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Show HN: NomadList – The best cities to live and work remotely in (nomadlist.io)
639 points by pieterhg on July 30, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 298 comments

Hi HN! I made this. Here's some info on the data before everyone goes berzerk :)

Firstly, it's crowdsourced from this spreadsheet http://nomadlist.io/edit/ so it might not be 100% accurate.

Secondly, NomadCost != cost of living. NomadCost is based on short-term staying in a hostel, hotel or apartment in the center, working in a coworking space and having a basic meal three times a day. That's the average digital nomad's lifestyle. They move around every few months, so they can't rent long-term. So NomadCost will be way more expensive than cost of living for a resident.

I'd like to monetize this by selling city specific nomad guides on how to set up in each place and letting people find jobs remotely. Hope this helps! I think this is the future of work, so I'm very happy to help push this.

P.S. this is part of my goal to launch 12 startups in 12 months (see http://levels.io/12-startups-12-months)

I like the idea of the Nomad Guides, though I don't know what kind of value I would place on one. Perhaps, an alternative way to monetize would be if you worked out agreements in advance to sell Nomad Packages that covered all the basics for limited stays, which would minimize set up times and make arrival and departure painless.

It would be nice if the current site included a better description of the NomadCost and maybe even an overview of what you mean by the digital nomad lifestyle. It turns out that it is something I have been looking into for a year or so, but I did not realize it was a formal concept.

+1 for a Nomad Package.

I'd love it if someone met me at the airport with a pre-paid SIM card and suggestions for accommodation and public workspaces.

That is the "killer app" here, basically a package deal. Also easy to monetize as you're converting customers for the various participating parties (phone/cowork/hostel/etc). If you can make it 'on demand' so that as someone walks off the plane they can stop at the "Nomadics" kiosk and say, "1 person, 2 months, no smoking." and be handed sim/annotated map/authcode for keyapp/token for shuttle and walk out of the airport and be productive an hour later.

To make that work you would need pre-arranged contracts with a co-working space, some hostels/hotels, phone companies, and transportation services. Using an NFC app to grant access to a coworking space/hotel room would minimize things like key management/inventory. It would be primarily a logistics play but if there are enough people doing this sort of thing it could be profitable.

That's what I was thinking too. What would you like to pay for that? Let's say a pre-paid data SIM card, a day pass in a coworking space, a low-end hotel night near the space altogether?

For me the question isn't really "how much would I pay", but more like "how much markup would I pay for the service of someone doing all that setup work". If you make a breakdown of the cost of all the items and then show me that the package includes a markup which is still much less than my hourly rate for doing the setup work, then I'd probably buy it.

Maybe there should be some way for nomadlist to allow people to offer these?

I could surely come up with a plan where you get mobile internet, access to a coworking space and accommodation if you want to come to Tokushima, Japan to "sightsee" for a month and even meet you at the airport, as I know some people who have a coworking space here. I'm sure others could do that for their own cities.

Not sure what a reasonable fee would be? Would probably take a whole day to organize this for someone, although it sounds fun to meet people.

This is exactly what I've been wishing existed.

If I could even go so far as to prepay for a set amount of time (1 to 6 months) for rent, sim, internet, and co-working space and have it all taken care of when I arrive, that would be even better.

I see the value in this but can you make a section to match nomads with other nomads because I like to work and travel but do not like to go alone.

This would be a nice addition to AirBnB...

I definitely can see the value in this.

As it relates to one specific example on this list, I live in Leipzig, and in East Germany in general, it is nearly impossible to speak English on the phone in order to arrange these sorts of things, plus so many places do not accept Visa (only Maestro/EC card). So coming from the US, you are especially unprepared, and being able to pay OP in USD to have things set up that require German knowledge + lots of euros = huge benefit in not losing money via wire transfer and not needing to know the language in advance.

Looks good but really needs Celsius. Most of us don't know Fahrenheit. Also, why is hot green? Shouldn't it be red? You don't want to be somewhere that's over 25C.

why not? 25 isn't all that hot.

Anything over 25 and I want to die... :)

Good temperatures are between 18 and 22.

That's only 77 fahrenheit, for anyone else that was curious.

sdm, that's really not hot :). Where I live (southern US), highs over 37 celsius are not uncommon in July & August. You might melt!

I definitely don't want to be too much below 25!

This is a fun and quite intriguing resource, but I'm skeptical of the NomadCost function. No way is is Berlin only 12% cheaper than London for a nomad. It's probably 50% or more.

Maybe he should use data from http://www.expatistan.com/ to get more accurate results

Pretty much came here to say the same. I have tons of friends who have moved from London to Berlin as London is slowly turning into an oligarchy.

And I'd estimate Dublin to be more expensive than he has estimated.

> Secondly, NomadCost != cost of living. NomadCost is based on short-term staying in a hostel, hotel or apartment in the center, working in a coworking space and having a basic meal three times a day. That's the average digital nomad's lifestyle. They move around every few months, so they can't rent long-term. So NomadCost will be way more expensive than cost of living for a resident.

I suggest you to let the user expand the NomadCost into the three things you mention: short term staying, coworking space, three meals a day? Why? I may be planning to work nomadly in Tokyo for example, and for me it would be cheaper than what you mention because I can stay with my in-laws (and possibly could use the office of some friend). On the other hand, I would pay the same amount as a normal nomad for the meals, so if I knew how much they cost I could more accurately forecast how much it would cost me to stay in Tokyo.

I'm intuitively guessing that there's more geographic variance in rent prices than in coworking or food. Everyone will have different ameliorating factors in different cities, like friends or in-laws, and I'd argue that splitting out the NomadCost creates more mental work for a visitor than is necessary for the purposes of comparing cities to one another.

tl;dr we all have friends and fam, so chill

I think you misunderstood the request (providing the option to drill down doesn't create more mental work), but I also disagree about "we all have friends and fam"... the typical digital nomad is NOT traveling to see family in friends; they're (for example) someone from SF traveling to SE Asia.

My own family & friends are split up all over the world (and my wife's parents live on the opposite of the world from mine, and we've lived in 3 different countries at one time or another but now are sort of in-between them), but it's still really unusual.

I'm pretty sure the calculations are assuming you don't have family/friends to host you.

>splitting out the NomadCost creates more mental work for a visitor than is necessary for the purposes of comparing cities to one another.

It'd be more helpful is not like the split version has to be the default.

Great resource, thanks.

I've spent the last year staying mostly in EU capitals for a month or two, and this site will be a good source of inspiration for the future!

I'm sure the numbers will improve over time with more data. :)

One of my unaddressed desires is to spend more time in small towns and less in bigger cities, but I don't know a good way to find them.

While the idea is great, it bases everything off of averages. Average housing, average internet, average everything. It would be better to show tiers if possible.

For most remote workers, knowing the highest affordable speed is more important. For example, Red Wing, MN offers gigabit fiber to the home, but NetIndex shows 33Mbps for the average internet speed. A lot of people aren't paying a few bucks more because they don't need or know about better internet access.

