Your Detailed Guide to the Philippines & Southeast Asia

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About Me.. Since 2012 I’ve been traveling through various islands of the Philippines as a full-time Expat. (Mactan, Bohol, Panglao, Moalboal, Dumaguete, Bacong, Boracay, Cebu) I recently spent the year living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Share with me here my ongoing adventures of life in the Philippines. Dating, vlogging, cooking, traveling, expenses, visas and the information you need to make your own plans for living as a full-time expat in Southeast Asia. Subscribe for my upcoming videos and Click the Bell for notifications.
— Reekay

In this video I discuss

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    My Story:

    After 49 years of doing the hamster-wheel in California, I finally left it all
    and decided to see what Southeast Asia had to offer. I moved to the Philippines
    for 6 years, I experienced some of the best times of my entire life!

    Now, I am exploring again and living in Vietnam. Join me as I venture out to see
    more of Vietnam and the surrounding areas. I will share with you my thoughts on
    what I see and how I handle the various challenges of living as a full-time expat
    in Southeast Asia. For more photos and non-Youtube videos, join or follow my
    Facebook page.

    — Reekay

  2. I spent 2 years in the Iligan city Northern Mindanow area, there are beautiful water falls there, beaches. I just walked out my back door and the beach was right there. Rent, food, trike and jeepney transport inexpensive. I never had any trouble there. The only reason why I left is because of medicare which is not valid there.

    1. Yeah, my dad sang that to us when we were kids.
      Not sure I’d risk dying for it, though, lol.

    1. it’s off during the first 45 seconds or so. i fixed it after that.

  3. Do you know any expat boat owners? Would a houseboat or something similar be practical?

    1. @Unie Unie Thanks, are they able to dock them in many places? How do they secure them when they leave them?

    2. Hello ,I grew up in Negros .I know of expats that live in their sailboats in Siaton town,south of Negros island about an hr drive from Dumaguete.

  4. Thanks Reekay😉 I just moved to Caloocan from Moreno Valley Ca. and me and my gf are looking to move to Kabankalan but I’m thinking Dumguete and I’ve wanted to see it like you showed it. Now I will show this video to her because I’m sold on moving therr because of the water fronts. I love your videos and have been a subscriber for a long time now. Once again thank you, David.

    1. @Reekay’s LifeBeyondTheSea I lived across the street from the base off of Heacock and JFK for a couple years before moving closer to allessandro blvd. but we weren’t too far from each other. The base is still active for reserve soldiers and a military school for youth but they also still train pilots there and occasionally run scramble drills for fighter jet pilots too besides hosting the air shows there.

    2. wow.. from MoVal. i know the area well. my dad was stationed at the AF base back when it was operational. now it’s a logistics location, still for the AF. back then it that whole area was called, Sunnymead. but when the “white flight” began out of the OC, the name was changed to Moreno Valley.

      i had the first haircut of my life in MoVal. at a little barber place that used to be down the road from Indian Street. 🙂

  5. I have been to hong kong, main land china, japan, korea and philippines. I have been mostly to the northern region of luzon, but am looking to explore the vesayan soon.

    1. Be careful in the western and southwestern regions of Mindanao and you’ll especially want to avoid the Sulu Islands off the southwestern coast of Mindanao. Muslim rebels bombed a Catholic Church in Jolo last year.
      The danger area described by Reekay is actually a bit larger than he defined. On Mindanao itself, it’s not limited to the Zamboanga area and the peninsula region, the threat extends farther east into Maguindanao. Also from there up to Marawi and down to Catabato and to points southwards. Be especially careful in rural areas. There are safe locations on Mindanao but it pays to be cautious.
      Some of the comments I’ve read here would lead you to believe that as long as your nice and respectful you’ll have no problems, this understates the potential threat. Both my Filipino father-in-law AND brother-in-law were murdered by Muslim rebels in two separate attacks a few years apart in the Parang area. They were native to the area, they understood the threat, they were respectful, they knew how to live among a heavily Muslim dominated population … and yet they were both killed. I would caution you to not be cavalier about the threat.
      When you’re in an area such as this you have to be right every time, they only have to be right once.

  6. If you create a tour package (as in, you lead a guided group tour – as a celebrity host – of your favourite places, eg, eateries in SEA) I’ll be in.

  7. So far…home base (Bangkok), I’ve ventured to laos(ventienne), Cambodia (Phnom penh) ,Myanmar, Vietnam (Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An) previously during my military days I’ve lived for periods in Korea(busan),Japan (yokosuka), Singapore, and of course Subic Bay Philippines….haven’t done much south yet(Malaysia, or Indonesia) ofcourse I’ll be changing my base of operations to the Philippines in early ’20…so I’m sure I’ll knock off some southern places,perhaps whenever I need to restart my Philippines counter…lol

  8. Taiwan is as developed as Japan, South Korea and Singapore but with much lower cost of living. Standard of living is very high

  9. Ha nice I just did the google street view of the walk you mentioned at 22:51. Its sad too see that there is so much garbage. Is that normal in the philippines?

    1. that is my biggest pet-peave in the PH… the willingness to toss trash anywhere. even gravesites, beaches and beautiful province areas. part of the problem is that the city govts don’t pay for collection or placement of public trash cans, so people just toss it out the jeepney window or on the sidewalk.

      vietnam pays for public trash collection of public waste-bins. so the people sweep their sidewalks clean several times a day and keep things tidy.

  10. wisconsin hello …i follow your vids but dont comment often . i enjoyed this road trip ..good info ..salamat .

