Best Digital Nomad Destination? Chiang Mai

Why is Chiang Mai loved by many digital nomads and remote workers? We spent almost two months in Chiang Mai to catch up with things and check on our health, so for us, it is safe to say Chiang Mai is perfect if you are looking for a place long-term. There are many reasons why it’s perfect for slow travellers, expats, digital nomads and remote workers, so we will dive into the reasons right now.

    If that’s what you are after, there is a massive community of expats, so you can join plenty of interesting events, social activities and personal development projects such as learning crafting, yoga or meditation retreats, dance classes, language exchange events, concerts, any sort of networking event and so on. There is a good community of Nomads and also Nomad Girls. Ask questions and network on their Facebook groups or WhatsApp chat.
    We are lucky because we have our little shared living room / coworking space at the awesome, clean and affordable Nimman Expat Home which we talked extensively about in a previous article, so we don’t need a coworking space.
    So we haven’t personally used them, but we heard the following spaces are great: Camp, Alt_ChiangMai, Yellow and Colab. If you want to browse coworking spaces around the globe, so you have the info you need for your next stop, there is a good collection here that is going to be filled with even more coworking and coliving spaces.
    Is your visa running out of days? You can either renew your visa at the immigration or do a visa run to Laos or Myanmar, but always check the updated visa and entry regulations of those countries according to your passport. Too many visa runs in a row are not permitted, and It’s advisable to get the help of a local visa agency that will take care of everything for you. We extended our visa at the immigration office inside the Central Festival shopping centre – very smooth process if you have all they ask!
    Chiang Mai medical district has been flourishing. It’s a very popular medical hub in Thailand. Expats are flocking to Chiang Mai for medical reasons, since healthcare is more expensive in most west countries. There is the University of Medicine, Dentistry and plenty of private hospitals and Nimman is a good area to stay as everything is within walkable distance.
    As health is a delicate matter, we won’t go into details and recommend specific places or doctors but if you write us in private, we are happy to share our personal experience. Overall, we are very happy however, keep in mind that you should compare prices with your country as after a lot of research, certain things are actually more expensive than in Europe!
  • FOOD
    Thai or international food? You have them all here. Amazing local Khao Soi, incredible pizzas, vegan food or delicious cheesecakes, you name it! We are on a low budget, so we don’t really eat out much, but here is a list of places we used, or we were suggested from good friends and fellow travellers.
  1. Local just at the scooter parking of Nimman Expat Home
  2. SomPetch Kitchen Local Thai
  3. Street Food Local Buffet
  4. Grazie Thai Local Food
  5. Mama’s Thai Food
  6. Pizza at Why Not?
  7. By Hand Pizza Cafe
  8. Anchan Noodle
  9. Khao Soy Maesai
  10. Kun Kae’s Juice Bar
  11. It’s Good Kitchen

    Grab a Grab, lol, game of words, Sorry – scooter or taxi, it’s easy! Or a local songthaew for 30 baht = $0.77. Songthaew are red vans that collect people on the way and take them where they need.

    Apparently was nominated as one of the safest cities in the world. The atmosphere is good, and we can totally agree with this statement: we felt very, very safe here in Chiang Mai and the locals are the sweetest!

    Need to exit the country? We arrived from Hanoi, and we were so relieved when we found out how close the airport was to the city and Nimman area! This is also a great perk for exiting the country as Chiang Mai has direct flights to the neighbour countries and also China, South Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. We will soon fly to Bangkok and if you book it early, you can find flights for as little as $18 (no check-in luggage and booking fees included).

    The expats and nomads community on Facebook sometimes sell their belongings before leaving their beloved base in Chiang Mai. And there are several thrift shops scattered around the city.
    You can find amazing deals: For i.e. the other day, David got 6 good short sleeve shirts for the price of $0.85 each!!! We should all abandon the fast fashion trend and adopt a “reuse & second hand approach”. Just type in Google Maps keywords such as: ‘vintage clothes’ or ‘second hand clothes’. We like the Free Bird Cafe which supports Burmese refugees, and it is also runs a weekly meet up for Girls to network. There are more thrift shops such as Love 70s, several “Tiger” shops,..

    There are so many options for fun day trips inside or outside Chiang Mai. Waterfalls, Hikes, Temples or Markets – you choose!

    Endless massage places to choose from! Starting from $ 7.00 for 1 hour head/back/shoulder.
View from our rooftop at Nimman Expat Home (which has a coworking space)

But Chiang Mai is almost perfect. I say this because it has no beach and… you should never come here from December to March. It is Burning Season. In fact, we wanted to come here in January but after reading how bad the situation was this year 2022/2023 we decided to stay in the south in the lovely Koh Lanta. During Burning Season, the city air quality becomes one of the worst in the world as farmers burn the fields for agriculture purposes. As a result of this, everyone has an air purifier at home, and many people develop skin rashes and breathing problems. Hopefully the new generation won’t follow this harmful tradition.  

What about you, what’s your favourite city for long term? 🙂

We always travel with SafetyWing travel medical insurance simple to understand and renews every month!
Good for long-term travellers but also for short trips! The customer service is knowledgeable and quick to reply!
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