So, did I say Malaysians were the nicest people I ever met? The Thai people are just as nice! We spent most of our time in Chiang Mai – referred to as the “Digital Nomad Capital”, where people with online jobs/businesses from around the world come to enjoy the great Thai culture, low cost of living, and most importantly Northern Thai cuisine. Chiang Mai offers a mix of old and new, the Old Town consists of centuries old temples, street markets filled with local artisans and freshly prepared street food for miles!
Some of my food highlights in Chiang Mai included Khao Soi – a curried noodle dish that’s comfort food at its best. Incredible Italian Spaghetti, I know what you’re thinking but trust me, Thai people know how to do spaghetti. Yellow/Green Curry with rice, another comfort food. The three of us ate well for $15 or less at most places.
The most inspiring experience we had was spending time bathing and feeding elephants at a local sanctuary. Phuket island had breathtaking sunsets, dreamy beaches and was a pleasant break from the constant traveling.
Although the WiFi at my apartment was great, I wanted to interact with other remote travelers so I worked from the co-working space at Maya Mall. I mostly met Europeans and students of Chiang Mai university, who were very talented and tech savvy. The most interesting interaction was with a 23 year old tropical fruit farmer, who used the co-working space to skype with customers and distributers. His family had once relied on middle-men and were cut out of the lion share of the crop value. Taking lead from the local Digital Nomad scene, he took it upon himself to interact with foreigners until his English was good enough to interact with international distributers directly.
We fell in love with the locals. Most people we interacted with seemed happy, eager to start a conversation, and would randomly walk up to our baby to play with him. English wasn’t spoken by many so we pointed, signed and smiled a lot. The warmth of the people was the best experience I take from Thailand.
A few thoughts for consideration:
- EST work hours were between 9:00PM – 3AM Thai time.
- Abundant co-working spaces and coffee shops open late.
- Uber is slightly more expensive than Malaysia but the vehicles are of better standard. A word of caution, local taxi drivers have known to be aggressive towards Uber drivers. So, when calling an Uber, do it away from taxi stops. We didn’t use local taxi’s as they didn’t have adequate safety precautions for young children.
- The weather in October was perfect, short bursts of rain showers kept the temperature cool.
- Like Malaysia, pedestrian walk ways are fragmented, most take a taxi or ride a scooter.