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Southeast Asia

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Expats dying in Southeast Asia

Posted by somtam2000 on 25/10/2015 at 22:11 admin

Khmer440 has a solid piece on expats dying in Southeast Asia which is well worth a read. It certainly rings true to me and very little to argue with in it.

"One day I was sat next to a South African nurse on a bus to Battambang. We spoke about the curtailed longevity of many expats living in Southeast Asia. As we headed across the sunbaked plains of north western Cambodia, I think we concluded that expats make a decision subconsciously or otherwise, to trade the lifestyle here for a shorter time on the planet. The onset of morbidities perfectly treatable back home might mean a serious reduction of quality of life here, even death. But that trading a potentially shorter life in one of the most wonderful parts of the world was infinitely preferable to living longer in a country you no longer enjoy, like back home. It was a trade-off you were prepared to accept, and many do."

#1 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,093

Posted by exacto on 25/10/2015 at 22:30

This is like "Leaving Las Vegas" in slow motion...

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,840

Posted by Gogomobile on 25/10/2015 at 23:32

Thailand has excellent dental and medical facilities. Cambodia looks bad though.

Being an alcoholic and not looking after oneself is going to shorten your life in any country and it's the type of people rather than the location that kills most of these people.

#3 Gogomobile has been a member since 14/4/2015. Posts: 412

Posted by DLuek on 26/10/2015 at 02:18 TF writer

Agree it's a good article and I also wouldn't argue with anything in it. But Gogo makes a good point above. Look at the reasons mentioned in the article for expats dying here: selling heroin; sniffing heroin (that they thought was cocaine); riding scooters drunk with no helmet; financial ruin due to bad decisions; being obese/drunk, etc...

Whether you're in SE Asia or Sweden, you shouldn't expect to live a long and healthy life if you're reckless and don't take care of yourself. I think that's more of the point here: many expats in SE Asia don't give themselves the chance to live long. There's no reason why living in Bangkok, as opposed to New York, say, should take 10 years off your life. To live long you have to take care of yourself, be careful when crossing the street, and resist unhealthy temptations. That goes for anywhere.

Yes there are added risks, especially road safety, and obviously not having access to quality medical care is a huge factor. But overall I think it's not so much about "the lifestyle of SE Asia." It's about any individual's own lifestyle. In SE Asia, many expats' lifestyles seem to be unhealthy. Personally I'm as healthy here as I ever was in the States, possibly more so.

#4 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,346

Posted by chinarocks on 27/10/2015 at 07:15

Good article.

As bleak a picture as it paints in parts, I would be more of the view that, generally speaking, the reason for the high percentage of expats who die early in SEA is due to their character and the reason they travelled in the first place rather than conditions in SEA.

#5 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738

Posted by MADMAC on 27/10/2015 at 13:00

"Live every day as if it's going to be your last. One day, you're sure to be right."

#6 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by xrcjdx on 27/10/2015 at 22:41

gee, here i am thinking of tropical diseases and somtam is thinking heroin overdose, road rash, and suicide.

#7 xrcjdx has been a member since 20/5/2006. Posts: 1

Posted by Gogomobile on 28/10/2015 at 02:31

People with money and access to hospitals rarely die from tropical diseases anymore. Malaria is more rare and dengue usually doesnt kill unless your immune system is weak.

#8 Gogomobile has been a member since 14/4/2015. Posts: 412

Posted by somtam2000 on 28/10/2015 at 04:54 admin

@xrcjdx -- I probably keep bad company ;-)

#9 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,093

Posted by MADMAC on 28/10/2015 at 06:19

Stuart - bet I got you beat there.

#10 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by trey2993 on 15/11/2015 at 01:12

Cambodia is the worst. They always try to give you an injection. It's insane.

#11 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 32

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