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Old 02-08-2011, 09:41 PM   #126
bergeroo
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Yeah you have to leave north america and that includes most of the Caribbean islands.

Also you can't use the 90 day thing too much as the US border people can stop you from using that any time they like if they suspect you of using it so much. So things like repeat long visits, same entry point, not enough proof of ties to home country. They can do this any time, and then you will have to apply for a visa which you may well be rejected for.
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:46 PM   #127
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Pretty certain US agents would see you overstayed your previous visa - so I guess you would have to try and convince them that it was some kind of mistake in their computer. Good luck with that!

I believe punishment for overstaying visa can vary from being banned from 1-10 years depending on how long you overstayed and random other stuff.

It is just easier to stick to the rules. You can probably spend 120 days per year in the US with no problems on visa waiver - any more than that then I think you could be inviting possible problems.

I always carry a load of documents making me look like an uber tourist. Grand Canyon brochures, helicopter rides, guidebooks, a fake route planned out - always say you are staying in a hotel on the immigration form, even if you are not and print out a fake reservation. Also bank statements and any proof of owning property etc or family is always good to prove funds and ties to home country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMore View Post
You wouldn't be able to re-enter without going through the whole illegal immigration process all over again. So if you hiked over the border (current fees: about $2,500, with polleros in Juarez or TJ, and it's not a safe or pleasant hike), or flew in and overstayed a visa, whatever, you'd have to do it again. Mexican illegals here don't go home until they're going to stay home for a long time, and in fact at this point, most just go home only when planning to never return.

If you went home and then got another visa, which I suppose would be the case of most 2+2ers, I have no idea if US agents would be able to deduce from your passport that you'd overstayed your previous visa, and thus take enforcement action against you.

Nothing in this or any other post of mine should be construed as encouraging criminal behavior. Obey the laws.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:14 PM   #128
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

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Originally Posted by bergeroo View Post
So if you hiked over the border.
LOL, or you could just walk through any border crossing, they don't check you when you are leaving the US to Mexico (unless you wanted them to verify you are leaving on a valid visa).
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:38 AM   #129
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Taipei anyone?
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:40 PM   #130
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

How about Singapore?
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:35 AM   #131
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

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Originally Posted by Stuffdog85 View Post
Dublin, Ireland

Cost of Living: 2/10
Despite the banking system collapse, the death of the Celtic Tiger and the arrival of the IMF, Dublin is still a very expensive city. A decent suburban room will set you back €400 - €500 a month and a city centre equivalent will cost between €600 and €800. Saying this there are plenty of sketchy places that are significantly cheaper. Food, alcohol and petrol are between one and a half and double the price you would pay in North America.

Crime: 7/10
Dublin is pretty safe, no doubt there are dangerous parts of the city but anybody with a modicum of common sense should be well able to avoid them. If you are unlucky you might get leered at or leeched over by a stumbling heroin addict in town or be on the wrong side of a staggering punch from an intoxicated local on a night out but overall Dublin feels much safer than big cities in the US and the UK.

Poker 8/10
Ireland's capital boasts a decent selection of casinos, most of which hold nightly cash games and tournies. The players are soft, the rake is decent and the action is fast. Online poker is pretty much unregulated and you do not have to pay tax. Internet connections are sufficient to play poker but still lag behind North American and Continental standards.

Recreation 5/10
Ireland has notoriously unattractive weather and while Dublin is one of the driest parts of the country it does not have a climate which encourages an active outdoors lifestyle. The nightlife is decent but expensive. There is a great selection of pubs and clubs to suit most peoples tastes. The choice in restaurants is adequate with mosts tastes catered for however the local cuisine is almost non existent.

Ease of entry/residency:
EU citizen 10/10
First world country 5/10
other 2/10

Women 3/10
Don't come to Dublin for pussy. Irish women are ugly, both genetically and in the manner that they look after themselves. Additionally this fault is not tempered with the down to earth quality one might expect, in fact Irish women are fueled by a healthy dose of self delusion. Your typical 6 thinks that she is an 8 and your typical 8 thinks that she is a 10. This is due to the fact that there are essentially no 9's or 10's in the country. On the plus side, traditional Catholic morals are fast evaporating so one night stands are definitely possible, just remember that you will be shooting around 2 marks lower than you would in the US and a mark lower than in the UK.
An Irish person not giving Ireland 10/10 for everything, must be a first
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:09 AM   #132
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Haha ^^
I think he was spot on with what he wrote,After visiting Dublin for the day I couldnt wait to return home,Most overrated city
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:56 AM   #133
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leedslad View Post
Leeds, England
Experince, lived here all my life

