It's no surprise that Chiang Mai is currently the top city for digital nomads to live and work in. It has the far lowest cost of living in comparison to other cities, including low rent for decent apartments. With a variety of great co-working spaces on the rise, not to mention the number of coffee shops with decent Wi-Fi, you'll be spoilt for choice.
Bangkok’s digital nomad community has grown rapidly due to its comparatively low cost of living and position as a bustling metropolitan city with great co-working spaces and high-speed internet. As it is popular with tourists and has a large expat crowd, foreigners are welcome and most people speak at least some English.
What started out as a fishing village with just a few shacks on the beach became a surfer's hotspot around 2005. Surfers would stay in Seminyak and drive north to Canggu's Echo Beach to catch waves. Around 2008, there was the first remote working nomads arriving. Mostly Eastern European and Russian programmers who'd work from Canggu's then few cafes. After the digital nomad explosion of 2014, many nomads sprawled to Bali and settled down in Ubud. Meanwhile in Canggu, the first coworking space there opened called Salty Volt. It didn't manage to attract many people though and finally closed down. Canggu just wasn't ready yet, with only a few cafes and restaurants, and well, people. It took 2 years for Canggu to get back on the radar and when Ubud's coworking spaces and cafes started getting crowded in 2016, people started mentioning Canggu again. In those 2 years, the Salty Volt had now become Dojo, had a new owner, there was now lots of hip cafes, restaurants with European chefs, and the vibe in Canggu was now a more ambitious and fashionable version of Ubud. Where Ubud was for hippies, Canggu was for hipsters. From 2016 on, every year more and more people started to move to Canggu. In late 2017, it became so popular with nomads that for the first time Dojo had to deny new memberships. At the same time, it started becoming a hotspot for Instagrammers, who'd rent luxury villas with flamingo floats and snap pictures. In turn, this started attracting more tourists and have now made Canggu the most popular spot in Bali for nomads. For now, at least.
Ho Chi Minh City is a big hot spot for digital nomads. Currently experiencing huge growth in the number of co-working spaces available. It has a slower pace of life compared to other cities. Ho Chi Minh City is well known for its coffee culture (many local cafés), traditional architecture, and friendly locals. Prices for food and accommodation are low in comparison to other South East Asian locations. Added bonus: weekend getaways at the beach are just a bus ride away.
Prague is super awesome, it’s a very beautiful city. However, I have learned two things about Prague which I want to share with future travelers and nomads, they are: - Only use ATMs that has the word “Bankomat” on it, all the other ATMs have really high fees or commission and may even in some cases support organized crime. - if you need to call the police for some reason, because of e.g. robbery or physical injury, make sure to call the state police or ask for the state police and not the municipal police. The municipal police can be very corrupt and in some cases support organized crime. That’s my advice, take care.
I have lived in Kiev over 6 months in 2017/18. The city is getting more expensive quickly but quality lacks behind on all levels. Kiev is really difficult to settle in if you don't speak Russian, the entire online marketsplaces are in Russian or even worse in Ukrainian language. In all facebook groups you will only encounter expensive attorneys, mafia-like real estate brokers and everybody is trying to rip you off. Coworking spaces are mostly fully-booked out by large US IT companies and their Ukrainian teams, and coworking is either totally crappy or rather on the expensive side starting from 200USD per month per desk in the center. AirBNB Quality is extremely poor value regarding that the prices are rising sharply, imagine a really old and outdated place with an old bed-sofa (hard to find a real bed). Finding a normal apartment is impossible because of the language bareer and because locals don't want you to find a cheap place. The only good thing are the women, but to be honest, they all look very similar, if you like real blondes stay away from Kiev. One of the worst things is the pushing of the Government (and many people) to speak Ukrainean language. Although most people speak Russian on the streets, this is a mayor issue for foreigners. Since now many Facebook Events are anounced in Ukrainean language this is a total show-stopper for expats. Hint: Russian and Ukrainian are both very difficult languages. I can recommend Kiev only for a weekend trip as a tourist, or if you speak Russian fluently. Otherwise you're wasting your time or investing in a place with an uncertain future and unnecessary high obstacles.
You can get unlimited 4G data sim cards from KT at a handful of places. Incheon airport has them, and the KT office near Hongik Univ. station (behind big Samsung building). There's a storefront on the ground floor (street-level), but they will tell you to go inside the building and to the fourth floor. It's kinda tricky to find, so just go to the store and they will explain. I think I paid about 30k KRW for 1 week of unlimited data.