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Fed up being stucked in office? Top 10 cities for digital nomads

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Thanks to the Internet and increasing opportunities for remote working, more people can move abroad, get rid of “GO TO WORK COME BACK HOME” life and live like “digital nomads.”

These are the people who are fond of travelling and they love to work while exploring places and telecommute and live nomadic lifestyles — spending as much time as they’d like in cities of their choosing.
Digital nomads earn a living, many of them in the tech industry among many different sectors. Contrary to popular opinion, they’re not out on the beach or on Instagram all the time.

Digital nomads have their own Facebook groups with tens of thousands of members and a Reddit group which has 25,000 subscribers. Digital nomad conferences are held in Asia and Europe.

“Before that it was a tiny fringe scene,” says Pieter Levels, a Dutch programmer who has worked remotely from different cities for the last three years.

“Now it’s actually becoming a normal thing and it’s a popular topic among my (non-nomad) friends. People are up for it.”

In 2014, Levels started a site called Nomad List, a website that crowdsources information to share with fellow nomads.
Over the years, people have contributed their thoughts on topics like the weather, how much English is spoken, safety, Wi-Fi and monthly cost of living across hundreds of cities etc. like these many topics were discussed on the sites and people’s opinions were flooded all over the site,people love to share their views with the like minded people.

The results are these 10 most popular cities for digital nomads, based on real-time check-ins on Nomad List.

1. Chiang Mai, Thailand

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This mountainous city perpetually ranks at the top for digital nomads as a calm place to work and play.
“It’s the perfect combination of low costs of living, stable Wi-Fi, friendly people and community,” says Johnny Jen, who left his corporate job in California to move to Chiang Mai.
“There’s also a ton of culture, great food, warm weather, a great coffee scene and all of the comforts of a big city while having a laid back, easygoing vibe.”
Depending on how well you budget, you can live on $600 to $1,500 a month, says Jen, who blogs about Chiang Mai living.
According to users, the city is very safe and boasts a number of co-working spaces.
Monthly estimated cost :$943

2. Bangkok, Thailand

 

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With a scrammbling nightlife, Bangkok is a stark contrast to quiet Chiang Mai.
Bangkok “has all of the big city perks,” says Jen. Nomads found the city extremely affordable, with a basic meal costing on average $2.27.
But digital nomads haven’t been impressed with the air quality and weather — it can get hot.
Monthly estimated costs: $1,439

3. London, Uk

london uk-WEFORNEWS

With its increasingly sophisticated start-up scene and crazy amount of activities, London is a major draw for digital nomads.
The digital nomads love the lively nightlife and never ending opportunities.
However, the cost of living is high and the dust has yet to settle from last week’s game-changing vote for the UK to quit the EU.
Monthly estimated costs: $3,264

4. Berlin, Germany

Berlin-WEFORNEWS

This is a more affordable Western Europe route.
The city draws a younger, start-up crowd. People who stay in Berlin ranked it highly for a great quality of life, safety and brotherhood.
The downside is that central heating and air conditioning is not Germany’s forte. Prepare to sweat.
Monthly estimated costs: $2,323

5. San Francisco, USA

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Your wallet will get much slimmer here, but at least you’ll have new memories.
San Francisco has the highest rent in the United States, with an average one-bedroom apartment going for $3,590. You might be sharing it with more housemates than you ever thought possible.
But San Francisco’s charms can’t be denied with its high ratings for quality of life, Wi-Fi and nightlife.
Monthly estimated costs: $4,523

6. Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Start-ups are increasing in this city along with more innovative co-working spaces.
Nomads love the atmosphere,thought process of people.
But settling in Amsterdam is not necessarily cheap.
Monthly estimated costs: $3,628

7. Prague, czech republic

Prague-wefornews

It’s hard to beat the scenery of Prague with its majestic architecture and historic streets.
The city was highly rated for being friendly to women, great nightlife and entertainment.
But it scored poorly for air quality, racial tolerance and English-speaking.
Monthly estimated costs: $2,179