Your data is missing a "physical security" dimension. I don't think Medellin would be in your top 20 if this was taken into account. It wouldn't have to be a kidnapping or mugging - just having your laptop robbed would be disastrous for a nomad.

I've been to Medellin and never felt unsafe, it's mostly unsafe out in the jungle.

Why would it be so bad if you were properly backed up?

Restoring your work-environment after a stolen laptop can be quite a time and money consuming hassle in south america. Buying electronics online and getting them shipped is hardly ever a reliable option, local electronic stores might not have the hardware you'd prefer and slow internet connections give you a hard time waiting for those gigabytes of backup to load.

Medellin is (i think; never been there) a rather modern city, so it might be a bit easier. Still, charlesmchen's concern is valid for most south-/cental-american listings.

Amazing project btw i'm in different underground, like burner & co. For the burner this could be a valuable ressource. And if i may make a suggestion for sofia and some place it could be nice to add the local hackerspace ( http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/Sofia ) i know that there is one in sofia. If you hire i will be glad to work for you bussiere[AT]gladosx.tv

Out of curiosity, does "burner & co" mean the same thing it'd mean in the SF Bay Area, i.e. the Burning Man scene? Or something else?

Yes this group is really fond of travelling and there is a lot of tech guy in it :) but it can also be used for the fire street artist underground (in paris it's complicated because a lot of burner are now burner :) ).

Hmm, sorting by region and then sorting by temperature seems to put 89 degree New York above 90 degree Omaha. I also second the suggestion that the temperature info include some info about min/max and average temp for seasons.

I like the site, however can you add some way to convert temperature into centigrade without having to switch the currency? Also, you have Australian dollars, why not also throw in Canadian and New Zealand dollars?

> I'd like to monetize this by selling city specific nomad guides on how to set up in each place and letting people find jobs remotely.

Isn't NomadCost being monetized already via “preferred by nomads” feature?

I guess this list is only for citizens of the privileged countries. Some of my American friends don't even know what a visa is. A citizen of my country can't even transit in London (you will be denied boarding), unless his final destination is US or has a Schenzen B visa. Also an American breaking laws (tax, work etc, not criminal) in a foreign country will face a very different situation than say a third world country citizen.

> P.S. this is part of my goal to launch 12 startups in 12 months (see http://levels.io/12-startups-12-months)

Not to be mean, but is this one really a startup? What's the business model?

To give him the benefit of the doubt, I would guess he meant products rather than startups.

I love what Pieter's doing! There may not be a business model at the moment, but getting these products out of the door is a first step. After 12 months, he'll have a good idea of which ideas work, which don't, and what to pursue next. Good luck!

Well I mean this product as it currently stands will give him an idea about traffic to a crowdsourced comparison site and little else. What'll be the business, putting on ads or allowing cities to pay to become "featured" nomad hubs?

You can say that lessons learned from launching 12 sites will help pivot into one that works as a business, but that's one company with 12 products, not 12 companies.

>Well I mean this product as it currently stands will give him an idea about traffic to a crowdsourced comparison site and little else. What'll be the business, putting on ads or allowing cities to pay to become "featured" nomad hubs?

For one, ads are not a bad idea. Startups are not just for $5 billion buyouts -- they can also be $500/month side projets.

Second, he already said he has an idea about selling guides for how to setup business in each of those places.

monetising a website by putting ads or affiliate links on it does not qualify as a "startup" in my opinion. It bugs me how the hacker community throws the word startup around willy nilly.

Check the footer. There are affiliate links for places to stay, cowork, exercise, etc.

Products, yes. Startups, no. The other "startups" are just products too.

Cool chart, there's a similar thing in this book.

It's a digital nomad guide book, the interviews with people that are successful digimads were really good!


> it's crowdsourced from this spreadsheet http://nomadlist.io/edit/

Can't seem to edit this with chrome, only with IE. Read-only in chrome.

Cannot edit with any Mac browser here - not in Safari, nor Chrome, nor Firefox.

Yeah can't edit - Istanbul, Turkey should definitely be on that list

How frequently does the site update after new data is added? A few more cities have reached 100% but haven't appeared on the index page yet.

I'd be interested in additional info about statistical chance of diseases like Malaria, Dengue or other most common diseases in area

This is pretty cool... I just would love if there were a filter for country.

This is a great starting index for remote workers! Thanks for this.

Great concept. One feature request: Better calculations for cities with Bi-modal price distributions.

Certain cities have a extremely bi-modal distributions of pricing. I.e. they can support both the "broke artist" lifestyle, and the "upper middle class" lifestyle. Two separate cost distributions. If you try to take the mean or median of these cities, you'll end up either arbitrarily landing on one of the distributions, or a nonsense number in the middle.

A good example is Manhattan. For example, pizza can actually be cheaper in Manhattan than Sofia. In Manhattan, the broke artist lifestyle of living with multiple roommates who barely know each other, all sharing a rent controlled apartment for a few hundred dollars a month is more socially acceptable and much more common. Just taking prices from the realtor-controlled apartment websites is a poor reflection of reality. Almost no one except the richer consultants bothers with a full-time coworking desk in either city. In this case, Manhattan can actually cost less than Sofia.

So, I think the "broke artist" price distributions would better reflect what a remote working nomad would be looking for, instead of the "upper middle class" prices.

And likewise with temperature. I grew up in Iowa where it fluctuates from over 100F (40C) to below 0F (-20C) but that doesn't give it the same climate as San Francisco's near-constant 70F (20C).

For that matter, colorize high temperatures in red as well.

Check out http://weatherhobo.com/ for more in depth temperature based filtering.

Definitely needs something like this. I mean Brasov and Timisoara have a cost of living of about $2000 - now that would mean you'll live at least an upper-middle-class lifestyle.

For one person you can probably get by with about $1000 easily.

May I ask where do you recommend in Sofia for cheap pizza?

most street corners in sofia have a slice for ~ 1$ (1.2lv up to 2 lv) i've heard friends recommend the pizza around NDK & Vitosha buss stop but i haven't tried it personally

A local franchise called "Don Domat" is great.

You need to include visa situation, because Bangkok is 3rd, but unless you're planning to start a Thailand-based business via the BOI, you're working there illegally if you don't have a work permit, and they're cracking down on all sorts of visa irregularities at the moment.

Assuming that you're working remotely for clients who are outside of Thailand, is this actually a problem?

I've worked from various places while traveling, and never worried about this, though obviously it would be an issue if you wanted to pick up local clients.

It is _absolutely_ a problem if you're working remotely for clients who are outside Thailand.

Will you get caught? Probably not.

Will you get caught if you keep showing up at co-working spaces now the government is cracking down on visas? Are you feeling lucky?

Yes Thailand is, supposedly, cracking down on visa runs from August 12th. Although there have been threats like this before, and its soon dissipated. So we will have to wait and see.

This however has nothing to do with whether or not you show up at co-working spaces! We're not dealing with the secret service here, they're not tracking your every movement.

