Is Spain a friendly country for Asians?

I am a Malaysian Chinese in my mid 50s. I have business dealings with a client in Malaga. I am thinking of semi retirement in Malaga. I still have some business dealings in Malaysia which I can handle via the Internet.

Is Spain a friendly country for Asians?
How much will it cost to rent and live in Malaga? Rent, Internet, groceries, home cooked meals, weekly visits to local Spanish bar, etc.

Why is youth unemployment so high in Spain? What keeps them occupied?

Any replies much appreciated.


We live in Cordoba - 2 hours north of Malaga but still in Andalucia. We are a Bejan/English mix and haven't noticed any problems with locals - usually they are very friendly, although few here speak English. A problem you won't have in Malaga where lots of expats live.

The two of us live well on my pension and her modest salary. Malaga would be more expensive than Cordoba but I am sure there is rented property in your price range. Be aware that monthly utilities (electricity at least) are quite expensive in my experience. I have all inclusive phone/tv/internet for 70 Euros a month.

Food (especially fruit and vegetables) is not expensive and eating out is reasonable if you visit local places - stay away from tourist venues (good advice in any country).

Residency could be a difficult issue for you - it took me forever and I am European - similarly importing my car was a small nightmare - the Spanish officialdom quest is slow, confusing and not cheap.
However I am aware that it varies from area to area even within Andalucia so you may have better luck.

If you seek a lovely climate with a relaxed lifestyle away from the madness of modern life  (the only two things that Spaniards do quickly is talk and drive), you will thrive in Spain.
But continue your research here and elsewhere.....
Good luck!

Hi Vchong8,

Welcome to :)

I have created a new thread with your post on the Spain forum for more visibility and interaction with the members.


Priscilla  :cheers:

Hi VChong,
I am a also Malaysian Chinese and have been living in Europe for more than 30 years. As from 2016, Spain has become my second home. When in Spain, I live in a small town in Costa Calida which is less than a 3 hour drive away from Malaga.

Re. your question whether Spain is a friendly country for Asians is too premature for me to answer now. All I can say is that it depends on how one carries oneself (applies to any country for that matter). But my short experience of living in Spain has been very positive. I find the Spaniards generally friendly and especially appreciative and helpful when I try to communicate in my very limited Spanish. They appear to be tolerant. As opposed to general impressions that northern Europeans have, I find the folks here to be quite hardworking but there is definitely quite some room for improvement in terms of efficiency and keeping to agreed timelines. (Mind you, I am referring to more the business aspects but if you are here for leisure, then one can get used to the way of living here quite quickly),

Your questions: How much will it cost to rent and live in Malaga? Rent, Internet, groceries, home cooked meals, weekly visits to local Spanish bar, etc.? It very much depends on your lifestyle and what comforts you are prepared to pay for. You may know that this also applies in KL - for eg. rent in Bangsar is likely to be very different from that in Cheras. Eating and drinking in an aircond restaurant/pub in the Golden Triangle (Starhill) is going to cost you much more than eating roti and drinking teh tarik at the Mamak's.

Why is youth unemployment so high in Spain? What keeps them occupied? Well, the property bubble burst in 2007/2008 has started an avalanche of economic woes and Spain is still reeling from the effects of this although things have improved steadily not least due to the austerity measures undertaken by (or rather forced upon) the Spanish government. Graduates, where possible, try their luck in other European countries simply because there is a great lack of jobs. Those that are available tend to be poorly paid ones. Personally, I believe that this is one of the reasons that criminality rates have increased.

Despite all the above, I look forward to spending more time in Spain. Like any country, one can learn to accept the "good" with the "less good". Feel free to drop me a personal note should you have need for further information. I do not profess to know everything in my short time here in Spain but I will try to help where I possibly can.
Good luck,

I obviously have no personal experience of this being English, white and of European descent but I know a couple of Sikhs, vaguely, who live here in Alicante and they were in our local Post Office having a lot of trouble with the Spanish language. In order to answer their question the chap in the post office had to phone the carrier and he described the two men as Britons which I thought was interesting.

My personal opinion is that Spaniards have views about people which are very stereotypical so they can appear to be very racist but anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that they don't turn that into any negative actions.

HI AntLy

Would certainly get in touch with you when I am there. Looking at end of this year. Is it a good time or would most Spaniards be away for vacation?

Hi VChong8,
For me, visiting Spain at any time is good. I do not think that most Spaniards will be away from their country during the holiday season. Quite a number (of those who can afford it) have second homes in another location somewhere in Spain. For eg. those working and living in bigger towns or cities in inland Spain tend to take their vacation in their second home likely to be somewhere near the coast, up in the highlands or in their Fincas (country houses) and likely to be in a smallish Spanish town or village.
Towards the end of the year, festivities include Christmas which tend to be celebrated by Spaniards on a comparatively modest scale relative to how it is celebrated in northern European countries. However carnival (this time beginning in the 3rd week of Feb. 2017) and the weeks leading up to Easter tend to be spotted with fiestas which often have religious (Catholic) influences/origins. That having said, where there is a larger presence of British, German and other nationalities, special events to celebrate Christmas and new year's eve are usually organised.
Coincidentally, I am also planning to be in Spain in the second half of December. Feel free to send me your contact details via a personal message.

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