Besides being an affordable place to live in, there are other draws to Chiang Mai that make it a favorite among digital nomads. Here are just some of them:
Internet speeds are good
Thailand is one of the few countries in Southeast Asia with good internet speed. You never have to worry about missing work as there’s always a reliable internet connection wherever you may be in Chiang Mai whether it’s in a co-working space or in your apartment with your local data plan.
Medical treatments are affordable
Every seasoned traveler knows it’s better to get vaccinations at the country they visit because the prices tend be cheaper. This is especially true in Thailand where vaccines can go as low as $12 (influenza). If you’re in need of vaccinations or a medical check-up, you can feel safe knowing that Chiang Mai offers professional medical services at a price that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
Chiang Mai allows you to live comfortably even if you’re on a tight budget. You can easily find a nice apartment for as low as $300/month and rent a motorbike that gets you around the city for $50 a month. Gorge on authentic Thai food for $1 – $7 and grab a coffee and beer which only costs between $1 and $3. Extras like a gym membership only cost an average of $70/month while the local data plan will only set you back $24.
Meet other digital nomads
It can be daunting to jump into the digital nomad lifestyle. Thankfully, you won’t feel as lonely when you’re in Chiang Mai because it has one of the highest concentrations of location independents in the world. It’s not hard to find someone who is just like you who makes money online while living in the tropics. It’s easy to learn, be inspired, and get support from other entrepreneurs when they’re probably just sitting or living a few meters away from you.
Flexible visa options
Thailand is pretty flexible when it comes to staying in the country long term. If you’re in Chiang Mai, there are a few ways that you can extend your stay without breaking the law. Just be sure to check the updated visa requirements for your nationality before you travel.
Plenty of entertainment options
There’s always something for everyone in Chiang Mai. You can go shopping in one of the vibrant night markets, learn how to cook Thai food, or watch a Thai boxing fight. Their malls always have the latest Western films and the city’s mountainous area offers plenty of hiking trails to explore. You won’t run out of things to do when you’re in Chiang Mai.
Less noise and harassment
There is less noise and harassment in Chiang Mai compared to other cities in Asia. You won’t have a hard time focusing on work here as there are rarely beggars, sales people, scammers, and loud honking cars that harass you from every angle. The city is pretty relaxed and well-adjusted to the expat community so you’ll never feel intimidated even if you’re a tourist or westerner.
Chiang Mai is a beautiful city where you can do plenty of fun and productive things by yourself or with other fellow digital nomads. If you’re just starting out as a digital nomad and you’re looking for someplace that’s affordable but has all the basic (and extra!) needs, Chiang Mai is definitely the place to go.
A variation of this post originally appeared on Hobo with a Laptop.
Are you considering jumpstarting your life as a digital nomad in Chiang Mai? Or have you tried living there as an expat? Share your experiences in the comments below!
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