Unless you get out of your way to irritate someone with immigration connections, I would say the risk is pretty close to zero.

It's much easier to crack down on people doing perpetual visa runs or companies hiring large numbers of Cambodians than it would be to monitor what exactly foreigners are doing in co-working spaces.

Is there a time constraint?

E.g., before I had kids I spent a few months traveling from Western Europe down to Turkey, working along the way -- probably in about 10 different countries; countries don't reasonable expect you to file taxes if you happen to do some remote work in them for a week, do they?

Obviously this will vary per-country, but I'm curious if you know how it would play out in Thailand, at least, if you did everything by the book.

Tax and work permit are different. In Thailand you need to be there more than half the year before you need to declare income.

peter - it's pointless to "worry" about the visa situation. There have been numerous "crackdowns" for numerous things over the year in Thailand; the one thing they all have in common is that a month or two later, everyone has forgotten about them.

The visa situation in Thailand is constantly changing - and has been changing every year or so over the last 10 years I've been here. So it's worth to research the current state of affairs, and to get a proper tourist / business visa before arrival.

If there's one downside to living in Thailand, then that's it. But they won't be kicking out digital nomads any time soon, or tax them, or whatever. I imagine if they did this all those nomads would disappear overnight. It's not worth putting in effort.

I don't know if I'm the first one to say this, but I have discovered that Sebastapol, CA, which is an 1.5 hours north of San Francisco, has fiber internet, and a significantly lower cost of living. Its also in a fairly beautiful and wooded part of Northern CA. O' Reilly Associates is based there.

I'm surprised it isn't more jam packed with start ups.

Oh yeah ... there is nothing to do there. So you will have to just admire nature and work. And then commute to SF for your meetings.

If this explodes in popularity, I hope someone will credit me for leaking the secret.

Real estate prices in Sebastapol are still 3+ times higher than in most of the United States.

You are right. It probably only seems reasonable to my eyes because I live in San Francisco.

Perhaps Kansas City, with its Google Fiber and relatively mild climate, is a better option overall.

You need way more data points. I would add crime statistics to this for example or probability of getting arrested and beaten by the local police, and the average cost of bribing officials/administrative workers.

For example, Sofia is #5, but, having lived there for a few years, it is absolutely not the #5 best choice, by far. That said, it's not a bad choice, it works for Telerik after all.

"probability of getting arrested and beaten by the local police, and the average cost of bribing officials/administrative workers" - I don't know where this is coming from. I've lived in Sofia for 6 years, never been arrested or beaten or bribed anyone.

That's called "danger prime" in Europe when you apply for a V.I.E.

Can you give us your top 5 list?

As a Tunisian I feel obliged to put my 2 cents.

The cost of life is pretty cheap around here ($500/month is the average salary for a teacher, the minimum income is around $200/m), and its getting cheaper with the decline of the tunisian dinar Vs $ & €

I live near the cities of Sousse & Monastir, and i can share few thoughts:

- rent for a decent apartement is about $300/m in the city and less than $200 outside

- food is relatively cheap around here, with a wide variety of fresh fish

- Monastir is a beatiful city, good climate, excellent beaches, the travel to the aeroport cost less than15 min and 50 cent , with weekly/biweekly flights to major european cities.

- Tunisia is actually very safe and stable, major touristic destinations(hammamat, sousse, monastir, djerba (which btw is a very decent destination) are given more attention by the Interior minister.

- internet quality is not on par with the 1st world, 8Mb cost around $40/ m

- french is widely spoken, english is understood especially by youth

- wikitravel have some good ( and accurate) articles about tunisia & tunisian cities

It's actually weird that no african countries make this list. I mean, I can understand for the rest of Africa but the Maghreb has some pretty nice areas. Maybe the weather is too hot?

I wouldn't recommend Morocco though because you get harassed 24/7 if you just look like you have more money than the next one.

Would you say that Tunisia is safer than Morocco? I visited Morocco a few years back and loved it; I wanted to extend my trip to Tunisia, but I was told by a few people that I wouldn't be as safe there as the larger cities aren't as focused on tourism as, say, Marakesch, Tangier, etc.

I dont see any reason why you wouldnt be safe. USA lifted the travel alert for Tunisia 2014. More than 6 million tourist entered Tunisia in 2013 (compared to 10M in morroco), the number is expected to be higher in 2014.

I'm curious where the data comes from? I see that it's a spreadsheet but how is it verified?

For example, I don't know what the average price of a co-working space is in Tokyo but I do know that "The Terminal" in Harajuku is only $150 a month. It's open from 11am to 11pm and includes free drinks (soda, coffee, tea).

Co-ba, has more than one location, the one in Shibuya is $160 a month and is open 24 hours.

The Open Source Cafe in Shimokitazawa is tiny but also similarly priced as is one I visited in Koenji (sorry, I forgot the name).

So, I'm curious where that $444 a month estimate comes from.

Rent is also iffy. It currently says $70 a day but rent varies widely depending on your standards and how far out of the center you're willing to live. I know people that have had a large 3bd apt for $1200 a month only 2 stops out various main lines on the express. (which might be like 12 local stops). Whereas downtown it might be $1200 for a studio but then again it depends on the quality. I know guys living in Nishi-Azabu for $600 a month.

Hey there! I'm moving to Tokyo in September (from Australia) and I'm after any tips that I can get :)

Mind if I comment hi-jack and ask if you know of any particularly good areas that I should be looking to rent in? I'll be working close to Shinjuku station.

Also, I will be working a day-job, but I hope to work on some side-projects too. Where is a good quiet place to go and work?

Co-ba at $160/month is tempting, but I'm not sure that I'll be there often enough to justify that cost. I was hoping that I'd be able to find cafes that would fit the bill.


Also 20MBPS internet in Tokyo seems very odd. According to their data, internet in Zurich is twice as fast as Tokyo. That's simply ridiculous.

It's based on short-term staying in the center. It's very subjective data by its nature. YMMV

As a nomad who wouldn't mind settling down, I'm actually more interested in a place where I can register my company with prospects of becoming full-fledged citizen in the future, preferably in somewhat colder regions of the planet. I'm not entirely happy with my current passport, and working out of off-shores doesn't do much good for that.

Derek Sivers (founder of CDBaby) created an amazing project that caters to these needs: https://woodegg.com/

Not exactly colder regions of the planet, that...

Hi maga. Belgium is ideal for what you're asking.

If you incorporate your company there, you can get instant residency via the “Professional Card”.

Once you are a legal resident there, they don't count the days you're there, so you don't need to be there full-time. You should plan to hire at least one local Belgian employee.

Then, after 5 years of residency, assuming you've learned conversational French or Dutch, depending on where in the country you reside, you're very eligible for Belgian citizenship.

Email me if you want details or a referral.

Sounds too good to be true, what's the catch? Why aren't there thousands/millions of third-world nationals incorporating a business there already via "consultants" and such?

