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NWDiver

Ideal Destination to spend 3-4mths/yr?

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Starting to look forward to retirement and "post covid" traveling. We have done a fair amount of diving throughout the coral triangle. We love Lembeh, Raja Ampat, Solomons, Micronesia,  even took a day to look at property in Bali.  The ideal spot is somewhere we can Shore Dive!  Just roll out in the morning and dive.  We love Asia and have spent enough time there to know the realities of life in these areas.  Once again we think Bali first but what spots are we missing??? 

Ideally...Shore Diving, not ALL muck diving as much as we like it.  Water has to be warm, the better half wears a 6mm in 80 degree water.  Some form of Villas for long term rent.  Yes, I want AC and a dipping pool.  Walking distance or short car/scooter ride to the store and some simple restaurant fair.  We are older so don't need the crazy nightlife and bars.

Any ideas?  Of course always happy to hear about the dream vs. reality.  

Edited by NWDiver
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You might consider the Philippines, Puerto Galera or Dumaguete or Bohol.  These three tick all of your boxes, cost of living can be low, there are stores and restaurants and social life in walking distance if you want it, and English is the lingua franca. There is the added bonus of being a short hop from other places in SE Asia and PNG. 
 

I’m biased toward Anilao but you need your own car for even minor shopping, and finding a seasonal rental is almost impossible.

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Bonaire? Doesn't tick the Asia box of course - but it does tick everything else

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Enjoyed Bonaire but Southeast Asia has spoiled us.  Actually the Philippines is an area we should investigate more.  We went to Dumaguete once and enjoyed it. 

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This might be an obvious point, but look into visa requirements as part of your search.  Some countries have special retiree visas for extended stays while others may enforce the typical 30 day limit more or less strictly. Here the limit can be extended over and over by paying a nominal “fine”, elsewhere you may have to leave and re-enter.  

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33 minutes ago, troporobo said:

This might be an obvious point, but look into visa requirements as part of your search.  Some countries have special retiree visas for extended stays while others may enforce the typical 30 day limit more or less strictly. Here the limit can be extended over and over by paying a nominal “fine”, elsewhere you may have to leave and re-enter.  

I would agree with this, the visa requirements can be an issue as can navigating the bureaucracy - best course of action would be talk to someone who does this to find out the pros and cons.  It is certainly possible to stay by greasing palms but assuming you don't want to go down that path best to get first hand experience. 

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To be clear, the "fine" for extending a Philippine Tourist visa is not a backhander it is official, charged by immigration at the airport on departure.  We've done it a few times for visitors.  It's about US$40 for every month over the 30 days.  But it can cause a lot or a little of extra time and uncertainty when catching a flight out. 

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3 hours ago, troporobo said:

To be clear, the "fine" for extending a Philippine Tourist visa is not a backhander it is official, charged by immigration at the airport on departure.  We've done it a few times for visitors.  It's about US$40 for every month over the 30 days.  But it can cause a lot or a little of extra time and uncertainty when catching a flight out. 

I wasn't suggesting it was, just the greasing of palms and other shenanigans like paid border runs is a thing that happens.  I lived  in Thailand for a few years 20 years back and we heard about all kinds of means people used to stay there and while I didn't deal with it directly we knew people who did and navigating the bureaucracy was a skill to be sure.

 

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Visa issues can be dealt with.  Way back, when I lived in Taiwan after some stretch of time we would have to leave the country for 48hrs(?) so we would just fly to Seoul or HK for a couple of days.  The better half loves macro. I, of course, enjoy landscape/WA so the perfect spot would have a bit of both.  Don't need Raja epic walls, but something beyond a 6'x6' rock in the muck.  

Edited by NWDiver
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I was station on Okinawa for 2 years in the 80s.

 

excellent shore diving and it is part of the coral triangle.

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Thanks all.  Okinawa is not one we considered.  As you get old you start thinking about this.  I don't think we would live their full time, we will keep a condo stateside.  Another list of countries it is  "inexpensive to retire to":  Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and even Bali made the list.  The trick is find just the right spot in each....

'https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/retirement/countries-where-you-can-live-comfortably-on-social-security/ss-BB1ftdP6?li=BBnb7Kz

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You can go Manado or Bunaken in Malásia. Or Anilao, Malapascoa, Só God Bay in Philippines. Or Sangalaki, Arborek, Komodo in Indonesia

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I knew a Canadian dive photographer (James Mathias) who spent 6 months a year in Fiji.   One time he charted the entire N'AIA liveaboard.   I met him on another N'AIA trip.   One day he looked up from his log book and announced the next dive would be his 400th, in Fiji.

He was pretty selective in his diving and photography.   He skipped a number of dive sites on the Liveaboard as not good enough.  At that time he was still shooting a Nikon F5 loaded with Fuji Velvia film.  He did not finish a 36 exposure roll that week as he would only take a shot that he thought would better one he already had.

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We lived in Fiji for 4 years and, in the Before Times, visited regularly for work for the past 15 years.  My family would unanimously agree it was the best time of our lives.  We loved the places and people and diving, and easy travel to the rest of the South Pacific islands.  We have even looked into buying property there for a second home.  It is not an economical place to retire however.  Compared to SE Asia, the cost of living (especially housing in good locations) and diving is much higher.  But aside from expenses, it is a fabulous place. 

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Fiji is great and the people are amazing.  Boat diving is the way to go, but again looking for a place with shore diving.  Bonaire "style" but in the Coral Triangle.

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