Cost of Living - Typical for a large European city. More expensive than America for sure. It's the 3rd largest city in England. Less expensive than London for obvious reasons but more expensive that some smaller cities. A £25,000 ($37,000 USD) salary is just above the national average. A beer will typically cost you £2-£3 in most places but they can be found cheaper than that if needed (£1 a bottle some places). A weekly food shop a supermarket will cost you around £60-£80. Internet about anyway from £15-£25 a month. Very reliable cable internet services and the Wifi coverage is good throughout the country. Housing you can find a pretty broad range of costs to suite your needs. High end city centre flats can be as high as £800+ p/m. Cheaper areas located in the city can be found thanks to the large student population (largest in the country outside london) and rented housing. Obv cheaper to live outside the City centre. Transport around £2 on the bus. £3-5 in the taxi if its a short hop or roughly £1 per mile.

Health care is free. You'll need insurance if you plan to own a vehicle, which can be expensive.


nightlife & Recreation - As with England in general its a pretty diverse city. Lots of different sub cultures and non UK residents. Speaking English is going to be essential, we're pretty poor compared to our European neighbours when it comes to speaking other languages fluently. Fun, big vibrant city. Theres the yuppy business vibe, the grungey student vibe and everything in between. Lots of bars and clubs in the city. As mentioned the largest student population in England means the citys always got a youthful party element to it. Golf courses and countryside all within a short trip. Any activities that you'd expect in a large city you can get here.

How Scary? - 4. Very safe during the day. High police presence, especially in the city centre at night. I've never had a fight or been a victim of crime but every large city has crime so Leeds is no different. if you live a decent area and aren't typical the sort to get into bar fights you'll prolly not see anything. Culturally and religiously diverse so foreigners arent hated. People wont rip you off. its a one price for all system.


Poker Playing - Poker is legal. 4 main casinos in leeds. Merrion G, Alea, Gala, Napoleans. Offer a range from NL cash and low-mid buy in tourneys (£20-£50). Live cash is pretty soft with 0.5/1 or 1/2 on offer. Rake is usually capped at £100 pots and 5% i think. Alea has the softest cash games imo. It would be hard to make a living of the tourneys in leeds but Dusk Til Dawn poker club is about 1hrs drive away in Nottingham and offers much larger prize pools and buy ins. Or london is about 3-4hrs drive away if theres a big EPT or WSOPE on. In general you can get to pretty much anyway in the country from leeds within 4 hours max.


How Easy to Get There and Stay There? - Easy to get here. Major transport hub, especially the london airpots. Americans should have a 6 month stay with no Visa required. EU countries are free to come and go.


That should jsut about cover it.
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Originally Posted by Benoso View Post
Someone asked for Leeds/Manchester earlier...

Liverpool. Some of this might apply to UK as a whole too.

Smaller than both the above, Liverpool still has a lot to offer..

Experience: Been a student here for almost three years, I like to this I have a pretty good grasp and 'feel' for the city by now.

Cost of living: Probably a tad cheaper that Manchester and Leeds and a lot cheaper than London. You'll get a nice dockside apartment for about £450/month I imagine. I live in the suburbs in a shared student house and pay £60/week, all bills inclusive (inc. broadband).

Crime: Liverpool has an undeserved reputation for its crime levels. The common stereotype is that Scousers (Liverpudlians) are all burglars and muggers. They'll steal your stereo and TV etc. etc. Stats show that Liverpool is safer than most major UK cities. Liverpool went through a bit of a bad patch in the 80s I guess with the Toxteth race riots and so forth but that was because it was a city in decline then, its manufacturing base got annihilated by Thatcher and it left a lot of resentment. Now it's retooled itself as a tourism area/service industry dominated city (like many cities have had to) and it's bustling once more. It was named European Capital of Culture for 2008 and this led to a massive of investment. Cranes seem to always dominate the skyline and there's always some new bar/gallery/museum opening it seems.

Poker: Three casinos, all chains. Gala, Mint, Circus. Cash games and tournies run every evening. Games tend to be 1/1, although 1/2 runs at weekends. 5% rake, capped at £5. There's Manchester's Grosvenor a short drive away which apparently spreads cash games virtually 24/7.