Because you have to learn to speak French or Dutch? ☺

I'd learn about the options on http://flagtheory.com/

Anyone listen to the "Travel Like A Boss" podcast? It's done by a guy living in Chang Mai Thailand. He mainly interviews dropship entrepreneurs. It's crazy because they are making $1500/month running these crappy little niche dropshipping stores but living like someone making $10000/month or more in San Francisco. They have maid service, live in full service buildings with rooftop pools, eat out all the time. It's crazy how cheap things are over there.

> It's crazy because they are making $1500/month running these crappy little niche dropshipping stores but living like someone making $10000/month or more in San Francisco.

Sounds like they're living better than people making $10,000/month in SF.

Pleased to find my city - Bucharest - at the top of bandwidth and pretty decent with regard to living cost, but 1312 EUR/month is absurd. I'd estimate the living cost to $250 rent, $200 food, $20 internet and $20 mobile voice+data = about $500/month. That is, if you rent a flat, buy food at supermarkets, not if you spend all day in coffee shops and eat only at restaurants.

Is this rent price for an apartment in the center that you can find within one week? Most european cities' centers are significantly more expensive than suburbs/country side.

$250 is suspiciously cheap

If you want to live in the city center (i.e. 1km radius), then an apartment will probably cost a bit more. But I'd say that withing a 3-5km radius $250 is normal for longer term rent and probably $300-320 for something super quick.

But most of the people renting don't sign any contracts anyway so you can just say that you'll stay for 1 year and pack your bags after 1-2-3 months, or as long as you paid the deposit for.

What if you prefer colder climates? Not sure why the city should be penalized for it. High temperatures make me less productive.

Not to mention some people are 'digital nomads' in order to explicitly pursue other things in life like snow sports, mountaineering, etc., which tend to be found in colder climates.

Hey guys I'm also building a similar service to this site, but more focused on the qualitative than the quantitative:


Ok. The idea is great, but as other have also said, the figures seem way off. Just two examples:

Basel being cheaper than Berlin? I have a hard time believing that.


Hong Kong being cheaper than Leipzig? That just can't be true.

The price for Hong Kong looks weird, NomadCost per month in HK is roughly 350 EUR lower than the monthly rental costs. This is probably due to the very low listed price of the hostel and budget hotel rooms.

I get that this is made for short-term stays, and being truly nomadic. But I think many of us who work remotely do it to allow us to leave the cities. Building permanent roots in a small town is way cheaper and simpler, but that isn't really covered here.

Also, one's own goals and personality have a lot more to do with the "best" place to work from than the crunchable data does.

So I like the idea of compiling a list of great places to work remotely, but I'm not sure this particular execution of that idea has a ton of value for me.

I'm a smaller city guy myself. Vietnam has a number of beach towns with very good quality of life and low living costs. It does help a lot to learn a bit of the language though.

I like the concept for getting some new ideas, but it needs significantly more information to be useful downstream. Having been nomading around for the past year, there are things that are important to me (accomodation, gym, coworking, good food) that are made easier/harder by various factors (proximity to each other, cost, contract length, quality, etc.). There's no tool for that yet (albeit excellent blog posts, not everything has to be made into an app I guess).

Love this! But I'm surprised not to see main Spanish cities on here. I took a short trip to Seville and was amazed how cheap everything was (I live in London).

There was an abundance of Airbnb accommodation, eating out was cheap and you could get a bucket of beers for 5 euros in many places. About the same as a pint in London.

I'd make this list a little more interactive, perhaps have a forum/comments behind each city. Could become a really useful resource.

Those european rent prices seem like a complete fantasy in some cases. Sure you get all kinds of outliers in every city but rents in Paris, Dublin and Berlin are certainly not the same. Paris is twice as expensive as Berlin, and Dublin is somewhere in the middle.

This site has much more realistic numbers: http://www.numbeo.com/common/

I find it confusing that 1°C is displayed in red, but 31°C is displayed in green (instead of bold red).

The temperature should be checked against an upper limit.

I previously had it opposite, but I wanted to show that green was good and red was bed, also in terms of internet speed etc.

I live in Chiang Mai, which is listed #1 on the list - and yeah I'm here because I love it.

But the picture you included is the White Temple in Chiang Rai. It's not in Chiang Mai. Might as well put a picture of Chiang Mai there, particularly if it's on the #1 spot. Not like Chiang Mai doesn't have any temples, there's hundreds and hundreds of them ;)


Yuck. Worst city in Italy: it's expensive, polluted, crowded, and has little of what makes Italy so nice in many other places.

Italians move there because it's the business capital of the country, and there are jobs and money. But if you can live anywhere with a decent connection... that's the last place I'd go.

That's about the general feeling Italians have about Milan (I'm Italian, I've been living there all my life), nevertheless they keep coming here :-)

If you can work and get your customers remotely you don't want to be in Milan, but be careful about bad ADSLs in rural areas, which unfortunately are the ones where you want to be. You might aim to one of the many medium sized cities that are pretty everywhere. Look for one close to an airport, an high speed train station, sea or mountains depending on your tastes.

By the way, Internet speed in Milan is 100 Mb/s download / 10 Mb/s upload if you have fiber, or something up to 20 Mb/s with ADSL. Fiber really give you those speeds, with ADSL it's up to your luck.

I live in Padova, and it's nice, although I think if someone isn't going to spend a long time in Italy, and wants "the Italian experience", I'd go with somewhere like Perugia, even if it's harder to get to. It is a beautiful area, things work pretty well compared to farther south, the people are friendly, and it's not too touristy.

You should also add "Visa" field. E.g. any american can live in Europe up to 3 months, but in Thailand it's just 1 m.

I lived in Bangkok for about a year, thought I love that city, now their visa policy got stupid, and I would't recommend to settle there for long period (>3 months).

To those in this thread saying you need an appropriate working visa to work in these countries:

Have you ever worked for a company in Country A and been sent on a business trip to Country B? Most likely your company didn't need a Country B working visa for you, just for a business trip.

I am not a lawyer, but I don't see how the digital nomad lifestyle is any different. If you're just spending short amounts of time in these countries, legally how is this any different from going on a business trip since your company and salary will be paid in the origin country.

I'm sure there's a cut off point, like once you go over a certain amount of time it becomes harder to justify your trip as a short term business trip... but what's that line?

The point is that it doesn't matter at all what you think is reasonable. All that matters is what the immigration authorities in the countries you visit decide, and they can be very capricious in some of these countries.

Personally I haven't heard of anybody having trouble anywhere in SE Asia on 30-day stays but I have heard of people getting in trouble for working on 2-3 month tourist visas, often when ratted out by other foreigners.

You aren’t a lawyer, and clearly don’t have (much) practical experience as a foreign worker, and yet you still give out legal advice.

a) Some countries do require a specific visa even just for a “business meeting”. Often getting that visa will require documentation or an official letter from a company either in your home/resident country or the country you are visiting.

b) Some countries do differentiate between a visit for “business” (such as meetings) and a visit for “work” (as in actually doing something)

> You aren’t a lawyer, and clearly don’t have (much) practical experience as a foreign worker, and yet you still give out legal advice.

