Or how it took only 2 months to get sick of the Digitalnomad culture

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Wrapping up 2 months in Chiang Mai

I am heading to Cambodia in 2 days so i feel its time to wrap up my experience as Digitalnomad in Chiang Mai. And because i have nothing to sell to you i can be as honest as possible. Because i think most blogs are not. Never trust a travel blog plastered with ads!

Living in Chiang Mai

Firstly, i think Chiang Mai is a great place to live for expats and basically everyone that is looking for a place to escape. It seriously is. The vibe is (mostly) great, it still feels thai even thought there are so many tourists, nomads and expats living is cheap, food is simply awesome and available from cheap street food to fancy western food.

Satai for 5 baht each & Burger for 200 baht.

Street Food

Fancy Wester Food

If you get a scooter it is super easy to get around. If not there are masses of Tuk Tuks and red busses. From what i’ve got told it gets annoying after a while to bargain every single time you want to go somewhere. But driving around on my scooter made me as mobile as just possible for just $70 a month + fuel.

Even thought you are in the middle of a city that kind of feels big, its just a short drive to experience some quiet nature like the bottom of a watterfall just a 5 minute drive from Nimman.

Chiang Mai Nature

And let me tell you the coffee culture is big around here. Not only do you have Starbucks (yuck) and Thoms Coffee what seems to be a direct copy of Starbucks. But you have dozens of small coffee shops that not only serve awesome, often local, coffee but usually also have free Wifi. Yes WiFi is really abundant here.

Chiang Mai Coffee

Also its really simple to live here. Really if you want to do anything there is so much material written about it already you dont even have to think. Like making a driving license there are at least 200 blog posts alone from this year describing every little detail. Everybody has at least basic knowledge (not true, but sometimes it feels like it). You have western shopping centers to find whatever you want. Yes it was too simply sometimes.

The “Bro” Tourists

At first i thought its fun to socialize with a few tourists as well. But i soon realized that Chiang Mai seems to target a very specific type of tourist. On average they are male, pumped up and Australian. They use “Bro” in every single sentence and are usually drunk. Their female counter parts are not much better and only glance through constant complaining about food, hair that look like dreadlocks from afar but are actually just unwashed for weeks (i guess) and elephant pants. Nothing goes without elephant pants it seems.

The Digitalnomads

To my surprise most nomads i met here are not much better. There are 2 types that crystalize themself out who also seem to be 2 completely different scenes. Before i go into details i have to add that i met also some really cool people, i did not make long term friendships but thats not what i am here for anyway.

The Dropshipper

A Dropshipper does not actually have to Dropship but you can easily tell them apart from tourists or other nomads. They usually bargain over cheap food, try to sell you their ebooks and courses and never miss a moment to tell you how great they are because how much money they make.

Most of them dont seem to actually work other than selling themself full time and are mixed into the party folks and bro tourists.

The “Real” Digitalnomad

The other type beeing the nomads that consider themself as “real” digitalnomads. They on average have a normal job that allows them to work remotely or have some kind of successfull startup. They dont brag about there money so much, but tend to brag about their success.

Most of them try to live the fancy life. They dont care much about culture or their surroundings generally but are happy to surround themself with other “real” nomads to “network”.

“Real” nomads are usually hating on dropshippers and try to drive prices up everytime they can to avoid dropshippers from showing up.

Honestly i cant say much bad about them, i probably would not be much different if i did not have completely different plans for my travelling and would still earn my swiss salary.

The kind of Digitalnomad i am

I see myself probably somewhere in between. I dont dropship and party a lot, but i also dont sun myself in my success. I am still building, and while earning enough to have a decent life, i could definitly earn much more.

I dont care a lot about networking, selling myself or anything like that. What i do is building stuff and enjoying new impressions. Honestly what i expected from this trip was to get more humble in some way and have my creativity peaking on new impressions. While the latter works great, Chiang Mai did not make me humble at all.

What i learned from this all

Life is awesome. Life is beautiful. These are 2 things that i really learned in the last 2 months. But one thing i also learned is that i from now on ignore “Nomadhubs” and just move to wherever i feel to. I rather chill out with some hippy backpackers than a group of self marketing nomads.

Will i still go to digitalnomad meetups? Probably. But i will just get drunk and pick out a few people with similiar interests other than network my ass off.

Thats about what i wanted to tell. Try out Chiang Mai if you think you’ll enjoy it. I am sure you will actually! But keep your expectations straight and dont believe Blogs that just try to sell a idea.

Written: 27.12.2016
Keywords: digitalnomad, chiang mai, thailand

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About me

My name is Roman Pramberger, i am a 20something years old developer from Austria, spending my youth in Bern, Switzerland. I spend my days creating *things.

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