This is really great place to be as a digital nomad. It's not insanely Thailand/Laos cheap however if you're a bit older, 30+ and have a moderately successful business its a steal. If you've done Thailand, Laos, Vietnam etc and want a professional alternative to a backpacker lifestyle then Bali is for you. Internet is great. Food is insanely good, people are very nice- expats + locals. Really glad I found this place. Dojo has awesome wifi :)
You get somewhat acclimated to the weather after a while (and yes, the right wool fabric is the most breathable one so ignore that previous reviewer). I've stayed here on and off for about 4 years now. The expat crowd is great and there really is a lot of opportunity for collaboration. Many networking events every month and a vibrant startup community. The variety of food is some of the best in the world (although you will have to pay to get quality Western). Shopping is great. Nightlife could be better but should satisfy most people. The real downside is the traffic which has become basically as bad as Jakarta, although Bangkok has much better transporation (both skytrain and subway). Living expenses have risen lately so don't count on this being a budget trip unless you want to resort to street food. Internet speed generally has becoming really great. Fast 4G in all operators. If you stay in a new condo or hotel you will average at least 30Mbit – my current co work place runs at 600.
I just got back here in late 2018 and it's better than ever. People who say "Chiang Mai is overrun by nomads" are really mistaken. I hardly saw them. I did see lots of Chinese and some Korean tourists, but they were all quite nice and mostly around Nimman. There's also the few American vegan midlifer's in the Old City center, but that's about it. Chiang Mai is cool and breezy, there's now public bicycles literally everywhere that you can rent for 250 THB or $6 (per month!) with the MoBike app. The red buses (or Songthaew's) are now legit and don't rip tourists off anymore, so you can drive everywhere for 30 THB or $1. People are nice. It's still super safe, even late a night. The food is better than ever. And thanks to the nomad wave of 2014 in Chiang Mai, there's now lots of hip cafes that allow coworking too. It's a great city.
Buenos Aires has everything, nightlife (excellent bars and clubs), culture, art, running places, etc. Though insecurity could be an issue, it is not as high as it may seem; if you know how to get around, nothing will happen to you. It is also quite diverse in terms of LGBTTQQIAAP and there's plenty of offer to be entertained. I see that hospitals are badly ranked in the Nomad ranking but I'd like to make a point here: public hospitals are free to use by anyone (no matter nationality nor residency status) and they are collapsed. Normally, people pay (the ones that can) around 100/110usd per month (the same way you pay in the majority of the countries) for a private health system which is excellent. So, that is not an issue at all.
"omagad they like totally stole my iphone", "it's like the worst, everybody is like so aggressive" welcome to the Real World, maybe you now learn to appreciate your cosy first world country and stop bitching about your oppression and your rights. Ho Chi Minh is an awesome upcoming city. It has an original and still traditional look and vibe to it, interesting colors (check out japanese district) not swamped with brand shops (the local coffee shops dominate starbucks in terms of quality and design and some are open 24h !). The nightlife also has plenty of options and be sure to enjoy the view from a the many rooftop bars in the city. You get to see a city full of energetic, young people growing their country after a devastating war and under an authoritarian regime. You get a choice between older buildings in D1 or totally new apartment buildings in D2 all at great value prices. There are a lot of people coming here to work remotely and also to start businesses. Decent sports facilities readily available (check out mach's gym, UFC center). If you don't want to spend money on the gym you can always do a workout on one of the many parks that have bars for chalistenics available. However, beware the pollution and always wear a mask, especially in D1. This is the biggest con here in my opinion.
Amazing, amazing, amazing. I initially arrived there for 2 weeks with an intention for it to be just a transit stop, but stayed there for 3 months. Stay in the right areas (Condesa, Roma, Coyoca, Polanco, Coyocan, etc), take Uber and take basic precautions. It's a lovely town with endless food options and work options. Accomodations are not cheap by Mexican standards, but very affordable comparing to USA. It's just a great place to live, in my opinion. The only thing that is bad is quality of the air (not everywhere, though, but in general). If you are sensible to a bad air - take a trip and see how you adjust to it. It's a big issue, yes, but I feel like the are much more pros than cons. Viva Mexico!
Have spent over 4 years living in Budapest and also extended periods in many other places usually towards the top of the rankings on nomadlist. Nothing compares to Budapest. It is by far the best place in the world to live for people of all ages, but especially young people. It has everything and anything you could possibly want and it's centrally located in the best continent on the planet. I moved away for a few specific reasons but really hate that I had to. The only city I think is even close in comparison to how great Budapest is, is Barcelona.
