Pharmacist going travel developer to explore the world and to live a fearless life.
Current Location: Medellin, Colombia
Nomad Hotspot: Chiang Mai,Thailand
Why is it that so many nomads gravitate to this country to start their nomadic lifestyle? I took some time to research some basic information about this country and tried to come up top reasons.
To begin, I found some basic country primer on Thailand based on Getting Out: Your Guide to Leaving America by Mark Ehrman. Thailand has three seasons averaging between 75 and 82 degrees with the cool season being from November to January, hot season from April to May, and the rainy season from June to October. Their currency is Baht and as of this morning, 1 USD equals 35.29 Bahts. Thai is the official language with English being second. Buddhist predominantly reigns 95% of religion and the Thai ethnic group composes 75% of the country.
Most will likely land at Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX). If you just touched down in Thailand, they will stamp you for 30 days. Tourist visa are offered for visitors with a round trip ticket and adequate finances (about $500) for 60 days. The option of getting a renewal is up to 30 days, but most expats can do a border run as well. Chiang mai does not offer much in the way ofbeaches but exhibits comfortable temperatures most year round.
Quality of Life
With the price of living there being very cheap compared to the United States, it’s no wonder that this is one of the strong suits. According to nomadlist, an Airbnb apartment can range from $18 to $544 per day. Kira Newman from 5 Damn Good Reasons to Startup in Chiang Mai, quotes an apartment from $66 to $500 dollars per month. Coworking spaces($259) and basic meals ($1-3), and one hour massage is ($4-6 dollars). The internet is boasted as quick and stable and public transportation is affordable and reliable. There is some government corruption but government is mostly laissez-faire as evidence of the illegal stance on cannabis and prostitution but relaxed enforcement as it is widely available in the country. Crime is very low and coffee is a proud tradition!
How much do things typically cost in Thailand? From The World’s Cheapest Destinations 4th edition by Tim Leffel:
A double room with shared bath or beach bungalow with ceiling fan and private bath is $7 to $14.
A hotel with TV, A/C, and hot shower for as little as $20 and $25-$50 in Bangkok.
A gorgeous bungalow with a veranda and amazing view is $15-$30.
All your favorite Thai dishes at home cost only $0.75 to $2 on the street.
Favorites in restaurant including seafood is $1-$4.
Bottled water is $0.20 – $0.40, Soda is $0.40 to $0.80.
Air conditioned bus rides are $1 to $2 per hour for short trips, longer being less than $20.
Thailand Skytrain and subway start at $0.25, with the average about $1-$1.50, and all day pass is $4.50.
A nice massage is $5-$10 dollars.
Admission to museums and attractions are generally $1-$5.
Quick Tips & Tidbits
- Avoid massive pollution when farmers burn their fields in February to April for preparation of the next season
- Loy Krathong is the lunar festival during November which is not to be missed
- Getting by on $500-$1000 here is completely possible
- JUMP into the Chiang Mai Rock Quarry
- Get a newer 125cc motor bike($90/month) to get you around instead of 100cc old motor bikes ($60/month)
- Thailand is proud of their coffee: 100% organic, single sourced, and handpicked
- It’s best to get a 60 day visa before entering, the closest location is Vientiane in Laos
- Would you be brave enough to try “jungle cuisine” like python, turtle and the like?
- Thailand is on par with Honduras for cheapest open water PADI certification: $260 to $350 depending on the island
- Men can get a custom made any style suit for $90 to $200
What a wonderful location indeed! The more I read into the stories, the more better and attractive comments I find. Beyond the pollution and third world country lifestyle, I can hardly find many negative things about this place. There is a bustling nomad economy here with many looking to bootstrap their lives here. With many nomads to connect with and plethora of co-working spaces, it’s hard to get lonely here. I think the only other drawback is not having a beach to look at but what’s a short bus trip to the beach anyways? This is definitely one of the places I’m strongly considering to launch off.
- The World’s Cheapest Destinations 4th edition by Tim Leffel
- Getting Out by Mark Ehrman
- 24 Reasons Chiang Mai is the Best Place for Digital Nomads
- Chiang Mai – The Digital Nomad Capitol of the World
- Chiang Mai Resources, A Wiki by Chiang Mai Digital Nomads
- 5 Damn Good Reasons to Startup in Chiang Mai