Recreation: It's a thriving student city. Loads of bars, price of a pint is about £2.40 although you'll find a lot of sub-£2 places too. Liverpool is somewhat famed for its nightlife. It's a smaller city than its peers but people still come from miles for weekends here. There's also the fabled 'Scouser charm' I guess. There's loads more (two amazing and very different cathedrals, some of the best architecture in Europe etc. etc.) but we don't care about that right?

Ease of entry: Standard UK policies.

Women: Nothing special. If you're a decent looking guy and have a modicum of charm/charisma, you'll be able to pull on a night out.


thanks for this guys, v helpful
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:23 AM   #134
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Anyone have experience of Bulgaria?
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:36 AM   #135
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExpensiveTaste View Post
Anyone have experience of Bulgaria?
I went there; here is the trip report:

https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/92...s-pics-929400/

EmpireMaker2 also had good things to say about Plovdiv and spoke glowingly about Sunny Beach (I didn't go there so can't comment).
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:39 AM   #136
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Thanks alot T50 Much appreciated,
Will have a read now
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Old 03-11-2011, 04:19 AM   #137
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Beijing, China
Lived here for about a year

Cost of living- 6. Rent in the major cities isn't cheap, but its affordable. I live in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath apartment about 5 minutes from the major hotspots for 7000 yuan a month (about $1200). Food, clothes, and entertainment are cheap though, and although everything is counterfeit, you can get some remarkable deals on just about anything.

Crime - 9. One of the safest major cities in the world. Violent crime doesn't really happen very often, unless you are looking for it. There has been a rise in muggings on drunken foreigners in the past few months, but if you aren't wasted and belligerent you won't have a problem. Only reason I give it a 9 is because people are ALWAYS trying to scam you. Whether it be a hot chick asking you to get tea with her or a real estate agent, it is very difficult to know who to trust in China. Always ask questions and have someone that understands what is going on.

Poker - 5. No casinos, but there are a lot of live games in the city, ranging from 1/2 yuan (like 0.20/.40) to very high stakes games. The higher the stakes, the more sketchy the games become for the most part. Playing online isn't easy, you need to have a VPN to connect to many of the sites and internet connection is sometimes a problem.

Recreation - 10. Things are cheap and there is something for everyone. Public transportation and taxis are really cheap (2 yuan for subway anywhere in city, .4 yuan for bus). Drinks are fairly cheap but hard liquor is often suspect (mixed with Chinese moonshine). China gets a reputation of being very strict, but it is way more laid back then the USA in most respects. You can find ANYTHING you want and it will be cheap.

Ease of getting/staying - 3. Not easy to get a decent visa, and they are fairly pricey. Teaching English is the easiest way to get here and get a good visa, which tons of foreigners that live here are doing. The visa process is a pain and they don't make it easy.

Girls - 6. Girls are aplenty, but there are few that are really good looking. I have also found that Chinese girls get super attached ridiculously quickly, are possessive and get jealous, and most have the maturity level of 10 years below their age. That being said, the country is opening up in a lot of ways, one of which is sexually. As a foreigner, I am viewed as exotic, big, handsome, and rich. This is very fun.

Strongly recommend coming to China, never thought I would like it this much but it is a great place. Really fun, interesting people, lots to do. As long as you can put up with the frustrations of living with a ton of Chinese people and the pollution, you will enjoy yourself.
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:27 AM   #138
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Lima casinoes charge either 3% or 4% rake and most take one or two soles for the jackpot depending on the size of the pot. The rake is usually capped at about 75 soles. The exchange rate fluctuates but is usually around 2.75 soles to 1US dollar.
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Old 03-11-2011, 05:39 PM   #139
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Canada -

Cost of living. 5-7. Depends how nice you want to live... major cities are a lot more expensive. Can be done cheaply if you require. Food is generally pretty unexpensive, from grocery stores.

Recreation : 8. Pretty good. Lots of bars, various stuff like skiing or hiking or whatever. Generally big cities have a pretty solid night life.

How Scary : Not at all. Unless you are completely unsafe you should be fine... not a lot of crime or violence.

Poker Playing : Casinos and underground and home games everywhere. Online poker is a gray area... soon will be government monopoly.

