Why Digital Nomads Flock to Chiang Mai
There is a reason that Chiang Mai has become the mecca for digital nomads. While there are other cities around SE Asia, Europe and even South American that are getting some attention, such as Ho Chi Minh, Berlin, and Medellin, most digital nomads that stay for any length of time in Chiang Mai will tell you they always end up returning. It’s like a vortex that just pulls you back in. Obviously, the cost of living is one of the most appealing factors, especially for those in the early stages of a start up business. But it’s so much more than that. You can find cheap food and affordable accommodations in many places throughout the world, but in Chiang Mai your dollar goes much further. It’s the options that are available that set Chiang Mai apart. It’s the community that makes settling into an Asian city so unbelievably easy that you forget you are half a world away from home. These are the top 5 reasons Chiang Mai is an ideal base for digital nomads.
Abundance of Housing Options
One of the biggest difficulties digital nomads deal with when settling into a city is finding short term housing. Since they often bounce around every few months, signing a one-year lease is not always an option. One of the greatest feats of Chiang Mai is that it has such a wide range of housing options catering to every budget for short and long-term stays. Moreover, it is also the ease of renting a house or apartment. It’s never taken us more than a few days to view a selection of places, find the one we like, sign the papers, and be completely moved in with the house or apartment completely furnished with everything we need and the utilities hooked up ready to go. No need to start planning months in advance.
The vibrant café culture in Chiang Mai is perhaps one of the biggest draws. With coffee shops popping up on just about every corner around the moat and particularly in the ever-popular Nimman district, you could just about visit a new coffee shop every single day. You always have a workspace at the price of a $1-2 coffee, and you can change up your environment weekly, or even daily if you’d like, when you are in need of new inspiration. There are also co-working spaces, like Kaweh Café, that are open 24 hours and are conveniently set up with desk lamps and outlets at each working space so you can work comfortably at the price of a tea or coffee.
Adding to the abundance of coffee shops and cafes throughout the city, you can always count on finding Wifi. As long as you purchase a coffee or meal, you will find that almost every restaurant and coffee shop in the city offers free WiFi and Chiang Mai has some of the highest WiFi speeds we’ve seen compared to other cities in SE Asia and even Europe. This is obviously a pretty big necessity for digital nomads and Chiang Mai is leading the competition.
Because there is already such a large community of digital nomads in Chiang Mai, its incentive for many others to head this way and get into the mix for some networking opportunities. Every week there are digital nomad meet-ups throughout the city, mastermind and roundtable discussions, and business opportunities and partnerships coming together just from casual discussions sparking up in a coffee shop on any given day of the week. It’s the place to be to meet so many entrepreneurial-minded individuals, to bounce ideas off each other, to ask for help from the experts when you need it, and to just get inspired. The opportunities in Chiang Mai are endless – you just have to put yourself out there and get involved.
Another big factor most digital nomads consider is safety and Chiang Mai is consistently talked about as one of the safest places among the top nomad destinations. Of course no city is completely free of crime, but as long as you use common sense and are aware of your surroundings, Chiang Mai really is one of the safest places to be. It’s easy to let your guard down and you realize it doesn’t take long before it starts to feel like home.
These Facebook groups for Digital Nomads in Chiang Mai are great resources to help you settle in Chiang Mai, ask questions, find out what’s going on in the city and meet other nomads.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/cmnomads/ – focuses more on business-related questions.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/436338589849184/ – focuses more on general questions, such as where to stay, how to get around, social scene, etc.
What are your thoughts on this? Are you a digital nomad enjoying Chiang Mai? Do you disagree with this post.
What ever your thoughts we really want to hear from you in the comments section below.