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Malaysia - where?
Old 06-03-2013, 08:53 PM   #1
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Malaysia - where?

Ok, I admit I cannot decide between Thailand and Malaysia for our next two month excursion. Another thread we are running the Thailand angle down, but here are my questions for anyone here who has spent serious time in Malaysia:

- If my requirements are a nice beach town with decent rental houses, clean, not hordes of tourists looking (maybe a little hard to get to?), with restaurants and walkable...suggestions?

- Since English is much more common than Thailand, we would like to somewhat integrate with the locals during our stay and if we like the place we may later decide to buy property. But for now a rental house.

- No need for large expat community, but not adverse to it either. We are adverse to large party groups and large hi rise hotels/condos.

- Any visa issues that favor Malaysia over Thailand or the reverse?

Thanks for any thoughts.

M
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:15 PM   #2
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Most expats end up in Penang, or Kuala Lumpur. But I would take a look at the less developed East Coast of West Malaysia especially Kuantan. Small town, approx 500,000 people and is the capital of the State of Pahang. It ahs great schools, hospitals, restaurants, bars, beaches and is only 3 hours from the country's capital
Club Med Cherating is about 30km north of Kuantan, and this is where you would find beautiful secluded beaches, some quaint fishing villages, excellent accommodation, hotels, chalets etc.
Housing is way cheaper than Penang or KL. A 3 bedroom Condo on the beach i would only set you back $70-100k
The Malaysia my second home (MM2H) program is very retiree friendly.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:05 PM   #3
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You might be looking for something like the Malaysian island of Pulau Langkawi, which I enjoyed very much.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Malcolm2 View Post
Ok, I admit I cannot decide between Thailand and Malaysia for our next two month excursion. Another thread we are running the Thailand angle down, but here are my questions for anyone here who has spent serious time in Malaysia:

- If my requirements are a nice beach town with decent rental houses, clean, not hordes of tourists looking (maybe a little hard to get to?), with restaurants and walkable...suggestions?

- Since English is much more common than Thailand, we would like to somewhat integrate with the locals during our stay and if we like the place we may later decide to buy property. But for now a rental house.

- No need for large expat community, but not adverse to it either. We are adverse to large party groups and large hi rise hotels/condos.

- Any visa issues that favor Malaysia over Thailand or the reverse?

Thanks for any thoughts.

M
English is far more common in Malaysia than Thailand, especially once you get out of a tourist zone. You get 90 days on entry in Malaysia, you will have to apply for a tourist visa for your Thailand trip (29 days on entry only without visa). If going to Thailand and you do get a tourist visa, make your stay 59 days or less to avoid a trip to immigration to extend it by 30 days and pay their fees.

Where you go may depend on when you go. Both countries have various climate zones. When would you be going?
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jags View Post
Most expats end up in Penang, or Kuala Lumpur. But I would take a look at the less developed East Coast of West Malaysia especially Kuantan. Small town, approx 500,000 people and is the capital of the State of Pahang. It ahs great schools, hospitals, restaurants, bars, beaches and is only 3 hours from the country's capital
Club Med Cherating is about 30km north of Kuantan, and this is where you would find beautiful secluded beaches, some quaint fishing villages, excellent accommodation, hotels, chalets etc.
Housing is way cheaper than Penang or KL. A 3 bedroom Condo on the beach i would only set you back $70-100k
The Malaysia my second home (MM2H) program is very retiree friendly.
Thanks, very helpful about the MM2H site. KL would not work - just another big city. Kuantan seems interesting and I am looking further at it. We plan to spend the month of October to start - just renting a house at the beach. Is that a good time? How do the beaches compare on that side with Penang?

M
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:29 PM   #6
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English is far more common in Malaysia than Thailand, especially once you get out of a tourist zone. You get 90 days on entry in Malaysia, you will have to apply for a tourist visa for your Thailand trip (29 days on entry only without visa). If going to Thailand and you do get a tourist visa, make your stay 59 days or less to avoid a trip to immigration to extend it by 30 days and pay their fees.

Where you go may depend on when you go. Both countries have various climate zones. When would you be going?
Thanks for the visa info - 90 days seems easier. We are planning October but are flexible. Would prefer to avoid the heavy rains. Thinking aslo about one month in Malaysia, followed by a month in Thailand.

