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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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
"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.
Some of the costs are accurate and some seem a little high to me as an expat. I live on the interior of the island, Kathu. We are 5 miles from beaches on either side of the island. Weather is amazing all year - between 75-85 degrees. So far monsoon season is not as bad as I expected. Traffic is really bad. I have not had an accident but the hazards are there. That may be the biggest downside. Your money speaks loudly here. I have a nice route I do on my bicycle for exercise which is shady and hilly with wide shoulders. There is a nice reservoir where people socialize and exercise.
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