewhere. Hanoi happens to be chock full of french bakeries and breakfast joints! So all totaled perhaps about $8.00 a day most days. If I multiply that out, I end up paying about $250 a month for food. But I probably spend a bit more since I splurge sometimes. So, just for transparency, my hotel here is $360 a month in the old quarter. I could have probably done better but it does not really matter. My feel is I am spending less than $1k a month on everything including laundry service once a week and my cell phone service which I now have with Viettel. If I restricted myself to no splurging I could probably get by on less but I would not be happy. Life is too short to be unhappy when you are seeing places so I do what I want with food and drink.
Perhaps this encourages others to seek out Asia when they retire. I have to say language is not a real barrier. If you are adventurous and like change, don’t mind cultures and people different and a different mood of life; perhaps consider retiring here or in another place in Asia like Cambodia. I have to say Vietnam is very reasonable and you can get a variety of food as you want. I’ve had pizza and genuine american diner food and went to an american owned brewpub here. Street food though is the best. Eating for about $3.00 for dinner is something I can do most evenings.
Perhaps I shall write more about retiring here and my findings. Its something I think more old-timers should consider rather than wasting away in McDonalds with the senior coffee.