Ah hate to pull this card, but I've been an expat now for almost 14 years :) worked in Japan and Singapore (legally, with correct working visa etc etc), and just for this last year I've been a nomad flitting from country to country.

You mention "some countries" - sure some are stricter than others, but are any of the countries you're talking about on this list?

It would be insane for a country in Asia (except the ones still developing) to have such requirements. It is entirely routine for folks from companies in (for example) Singapore, to travel regionally for business on an extremely frequent basis.

I normally frown upon making assumptions of people :) but since you assumed I didn't have much practical experience as a foreign worker, I'm going to also assume you haven't done much business in Southeast Asia.

The country I have specific knowledge of is Thailand, which expressly states visa-exemption entries are for tourism only, a business visa is required for business trips (e.g. meetings) and a work permit (which also requires a business visa) is required to work in the country legally. (There are different laws covering the many labourers from neighbouring countries)

Please keep in mind I didn't say that every businessman/woman GETS a business visa for meetings etc, I said thats what the law says they should do. Your comment was about the "difference legally" between a business trip and a foreign worker. Legally there is a difference between them, and legally neither should be doing it on a tourism visa exemption.

I apologise for the assumption, as it turns out we were both wrong - I have lived in Thailand coming up on 2 years. To work here legally I created a Thai company. I have clients back in Australia and in Singapore.

It really depends, and you should really check. I went to Israel for a week for business meetings, and needed a work visa. Coming from the US, I didn't need to file paperwork ahead of time, but coming from some other non-US branches I may have needed a letter of invitation from the local branch to do a business meeting and then leave.

Yes you can come in on a tourist visa and work, and I'm sure some people do that, but if you're looking to be on the full up and up, even short stays may need work visas.

That's how I see it. People who chose this lifestyle are more often than not prone to bend the rules a bit here and there (which entrepreneur/hacker doesn't?), cut some corners and tend to have some MacGyver tricks at their disposal.

I hope those MacGuyver tricks include either an invisible skeleton key or a wrist-strap soap on a rope.

There is a lot of commentry in thailand right now because immigration are cracking down on people abusing a loophole in the visa exemption system.

The law hasn’t changed at all, it’s just being enforced, and people act like it’s somehow against their human rights for a country to enforce it’s own immigration laws and tell them “no sorry, you are clearly not a tourist just because you have left every 30/60/90 days and returned the same day, for the last 3 years”.

Taipei is my top choice. The healthcare is excellent (and free) if you are a Taiwan resident.

It is very inexpensive compared to the U.S., but it's not free.

I think it's like $10 a month? Plus all the services are super cheap. I went to visit my family there, and went to a dentist for a cavity filling. It was very clean and professional, as much as any dentist I've been to in the US. The cost was $6.

At those prices it feels pretty much free. You no longer view health expenses as this weird financial burden in your life; instead, it just financially feels like buying a burrito or fixing your bike.

I agree, I stayed there recently and it was great. There was amazing, cheap food everywhere, and had really clean and extensive public transportation. It was also very safe feeling.

If you make it this way drop me a note and I'll buy you a drink. I've been here 8 years and love it.

Bucharest ~ $1800 is exaggerated, honestly, if you live alone $500 are more than enough.

I can say the same for Lisbon (€1368 on the list). I'm more of a resident here but I spend under €400/mo (<$530) and live just fine (my own rented apt, centrally located).

It misses Bangalore, India. You could live a good life for $750.00 a month. For an additional $35 a month, you can get a 60MBps internet connection. Weather is pretty pleasant throughout the year. You could sample quite an assortment of cuisines too. Meetups are fairly active as well. Negatives: Traffic is terrible, but I stay indoors most of the time. Vendors do not speak English, but the number of non-Indians is high and the one can speak in English in any mid-sized shop. Disclaimer: I am an Indian, but am not a native of Bangalore. I was initially resentful of having to stay in Bangalore, but of late have started liking the city.

There's a button to "Add your city"

Visited Bangalore on business. Loved it.

Anyone heard of Cluj, Romania? Probably not.

What if I told you it's the capital of Transylvania? Located 500 km from Budapest, Belgrade, or Bucharest plus direct flights all over Europe. 20 km from the western Carpathians (hence the lowest level of air pollution in Europe) and some of the fastest bandwidth speeds on the planet. Not sure what else you need for remote work.

Check out: http://www.bestcityineurope.com/



A lot of these cities are only good if you are a local, for example in Hong Kong it is almost impossible to get a working visa that allows you to work for a remote company. I image in Japan it would probably be even harder.

A lot of digital nomads just fly under the local radar by working online. This is more risky in some countries than others.

Many nomads are actually registered with a Ltd in HK for tax purposes.

Being registered is one thing, getting an actual visa is quite difficult. (If you are applying for your own visa that is)

I've lived in Bangkok the last 7 months and I spend approximately half the stated sum.

I am by no chance saying that the sum is invalid, it is probably pretty damn accurate (from what I've heard elsewhere).

Just mentioning that it is not the minimum. Not even I am at the minimum because I have a /relatively/ expensive apartment. And I don't live on breadcrumbs or anything like that :)

EDIT: As the reply posted by OP saying

> NomadCost is based on short-term staying in a hostel, hotel or apartment in the center, working in a coworking space and having a basic meal three times a day.

(I am not really close to that actual lifestyle)

Small bug:

I'm not able to switch the currency, it just shows pounds even though I selected Euro in the dropdown menu at the top (http://nomadlist.io/?l=eu)

Should be fixed now! I tried to make it static but that failed :)

That was quick. It's working as expected now!

Great idea, but I can't find any information about healthcare?

It might be great to live in Thailand where you have to spent just a little for living but what happens if we compare this with their healthcare system?

I was going to suggest the same feature: healthcare and more generally public services are a very important factor when deciding to settle somewhere. Too bad most of these websites seem to think cost of living is the #1 factor.

I was thinking the same at first, but when you think about, the defining feature of a digital nomad is that he moves from place to place and doesn't permanently settle somewhere, so I can see how this isn't quite as important as cost of living.

After all, if you don't like it in a place (or you're not happy with the public services) you can just up and leave.

Having said that, it'd still be nice and make the data inherently more useful to have additional data such as the quality of/access to healthcare (though I'm not sure how easy it is to quantify that) or crime rates.

Thailand actually has unusually good healthcare; it's a major destination for health tourism.

None of the cities on the list so far are anywhere I'd be desperately worried about being sick.

Private healthcare outcomes likely comparable, at a fraction of the price.

That's probably true for most major cities outside of the US.

Local main language should be included?

Or to be more practical for the anglo-centric HN audience, the percentage of population which can speak English.

well it's nice to know the lang.. mebbe ill take it or know it or have a cousin that speaks it.

This comment will probably get overlooked, but how do you get into the "digital nomad" lifestyle? Basically, what kind of work allows you operate 100% remotely? Thanks.

