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View of Ubud: Perfect For Digital Nomads

A Digital Nomad’s Guide To Working And Traveling in Chiang Mai and Ubud

blog, Trailblazer

During my latest adventures, I had the amazing opportunity to spend time in two hot-spots for being a digital nomad: Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Ubud, Bali.

These two destinations are some of the most popular places for traveling entrepreneurs, and it only took me a brief amount of time to understand why. Amazing food, an inspiring community, affordable luxury and seriously gorgeous scenery are just a few of the benefits that await.

If you’re a digital nomad looking for your next temporary office abroad, or you’re a trailblazing entrepreneur dreaming up your own epic adventure in Southeast Asia, then here’s what you need to know about working and traveling in these must-visit destinations:

Digital Nomad in Ubud, Bali

A Digital Nomad’s Guide To Working And Traveling in Chiang Mai and Ubud

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Now is a great time to head to Chiang Mai. There are currently a ton of fantastic deals available for roundtrip airfare from the US to Bangkok (with some rates even below $800.) From Bangkok, getting to Chiang Mai is as easy as a short flight or a long—but scenic—train ride away. That’s all it takes to start exploring this amazing destination!

Why Digital Nomads Love Chiang Mai

Some digital nomads live in Chiang Mai full-time, some are just passing through on adventures, and still others use it as their home base while exploring other epic destinations in Southeast Asia. But no matter the why or how long, you’re guaranteed to find amazing minds to meet, befriend or even collaborate with. I was only in Chiang Mai for a few days, but of course there was an awesome digital nomad meet-up group and pub crawl going on while I was there!

Cafes are always a great place to meet other trailblazing entrepreneurs as well as get some work done. And of course cafes (with Wi-Fi) are everywhere in Chiang Mai.

Digital Nomad at a Restaurant in Chiang Mai

 

My go-to was The Nomad Coffee Club at Healthy B Cafe. This is where things were always circulating and going on. Another fab option is CAMP. This Creative And Meeting Place is a FREE 24-hour co-working space with reliable Wi-Fi. CAMP can get busy and sometimes it’s difficult to get a seat, but it’s still worth checking out.

What To Do In Chiang Mai

Other than soaking in the awesome digital nomad scene, here are a few activities not to miss: (They’re also GREAT additional ways to meet new people.)

  • Go to a Thai cooking class—it might just change the rest of your life. We went to Thai Secret Cooking School, which is located on a farm just outside the city. The class includes going to a market and learning the ins-and-outs of local recipes as you cook.
  • And speaking of Thai food, make sure you go to Mustache Style for the best Pad Thai of your entire life!
  • Try Muay Thai Boxing. I did two training sessions and definitely got bruised up, but loved the unique work out. The place I went to (Chiang Mai Muay Thai Gym) was gorgeous, located upstairs in Old Town.
  • Visit Chiang Mai Nomad Yoga – A new yoga studio with inspiring, healthy-minded individuals.

Getting Around Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is kind of like the countryside of Thailand, but still with a little bit of city energy to it. I stayed in the Nimman area, from which it was easy to walk or hop in a tuk-tuk taxi. There is also the Songtaew (otherwise known as bus taxis) that are essentially covered pickup trucks with comfy seats. Simply ask if the driver will take you to your destination on their way to wherever they are going and then hop in. For more on how to take a Songtaew, don’t miss this great post by Tasty Thailand.

Finding Accommodation in Chiang Mai

Many of the digital nomads in Chiang Mai love the Baan Thai apartments. At around $150 a month, they are a great option for something clean, comfortable and cheap. The apartments aren’t equipped with a kitchen, but with Thai food so tasty (and inexpensive) most prefer to eat out for the majority of their meals anyway.

Chiang Mai is cheap. Like coconut-cash kinda cheap. I rented an epic loft apartment on Airbnb for the week I was there. It only set me back a few hundred bucks, and it was absolute LUXURY. If your business is in USD, GBP or AUD, you will live in comfort while you’re here.

Ubud, Bali

In many ways, Eat Pray Love put Ubud on the map for tourists and digital nomads alike. But despite its popularity on any Bali itinerary, there are still countless reasons to fall in love with Ubud.

Why Digital Nomads Love Ubud, Bali

Hubud: If you’re headed to Ubud to balance work and play, then you absolutely must start by getting a pass at the Hubud Co-working Space. Packages start at $60 for 25 hours, and it is 100% WORTH IT. Hubud is open 24-hours making it ideal to ride your motorbike over whenever inspiration (or deadlines) strike. Get a huge bottle of green juice for $3.50 and Skype away.

It’s also worth noting that Hubud is having an Unconference in February. Should be worth checking out.

Hubud community workspace for digital nomads in Bali

What To Do In Ubud

  • Stop by the Monkey Forest. Located right by Hubud, this is a must-stop for an afternoon break between emails. Buy bananas, get accosted by the monkeys, and take the obligatory tourist photos.
  • Enjoy the Farmer’s Markets every Saturday and Wednesday
  • Get your yoga on at the Yoga Barn. Classes are offered all day long, and some of the community events are even free. Don’t miss the Ecstatic Dance parties on Fridays—it’s a great way to meet people!
  • Get a massage or go to the sauna. Literally, treat yourself every other day—the quality for the price doesn’t get any better. Dragonfly Village is best for a herbal steam sauna and outdoor saltwater pool under the stars. It’s available every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 6-9pm. Monthly membership cards are also available upon request if you’re staying for a whole month or longer. Expect to pay around $5 bucks per visit. (Keep an eye out for my Dragonfly Village feature in a few weeks when I detail some of the best retreat centers in Bali—and what makes them my favorites!)

Temple in Ubud

Getting Around Ubud

I rented a motorbike, and it was worth it to get around quickly and easily. Some people are nervous about the dangers around motorbikes. Admittedly, I crashed, skinned my knee and paid a bit for the damages…but like I said, I still preferred the flexibility of my own transportation.

Find Out More Information About Ubud

Bali Spirit has TONS of resources on the best cafes to hang out with a smoothie, enjoy a raw dessert, or grab a meal with a new friend. Kafe was my favorite, while Fussy Bird was another great choice.

If you’re a digital nomad, then traveling to Chiang Mai and Ubud should definitely be on the top of your bucket list. Network with other entrepreneurs and enjoy the beauty of traveling to these two hot-spots!

Have you visited Chiang Mai or Ubud? What tips would you add to my digital nomad guide?

Need help with your travel marketing campaigns? Not sure where to start? Contact me for help!

 

Lynan Saperstein

2 responses to “A Digital Nomad’s Guide To Working And Traveling in Chiang Mai and Ubud”

  1. Great post, any digital nomads want to do pub crawl in Chiang Mai please check out our site.

    • Lynan says:

      We actually did a pub crawl with the Digital Nomad group! It might have been yours, I don’t recall the name. Thank you for sharing.

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