    1. @Reekay’s LifeBeyondTheSea your welcome just finished watching your vid.. biggest mistake . salamat……

  11. The travel warnings about southwestern Mindanao are somewhat reactionary by most who have never been there. Yes, there have been some isolated problems, but overall, the area is pretty safe for travel or living. I have personally spent 3-1 month stays in Pagadian City and have never encountered any extreme radicals in that area. I have a expat friend that has lived there for over 10 years and he too never had any problems. There is a strong Muslim population there, but they are extremely respectful and courteous. Respect is the key, not just there, but anywhere you travel. Don’t expect to get lots of respect if you come there thinking you can start a business, taking away jobs and business from the locals, or flashing your “wealth” around. You can get into trouble anywhere in the world if you act that way. Just use your commonsense.

    1. Totally agree respect is number one for anywhere you visit. How you behave and interact with the locals. Learning the local customs do’s and don,ts. Nearly twenty years traveling around much of Southeast Asia in some of the most remote locations where few if any foreigners ever travel and very rarely have had any problems.

    1. i’ve actually had very positive experiences in all my airbnb’s with the exception of one in Lahug (Cebu). exhaust from their motorcycle shop was bleeding into my aircon. ugg.

      but every other place i’ve booked has been clean, hot-water, good aircon and close to either a mini-mart or restos.

    1. my filipina g/f (at the time)… her brother lived in the same barangay. so i checked it out during a visit we took. she saw that i liked it so, she bought it and said i could stay there as long as i want. but i eventually traveled on and her brother’s family later moved in.

  12. Great video! Have you figured out a budget for Japan yet? I hear various things, just like the Philippines. Salamat Po!

    1. not any time soon. i have 3 friends who live in japan, married to a japanese woman. when the time comes then i can make plans. one of them said i could see about getting a work-visa and teach english. but as a tutor, the schools get mixed reviews on whether the pay is worth it or not. (extra meetings, protocols, etc.)

  13. Very good detail of all the places that you’ve spent time in, I love maps so using google maps is great for gaining perspective.
    Iam one of those guys that has visited most of the country’s you mentioned, at the moment Iam in Kathmandu Nepal which is only a 4 hour flight on Air Asia, then move onto New Delhi then Kerala India and after back to Cebu, the flights are very affordable.
    I’ve always loved travelling all my life and will continue too as long as my health continues.
    In January I’ll be of to Central/South America as its been awhile since I was last their.
    By the way Henry you missed out Siquijor one of my favourite Islands also Camiguin if you haven’t been do so I highly recommend them!

  14. Malaysia has the lowest cost / most developed combination in Asia, and they also speak English. Not sure why it doesn’t get as much notice by Americans. The British really like it. KL is a city much like Singapore, and Penang is a unique Chinese majority island that is semi-urban with a nice beach in the north – a popular place for retirees and nomads alike.

    1. my guess is because the malaysian dating scene is not as fast at the PH.

  15. As always, great info and the video was very well done Reekay! You rock the world bros!

  16. That’s a great and pretty comprehensive look around Reekay, which Im sure will be very helpful to many people who are looking to travel to the Philippines and SE Asia. It’s whetted my appetite for going travelling again soon. I’ve been lucky enough to see many places, but there are still so many new places left. Finding the joys of the Philippines has really slowed down my efforts to go elsewhere recently. Enjoy your new adventure.

  17. I’ve been to Thailand 3 times and to Cambodia twice and, like you, feel like there is more to SE Asia than only these two places.  Thank you for the enlightening video.  Nice detail about the Philippines and VN.

  18. Great video ! Enjoyed watching. Inspired me to travel more . I hope I could visit the countries you mentioned so many beautiful and interesting places to see . Thank You for the wonderful share.

  19. Yea checkout samal a 20 minute ferry ride from sasa davao city paradise beach good also kaputian beac in samal white sand beach take a motorbike from babak wer the ferry stops in samal ull love it there swim ya head off very relaxing

  20. Reekay man, you are such an explorer, were you going in Vietnam by yourself to those places, did you have a local guide, expat, or how did you get information about those places before you went there? I imagine that being alone is not fun at all!

    1. no, i just do my research for a particular place online. tons of blogs, vlogs and info at tripadvisory to glean from.

      then it’s just a matter of securing transportation, lodging and money-access. everything else can be worked out along the way.

      i’ve done all my traveling alone so far and it’s actually preferable. this way i can meet who i want to meet wherever i am and change my itinerary as i choose. but after 7 years of traveling this way, i soon plan to take a filipina to travel with me in 2020.

  21. You should try the ferry back from Vung Tao to Saigon. runs about 10 bucks, has wifi(that worked). Nice modern boat.

  22. Another island province close to CDO called Camiguin. Not as happening as Siargao with the surfing going on, and maybe some expats prefer that, although it is getting on some tourists’ radar. John of American Expat in the Philippines lives there with his family.

  23. very one subscribe .. this man is very nice and very SMART ,,, qui e bravo .. i like his talks … good voice and purpuosible .. e duello cuise .. ciao

    1. thank you for your kind words. i hope you enjoy use of the italian subtitles in CC (closed captioning). it is part of my video features now. 🙂

  24. amazing video. i was glued to the screan. very informative. as always. i enjoyed waching it.

    1. thanks. 🙂 i’m glad it was a bit useful. i actually tried to go as fast as i could.. but there is so much to cover for all of southeast asia.

  25. I really loved this blog. I hope I can find a similar map in the Microsoft store because I do not usually have to pay for applications there. I am thinking of Singapore for my 3 years and return to the Philippines. I really do not want to go to Vietnam again. I am 66 and that might give you some idea why.

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