How Easy to Get There : Not sure. Fairly multicultural...
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:44 PM   #140
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoyasnaxa View Post
Beijing, China
Lived here for about a year

Cost of living- 6. Rent in the major cities isn't cheap, but its affordable. I live in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath apartment about 5 minutes from the major hotspots for 7000 yuan a month (about $1200). Food, clothes, and entertainment are cheap though, and although everything is counterfeit, you can get some remarkable deals on just about anything.
is that $1200 for your own share of the rent or for the whole place?

How much would a 2 bed-room apartment similar to yours cost per month USD?
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:56 PM   #141
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Quote:
Originally Posted by FallsviewPokerPro View Post
Canada -

Cost of living. 5-7. Depends how nice you want to live... major cities are a lot more expensive. Can be done cheaply if you require. Food is generally pretty unexpensive, from grocery stores.

I would give a lower score for cost of living, the Canadian dollar has gotten stronger recently and most people coming here will be staying in major cities, definitely more expensive then most other places in this thread but on the cheaper side of 1st world countrys. Generally you won't get a 1 bedroom place for less than $1000/month in a major city without subletting or rooming with cockroaches.

Recreation : 8. Pretty good. Lots of bars, various stuff like skiing or hiking or whatever. Generally big cities have a pretty solid night life.

Agreed. Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver all have great restaurants, bars etc and outdoors stuff is top notch except beaches maybe, they're decent but certainly not going to wow anyone whose been to Australia or Thailand or w/e

How Scary : Not at all. Unless you are completely unsafe you should be fine... not a lot of crime or violence.

Yeah don't spit in a bikers face or rub raw meat all over yourself in bear country and you'll be fine

Poker Playing : Casinos and underground and home games everywhere. Online poker is a gray area... soon will be government monopoly.

The closest Casino to Toronto is about 60-90min drive away (Depending on traffic & weather) but offers really good live games, from what I hear Vancouver has a good selection of casinos with poker rooms and I do know there are some in Quebec but I can't comment on proximity/quality of the ones near Montreal

How Easy to Get There : Not sure. Fairly multicultural...

No problem with flights obv. As far as Visa's go I know Canada offers a work holiday visa for young people that should be fairly easy to get if you belong to a commonwealth nation or 1st world country, never had to apply for one myself though so I don't know much more then that.
Weather - A lot of people who have never been think of Canada as tundra buried in snow but we actually get hot summers (Can be very humid too though). Its a huge country so it depends where you are at but in Toronto for example its not unusual to see temperatures from -30C in the winter to over +30C in the summer.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:44 AM   #142
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Beijing, China

Lived here for about 3 years, before than in a different city in china

The Five Criteria:

Cost of Living: 8 - Your money will go pretty far here. The cheapest end on a one bedroom livable place with internet and everything is about 300 USD a month. A very good two bedroom wont be more than 800 USD a month. Buying real clothes/electronics/whatever here is expensive but buying fake stuff is cheap. Goods are cheap.
Recreation: 9 - Beijing is a very fun city. Very close to the culture of China. Its really really fun getting drunk on the great wall, or taking that cab ride home at night and passing by tianamen square. Nightlife is huge on the weekends and decent other times. The expat nightlife is concentrated in 2/3 areas while the non-expat is more spread out. Beautiful scenery, not very much hiking
How Scary?: 7 - Beijing is one of the safest cities on the planet, for a city so large its amazing how little violent crime there is. I rate it a 7 because nobody here speaks English outside of large tourist attractions and foreigner areas (which are about 1% of beijing). Police are fine and wont bother you, Chinese guys wont bother you unless you bother them. When you buy stuff people where you need to negotiate the price people will most certianly rip you off, but taxi cabs will never do so.

Poker Playing: 2 -B&M scene here is virtually non-existent for foreigners. there are underground scenes but they are very hard to get into if you are white and very dangerous. All forms of gambling here are illegal.

How Easy to Get There and Stay There?: 3 - Really easy to get a multi entry visa, but you have to leave the country every 60-90 days. You can make visa runs to inner mongolia which at the cheapest will cost you about 100 USD. It is not easy to become a permanent resident, you need some lawyers to work some magic. I guess it is doable on your own, but i know a total of zero people who have. I got a lawyer moonlighting for me and he did it for 6000 RNB (little less thank 1k USD)
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:04 AM   #143
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Dalian, China

Lived here for about 2 years, before moving to beijing

The Five Criteria:

