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24 Apr '01
✨ Recommended destinations
This is an algorithmic recommendation based on @thomas250's trips history to find places people they haven't been to yet that other people with similar travels as them also went.
London is an amazing city but it's eye-wateringly expensive, don't expect to save money... Expect to be paying a minimum of £600/month for a bedroom in a shared house (and for this price you'll be in zone 2/3). Look on spareroom for houseshares and openrent for flats. Download the app Citymapper to help you get around it's a godsend - London is a massive city and it can take ages to get from one place to the next. There's tonnes of cafes, workspaces and public spaces to work in (Google campus, Barbican, Southbank centre etc). World class food, world class culture, people from all over the world! Liberal city, mostly safe... Bad air quality though. Don't come here thinking you can do it cheap as you will end up in a 10 person houseshare with a dodgy landlord and be stuck in some crap area of town. It's a hard, ruthless and expensive city to break into, plus we have a population of over 8.6MILLION so competition is tough. There's start-ups on every corner so plenty of people in similar situations. Just factor in the cost and be willing to stay for a while (so you can properly embrace the city) and you'll have a blast.
One of the most well known cities, few will be surprised by what they see and experience. Very high cost of living can make it tough for many nomads. A lot of things to see and do but most of that costs money. Can feel overwhelming and oppressively business oriented (ie, full of very serious yuppies and places catering to them), especially in Manhattan south of Harlem. Ton of single people, which is good on paper but means everyone you date will get distracted by another person, or multiple, unless you are extremely exceptional, before you have a chance to meet again, never ends. Weather sucks hard from July to August and January to March/April. It's an okay city if you're a biker and varies a lot. Some areas are quite protected, others have no bike lanes. In general, it can be dangerous if you want to commute by bike, it's not Amsterdam. Friendliness of the people varies a lot. I think income/wealth, where they grew up, where they live within NYC, their job, etc. can often give you an idea of what to expect. Service at stores is usually pretty unhelpful and unfriendly but, again, it varies, even within the same store. Internet is fast for the most part. Great selection of food, just a bit pricey besides some of the cheaper pizza slices. Transportation system is good, no need for a car. However, the subway lines are notorious for having issues during rush hour and are usually jam packed. Also, the stations look decrepit and are way out of date. It's pretty safe. Street scams are more prevalent in tourist areas, pick-pocketing and random phone snatching isn't really anything most people worry about. Can be very noisy depending on where you live. You may wake up to extremely loud construction every morning.
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.
🌎 Regions collected (6 of 9)
🚩 Flags collected (26 of 193)
🌍 Top countries
🛬 Frequent visits
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.
Tulum is loaded with cenotes for exploring and cooling off, beautiful and unique! Find local Maya and listen to their dialect. Learn a few words in Maya, they love to share it! The only beachfront Mayan Ruins are here! Iguanas galore and photo opps! Get a guide, it's worth the history lesson, wear your suit under clothes for a refreshing swim afterwards. Most hotels offer beach clubs, low cost or cost of lunch/drinks, plus they have free wi-fi. Happy hours 2/1 with live music and the recently opened museum are diverse options. In town, restaurants abound and the food is a gastronomic delight! Local taco stops are the best value for a full stomach , happy tastebuds and a light wallet. Fresh sugar cane squeezed by a hank-cranked press offers a variety of Mojitos with live variety shows and music! Other night life, that I love, is watching sea turtles lay their eggs! Fun activities near by are: numerous parks with zip-lines, animal sanctuaries, cultural shows, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing..... I would describe Tulum as bohemian / hippie/ ish, more relaxed than resorts. It has changed quickly in the last few years to accommodate not only the backpacker but the upscale tourist as well. It's a small but growing community with friendly people and a safe environment.
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.
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.
🛌 Longest stays
Beautiful location but it's just way too expensive. You need to work full time at a tech company here to really afford it. It's also quite small. The divide between rich and poor is obscene, including a lot of homeless and many people asking for money all over. The tech workers who dominate the transplant crowd that you'll be around are mostly workaholic spoiled privileged people full of themselves, not the type I enjoy hanging out with. All the artsy, alternative, and activist types the city used to be known for either live in Oakland or left. The gender ratio is way too heavy on single males, so good luck getting a date, let alone a long term relationship, if you're a straight guy. Obviously, Internet speeds are great, plenty of spots to work from. Nightlife is pretty lackluster as you can imagine.