M
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:34 PM   #7
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You might be looking for something like the Malaysian island of Pulau Langkawi, which I enjoyed very much.
This seems nice, but as they are islands are they limited as far as activities? Any experience with renting houses there? We are looking closer at this too after taking a quick look following your recommendation - thanks.

M
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:05 PM   #8
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Any experience with renting houses there?
I stayed in a hotel when I was there, but it's a fairly large island and should have some homes for rent.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:09 PM   #9
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Thanks, very helpful about the MM2H site. KL would not work - just another big city. Kuantan seems interesting and I am looking further at it. We plan to spend the month of October to start - just renting a house at the beach. Is that a good time? How do the beaches compare on that side with Penang?

M
Oct is right on the start of the wet season. December is when it really starts to pour down
I spent 5 years in Kuantan some 30 odd years ago, but have been back for holidays many times. My last visit was 4 years ago, and I still love the fact that it has all the modern conveniences of a State capital, and still retains its country charm. People are very friendly and its a safe place to live. Beaches are much better than those in Penang IMHO. There is the high tourist beach of Telok Chempedak,which is in Kuantan itself (5km from the city centre) where the Hyatt and other hotels are parked right on the beachfront. Its a nice beach, but because its so close to town it is a favourite haunt for local Kuantanese and other Malaysian/international visitors to the area.
If you venture a 15km north to Beserah and towards Cherating, the beaches are fantastic. The coast is lined with small fishing villages and towns with chalets and hotels pepperred throughout.
My honest opinion after spending some great years in Malaysia is that you cannot go wrong with this place.
Good luck.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:31 AM   #10
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I stayed in a hotel when I was there, but it's a fairly large island and should have some homes for rent.
Langkawi the island itself is quite pretty but when we were there I thought that the main town, Kuah Town, was quite a dump.
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:30 PM   #11
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I love Malaysia. It combines the history of a British commonwealth country with the stresses that come from the three founding races. The weather takes getting used to. But it seems to be a gentler civilization that either Thailand or The Philippines. (Politics aside!)
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:25 PM   #12
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Hi-
You are motivating me to do some serious travel in Malaysia. It's bad when I've been living in Singapore (right on the border with Malaysia) for 25 years working, and I know less about Malaysia than many of you who have not lived in this part of the world a long time.

I have a 10 year retirement visa in Malaysia called Malaysia My 2nd Home. I have not used it yet, because I keep toiling away in Singapore. That will come to an end soon, as I'm retiring in 2 days. The problem is I've said this 4 other times, and lied to myself. However, I'm 66, and I'm getting too old to keep saying "I'll try one more year".

I plan on going across the border soon, buying a car, and finding a place to store it while I make arrangements to move there. I then will travel and find where my new home will be.

I'm still struggling with Medicare. On the one hand, there will be a time in the future where I will need to live in the States, at least that's what I'm thinking now. Unfortunately, when you are 65, you are compelled to enroll in Medicare, and unless you want a penalty or even rejection, you need to enroll in the Part B, the Supplementary and the Part D. I'm paying all this money and not using Medicare. It does give me solace, from my point of view, that if anything serious healthwise came up, I could go to the States and get treated. Yet, I need to have my own private insurance through here.

Anyway, if you are interested in where to go on Malaysia, I suggest you go to the MM2H Forum. There are some very nice expats there who can offer lots of suggestions. Here is the website: http://www.my2home.info/index.php

Rob
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:29 AM   #13
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Hey Rob, Technically, you do not need to enroll in Part B or Part D and Part A is free. It is just that you would not be covered for many things back in the USA (or Guam or Saipan). This takes some research and guesses about your future to come up with the right answer. And if you have enough savings you could plan to fund your own health care in retirement in Malaysia.

Are you leaving Singapore because of the high costs?

Congratulations on your retirement this week!
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:06 AM   #14
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Hi Kramer,
I realize I do not need Medicare Part B or D, or the supplementary, but to play it safe, I'll take it for now. I like being assured of being insured. Getting insurance in Malaysia is not easy for anyone over 65. Luckily, I already have a policy I got years ago from BUPA, which covers me internationally. It's a US$1600 deductible, but covers me 2 million per year. The cost however is almost US$4000/year. Again, it's cheaper than in the States, but getting insured in Malaysia or any country over the age of 65 is not easy. Medical costs are low though.

I will still be near enough to Singapore where I can visit all the time. However, the cost of living is just too high. The activities you can do as a retiree are far more limited than in Malaysia. My retirement visa will be put to great use there.

Rob
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