Cost of Living: 6 - Your money wont go as far here. Dalian is one of the nicest and most expensive places in china. The cheapest end on a one bedroom livable place with internet and everything is about 400 USD a month. Two bedrooms in the city center will be around 1200 USD a month, towards the outskirts about 800 USD a month. As with all chinese cities, buying real stuff is expensive, fake stuff is cheap. Food is relatively cheap.
Recreation: 7 - There are a decent amount of nightclubs but a lot of them suck. The best nightclub is called King's Club, and it is always packed. I get bottle service for really really cheap but usually its about 100-300 USD, depending on what kind of booze you want. Always get bottle service. It also has a sea world and disney land knock off if you are into that stuff, but lines are retarded long. Furthermore, one of the most beautiful beaches in China. During the winter it is home to the liao ning ice festival (admittley not nearly as nice as the Harbin one) but you will still have a good time. Lots of parks and foliage.

How Scary?: 9 - Da lian is a very very safe city. It is upscale with virtually no violent crimes. The only reason it doesnt get a 10 is the lack of english. If you are white like i am, everybody will assume you are russian and attempt to speak to you in russian (i know 3 words in russian). Very little corruption and police are friendly. Hu Jintao has his summer house out here

Poker Playing: 0 -As with all chinese cities (cept macau) gambling is illegal. Since the xpat community is very very small, i didnt get to play while i was living out there.

How Easy to Get There and Stay There?: 3 - Really easy to get a multi entry visa, but you have to leave the country every 60-90 days. You can make visa runs to inner mongolia which at the cheapest will cost you about 100 USD. It is not easy to become a permanent resident, you need some lawyers to work some magic. I guess it is doable on your own, but i know a total of zero people who have. I got a lawyer moonlighting for me and he did it for 6000 RNB (little less thank 1k USD)
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Old 04-16-2011, 02:04 PM   #144
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Bump
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Old 04-17-2011, 03:13 AM   #145
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Anyone with experience from Eastern Europe?
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:39 AM   #146
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Phuket Thailand:

Experience: Just got done living there for exactly one year. I lived in Chalong (east side) for half of that time and Rawai (south side) the other half.

30 baht = 1 dollar

Cost of Living: 7

Basically day to day things are very cheap, materialistic stuff is way more expensive.

First house was 22k THB/mo for a furnished 3 bed room that was decent. The location of this house sort of sucked (15 min ride to the beach) and in hind sight we certainly overpaid. Second house was a nicer 3 bedroom for 35k THB/mo, had a private pool and was in a great location (less than 5 min ride to the beach). Food is really good and costs 30-45 thb per meal for the basics - but you have to find the right place which takes some trial and error. You can get killer deals on some food as well, for example fresh jumbo prawns were ~350-600 THB per KG (varied depending on demand) for very large ones (like maybe 10 per kilo).

Renting a motorbike was 2500 THB for a new one - although next time I'll know to buy and maybe lose 5-10k THB for an the entire year when I resell. Internet was 1500 THB/month for a faster one. Electricity was a lot but we used AC pretty much 24/7... the bill was 6k THB/mo. A maid costs 400 THB and spends a few hours cleaning. Getting laundry done is 50 THB per KG - ironing is 10 THB per item. You could probably haggle all of this down but I never bothered.

The cost of electronics, furniture, good quality clothes, etc is all way more expensive than the USA - maybe 1.5x as much... so bring anything you want with you. I personally stopped caring about this type of crap a while ago though so this didn't bother me at all - I just didn't buy any of it!

Recreation: 8

You can take boat rides to random small islands, there is rafting (never did this), go rock climbing (friend did this), snorkeling and a bunch of touristy stuff like riding elephants. To be honest I felt like most of the attractions were just tourist traps... but I could also see people enjoying the activities a lot.

There are weight rooms everywhere. You can train Muay Thai for ridiculously cheap with a variety of choices. Thai massage is 250 THB an hour - though if you want I am sure you could haggle.

There is Karaoke in most of the more densely populated parts. There is a ton of choices for live music - they sing both Thai and western songs. Getting an attractive/fun date is extremely easy if you aren't an old man. Getting a date for an old man is also easy, but the girl is likely looking for money in some fashion - the more unattractive you are, the more likely the girl is to be working you if she is attractive herself... just be honest with yourself here. There are up scale choices for places to eat and a few choices for western food that are decent - typically a little bit under western prices for a similar quality meal. The truth is that overall the food in the USA is *way* better than in Thailand. There are a couple of movie theaters that miss some smaller movies but you'll still get to see the block busters.

