#nomadlife - Thailand19 April 2017
digitalnomads life daytoday
Well it’s finally done, over the last few months I’ve made the move to head down to South East Asia for a little bit and doing a lot of research.
Here are some tidbits you should be aware of.
I chose Chiang Mai as a base because of the following reasons.
- Lots of Cafes to work at (and appreciate).
- One of my favorite Thai dishes - Khao Soi is available in abundance here. See my travel post on Chiang Mai for more details.
- Internet in Thailand is surprisingly fast and cheap.
Sharing a land border with multiple countries - Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia means that it’s relatively inexpensive to travel and explore the immediate area.
I noticed because there is a large community of transient expats (digital nomads), there seems to be no shortage of short to medium term real estate (As in 3 month leases, or even just sign month to month).
This seems a big trend with South East Asia.
Prices in Chiang Mai is a factor cheaper than the bigger cities like Bangkok. As a nomad, because income comes from outside it doesn’t really affect me too much.
And it also gives a nice comfortable runway to last even through tougher times of little to no income due to Thailand being a destination for backpackers. Which makes for a nice place to just experiment on startup projects.
Internet Access for me is a lifeblood to livelihood. It lets me work, do up my online presence in order to stand out (online presence is very important when freelancing and networking).
My preferred provider in Thailand is AIS for the Super Wifi because it is available almost everywhere. To activate, it costs 99 baht a month! I was using it at a cafe in Bangkok with AIS Super Wifi coverage too - that cafe had only 3 hours wifi, but then I switched to AIS and sat there all day (It’s in a student area so there are other people doing it too).
Fibre internet is relatively inexpensive in Thailand - about 500 baht a month for a fiber connection.
Food is quite cheap. I love the fact I can eat out (3 meals a day) for less than $5 a day - as long as its local food.
Scooter rental by the month is about 2500 - 3000 baht ($60 - 90 a month) with a 1000-2000 baht ($30 - $50) deposit. Having a ride means you can explore outside of the town during downtime.
Two popular scooter companies is who have new inventory:
Get Stuff done
For me personally, I’m don’t like spending too much time in the same place (gets boring).
- Punspace - This is the oldest coworking space in Chiang Mai. There’s two right now. The Nimman one and the one near the Phae Gate.
- M-A-N-A Co-working space - This is another coworking space in Nimman.
- CAMP - This is a 24 hour coworking space right in Nimman too. Perfect for Nomads who are working for European and North American Clients. The cafe offers 2 hour wifi codes, however you can use the AIS super wifi here too which is the fastest wifi in town.
Banking and Finances
While getting set up with a bank account is harder than ever - it’s still possible to be bankless thanks to some cool providers such as: coins.co.th, bitcoin.co.th, and bx.in.th (though bx.in.th requires a local bank account).
Using a service such as coins.co.th, lets me skip the ATM fee tax (some goes to the owner, some goes to the bank, plus commission) and lets me get cash for about 100 baht.
Also, for those who don’t understand how to use blockchain technology, you can use a service called GoAbra which abstracts all the blockchain stuff into something more familiar in dollars/euro/yen. It might cost some fees, but it’s priced competitively against bank fees (you get charged for the privilege of using the ATM by the Thai bank, then charged by your bank, and then maybe you get a bad exchange rate).
Shameless Plug - I’m an Abra Teller in Chiang Mai. Show me this blog post, and I will refund fees on deposits (or withdrawals) - subject to current liquidity.