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Ho Chi Minh City vs Chiang Mai vs Medellin?


in Chiang Mai, Thailand by @mementomoriblog | 4yr  | 7 comments

Iโ€™ve realized that if I really want to be a DN entrepreneur, I need to get my ass to a DN hub.

My income (around $1000 USD/month) and some research Iโ€™ve done point to Saigon, Chiang Mai, and Medellin as 3 great choices to start out with.

I know some people who could โ€œplug me inโ€ to the DN scene in Medellin and Saigon, but not Chiang Mai.

The primary goal of me moving is to build relationships with DN entrepreneurs, and get great work done. Quality of life for $1000 USD a month is very important too, as I know how much a lack of money can degrade oneโ€™s quality of life.

Any advice from people who have lived in 2 or more of these cities? Any particular ways I should be thinking about this?


Right now my initial, probably wrong impressions are:

Medellin -
Pros: Culture and language are more interesting to me than Vietnamese or Thai culture.

Cons: More dangerous than SE Asia, not sure how much more. Higher cost of living than SE Asia. Thriving community, but not as much as SE Asia.

Chiang Mai -
Pros: Lowest cost of living. Very friendly, safe. Probably the easiest to integrate into, and least stressful.

Cons: Harder to connect with locals than in other locations (I know a decent amount of Italian, so Spanish seems easier, and apparently a decent amount of Vietnamese living in Saigon speak English.)

Saigon:

Pros: Seems to have the best community for what I am looking for. Very exciting entrepreneurial atmosphere. Cheaper than Medellin.

Cons: Pollution, could get old living in super urbanized area (stressful perhaps)

Right now I am leaning towards Saigon haha, but I am hoping for othersโ€™ experience based perspectives as I am just spouting theory right now :slightly_smiling:

Also, it seems like maybe I should be just thinking about Medellin vs either of the other two cities, since I could literally just fly between Saigon and Chiang Mai for cheap and see how I like either of them.

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Thanks everyone!

@Don_Lee @wanderingdev
Honestly I feel like I would rather try to date female nomads, as the idea of getting to know a local pretty well and then just bouncing seems like it would hurt a lot.

I think I would rather find someone I can travel withโ€ฆ

@AntonioEvans Thanks for the breakdown, looks like Medellin might be a little too much $$ for the immediate future.

@Victoria How are you liking the city life? Are you glad youโ€™re in Saigon?

@NomadAccountant @lognaturel
It seems like I should probably live in both places for a few weeks and then decide. Iโ€™m more of an outdoors type of person, but I am also really into a โ€œmore seriousโ€ entrepreneur sceneโ€ฆ

Thanks for letting me know about KoHub, Iโ€™ll definitely consider that as it seems like the perfect way for me to network and get shit done without worrying about logistics.

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@purplespatula | 4yr

Iโ€™ve stayed in all three and enjoyed them all very much. I agree that Medellรญn is going to be more expensive. You canโ€™t go wrong with either Saigon or Chiang Mai but theyโ€™re very different places to live. Do you like the big city over a smaller community? Go with Saigon. Do you like to do lots of outdoors stuff? Go with Chiang Mai. Etc.

If what you really want to do is focus on your business and network with other digital nomads, Iโ€™d also recommend you consider Koh Lanta during KoHubโ€™s busy season. If you go during the busy season, youโ€™ll have an immediate network of a few dozen digital nomads doing all kinds of interesting work with lots of energy and great ideas. I donโ€™t know what itโ€™s like during the green season but it may be a bit lonely.

Like you mentioned, in SEA, you can try out a few different places without spending much money. It also has a significant community of digital nomads who stay in the region so itโ€™s easy to run into or organize trips with people you know. Latin America is more sparse and spread out.

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Maybe itโ€™s just me but Saigon was too stressful to enjoy. Itโ€™s great fun for 3 days but not relaxing if you are a chilled/outdoors kind of person. CM is very nice but too far from the coast for me long term, no problems with English there though, as you suggested. :slightly_smiling:

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@victoriathoo | 4yr

Iโ€™m in Saigon at the moment, great DN scene here. Very easy to plug in, main areas of living at in District 1, near Japantown and 18a NTMK.

You can get a room for $200-$300 in 18a, but can be a bit hit and miss, sometimes it seems like thereโ€™s a bunch available and other times there hasnโ€™t been anything, but doesnโ€™t take long for something to open up.

