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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.
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 Also, the stations look decrepit and are way out of date.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.
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)
One of the worst places I have ever lived. Cost of living is horrible and living there makes no sense unless you want to work 100% of your time. Save your time and money and live somewhere where there is actual sense of community. I was able to afford it there, but it still didn't made any sense.
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.
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.
Nomaded here for a month Aug-Sep 2018. It's perfectly ready for digital nomads. I won't go into details about why Tokyo is a great place to travel to, you know that. For nomads: there are many coworking spaces, especially in Ginza area (personally I recommend Ginza Hub or Co-Edu or Yahoo Lodge which is actually a free coworking space). Almost every place I've checked has daily membership options too. Starbucks is almost everywhere and locals work in cafes all the time. You can also get a very decent 4g sim as a foreigner from Mobal. The prices are okay-ish, Paris or Singapore level. Many people don't speak English, but that wasn't a problem for me at all: people are friendly and trying to help even when I didn't ask them. If you're feeling lonely, there are numerous international meetups happening every single day. I didn't notice any hostility from locals towards me, only curiosity; made some friends. The situation is different if you want to immigrate to Japan, but we're not talking about it here, right? I'd definitely recommend Tokyo for digital nomads!
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.
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.
Nothing does a better job of explaining LA’s beautiful diversity and different neighborhoods than the documentary about the late Jonathan Gold, our city’s greatest amabassador and the only food critic to ever win a Pulitzer Prize. It is called, “City of Gold” and if you want to know LA, just watch this film. Trailer link: https://youtu.be/DmKTRDfz1zM
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.
Sofia is quite peaceful despite the medium to heavy traffic. It is very easy to travel this city, even without the metro, but public transportation is simple as well. Many beautiful parks, and access to wifi, make it easy to work anywhere. My favorite part is grabbing a coffee for .40 lev and getting to work. Also, grabbing a beer and lounging anywhere in the city is no concern. There are also plenty of outdoor, free events to experience if you want to meet other people, or travelers. Price of clothing and electronics is comparable to US/UK standard, some places even charge more. For this reason, I recommend having a good idea of the price range for any items you are looking to purchase.
It’s hard to love Kuala Lumpur. Because everything here is average. Malaysia’s food is marketed as a mix of all cultures’ cuisines, that’s nice and all but that mix of the same cultures is tastier in any food court in Singapore. Because in KL the food is average. Malaysians are also far behind in cafes, you’ll see Starbucks rated 5 stars, while arisanal boutique cafes are rated 2 stars on Foursquare. Why? Because they have a prehistoric obsession with big brands and consumerism. The coffee in the few artisanal cafes is outstanding. Everywhere else? Average. A day in KL means you’ll be going from mall to mall. Chinatown still has some remnants of local street authenticity, but even that’s starting to be bulldozed by malls its edge. Admittedly Kuala Lumpur has come far since a decade ago, its citizens are getting close to middle class (that is if you're not one of the millions of illegal immigrants). But where Kuala Lumpur now thrives in money, it still lacks in class. And that makes it, well, average.
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.
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