Anything where you just need a laptop & internet should work. Indie software development is one option. Back when shareware was the big thing there were a few nomads, Trygve Inda springs to mind and got a mention in a CNN article:


Some folks do it with blogging (lots of bloggers do it funded by ads & e-book sales), mobile app development, web design & admin, content development, even some online consulting (bonus points if you're prepared to fly to meet clients).

If you're lucky you can even talk your employer into it. There are some enlightened ones who allow remote work. But being a 100% Digital Nomad is probably too extreme for an employment situation.

I'm a developer (currently on a primarily Rails project) and I wrk 100% remote. There are plenty of jobs out there. Check https://careers.stackoverflow.com/ and in the "where" type "telecommute" to search remote jobs.

I am a consultant for a digital marketing agency (Web dev. + Analytics + Search Marketing). I work 100% remote -- I don't do this nomad stuff, I just stay in my house. Once a year they fly everyone in for a one week 'summit' so we can all hang out in person.

Find a 'virtual company'. It's the future.

Plenty of jobs in the open source community are 100% remote.

Bucharest is way undervalued. The internet speed can easily be 1Gb/s for around 15$ I think, while the montly costs for living should be around 1000$ at most in my opionion.

Renting a decent 1 bedroom apartment is about 350 dollars. 1Gbps costs 20 dollars, and it includes TV subscription (I think it includes HBO too), a fixed phone line and a 3G SIM card and/or USB stick.

The cost of living is definitely less than 1000 dollars. After all the average salary in Bucharest is probably less than 1000 dollars per month, so we wouldn't be able to live here if it cost more, would we? :)

Bucharest confuses me. Walking around the city you see more luxury cars (mostly BMWs) per capita than almost any other European capital. But the median wage is 1000 Euros. None of the locals I've asked (friends, family, etc.) ever have a solid answer, so maybe the internet can help.

I would say there are several reasons for that:

* While the median wage is a 1000 euro there are a lot of people that make a lot less than that ( < 500) and also quite a few that make a lot more.

* Expensive cars are the number one status symbol in Bucharest and Romania. People will often still live with their parents or in a run down apartment, as long as they can drive through the streets with an expensive car, so their budgeting priorities are a bit different from what you expect.

* There is a lot of unreported income and tax evasion in Romania as well as criminal activity, so on top of the high income inequality mentioned above, there are also a lot of people with high incomes that never figure into statistics and such but can afford luxurious cars.

The cars are stolen. They've been brought in from more western parts of Europe.

Not all of them. I'd say that the majority are just second hand purchases.

Of course, they can't afford to really maintain them, so once a major component breaks down... they're probably out of luck and have to sell the car for parts or something.

Luxury cars are not that expensive if they are very high on your list.

Tunisia is poorer than Romania, and if you visit the streets, you'll see tons of Mercedes, BMWs, Porsches... The local just want to have one and that is the reason.

Funny, I was about to post the exact same remark about Tunisia.

As a tunisian, this always confuse me. the average salary is WAY less than $1000, the tax on imported cars is very high, yet the number of luxury cars is too damn high.

Usually this is just a sign of a society with no middle class. Lots of poor, a fair number of truly rich, and not much in-between.

Expensive cars are all over Phnom Penh too, even though the country is dirt poor. They belong to the rich elite.

Is it really more luxury cars per capita, or simply a higher proportion of the overall car fleet (poorer people being very unlikely to have cars at all, and richer people having low costs of living in other areas)?

I didn't even realise Lexus made 4x4s until I visited Phnom Penh.

Same with Wrocław on this page.

I think a big difference in cost-of-living is paying a premium for short-term accommodation. There are definitely places to live here in Kraków for 900zł per month, but I'm paying significantly more for the privilege of staying for a short time (and the convenience of AirBnB).

This is a great idea. I've been working from Sardegna (an island off the coast of Italy/Spain) and have barely been able to hold a skype connection to my office in NYC, even from most big cities.

I would have loved if someone went through and found great internet spots in each city (and even out in the country in some tourist-y spots) in advance so I could follow in their footsteps!!

Even at the least - letting me know that Vodafone is the best connectivity in the South, but sketchy in the northeast.

May be expand this hotel wifi speed ranking to local spots? https://www.hotelwifitest.com/

Why would being in the center of the city be important? I would think average anywhere in the city would be more reasonable.

I would also like to see the costs of a 2 bedroom apartment. I'd personally rather have an office in my apartment than a co-op space.

What would the price of a small house be within 10 miles of the city? (question that could be added)

How is the NomadCost calculated? These numbers don't add up: http://nomadlist.io/?hn

Most digital nomads I met in years prefer to stay close to where things are happening. Namely, where they have convenient access to food, coffee shops, gyms, coworking spaces, public transport, meeting other like minded people etc. and lastly to not lose tons of valuable time due to long commute to places of interest. I think that's what the project is aiming at. Cost of living for those "edge cases" vary even more than what's discussed in this thread and it'd be damn hard to find common ground. But to answer your question: costs for a setup like you suggest/prefer may literally be half of what city center life would be.

How do people deal with moving costs? I have a lot of random stuff that I "need" or would like to have but at the same time I'd be very interested in traveling and working remotely for a year or two.

It would be nice if you also had a "dog friendly/accessible" metric, that's part of the reason why living in a city center isn't reasonable for me personally, I need green spaces rather than tall buildings.

I share this preference at times. At times I disappear somewhere quite for months to learn, focus, get stuff done. Most people I know doing that have a) no pets, b) only what's truly necessary. Have a look at some examples of packing lists below. It's a great experience on it's own to learn how little you truly need. The couple behind http://8milesfromhome.com/ is traveling with a dog and the couple behind http://almostfearless.com/ and http://thewirelessgeneration.com/ are traveling with kids. So are the Bakers of http://manvsdebt.com/ and many many others. So it seems possible.

[1] http://tynan.com/gear2014 [2] https://levels.io/the-100-thing-challenge/ [3] http://www.tropicalmba.com/digital-nomad-packing-list-2014-l...

> How do people deal with moving costs? I have a lot of random stuff that I "need" or would like to have

Have less stuff.

Most people probably end up having a storage unit (either at family or a storage business) "back home" for stuff they want to keep long-term but is too big to bring everywhere.

I've been working remotely and traveling around the world for the last 5 years. I found I don't really need that much stuff and travel quite often. I'm finally settling in Seattle but still will be moving around often. Not having "stuff" helps a lot.

"I've been working remotely and traveling around the world for the last 5 years. I found I don't really need that much stuff and travel quite often." x2

Being minimalist helps, of course. Major items: Clothes and computer. The rest is minor/small.

My wife and I have a carry-on suitcase each. It's easier than you think, really.

That said, when we packed up to move we put 20 of those staples file boxes in my parents' basement, so we sort of cheated on storage. When we look back now, though, we're pretty certain that we could go back and happily ditch most of that.