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@antonioevans | 4yr

Just left 3 months in Medellin. 1k is a bit low for my type of life there and for DN might be tight. You can definitely do $3-$5 lunches in typical restaurants but you will be priced out of night life. Breakdown I have seen:

Apartments: $1 -2k (airbnb)
Lunch: $5-10
Dinner: $15
Posh Dinner: $20-25
Taxi: $3-$5
Beer: $1
Wine: $10
Maid: $20 per day
Haircut (Men) : $5
Haircut (Women): $30
Food Shopping: $40 per week
Internet Cafe: $1 per hour

As for dangerous. Really only in โ€œhamsterdamโ€. Which is near city financial center. This is the area drugs and homelessness allowed. You will never go there cuz nothing to do there. Just some park land near the highway.

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@don_lee | 4yr

Donโ€™t know about Medellin but both Chiang Mai and Saigon are good/perfect places to start your nomad lifestyle with. You may meet a lot of other DNs in Chiang Mai but Saigon has more serious entrepreneurs and expats, and you may find more opportunities to build a successful business there. Chiang Mai has a cheaper cost of living but the city of Saigon is more active and itโ€™s a food paradise. The weather in Saigon is much better than Chiang Mai in summer.

Admin note: post edited to keep on topic.

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@wanderingdev | 4yr

Medellin has the same cons as hcmc and your Italian wonโ€™t be super helpful pkus cost of living there is $$. $1k/month would be kind of scraping by if you donโ€™t want to live in a dump with 20 people and have any kind of social life. Time of year matters too.

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Read and participate in 13,916 discussions on Nomad List

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Introduce yourself โ€” who are you, where are you and what do you do?

 

by @coffeeshopceo | 5h 5 hours ago | 670 comments

tl;dr: introduce yourself in this thread.

We must all get sick of the same backpacker travel questions when we meet new friends, I know I do.

You know the ones - where are you from, whereโ€™ve you been, where are you going, what do you do, how long have you been doing it - etc.

The novelty of answering these questions wears off after maybe a week, but theyโ€™re nonetheless insightful and no matter how much we hate them, we find ourselves asking others.

So letโ€™s bring the dreaded backpacker questionnaire to NomadForum and introduce ourselves shall we?

**

  • whatโ€™s your name?
  • where are you from?
  • how long have you been away from home?
  • what do you do?
  • where are you currently?
  • where are you going?
  • what has been memorable for you so far?
  • will you go home anytime soon?
  • what have you learnt during your time as a nomad?
  • [insert your own question here]

**

No need to answer them all if you donโ€™t want to :smile:
But the more you shareโ€ฆ The merrier!

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What are the best blogs by individuals who have started businesses in Southeast Asia?


in Thailand by @haiducii | 9d 9 days ago | 0 comments

Hey everyone,

Looking for blogs by individuals who document their progress/business in South East Asia - ideally Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos - but also Thailand/Myanmar too.

Thank you,

Haiducci

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How to get SMS verifications for banks while traveling?

 

by @jackgopack | 10d 9 days ago | 37 comments

Any suggestions for seamlessly receiving SMS Verifications from US financial institutions and other sites while traveling internationally continuously? Wonโ€™t keep my US Verizon account due to cost and currently plan to use local sims at each destination (T-Mobile and Project Fi are NOT an option as they terminate for continuous roaming). In summation, I wonโ€™t have a US mobile account.

Unless Iโ€™m missing something, which is very possible, this appears to be the single most complex issue Iโ€™ve encountered in my preparations, and one that no one addresses. I would greatly appreciate any possible solution that works 100% of the time. Canโ€™t afford surprises in this regard. Many Thanks! Jack.

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Where should I set up my company as a remote worker?


by @beloruchka | 22d 21 days ago | 5 comments

Iโ€™m looking for any recommendations for services or people others have used to get answers on the best place to set up their businesses based on their personal circumstances.

Leaning towards Singapore after a ton of research, but would really like some concrete advice before jumping in.

Appreciate it!

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How to get a UK residence address without renting/buying?


by @pavel_maximov | 23d 23 days ago | 17 comments

Background:
Iโ€™m an EU national IT specialist, recently decided to become a digital nomad. I just left my permanent job in Germany and opened a UK based LTD (for a better taxation) to start a new career as remote working IT contractor. I also want to become a UK resident and pay personal income tax there BUT I donโ€™t want to rent/buy a place because I have no interest in physically living in the UK, as a nomad I will be traveling abroad 100% of the time.

So I just need a UK address where Iโ€™m registered as a resident and could receive mail, but I would never actually be there. I could rent a place and keep it empty but that would be a total waste of money.