I guess I'll elaborate on the other night life there since I figure a lot of guys are interested in that a lot (I wasn't when I first came out here, didn't know about it actually... but it seems to become a part of almost every guys lifestyle that I see living out here). The three venues for picking up working girls are,

1. Bars which are pretty much *everywhere*. Basically these are just places where girls are paid to hang out and have the option of going home with men who come in. The girls in these places vary a lot in physical appearance - there are some extremely ugly women and some extremely attractive ones. Most fall somewhere in the middle. A drink here costs you about 80-120 THB, a drink for the girl costs a little bit more and the "bar fine" is usually about 200-300 THB.

2. Gogo bars which are basically only in Patong (or other big hot spots for this industry, such as Bangkok or Pattaya). Basically these is are a strip club where you can take the girls home, although it is a lot more business like (in the bars the girls never once talked about price with me, in gogo bars they did every time). The girls in these most of these places range from moderately attractive to extremely attractive.

3. Clubs where the girls from 1 and 2 go after their work ends as well as some "normal" thai girls who are just looking to have fun. Discerning between the working girls and normal girls is pretty much impossible in these places. Basically you just dance up to a girl that you think is hot and pretty much always she will start dancing with you. Then you just take it from there.

During low season there are *way* more girls everywhere, and they will be competing for your attention a whole lot more.

If you're a decent looking younger guy you don't have to pay for sex if you don't want to. Thai women will want to start a relationship with you and will bend over backwards to make it happen (they will cook, clean and shop for you) but the down side is that they are very immature and have insane jealousy issues. They really can be crazy.

Safety: 3

I never once felt physically threatened by a Thai in my entire year there. This has been the same thing for pretty much everyone I've talked to. That said, they will try to scam or otherwise extract money from you - and to be honest you'll figure out after a while that that is all you are to most Thais. They get creative in their scams and you often won't realize that you were scammed until a while after it happened. Also, you likely won't care unless you're like a 25nl player.

The street dogs seemed to be a reasonably big threat - if you walk around late at night you could find yourself with 10 mean looking dogs following you closely. This is not a joke - this was probably one of the most sketch parts of Thailand.

Riding a motorbike is extremely dangerous. There is no getting around this. If you do get into a crash, it is unlikely you'd get medical help for at least an hour. It really is bad and this alone will make living here dangerous as hell. I saw 3 separate motorbike crashes happen while I was here and things did not look good. And if you live in Phuket you will end up getting one of these. So realize what you're getting yourself into before you go.

The HIV rate in Thailand is moderately high (1.5x the US rate) and you'll end up hooking up with a lot of girls if you come to live out here. While this seems like a significant risk, realize that it has *nothing* on the safety concerns of riding a motor scooter.

Poker: 4

There isn't any live poker that I saw and it is illegal here. You can play online but the internet and poker is shaky sometimes (I still did well overall but I bet I could account losing 500+ due to disconnects in my year there, just pots forfeited, ie not including lost action). The internet is especially bad during the day and especially when it rains really hard. Macau is decently far away and in all reality you will almost never head up there. That said, you can actually start a Thai bank account if you want and can probably get money out that way. You can also probably play on Euro sites while you're out here - although I just didn't bother.

Visa Trouble: 3.5

Overstay is 500 THB a day and you will get in trouble if you are caught over staying. Basically staying in Thailand for a long time over your visa is just an extremely stupid idea.

You can secure a non-immigrant O visa if you are clever, but you have to be sure to do this before you leave for Thailand. Some countries might not have this benefit, either. This visa will basically allow you to stay in Thailand for up to 15 months and all you have to do is fly in and out of the country every 90 days.

Another option is getting a student visa. Basically you can pay ~20-30k THB and get this visa. Once you have it you can stay as long as you want, but have to go talk to the immigration office every few months. I've heard that they actually quiz you on your ability to speak Thai which suggests you actually have to learn the language if that's what your classes are for, but I cannot confirm/deny this. I honestly don't know too much about this option.

If you cannot do either of these, then you can likely get a multiple entry tourist visa that is good for 6-9 months depending on how well you structure it. On this type of visa you need to fly in/out of the country every 90 days as well. Once you're here, though, you will be unable to get this type of visa, either. You will instead have to head to Kuala Lumpur (best option IMO, though Singapore works also if you have all the paper work) and stay over 2 nights while you secure another single entry, 60 day tourist visa (which can be extended 30 days). This process is super annoying, which is why you should really think about planning in advance and getting the other options to work before you leave. You can also just fly in/out of the country but this only nets you an extra 30 days.