Also, we're living in old city Krakow right now, and there's a plentitude of parks. I saw a ton of green space in Wrocław and Warsaw, too (Warsaw has a huge city park), and it can't just be Poland that values green space. I assure you it's possible.

I've been moving around with a single carry-on suitcase for a year now. It seemed like a challenge at first, but turned out to be very easy, with a few restrictions. Sure, I can't take up kite-surfing unless I'm willing to rent gear but i can live with that. Living simply is very relaxing.

Kek, since when Israel is in Europe?

1991, at least as far as UEFA is concerned

If you take your geographical advice from football federations; Australia is in Asia.

Well, apparently Mexico is in South America. You learn everyday.

Perhaps more importantly since when is Jerusalem in Israel.

It's a occupied Palestinian territory according to the UN.

Very cool. To broaden the appeal I would consider expanding to include things like recreational opportunities. I spent some time road tripping around the us rock climbing and working remotely and know others who have done the same.

Knowing which small towns near climbing areas (or ski areas, or whitewater rivers, or national parks, or whatever) have reasonable coffee shops, hostels, camping etc would have been very valuable.

I guess some of this could be done by integrating a wiki or something.

Agree. Cost of living is important. But things like recreation, food and community are really what make a location special. A walkability factor would be nice as well.

As someone a bit further up the snakes and ladders board than a lot of younger nomadic types, I woudo like to see a specialised house swapping community around remote workers. This woudo be houses with necessary workspaces, connections and the like. I would happily swap for periods of time during the year, but with dependents in tow. This type of thing woudo be excellent for relocating into time zones suitable for specific projects.

Next step is to take some input about user preferences and generate a personalized ranking of places to go. Here's a quick stab at building a 'personalized' desirability index: https://docs.google.com/a/splitforce.com/spreadsheets/d/1u-6...

Nice! I have some reservations about some of the data though; f.ex. I have a hard time to believe that SF has only slightly higher costs of living than Berlin.

It really depends, the NomadCost is based on staying there for a month, and not being able to rent long-term. So you'll be staying in private rooms in hostels, low-end hotels and CL/AirBnB apts.

Finding a cheap place in East Berlin for a long-term is definitely a viable option. But not if you move around as fast as digital nomads do.

All true, but 90 Euros for a private hostel room strikes me as way too much - a quick search on hostels.com (http://www.hostels.com/berlin/germany?dateFrom=2014-07-31&da...) indicates something like 55,- Euros as the median prize. Mind, that's absolute high season right now.

Have you thought about crowdsourcing the data entry?

It looks like the prices for Berlin are a bit more reasonable on the spreadsheet now (but not the site yet), but yeah, considering there were 1000+ <€30/night listings just on AirBnB when I was looking last month... it seems like there needs to be a better way to sample/get prices that's more representative. The methodology/approach is somewhat flawed (I also just spent a couple months in Tokyo earlier this year there's some discrepancies there that others have pointed out as well).

Same for the difference between Paris and Wroclaw (2 cities I know). The rent prices are way off (too high for Wroclaw, too low for Paris)

I love the idea.

I notice that the only factors used don't seem to mention any political unrest. For example, the top rated city seems to be in Thailand... which has experienced a lot of political unrest recently: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thailand#2013.E2.80.932014_poli...

The political unrest doesn't really effect day to day living at all for Thailand.

You can read up about it, the latest round actually has a lot of online posts talking about how "tourist friendly" the military was (no joke).

Great initiative, but I would add more smaller cities. Also temperature should have some sort of average. Surely it's not great to live in a scorching heat all the time.

That said, I dream one day to work remotely from a live aboard sailboat. Connectivity could be somewhat a problem, but 3G covers a lot of globe and if you are smart enough, living aboard can be very cheap.

Anyone interested in joining a startup in Chiang Mai, we are based there and connect developers / designers / business folks to others in the area as well. http://tropicaldev.com/jobs/. We are always hiring!

PM if curious about the area, or if you want intros to others here

Good idea! But you have to add a visa information for each country.

For example, I like Hong Kong, but you can't stay there more than 2 weeks (if you want stay more, you have to get work permit/get married/have business there etc).

But Thailand afaik is easy country for living for a long time without work permit.

>For example, I like Hong Kong, but you can't stay there more than 2 weeks (if you want stay more, you have to get work permit/get married/have business there etc).

Citizens of most Western countries can stay for up to three months without a Visa, 6 months if you're from the UK or Macau.

However, I've got a few friends in Hong Kong who just do visa runs every few months to Macau, one has been living like that for 2 years. Fairly risky though.

Thailand has been clamping down on tourist visa abuse lately and working there in any capacity, even if your business is entirely online and outside Thailand is illegal. You might get away with it but you're definitely taking your chances. Getting a proper work permit there is quite expensive and difficult.

Cambodia and Vietnam are much laxer in this regard but also don't offer the same standard of living.

Eh, it is pretty common to Visa runs inside and outside of Thailand, the same day. Pain in the ass, but not a problem. Maybe 5 or 6th time they might get a bit uptight about it. But you could just spend some extra time in Malaysia or Laos or Vietnam.

I'm seeing reports of people getting denied with only two previous re-entries:


Hua Hin authorities also just declared that foreigners must carry original passports at all times. I definitely don't like the way this recent visa crackdown has been going and have canceled my own plans to visit.

This is not true anymore. As of August 12, 2014, visa runners will not be allowed back into the country.

> you're definitely taking your chances

How could they catch you and what are the penalties, do you know? Any anecdotes you could share?

Been thinking about hanging out in SEA doing remote work for a few months, would like to know the real situation.

Technically you can face a hefty fine or even jail time. I can't say I've known anyone personally that's faced this but I've heard stories. Apparently right now there's a big crackdown on tourist visas in Thailand, with people being asked to justify 2-3 month stays in Thailand with extensive itineraries and documentation and people with multiple previous tourists visas being denied entry.

If you're just there on the 30-day exemption you're probably ok, particularly if you've never been to Thailand before.

Cambodia and Vietnam are much laxer in this regard. Technically you're not supposed to be working in either of those places either without a permit but I've never heard of anyone having issues.

Hm. Thanks for the info. Food for thought...

I honestly cannot imagine how you may end up spending 2000$/month to live in budapest.

I got by with 400€ for years.

I would think crime rate should factor into this as well. It's at least as important as weather.

+1, wouldn't recommend Brazil if you love your life

I live at Sao Paulo (damn expensive) but it is not that dangerous - like many other big cities, there are places you should avoid to walk alone at night.

i was in Sao Paulo few days ago, well, comparing to Singapore it's like 100 times more dangerous

This is great! Request - could you add the ability to choose your city and normalize the others? Example, I live in NYC, and I want to consider a move, how much cheaper is it? So if NYC cost is normalized to 1, then I can quickly understand the relationship to other places.

Vang Vieng in Laos was the cheapest place I lived. Less than A$10 a day for hotel with my own room, internet, food and drinks. And it was a really beautiful place. All the restaurants had wifi, so you could sit and work there all day, overlooking amazing limestone cliffs.