Question:
How do I find somebody who could give me an official residence at his/her address and keep my name on the door? Iโ€™m ok with paying a reasonable monthly fee for this โ€œserviceโ€ (but not as high as a rent), and give assurance in whatever form that I will never pretend to physically live there. I have no close friends in the UK to ask for this favor, and trying to propose this to a random landlord would be just weird since they are not familiar with the needs of a digital nomad.

Maybe you guys can suggest me somebody who understand the situation and want to make some extra cash every month to pay the bills? Iโ€™m ready to meet in person, provide full proof of identity or any other document, and to make a written agreement that gives the landlord the freedom to cancel this โ€œsituationโ€ at any time.

Note:
This is NOT for tax evasion, itโ€™s the opposite! I WANT to pay full tax as UK resident, I just donโ€™t want to waste money on a rent which I will literally never use.

I would be very grateful for any advice!

Pavel

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How does Ireland tourist visa length and recurrence work?


in Ireland by @nrgetik | 2mo 2 months ago | 2 comments

Iโ€™m planning a stint in Ireland and Iโ€™m wondering about the 90-day tourist visa. Official information just mentions the 90-day limit without elaboration. Is it akin to Schengen where itโ€™s counted against the most recent 180-day period? Iโ€™m asking because I might like to take trips to the continent flying out of Dublin, but I donโ€™t know how I should account for the days Iโ€™m gone if I do that. Do I stop the 90-day clock for Ireland while Iโ€™m away, or should I make sure Iโ€™m gone from Ireland <= 90 days after my initial arrival date, regardless of where else I go during that interval, just to be safe? What have others done?

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How do you deal with โ€œproof of addressโ€ for banking and investing and other random stuff?


by @eljaques | 4mo 3 months ago | 6 comments

How do you guys deal with the dreaded โ€œproof of addressโ€ for banking and investing and other random stuff?

I donโ€™ have the option to have a family member do this for me, sadly (not wanting to use that country as residence for tax implications).

This has to be a pretty regular problem for most who arenโ€™t doing the old timey โ€œlive in one place and pay bills there foreverโ€ thing. Suggestions? Services? Hacks? Workarounds?

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How is the health and safety in Bali right now amid the global crisis?


by @valentineworld | 4mo 3 months ago | 1 comment

I would like to avoid having to come right back home, ya know? <3

I plan to be in Bali a lot, but if this is a terrible time to go,
it could stunt my future plans of being in Bali for an extended period of time.

Would love to see you guys! <3

@valentineworld

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How do you invest internationally as a nomad?


by @mateuszwieloch | 4mo 4 months ago | 17 comments

I have finally saved enough money to start investing. What company gives good, diversified access to stock, ETFs and mutual funds? Does it make sense to use company like Vanguard or Fidelity for that? Iโ€™m a EU/Poland citizen, how would I transfer my money back and forth without incurring significant fees?

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I dream of being a digital nomad? How do I do it?


by @programmingmark | 5mo 4 months ago | 2 comments

Hello digital nomad!

I dream of being an independent digital nomad. But it feels very elusive & unattainable with my success rate. In full disclosure, whilst I have dreamed about making money online since high school; I have not earned a single cent making money online. $0, nada, zilch!! On the contrary, I have spent a lot of time & money on books, podcasts. Even though I have spent a lot of time reading/listening to others, I do not have anything to show for it!

I have made attempts in the past to start an online business, but these fizzle out quite quickly when I do not see traction especially when the goal I have set myself is too high.

Instead of reaching for the ultimate nomadic lifestyle goal, I want to start much smaller. Really small! I am simply looking to make $50 profit per month from a new online business. Thatโ€™s it.

I need some advice from you please!

  • Is $50 profit too low? How long did it take you to earn $50 profit per month?

  • What is a good way of achieving this goal?

Thanks
Mark
aka the $0 online business entrepreneur

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How to ship bikes from US to Europe?


by @ld | 5mo 4 months ago | 3 comments

Hello,
Iโ€™m preparing to travel again to Europe, but this time I want to bring our bikes. 2 road bikes. Iโ€™ll be traveling from USA to the Milan or Rome airport.

Iโ€™d appreciate hearing your thoughts, experience and tips on traveling with a bike. I plan on being fairly stationary with our location and staying in one spot for 2-3 months, then (hopefully train) to another spot for 3 months, etc. So itโ€™s the initial international flight Iโ€™m most concerned about. But realistically, I think a regional flight will be inevitable with the bikes, too.