Seoul is lovely but still has some challenges for nomads. Korean food is great, but most restaurants are used to serving groups, or at least couples. Many times you'll simply be refused service entering a restaurant alone. Unlike Japan, eating alone is stil frowned upon in Korea and mostly impossible. Exceptions are of course expat areas like Itaewon which are more used to it. Also outside signage and menus are mostly still in Korean, without any English translations generally. Even if you learn the Korean characters, you won't know the words, so this makes it impossible to order. This is slowly changing though, especially in hipster areas. You might ask "why does this reviewer care stuff is in English or not, they're in Korea, what does he expect?". Well, it's 2018 and Korea presents itself as an international country, English should be the default sub text. There's more challenges, it's very difficult to meet Koreans, you'll always be seen as the "token" foreigner in social groups. This is understandable and to be fair it's much worse in Japan than Korea. Unless you're in expat areas, you'll feel fairly isolated because Koreans will generally avoid you for fear of having to speak English. This makes it a potentially very lonely experience for any nomads. This is kinda vicious because Koreans look down on people that are alone. Hence the group-eating thing. Solutions to that? Come here with a group of friends. You'll have a MUCH easier time.
This used to be the hotspot for digital nomads in Bali until 2016 when Canggu took over. It’s more deserted now and mostly filled with Chinese tourbuses, older Euro families and some yoga girls and yogi’s. Not as hip as it once was. Who knows when it will make a revival. I hope.
Been living in 3 different centrally located airbnb in Berlin (2018), each between 800 and 900€ per month for 40-45 sqm (we're two, so 400-450€ each). Each time a full flat and not a shared airbnb, legal now since some months (though it was always possible to get a full flat before as well). Internet was always between 15 and 50 mbps. I spend 100€ per week on food, including restaurants (pretty cheap here), check for Turkish market on Maybachufer and Turkish stores in Neukölln (I spend less on food here than in Chiang Mai!). Berlin is such an awesome place to live, very multicultural, very tolerant, many different neighborhoods, quite relaxed feeling, many parks, lakes all around. No need to speak German at all. Come over here, probably one one of the best place on earth ;) (written in Sept 2018)
It's possible to live in Hong Kong on the cheap. You've got to live far out in the New Territories, or on an outlying island. I spent a summer living happily on Lamma Island for ~$500USD/month in rent for one bedroom in a shared flat. Rent is really the only tricky part--everything else is relatively cheap.
Really fun city. I think the easiest big city in Asia for westerners to feel comfortable in. People are generally pretty friendly on a superficial level, quick to smile, laugh, and help. Unfortunately, becoming real friends with Japanese is much more difficult and most cannot speak English. Store staff are mechanically polite like robots, which is better than rude, but also a bit weird. A bit pricey and gets more expensive after a year of residence (after you get taxed based on previous year's salary, same for health insurance fees). You can drink in public at any time, though it's not really a drinker city like some European cities are known for. Clubs and music events are expensive unfortunately, though quite a few options. Great public transport system, can just be a bit confusing with all of the different names. The street layout is completely chaotic, which can be fun but also disorienting. You will often have no idea which direction you are facing, like you are in a giant maze. You can find most major international food options but not in great numbers. Obviously, Japanese food is everywhere though. It's technically on the water, though odds are you will live more inland. Still, you can reach the bay within an hour or so and an actual beach further south in Kanagawa within 90min. Japan itself has a lot of cool things to check out as well. Best time of year are spring (cherry blossoms) and fall (cooler, leaves changing cooler), though there are a series of summer festivals that start in August that are incredible (people dress in traditional clothes, food vendors all over, tons of fireworks, etc.) and they have a lot of Christmas lights and displays in December. Dating for men is not bad, just don't come expecting every woman wants you. As mentioned before, most cannot speak English and they're somewhat conservative overall, not big on casual sex. You may have an advantage in the dating pool if you're not an English teacher, since most western foreign guys there are and that job is known for not paying that well, and definitely do if you can speak Japanese near fluently. Some negatives besides those already mentioned: it's really humid and mold develops quickly, there are A LOT of crows that creeped me out and cicadas that are VERY noisy in the summer, finding the right specialist doctor that also speaks English can be tricky, the friends you make from other countries come and go constantly, a lot of guys with issues come here (socially awkward, major womanizers, right wing nuts, escaping something from their home country, stereotypical anime fanatics, etc.), Japanese men are not anywhere near as friendly as the women are and are more likely to be xenophobic (pretty much like every other country), living space is really small for the price, vegetable selection is pretty limited and expensive, a lot of food products contain soy, subways get really overcrowded during rush hour, popular areas get really overcrowded on weekends, it's not that English friendly especially dealing with contracts and anything government related (there is a free foreigner help service that can help you via phone and usually whatever government stuff you're dealing with will have at least one person on hand who understands English and can help you).