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Could you be a digital nomad in Thailand?

The Thaiger

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Could you be a digital nomad in Thailand? | The Thaiger

Are you a digital nomad? Working online wherever you can find a seat and wi-fi?

According to digital nomad websites, some of the most popular locations to work online around the world include Chiang Mai & Bangkok (Thailand), Budapest (Hungary), Belgrade (Serbia), Bali (Indonesia), Lisbon (Portugal) and Buenos Aires (Argentina). What do all these cities have in common? The main things is the low cost of living, a favourable climate, great scenery, cultural richness, communities of people who do the same job, and a quality quality of life for the travelling ‘nomad’.

Thai PBS spoke to 41 year old Ozzi Jarvien, the pioneer of the digital nomads in Chiang Mai. He has spent more than a decade in the north of Thailand and recalls that in 2006, just before the harsh Finnish winter arrived, he wanted to work somewhere warmer, so he moved back to Bangkok. A few years earlier he had studied in an exchange program in International Business at Bangkok University. Then, returned to his home town in Finland. But in 2007, he relocated to the capital of the northern region of Thailand and established his own company, ‘Iglu’, a remote working community with three branches nationwide. Basically, he is the real deal in the digital nomads’ world.

“The hardest part is to buy that one-way ticket. Just get the ticket and then everything else somehow sorts itself out, because it’s much easier than most people think.”

“Once they land here, it’s easy to find an apartment, you’ll never lack a place to stay. It’s easy to find food and to find people to work with. I think people imagine that it’s harder than it is. One big thing is that the internet is actually good and is everywhere. Even the mobile internet like 4G, it’s better here than in lots of EU countries.”

Having spent almost five years in Chiang Mai, the city that he loves, 37 year old Jengis Gonzalez is thinking about turning himself from a digital nomad into an expat. He used to work for giant e-commerce firm Amazon.com, which gave him the idea that there is an incredibly large online market in the US. Now he is working for a logistics company based in Chiang Mai, sending products from Thailand to the United States for e-commerce sale, primarily on Amazon.com.

He has some very practical advice for digital nomad wannabes.

“My advice would be, basically, ‘have a plan’. I’ve met so many people who come here, thinking they’re going to do something, then realising it’s not working out and they don’t have a plan B. So, they encounter a lot of issues, like what do I do now? I need to find a job or I need to go back home, or I should figure out a way to keep going’. So, I would say that it’s a very risky thing to do”.

“Don’t hesitate to contact people through Facebook about Digital Nomad groups in Chiang Mai, which are very active. You can find many people doing the same job as you, so your questions will be answered.”

29 year old Lilly has been a casting agent for movies for more than 10 years but finds 99% of her work is online these days so prefers to move around and travel, whilst working.

“I live the flexibility and the chance to travel and meet awesome people whilst earning the income to make it all possible. I hit all sort of hurdles along the way but love the adventure. Keep you mind open, make sure you DO work whilst you’re travelling and the lifestyle can be great. I tend to move around south east Asia but always end up coming back to the magical island of Phuket.”

The biggest problem of being a digital nomad is finding a visa to suit your needs. If you’re a real nomad, and spending time in multiple countries and following the weather, the seasons or the festivals, then you can probably get by with tourist visas (although, officially, you’re unable to work on a tourist visa). Being a digital nomad in Thailand you should read up about the visa options and see what is practical and will suit your lifestyle.

Read about the Smart Visa and digital nomad life HERE.

And The Thaiger even included them in our list of Top 10 types of expats in Thailand HERE.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Thai PBS World

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Chiang Mai

Hostage drama in Chiang Mai – Man holds seven 7-Eleven employees hostage.

May Taylor

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Hostage drama in Chiang Mai – Man holds seven 7-Eleven employees hostage. | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Chiang Mai City Life

A former Thai soldier has killed himself following a stand-off with police in Chiang Mai where he had taken seven 7-Eleven employees hostage. Eyewitnesses told Chiang Mai Citylife that a man with a gun arrived at the 7-Eleven in Mae Rim district on Chotana Road at around 5am yesterday and took one of the employees hostage.

The sergeant, who is described in reports as being “frantic and depressed”, demanded that staff in the 7-Eleven live-stream the event on LINE, which they did.

Local police were called and were attempting to negotiate with the man when he shot himself in the head. Sergeant Punghong was rushed to Nakhon Ping Hospital where he later died from his injuries three hours later.

The dead man has been named as Sgt. Phongphan Kunhong, a 37 year old former soldier from Pha Mueang Force in the Chiang Rai district.

The soldier’s superior confirmed to police that the man had been suffering from a depressive disorder. He died after several attempts to save him.

SOURCE: Chiang Mai City Life

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Air Pollution

Less monitoring, more enforcement – Prawit warns northern officials

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Less monitoring, more enforcement – Prawit warns northern officials | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Thaiger

Thai Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan and Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa were in Chiang Mai yesterday to give provincial governors and state agency officials a ‘heads up’ in preparation for another looming season of forest fires and haze.

The North suffers perennial choking smog from approximately February to April, and Prawit passed on a message from PM Prayut Chan-o-cha who, he said, was fretting over the impact on people’s health.

He said the Environment Ministry would take the lead in coordinating with neighbouring countries and related local authorities to monitor the fire problem both in and outside Thailand.

The fires are lit in northern Thailand, and over the border in Myanmar, as burn-offs to prepare for the next year’s crops. Last year’s choking smoke haze was headline news for months.

SOURCE: The Nation

Less monitoring, more enforcement - Prawit warns northern officials | News by The Thaiger

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Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai hotels face a quiet end to 2019

The Thaiger

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Chiang Mai hotels face a quiet end to 2019 | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Spice Roads

Chiang Mai hotels are bracing for a quiet end to 2019, along with other Thai tourist hotspots, due to the strength of the baht, an over-supply of rooms and the growing popularity of home-sharing accommodations like Airbnb.

Hoteliers in the northern city are also suffering the fall-out from the smoke haze crisis earlier in the year which put off a lot of forward tourist bookings.

Occupancy rates have fallen in Q3 20%, compared to an 80% rate at the same time last year. Hoteliers say that, usually, this is a relatively busy time for the northern city with school holidays in Europe and China. This year’s Chinese ‘Golden Week’ (October 1-7) was also very quiet compared to previous years.

They predict the average occupancy rate of less than 60% may be the ‘norm’ for the rest of the year. At the same time the number of rooms in Chiang Mai has risen an additional 10,000 rooms to 60,000 rooms in just two years, so there is a glut of rooms competing for dwindling business.

The rise of home-sharing accommodation in northern Thailand is further exacerbating the problem for the traditional hotel market. Hoteliers are also blaming this year’s negative publicity about the smoke and haze during March and April.

According to the Bangkok Post, in the first eight months of this year Chiang Mai welcomed 6.38 million tourists, down 2.2% compared to the same period last year.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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