A lot easier now without all the crazy tubing I'm sure.

Added Phnom Penh to your list.

If you're a remote worker it's great place. In the city most people speak English, huge expat community, USD is the main currency, stable internet, a few co-working spaces, amazingly cheap to live, and a business visa is no problem.

I spent four months in Phnom Penh over the last year or so and overall I'd agree it's not a bad place at all. Downsides are stinky trash everywhere, pedestrian-unfriendly streets, and a generally dodgy and unsafe vibe later at night. I think if I go back to Cambodia for another extended stay I'll try Siem Riep.

Personally I prefer Vietnam but Cambodia is definitely a good option too.

If you like the quiet life Battambang is very pleasant. As for Siem Reap, I guess if you stayed for long enough the hawkers would start to recognise you.

Haven't been to Battambang but it's on my list of places to check out. I'd be quicker to explore places like that if I spoke some Khmer. I prefer traveling in Vietnam generally because I can speak the language well enough now.

Battambang is a great place, one my favorite places to spend time in Cambodia.

Awesome project! I've passed by many of the cities mentioned in Asia and I have to agree with most of what is up on top of the list. Specially Chiang Mai. I spent a 2 weeks up there and enjoyed it a lot. Met a lot of great people as well.

I am not able to add a city - I can open the spreadsheet but it's not editable.

There have been some suggestions to add more about visas... the true nomad really should be getting that information as directly as possible and not relying on a website like this, however helpful and handy it is.

Bookmarked. You may not see this comment, but I'm planning to travel and work remotely for a couple years after I graduate at the end of the year, and I think something like this will help a lot. Thank you!

Sidenote: http://teleport.org/ Try to do something like that, but not crowdsourced. It's from Sten Tamkivi a16z entrepreneur in residence.

Great work. How can people act on the info on specific cities ? There should be a way to balance wrong/right/... for variables that are subjective (weather, friendliness to foreigners, ....)

Right now it's crowdsourced from an open Google spreadsheet at http://nomadlist.io/edit/

Later I'd like to implement so that it uses baseline values from multiple inputs (e.g. like Numbeo does)

Some of the text is so low-contrast that I can't read it.

This could be even more problematic for vision-impaired readers. Low contrast text should be avoided out of consideration for those with less than perfect sight, even if it looks "cool".

Very nice :) Hopefully packing up in a months time and starting to work remotely so a list like this will certainly come in handy when investigating the next stop!

I'm not sure where the data is coming from but I'm not convinced Bangkok is worthy of 5/5 stars for safety at the moment.

Could you, please, add option to change temperature view to Celsius and integrate option to recalculate $ to several major currencies?

The differentiation between [click to view larger photo] and [click text to go to city's page] threw me off for a few minutes.

Costs of living are definitely way off, I live in Wroclaw, you can easily live comfortably for $1000, probably even less

I think this site calculates the cost of living as a transient; staying in short-term accommodation, eating meals out, etc. The spread sheet specifically asks for the costs of meals and hotel rooms, which is probably why it skews high.

I believe this is amount for lifestyle above the average. Discount Macbook Pro for 4 years and other stuff. Same apply for London. You can live off 1000 a month, but 2500 gets you comparable life.

This surprised me as well. "costs of living" on this page are higher than average monthly salaries in these towns.

I was wondering when you have time to work, most of the time you travel and seeking hotels, internet, startups, ...

Awesome idea -- Tim Ferris would love it.

Nice, I like the grid presentation. Looks Bootstrap responsive table? What are you using for the column sort?

Chiang Mai? You clearly haven't been there! It's nice for a holiday but not for living.

I have no idea what you are talking about. I've been living on the road for the past 18 months living in Sydney, Singapore, Nairobi, New York, Istanbul, Phuket and a few months in Chiang Mai.

I can't think of a much better location for "Digital Nomad" (as much as I despise the term) than Chiang Mai, I would move back there in a heartbeat. Cheap amazing food, cheap and amazing accommodation, insanely friendly people, very strong and well connected expat / entrepreneur community.

Genuinely I am confused why in your experience Chiang Mai is a horrible choice. I think it is currently at the top of that list for a pretty good reason.

Thailand has been clamping down on tourist visa abuse recently and getting any kind of proper work permit there is not easy at all. I guess a lot of people just fly under the radar there but it's risky and getting to be increasingly difficult.

It's not for everyone, but there's hundreds of digital nomads living there now I think, and I've lived there myself

Agreed. I'm in Ho Chi Minh City now, plugged into an expansive network of location independent entrepreneurs.

Chiang Mai is absolutely one of the most popular destinations for entrepreneurs in our community.

I have been living in Chiang Mai for over 2 years now and I can definitely recommend this city for living. People who are interested to live and work here should check this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiUofaCeZT4

It's an incredibly popular place for startups and to work remotely. By far one of the most popular places I know. It's affordable, great international scene, decent internet, and large community. Still, I'm a bit tired of how many people I know move there to work remotely.

I'm in Chiang Mai right now. Granted it's not a huge city, but it's got basically everything you need to work as a nomad; Cheap rent, internet, malls, coworking, gyms, cafes, bars, tourist sites, etc.

Chiang Mai can be one of the best locations to bootstrap a biz by many many factors. There are hundreds of entrepreneurs in varying stages at any given time. I've met ex-Googlers, ex-Applers, developers, consultants, writers, artists etc. etc.. It's a cheap and convenient place to live and focus. Depending on your budget, you can have whatever you please as far as standards go. A quick search on Google will show you that even mass media picked up on CM as a location for digital nomads.

I spent some time in Thailand, including Chiang Mai, and it didn't strike me as a haven for driven individuals. Most expats I met there were more interested in prostitutes and beers than starting businesses or work. There are also huge inequalities between the people living there. Overall, I found Chiang Mai more depressing than stimulating.

But maybe things are different when you really settle down.

You must have been to the wrong places, dude. The "sexpat" scene here is very small really - you'd have to go to Pattaya or Phuket for that. And also these people don't exactly follow you around, you find them in certain areas - and you'll never meet them outside those areas.

One additional plus for Chiang Mai is that you can reach the rest of SE Asia quite easily without having to live in a huge hub city like Bangkok. I have flown from CM into China, to Singapore, Hong Kong, BKK of course, and all over. Getting from the CM Airport to wherever you are staying is soooo easy compared to the long journey from Swampy (as some call BKK).

I agree. After 2 months there I became awfully bored as almost no one spoke English as well as anywhere in Thailand (normal English, not just "yes", "no").

Yes, it's a nice city for living but if you're not alone. Don't forget about the troubles about the visas and visa-runs.

Why? (I've been there only for holiday so far, seemed nice)

True, but if your budget <$5k month, it's pretty sweet. If more, why live in 3rd world country when you can stay in much sweeter Hong Kong.

lol 3rd world.

Not everybody is looking for an island in the middle of paradise. Chiang Mai is incredibly colourful in its own ways.

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