Last edited by Kardnel; 04-17-2011 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 04-17-2011, 05:02 AM   #147
c/m8
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsamuy View Post
Anyone with experience from Eastern Europe?
yes, everyone living there wants to emigrate to the West

east Europe is cheaper but 1) it's not very safe, 2) almost nobody can speak English there (or any other western language), 3) in most of these countries online poker is illegal. I believe it's legal and tax free in Croatia but I'm not sure.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:06 AM   #148
dwayman
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuffdog85 View Post
Dublin, Ireland

Cost of Living: 2/10
Despite the banking system collapse, the death of the Celtic Tiger and the arrival of the IMF, Dublin is still a very expensive city. A decent suburban room will set you back €400 - €500 a month and a city centre equivalent will cost between €600 and €800. Saying this there are plenty of sketchy places that are significantly cheaper. Food, alcohol and petrol are between one and a half and double the price you would pay in North America.

Crime: 7/10
Dublin is pretty safe, no doubt there are dangerous parts of the city but anybody with a modicum of common sense should be well able to avoid them. If you are unlucky you might get leered at or leeched over by a stumbling heroin addict in town or be on the wrong side of a staggering punch from an intoxicated local on a night out but overall Dublin feels much safer than big cities in the US and the UK.

Poker 8/10
Ireland's capital boasts a decent selection of casinos, most of which hold nightly cash games and tournies. The players are soft, the rake is decent and the action is fast. Online poker is pretty much unregulated and you do not have to pay tax. Internet connections are sufficient to play poker but still lag behind North American and Continental standards.

Recreation 5/10
Ireland has notoriously unattractive weather and while Dublin is one of the driest parts of the country it does not have a climate which encourages an active outdoors lifestyle. The nightlife is decent but expensive. There is a great selection of pubs and clubs to suit most peoples tastes. The choice in restaurants is adequate with mosts tastes catered for however the local cuisine is almost non existent.

Ease of entry/residency:
EU citizen 10/10
First world country 5/10
other 2/10

Women 3/10
Don't come to Dublin for pussy. Irish women are ugly, both genetically and in the manner that they look after themselves. Additionally this fault is not tempered with the down to earth quality one might expect, in fact Irish women are fueled by a healthy dose of self delusion. Your typical 6 thinks that she is an 8 and your typical 8 thinks that she is a 10. This is due to the fact that there are essentially no 9's or 10's in the country. On the plus side, traditional Catholic morals are fast evaporating so one night stands are definitely possible, just remember that you will be shooting around 2 marks lower than you would in the US and a mark lower than in the UK.
Rent
You can rent a nice detached4 bed house for €130 per week in a town outside the main cities

Crime
One of the safest countries in the world for sure.

Poker
Live poker scene is not one you could grind much of a living from, with the majority of games that start at 7pm are 1/2PL. with some regular PLO games.
But the scene is so small that literally 5 or 6 extra fulltime players would suck it dry. I stand corrected on the actual number but 5 -20 seems real. Don't come to ireland for B+M unless you want subsistance living from 1/2PLH.
The internet is pretty good unless you are out farmland type area. 8mb line is available in most homes in towns and citys and you can get much better. I can stream HD youtube without a glitch neary all the time and live in a town of 5k people 30 miles from a major city.

Major plus NO tax on gambling winnings.
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:04 PM   #149
dc_publius
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kardnel View Post
Thailand:
The street dogs seemed to be a reasonably big threat - if you walk around late at night you could find yourself with 10 mean looking dogs following you closely. This is not a joke - this was probably one of the most sketch parts of Thailand.
You are the first person to mention this, but this is very important. There are a ton of semi-wild dogs roaming the streets in Thailand. Some get aggressive and they do bite people.

And if getting bitten by a dog was not enough, keep in mind that Thailand is BY FAR the #1 country in terms of Rabies. You should definitely think about the Rabies vaccine and what it does for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by c/m8 View Post
yes, everyone living there wants to emigrate to the West

Eastern Europe is cheaper but 1) it's not very safe, 2) almost nobody can speak English there (or any other western language), 3) in most of these countries online poker is illegal. I believe it's legal and tax free in Croatia but I'm not sure.
I won't speak for all of EE, but you have to realize that EE just opened up 20 years ago. After living under USSR rule, of course people wanted to get the hell out ASAP and make money. But today, this is not nearly the case in all of EE. Poland - the biggest EE country - is flourishing. Obviously, people with no jobs still want to move away to make money, but very few people that have a decent job in Poland want to move away. Very few. In fact, even the people who move to UK and USA and make buckets of money want to and eventually come back to Poland which I think speaks volumes. They choose to take lower paying jobs in Poland instead of staying in the UK/etc.