8. Hong Kong

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Start-up entrepreneurs find Hong Kong an easy place to set up shop, thanks to business-friendly policies.
With scenic skyscrapers and more dim sum than you know what to do with, digital nomads rank the city highly for great Internet, weather and abundance of air conditioning.
However, it ranks poorly for air quality.
Monthly estimated costs: $1,825

9. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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The city formerly known as Saigon has becoming increasingly popular with digital nomads.
This fast-paced metropolis ranks well in affordability, but finding people who speak English can be tricky and the Internet can be spotty.
Monthly estimated costs: $732

10. Tokyo, Japan

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Crammed with food, culture, cutting-edge technology and efficient public transit, you can’t really get bored in Tokyo.
But the language barrier can be a challenge.
Monthly estimated costs: $2,755

If you want to live a life on your demands and looking for a wonderful career in the field of nomads,Then go ahead and visit the places.

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Delhi Ring Railway to soon see steam-hauled service to attract tourists

Two options are being considered: A round trip or a hop-on-hop-off ticket.

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Steam locomotives will be chugging along on all hill railways across the country — besides charting out a new course on the Delhi Ring Railway — as the Railways pushes the idea of reviving the glory of its steam heritage.

With the successful operation of a steam-hauled train on the Palanpur-Jogindernagar section of Kangra Valley Railway, all five hill railways now have steam loco services to attract tourists.

Kangra Valley Railway, which is on the tentative list of Unesco’s World Heritage Sites, witnessed the revived steam loco operation recently after more than 20 years. The regular steam loco operation is expected to boost tourism in Himachal Pradesh.

While Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and Nilgiri Mountain Railway have regular steam locos services, the Kalka-Shimla Railway and Matheran Hill Railway are equipped to conduct chartered services on tourist demand.

But the big thrust will be seen in the capital’s long-neglected — and once-popular — Ring Railway, that has fallen by the wayside as the city expanded rapidly.

“It is a big revival of steam locomotives in Indian Railways, and our aim is to have regular steam loco operations in all hill railways — and also in the long-awaited Delhi Ring Railway route,” said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with rail heritage.

With the advent of diesel and electric locomotives, steam engines were phased out in 1995 by the Railways.

Ring Rail Delhi

Though there was a move to run a steam locomotive on the Delhi Ring Railway during the Commonwealth Games in 2010, this did not materialise for various reasons.

However, the state-run transporter is now actively working on reviving the service to showcase its heritage, bring back the romance of steam engines and promote tourism. The task has been assigned to Northern Railway.

The existing 34 km-long ring railway, which runs parallel to the Ring Road, passes through several prominent places of Delhi like Chanakyapuri, Safdarjung and Sarojini Nagar and is expected to attract large numbers of tourists and rail enthusiasts interested in steam locos.

As per the plan, the train, comprising four heritage coaches with a steam locomotive, would start from Safdarjung station and travel to Anand Vihar, Old Yamuna Bridge, Old Delhi, New Delhi and Nizamuddin station before returning to Safdarjung.

Delhi Ring Rail

Tourists will be able to visit the Red Fort, Chandni Chowk, National Rail Museum, the historic Old Yamuna Bridge, Humayun’s tomb and rail buildings such as Old Delhi station, Kashmere Gate and Baroda House by using the service.

“The landscape along the proposed route will be beautified, besides other necessary arrangements to make it operational. The fare structure and timings are yet to be decided,” the official said.

“Two options are being considered: A round trip or a hop-on-hop-off ticket,” the official added.

At present, there are very few steam locos across the world that are still in working condition.

By : Arun Kumar Das

(Arun Kumar Das is a senior Delhi-based freelance journalist. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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62% prefer self planned trips over travel packages: Survey

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New Delhi, Feb 6: As many as 62 per cent people prefer self-planned trips over the packages provided by travel agencies, according to a survey carried out in six metro cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Pune and Bengaluru.

The survey, conducted by Chrome Data Analytics and Media, was conducted on 2,468 people in the age group of 35-54 years constituting 52 per cent males and 48 per cent females.

