The lifestyle of a digital nomad is becoming increasingly attractive. Imagine working in an exotic location with nothing but your laptop. Making your own hours and travelling around the world – what could be more exciting and liberating? Did you know that Chiang Mai in Thailand regularly ranks as one of the best digital nomad locations in the entire world? The following are some example rankings from highly reputable sources:
But why? What does this city have to offer that other locations lack? We dissect this question and explain why Chiang Mai is up there with the best of the best:
1. The abundance of Co-working spaces and cyber cafes in Chiang Mai
Obviously, as a digital nomad, you will still need a place to work. Yes, you could theoretically work from your apartment or the local park – but in reality, a structured workplace can help. Chiang Mai has at least 6 co-working spaces and more are popping up as their popularity increases. Examples of co-work spaces include Star Work Chiang Mai, Co-working Cafe and Punspace. Moreover, the city is packed full of quiet cafes that offer free WiFi – they are more than happy for you to use their services providing you actually purchase a drink or snack!
2. Accessibility of WiFi and internet in Chiang Mai
As a digital nomad, you will require an internet connection – this is an undeniable fact. Internet connections within apartments are not always fantastic – especially if it is a shared connection. Co-working spaces usually have excellent internet connections, however. Furthermore, cafes also provide fast WiFi. Alternatively, you can purchase an improved internet connection for less than $30 per month from many providers.
3. Superb Chiang Mai property market with rental options
The property market in Chiang Mai is booming like practically everywhere else in Thailand. The city itself is expanding and new properties are being developed all the time. Condos are particularly popular and you can easily bag yourself a furnished apartment in a modern complex. Lease agreements usually run for 6-12 months. If you want less than this you may struggle – 3 month contracts can be found, but they are few and far between. We advise doing your research beforehand and checking out the available listed properties.
4. Inexpensive cost of living in Chiang Mai
Everyone generally knows that the cost of living in Thailand is cheap in comparison to the western world. This is exactly the case in Chiang Mai too. If you wanted, you could easily live and work here for $500 a month. This would be Spartan living and certainly not luxury, however. That being said, the Nomad List states that you could live comfortably in Chiang Mai for $999 per month – this would include a decent apartment, dining out, and some social downtime too!
5. Awesome Digital Nomad community
Chiang Mai has cottoned on to the fact that it is a superb destination for digital nomads. To that end, it has a myriad of social groups. Furthermore, the city has a fantastic nomad community who all pull together to assist. These groups provide information, local knowledge and a much-needed social aspect. Groups such as Digital Nomads in Chiang Mai, I Love Chiang Mai and Farang Chiang Mai have so many opportunities. They can really improve your nomadic lifestyle within the city.
Lifestyle benefits in Chiang Mai
1. Superb Weather
Thailand has a fantastic climate regardless of where you are based, but Chiang Mai is favourable for nomads. The dry seasons of November to April bring beautiful weather. In addition to this, temperatures are generally slightly cooler than the south – and thus more bearable. Even during the rainy season the weather is still fine. You may get a couple of downpours per day (by downpour we mean torrential rain!) – Other than that, expect cloudy skies and warm temperatures. You will be working indoors mainly, but the superb weather allows you to go out and explore.
2. Friendly and relaxed atmosphere
Places in Thailand such as Bangkok and Pattaya have a reputation for rowdiness. Additionally, sex tourism, scams and crime are much higher here. Chiang Mai presents a welcomed change. It has a totally different culture and atmosphere. The city has a laid-back vibe where the only chaos is the traffic. The people of Chiang Mai generally have higher values and greater respect for their culture and for foreigners. Generally, the city has a slower pace of life which is perfect for the digital nomad.
3. Amazing landscapes and attractions
let’s face it, Northern Thailand is beautiful and rugged. Chiang Mai itself is a gorgeous city and is just a NICE place to live. The old historic centre is magnificent and a true treasure. Furthermore, Chiang Main has an abundance of fantastic temples. If you love photography then you will fall head over heels for Chiang Mai. Moreover, the city still values culture and tradition. Finally, you are surrounded by rice fields, immense mountains and lush rainforests – what better place on earth could there be to work and live?
As you can see, Chiang Mai certainly has a lot in its favour. It is like a digital nomad’s paradise. You may wonder how so many nomads can work in Chiang Mai without a long-term Visa? Generally, Digital Nomads help the Thai economy and provide income and support to Chiang Mai. In short, it may be a case of turning a blind eye. There are in fact very few, if any, cases where Digital Nomads have been fined or imprisoned for working in Chiang Mai but please do your own due diligence as this is not intended to be legal advice.
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