So if you can make a decent living in Poland, you will find it a very attractive place to live. You have decent beaches in the North, decent mountains in the South, lake region in the NE. Poland gets overshadowed by its neighbors. The Alps are better, the Mediterranean is better, etc. But the value for your money is in Poland. Sure, you can move to S. America or Asia and it will be cheaper, but the cheaper areas there look like war zones and shantytowns and if you are White, you will stick out and be targeted for crime. You can have a nice place there, but you will still be living in the ghetto. (Same in better African countries, like South Africa.)

A lot of young Polish people have traveled around and they speak English OK. Older people will lack English skills. Overall, I would think that most people will not have any problems but I could be wrong because I do speak Polish so it's not an issue for me.

In terms of safety, it's about as safe as Western Europe. If you go wondering around drunk in the middle of the night by yourself you might get mugged. Things like that. One thing about Poland is that it does not have the sort of established ghettos that WE cities have. Not yet anyway... Also, if you are White you will not stand out which helps so much. (In S. America, Africa, and sketchy areas of Asia you will always stand out and be seen as a target for crime and fraud.)
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:43 PM   #150
bhasma
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Re: Index - Best Countries to Expatriate to

Country - Switzerland (Geneva)
Firsthand Experience? - Yes (I live there)

Cost of Living - 4 - Geneva is an expansive city like Paris, London, etc.. well maybe a little cheaper, this is mainly due to the fact that swiss do have pretty high income and that the swiss franc is one of the most stable money in the world. I'd say for example, that to live there 1 month (appartment, food, bills, etc..) u'll need approx 2000CHF at minimum (which is around 2200USD), but like everywhere u can find many "tricks" to get things cheaper. I'd say that the most shocking thing for a foreigner is the price of the food in supermarket (1kg of meat for ex is btw 60-90USD approx)

Recreation - 7 - Geneva isn't the best place in switzerland to party, because of all the financial pressure here, but still you can find some good nightclub, bar etc.. and a decent alternative life (still Lausanne and Zurich are 2 of the best cities in Europe to party). In july August, u can spend some good time with the "fetes des Genčve" around the lake, it's 1 month of non stop concert, activities, etc.. outside near the lake

How Scary - 10 - Maybe the safest place in the world, police is everywhere and pple doesnt look for violence. Still there are drug dealers near the train station and some other places but they'll never seek problems with you

Poker Playing - 8 - In switzerland poker can't be played outside Casino from 2009, before many associations held poker tournaments and it was great. Anyway, there r tons of private cashgames and french Casino (Saint julien Anemasse and Divonne) are 15min away by car and the fields are very fishy (mostly in Divonne 5/10 or 10/20 with pple willing to burn their money). If u want bigger game u'll have to go to Montreux (70km away on the other side of the lake). One of the advantage of Geneva is that the city is in the center of Europe (but not in EU) and that for example Cannes (where's held the PPT ME in August) is 40min by plane away. Italy isn't very far too and there r some good live cg and mtt there too

How Easy to Get There and Stay There? - 7 - Geneva was known to be a hometown for a lot of refugees in the 90's, now it has changed a little bit, but with a EU pass u can stay here easily and if u r from the US it should not be too hard to settle here and try to have a temp pass and even if it can be hard for example I have a brazilian friend with no authorization who come here to work 6 months every year and stay to a friend house and he doesnt have any paper. I mean if u don't get involved in criminal activities the police will not track you for sure...

One of the biggest advantage here, it's that the swiss franc is stable and strong, but if u think reversal, it can be a weak point if u have to convert USD to CHF... Now for the online poker industry, the field is to small for the authority to be concern with at this time...The law is very unclear, in theory if u make incomes from poker for a living u should pay taxes from ur net winning at the end of the year like another job. But, I mean if u have a netteler acount or even a bank acount with small profit nobody will tell you anything, now if u have some big incomes from online poker there r some ways to keep it far from the ears of the taxes...

If anyone wants further details fell free to pm me
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