Why Nepal is perfect for Digital Nomads

Photo by Jefferson Santos on Unsplash

Who are Digital Nomads?

In simple terms, someone who works from anywhere in the world with a laptop, mobile phone and a good internet connection. Digital Nomad has been the buzz word coming into 2019. Quitting your 9–5 job, going on a trip, working from a cafe somewhere in a foreign land, sounds wonderful right? With the increasing trend among tech companies to hire remotely and create a distributed team allover the world, it has become easier than ever to become a digital nomad. And let’s not forget working as a freelance contractor, getting projects from platforms like upwork and toptal.

Remote workers have the freedom to take a trip to a less expensive country, somewhere in southeast asia, take pictures/videos and probably brag about it on social media :D.

Comparing Thailand, Indonesia with Nepal

Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam have become a popular destination for digital nomads because of the cheap cost of living and the exotic places you can see at the same time. With a good internet connection, a ton of natural vegetation and a lot of exciting things to do people from first world countries have been attracted to places like Bali and Bangkok. But hey wait, what if there is a place cheaper than these places with some breathtaking landscapes, mountains and a plethora of culture to explore. Yes I am talking about Nepal.

I looked into nomadlist and found the cost of living in two of the most popular cities, Kathmandu (the capital) and Pokhara (another popular city) is around $700/month and if you are a little more conscious and on a budget $500 should be enough for a month. For Bali and Bangkok it is around $1500, so its less than half of what you spend there.

Electricity & Internet

For anyone working remotely, electricity and good internet connection is the most basic thing you will need beside your working device (laptop, camera and/or cell phone). Nepal used to have a lot of problems with power cut off upto 14 hours a day. But thanks to the new leadership and management coming into place, load shedding has become the story of the past. No more power cut off.

Internet penetration is growing rapidly in Nepal although don’t expect a super fast internet in remote villages. Kathmandu, Pokhara and a few other cities have a good internet connection starting from 25 Mbps to over 60 Mbps. You might face a few difficulties with video calls and live streaming but overall you can expect a smooth internet in the cities.

Climate

Nepal is mostly hills and mountains. So the climate is generally cool. Kathmandu in summer reaches to around 30 °C (86° F) and few degree celsius more in Pokhara but not too hot to make you uncomfortable. During the winter, the temperature goes down to 0 °C in these cities but expect no snowfall unless you are extremely lucky. The best thing about winter in Kathmandu is the sunlight, so warm and pleasant.

Hiring in Nepal

Beside the affordable lifestyle, Nepal has a rich community of people working in software development, digital marketing and web design. So if you are one of those, you can hire someone here to work for you and yes for a much cheaper cost. For around $5–10/hour, you can hire an intermediate level software engineer and similar is the case for other sectors.

So you can hire someone to work for you in Nepal while you enjoy. You can go on a hike, explore the rich culture while working at the same time.

Coworking Space

Kathmandu and Pokhara are probably the 2 best places to work while touristing. The capital Kathmandu has a lot of co-working space and coffee shops where you can sit and work. The internet connection is decent (~ 50 Mbps) and the environment peaceful. You can rent a shared working space for around $150 per month or $10–15 per day depending on what you need. Hotels are not expensive either. Similar is the case for Pokhara with some minor differences. And you are likely to find a lot of tourists in these places.

Visit Nepal 2020

One major reason for me to write this article and for you to visit Nepal is “Visit Nepal 2020”. Tourism is one of the major sources of income in Nepal and the Government of Nepal has declared the year 2020 as a year to promote tourism. This is my attempt to attract a specific group of people to visit Nepal and work from this beautiful country. Since 2020 is an important year for tourism, special preparations are going on to impress and attract more tourists from all around the world and you probably don’t want to miss that.

Experience

Nepal is famous for 2 major reasons — Mountains and Culture. The landscape of Nepal will amaze you. From the flat land of Terai to some of the tallest mountains in the world, we have it all here. A large number of tourists visit Nepal every year for trekking. Don’t worry, not everyone have to conquer Mt. Everest. There are a lot of mountains and hills of all sizes you can choose to climb. You can start with something like Poon hill (which I recently visited), Gosainkunda, Annapurna Base Camp, Everest Base Camp and many more. There are plenty of local trekking agencies that you can contact and go for a trek.

Talking about tradition, Nepal even being such a small country has a variety of cultures. When you land in Kathmandu, you will see the astonishingly rich Newari culture. Don’t forget to taste Newari food that will leave you craving for more. Kathmandu is also known as the city of temples. So expect to see a lot of them and the famous Pagoda style while you roam around the streets of Patan, Basantapur and Bhaktapur. Terai region is famous for tharu and madhesi culture. And there is more as you explore through the hills and mountains.

Patan Durbar Square by Michael Romanov

Nepal is a country filled with people from totally different cultures yet living in harmony. You will meet extremely friendly people who are here to help you. We have a culture to value our guests as god and they are always welcomed. Hope to see a lot of digital nomads in Nepal soon :)

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