✨ Recommended destinations
This is an algorithmic recommendation based on @bryanpelz's trips history to find places people they haven't been to yet that other people with similar travels as them also went.
Great place. Very easy to live here. Every self confessed "Digital Nomad" in Chiang Mai is borderline psychotic/delusional. Luckily, they're easy to avoid. Stick with the expats, locals, and tourists and you'll meet some great people. My second digital nomad pick after Saigon.
Nomad-ed here for a month. A totally ok place if you have the budget for it. Coworking spaces are good, 4g everywhere, transportation is effective. Lots of things to do. I was able to find friends. Lots of international people, very few digital nomads. If you're there, consider not renting in the center (as it gets expensive fast) and being creative with places to eat to find cheap options. Be prepared to use cash unless you live in a luxury.
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.
My wife and I have been living in Hanoi now for over five months. After having lived in Japan for nine years, KOREA for four months, Kunming, China for four months and Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia for two months each we’ve decided that Hanoi is our favorite city of all (when factoring in cost of living—and probably regardless of cost-of-living). I don’t agree with the current traffic safety assessment. I walk everyday all Over the city—on average, 10 miles a day and in every direction. I’ve personally witnessed six or seven motorcycle accidents and been hit from behind by a motorcycle while walking, sustaining painful injuries requiring months to heal. I have had direct contact with three other people involved in motorcycle accidents. Love the city and still walk every day, but safe...NO. Meanwhile, I do agree with most of the cost factors I see listed. What amazes me is the assessment that there is “bad nightlife” here???! What?? If all you’re looking for is a place to get drunk and pick up women, maybe. But what I love most about the city is that nightlife is evident in every neighborhood, coffee shop, cafe and on every sidewalk every evening. People are out relaxing, eating, drinking and socializing everywhere I go every night, and in every neighborhood—not just in the “entertainment districts”—which almost always bore me, anyway. So I guess it depends on what kind of traveler you are. Further, this city is resplendent with interesting architecture, historical buildings and monuments, temples, lakes and the rivers, and has a fantastic international community. I’m Caucasian but have interacted frequently with people of all races, and most frequently with the local Vietnamese community. While unfortunately it does seem that Hanoi is not freer of racism than New York, London, Tokyo, Sao Palo, or any other major city in the world I certainly feel that is less racist than many places—just my personal perception. I’ve only spoken with one person in five months (a beautiful Indian woman) who talked about feeling discriminated against, and that was in reference to getting an English teaching job. Yes, it does seem that a white face, even with non-native English, can get hired as an English teacher far more easily than an Asian or person of other racial heritage, even if that person speaks English almost like a native—as this woman did. Ultimately I can only go by my own experience. People have been kind, mostly extremely honest, helpful and friendly and it is the Hanoians themselves who have been mostly responsible for my love affair with this city. The delicious coffee and food and interesting places to walk with no fear of being attacked, accosted or robbed have only helped. Now, if they’d just do something about the air pollution—second worst in Asia by many accounts.
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).
I like it here better than Canggu. It's more walkable, more cheap warungs, more convenient. You could find all kinds of shop catering to different type of visitor, from cheap to luxurious. Not a party place if you're looking for it, which made it even more perfect. More female than male, great for dating.