I know a bike box will be huge and we will have to break down the bike, thankfully our bikes are fairly light weight. Iโ€™m expecting it to be a huge painโ€ฆbut I think the reward of having a good bike to roam around with will be invaluable. Especially since we will be staying in rural areas and donโ€™t want to rent a car.

General range of cost?

Anyone bring their bike and glad they did? โ€ฆWish they didnโ€™t?.. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks!

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How do digital nomads pay tax?


by @rodriigovieira | 5mo 5 months ago | 19 comments

Hello everyone! Iโ€™m new here and probably this is a very newbie question, but it doesnโ€™t leave my head.

How do you, nomads, pay your taxes? I mean, if youโ€™re constantly traveling, how are you going to pay taxes for a certain country if you are going to stay there a short period of time?
Or do you return to your โ€œoriginal countryโ€ and then pay them?

By the way, this forum has very nice cool formatting features! :smile:

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Are there nomad families here and how do you choose your next destination?


by @martinratinaud | 5mo 5 months ago | 4 comments

All members of my family has different needs and hobbies so how do you pick the perfect places?

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How to save filter settings on Nomad List?


by @krzemian | 6mo 5 months ago | 3 comments

Hey, is there currently a way to save filter settings? I feel like it would be helpful for planning the trip as I have several ideas on what to target and would like to cycle between them

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How do you avoid settling in one place?


by @sukienniko | 6mo 5 months ago | 10 comments

As a follow up to my previous question (I guess I donโ€™t have the right to post links here?), but on a larger scale: if living as a nomad in a place for, say, more than a month (which will be beneficial for the sake of getting work done), how to you prevent yourself from getting too involved in the local society?

I find that every time I stay somewhere for a significant amount of time, I naturally start to settle into the idea that Iโ€™ll be there permanently, or at least long term. I guess this is human nature: wanting to have a stable lifestyle, with stable friends, relationship, workplace, recreational activities, etc. But, indeed, that is not my goal-- I believe the benefits of the nomadic lifestyle are far greater at this stage in my lifeโ€ฆ

So, for those of you who have successfully avoided settling somewhere time despite staying for months at a time, what strategies do you use to stay afloat, as in, not getting too deeply integrated locally?

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Where to go and what to do for Christmas and NYE in Chiang Mai?


in Chiang Mai, Thailand by @shasha | 7mo 7 months ago | 0 comments

Hi everyone,

Iโ€™m currently in Chiang Mai and will be here for Christmas. Maybe for NYE too. Planning to go out and meet people and enjoy the holiday season. Any events or places to recommend?

Iโ€™d love to meet new friends too. Leave me a message if you are interested in hanging out.

Cheers! :cocktail:

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Where to go and what to do for Christmas and NYE in Chiang Mai?


in Chiang Mai, Thailand by @shasha | 7mo 7 months ago | 0 comments

Hi everyone,

Iโ€™m currently in Chiang Mai and will be here for Christmas. Maybe for NYE too. Planning to go out and meet people and enjoy the holiday season. Any events or places to recommend?

Iโ€™d love to meet new friends too. Leave me a message if you are interested in hanging out.

Cheers! :cocktail:

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Where to go and what to do for Christmas and NYE in Chiang Mai?


in Chiang Mai, Thailand by @shasha | 7mo 7 months ago | 0 comments

Hi everyone,

Iโ€™m currently in Chiang Mai and will be here for Christmas. Maybe for NYE too. Planning to go out and meet people and enjoy the holiday season. Any events or places to recommend?

Iโ€™d love to meet new friends too. Leave me a message if you are interested in hanging out.

Cheers! :cocktail:

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What neighborhoods to stay in Mexico City?


in Mexico City, Mexico by @azurio | 8mo 7 months ago | 3 comments

Hi guys!

Know Mexico City?

We are here for 4 more nights. We want to get a good feel for how it would be to live here as nomads.

What neighborhoods should we check out? What cafรฉs should we peep? What peeps should we meet?

Haha, thanks so much!

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How's the internet in Oaxaca towns?


in Oaxaca, Mexico by @azurio | 8mo 7 months ago | 0 comments

Hi guys!

If youโ€™ve been to Puerto Escondido, Mazunte, Zipolite, etc, please share your experience with the internet there.

  • What speeds did you get up/down? Where?

  • How solid and consistent was the connection?

  • How common are blackouts and loss of power?

  • Any other tips, favorite places to work, etc?

Which towns have decent internet?

  • Puerto Escondido
  • Mazunte
  • Zipolite

0voters

Thanks so much!

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