It said that 59 per cent of the respondents would prefer a nature-related destination for holidays. It also said that 48 per cent would prefer travelling with their friends.

According to the survey, US is the dream destination for 35 per cent of the respondents.

At least 60 per cent of the respondents “usually” holiday for less than seven days, it said

Around 33 per cent said that their travel plans got affected by the number of official leaves they got.

IANS

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Why a visit to the world’s largest river island is a must

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Bamboo house of Mishing tribe

By Natalia Ningthoujam

Kamalabari (Majuli), Feb 5: Assam’s Majuli faces flood fury — and the threat of erosion — whenever the mighty Brahmaputra river swells. So take a break from your high-tech lifestyle and hop on that double decker boat to live the simple life in the world’s largest river island before it loses the title.

Cruises on luxury vessels can take you to your destination, but to understand the locals’ lives, it is best to travel like them on a rickety motor boat, which can also carry cars, bikes and anything that can’t swim, from Neemati ghat to Kamalabari ghat.

First timers might fear for their lives but for the frequent travellers, it’s like any other public transport. Some are so carefree that they even play cards.

After the half-hour ferry ride, you will reach the shrinking island, which is located over 300 km from Guwahati, Assam’s main city, and is home to approximately two lakh people consisting of Brahmins, Kalitas, Mishings, Deori and more.

Visitors can stay in various resorts, which might remind you of your hostel days due to availability of only basic amenities, or limited homestays.

While driving to your accommodation, you will see paddy and mustard fields, and bamboo plantations along the roads.

Out of the various house forms, the bamboo stilt houses — with an open fireplace in the middle — of the Mishing tribe, are quite unique, and you will see women working on looms made with bamboos and a cycle’s wheel.

Unlike the people of Sualkuchi, a silk-weaving village in Assam, Mishings here make “mekhela chador” and other traditional outfits only for their own use. And men use their physical strength to make beds out of bamboos or other furnitures, when they are not farming.

Majuli, a hub of the Assamese neo-Vaishnavite culture, has many satras (religious and cultural institutions).

“Earlier, there were over 60 satras in Majuli but due to erosion, there are currently just 32 satras here. Auniati Satra is the biggest one in Assam. The land measures up to 500 bigha,” Anant Kalita, the satra’s museum guide, told this visiting IANS correspondent.

“We don’t call ourselves monks or pandits. The ones who stay in satras are called Vaishnavs. We worship lord Krishna. We dance, pray and do dramas, which were created by (saint-scholar) Sankardev,” he added.

The satra is open to all — Brahmins, Kalitas and people from other communities of Assam.

“Even Muslims can come. Ladies can come but can’t stay in the satra. After marriage, people need to stay out of the satra.

“There are 350 people in the satra. Vaishnavs and bhakhts stay in satras, the ones who are outside are called disciples,” said Kalita, who has been here for the past 18 years.

The Samaguri Satra, on the other hand, has kept alive the tradition of mask-making.

Its studio houses numerous masks, like those of Narasimha, Ram and Laxman that are used during festivals and Bhaona, which is a traditional form of entertainment through which religious messages are shared.

Explaining the process of mask-making, popular mask artiste Hem Chandra Goswami’s brother Tilak Goswami said: “The masks are made of mud, cotton cloth, cow dung and vegetable colours. One mask takes about 15 to 20 days to make.”

“Our entire family knows how to make masks. We have been making masks for the last six generations,” added the 65-year-old.

After learning the craft here, some even go to Dibrugarh or Guwahati.

It’s not just the people at satras who are warm and welcoming. Once the local children spot new faces, especially with DSLR cameras, they will happily follow you and strike a pose.

You might have to use a lot of hand gestures while communicating with the locals as they aren’t fluent in English or Hindi, but they will leave you overwhelmed — irrespective of their financial condition, they will not let you leave empty handed.

A cup of tea or a plate full of home-made sweets (rice flour pitha) is the least they can offer, and a request: “Please visit again.”

IANS

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