Beach Living In Tropical Paradise Hua Hin for $2000

A couple with and Social Security income of $2000 can comfortably retire in the tropical paradise Hua Hin, Thailand. Aileen and Bob Young have been in their beach side retirement haven since 2013. Bob says, “we found a place that both of us like and that fits with our budget.” They live happily in a condo near the beach on Bob’s Social Security income of $1,992 a month.

In mid-2012, Bob was laid off from his job in Minnesota. He was nearly 66 years old and could not find another job at his age. Aileen, 58 years old, worked part-time as a library associate. That year, Aileen asked Bob to take a trip to Southeast Asia. They flew to Thailand and Cambodia in December to get away from miserable winter, freezing rain, and snow. Both came back from their trip at the end of January 2013 and decided to move to Hua-Hin, Thailand that October.

Hua-Hin is about two-and-a-half hours’ car journey from Bangkok. Aileen says, “The weather is just perfect: warm and never gets cold.” The temperature is between 76 F and 86 F all year round. There are occasional showers in June through November.

The couple pay about $470 a month for their two-bedroom condo. “Most average and above quality condominiums and apartments are in this range,” says Bob. You can get a condo for $300 a month if you want to stay away from towns and beaches. “We are close to everything including the beach, shops, and bars,” says Aileen.

Of their day-to-day meal costs, the couple spend less than $10 for their meals. “Food is fabulous and costs about 75% less than what we were paying in the States. If you want a meal in a luxury restaurant, you can get it for $20 or less. Though I’d rather have my $3 dinner at the night market,” says Bob. The night market in Hua-Hin is a favorite of both expats and locals. There are many seafood restaurants and local street food such as mango with sticky rice and Phad-Thai.

Another thing Aileen likes about Hua-Hin is that she does not feel like a stranger. “Many expats live here. There are a variety of expat communities you can join and make friends. Thai people are also friendly towards newcomers,” she says.

Another source of savings and comfort is healthcare. “The quality of healthcare service here is better and less expensive than the States. With doctors’ visits costing $15 on average, you can discuss with doctors and nurses as long as you want and get a prescription without additional fees,” says Bob.

There are many independent pharmacies around town where you can simply purchase drugs over the counter. “The cost of medicines is less in pharmacies than at the hospitals. If you feel unwell, you can get basic medical advice from a pharmacist and he or she will tell you what kind of drugs to take,” says Bob. Many antibiotics and allergy drugs are available over the counter. A pharmacist will tell you to see a doctor if he or she feels that you are seriously ill.

Bob’s Social Security check is more than enough for the couple to live well and enjoy life. They are happily settled in Hua-Hin. “Life is too short so if you are not taking steps today to enjoy where you want to be someday—you won’t get there,” says Bob.

Story narrated by By Ana Seal


How to Navigate in Asian Countries as a Tourist

Asia occupies a quarter of the earth’s land mass, it spans a lot of time zones. Having a single travel guide for all of Asia is virtually impossible. Asia like any other continent, has its certain hot spots, here are basic travel tips for a few of the most happening countries in Asia.


The country’s recommended tourist spots are Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, which are both modernized. All tourists in Vietnam, except Thai and Philippine Nationals need a tourist Visa before entering the Country. Health wise, Malaria is prevalent in Vietnam, it would be best to bring with you anti-mosquito lotions to prevent being bit. Avoid buying sim cards, tours, airport transfers etc from your hotel, they put a premium on all these services. Buy sim cards from arrival airport


Bali is a prime tourist spot in Indonesia. Bali traffic is chaotic and weather is very hot. Most of the time you will stick close to your hotel or guesthouse rather than wander far on foot or sit in stuffy taxis. If you’re looking for real R&R, Kuta probably isn’t your thing. If you want to shop up a storm and eat more than your body weight in fine food, a week on Nusa Lembongan isn’t likely to leave you fully satiated. Find your perfect spot with the help of Lonely Planet’s ‘first time Bali’ guide.


Thai people are very religious and very loyal to the monarchy. You would often see pictures of the king around the cities, never make fun of him. The Thai also consider the head as the highest part of the body, whether spiritual or physical. Refrain from touching anybody in the head, and try not to point at anything with your foot.


It’s best to bring light and cool clothing in Malaysia. You would usually find food stands in the cities selling the local delicacies, “teh tarik” a creamed tea, and “roti canai” a type of pancake, are a must try when you do encounter them. Malaysia has many religions, you would usually see, a variety of Christian churches, Muslim Mosques and Buddhist and Hindu temples may be present in each city.


The Philippine has 7,107 islands and islets; beaches are the main tourist spots in the country. There are several museums and Historical Landmarks in Manila, the country’s capital. Boracay Island is the boast of the country which has white sand beaches. You’ll find a “tiangge”, which is a sort of bazaar with stalls that sell almost anything, in most parts of the country, even inside malls. Tiagges are a good place to find souvenirs as well as cheap goods.

General Tips

Each country in Asia has its own currency, although up-end establishments will accept dollars, but don’t use your dollar because you will get lower  exchange rate. It is best to have your money changed at the local bank.

Pickpockets are present in most tourist spots, so be careful with your valuables. Separate money from checks and credit cards, have two sets if you can so that you won’t be left dry if you fall victim to a pickpocket.